A Quick Guide To The Best London Christmas Markets 2023
London is a fabulous city to visit at any time of year but it is really magical at Christmas. If you’re a fan of Christmas markets, then the huge choice of London Christmas markets will not disappoint.
Wandering around these Christmas markets is a really lovely thing to do at Christmas and makes London one of the best UK cities to visit at Christmas.
**We are keeping an eye on dates for the 2023 London Christmas markets. In case they do not happen, here are details on virtual Christmas market and other virtual Christmas events! This post contains affiliate links. Should you buy something through them, we may earn a small commission but at no extra cost to you**
London at Christmas walking tour
Walking around London is one of the best ways to see the city. Visiting London at Christmas and would to like to join a small group for a tour of the London Christmas markets?
Take a look at this Christmas walking tour. See also this London Christmas lights tour by open top bus or a private tour by black cab if you don’t feel like walking.
There are so many things going on at Christmas in London. Make sure you book ahead if you want to catch a London show. Here are some of the best:
London Christmas shows
- The Snowman – an absolute must-see when in London at Christmas with kids.
- Elf – The Musical.
- Potted Panto – 7 classic pantos in 70 minutes.
- Jack and the Beanstalk – classic pantomime at the London Palladium.
Christmas by the River
Christmas by the River is the London Christmas market with the best views in London across the River Thames to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
There are over 70 wooden cabins selling Christmassy gifts with an artisan touch and a great selection of food.
Keep a look out on their site closer to Christmas as they usually run fun Christmas workshops.
It’s one of the best placed London Xmas markets for visiting London’s top sights. While you’re in the neighbourhood, take a walk up and over Tower Bridge and peer through the glass floor to the river 42 metres below.
The Tower of London, London’s most popular tourist attraction, is also right there. For dinner, head to The Coppa Club for a London igloo experience.
It’s so cosy at Christmas time and a great spot to see the twinkling Christmas lights of the Shard (see here for Shard entry tickets)..
Christmas by the River 2023 dates
Mid-November to the beginning of January.
Southbank Centre Winter Market
Southbank Centre Winter Market magical family shows, global street food, markets
Walk along the river to the Shakespeare’s Globe for Fir Tree at the Snow Globe or hop on the London Eye at dusk for amazing views over London just as all of the Christmas lights light up the city.
For a free view of the city, pop into the Tate Modern and head up to the 7th floor of the Blatvnik Building where there’s a viewing platform.
You might like to try Circus 1903 for a fantastic family event.
See here for London Eye tickets.
We also have a guide to exploring Waterloo and the surrounding area with kids if you’re looking for more things to do here.
Southbank Christmas market 2023 dates
Beginning of November to the end of December.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland London is the largest of the London Christmas markets with the south end of Hyde Park being completely transformed into a winter wonderland from mid November until early January.
There is an authentic Bavarian village with over 100 Christmas market stalls, an ice rink, fairground rides, ice sculptures and much more.
Entry is £5.00 per person (which is refunded if you spend over £25.00 on rides) and it can get incredibly busy.
If you want to do any of the experiences such as ice skating, riding the Giant Observation Wheel or the fairground rides, these cost extra and you will need to book some of them in advance.
While you’re in the area, you might want to catch one of the Christmas shows at the Royal Albert Hall or head to Oxford Street or bond Street to see the Christmas lights.
Don’t miss the Harrods lights (although they are illuminated all year round).
Winter Wonderland 2023 dates
Mid-November to beginning of January.
Christmas in Leicester Square
Christmas in Leicester Square offers a traditional Christmas market with Bavarian-style wooden huts selling a range of Christmas goodies right in the heart of London in theatreland.
Whilst you’re in theatreland, you might want to check out some of the Christmas shows 2022 has to offer:
A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic from 12th November to 7th January 2023).
The Nutcracker (London Coliseum from 15th December to 7th January 2023).
Christmas in Leicester Square 2023 dates
Christmas in Leicester Square runs from beginning of November to beginning of January.
Paternoster Square Christmas Market
Paternoster Square Christmas Market is a new market situated right next to St Paul’s Cathedral. The traditional cabins will be adorned with lights and Paternoster Square will also have a Christmas tree display.
While you’re in the area, you might like to pop across the river to the Tate Modern or into St Paul’s Cathedral.
Paternoster Square Christmas Market 2023 dates
The Christmas market at Paternoster Square runs from beginning of November to end of December.
Greenwich Christmas Market
Greenwich Market is open all year round but at Christmas it transforms into a lovely festive, twinkly space.
This year they are running a Santa’s Grotto. It’s one of the best places in London to see Santa.
The market is a historic World Heritage site and is filled with 150 stalls selling a range of Christmas goodies and London themed gifts.
While you’re in the area, how about stepping over the Greenwich Meridian Line or heading up to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park for spectacular views over London?
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is one of the best museums in London for kids and Queen’s House next door has a fabulous ice skating rink.
Greenwich Christmas Market 2023 dates
Greenwich Christmas Market 2023 dates are mid-November to end of December.
Kingston Christmas Market
Kingston Christmas Market is situated in the Ancient Market Place in the centre of town with the Alpine village offering lots of festive goodies.
There’s live entertainment, a firepit for toasting marshmallows and even a vintage carousel.
While you’re in the area, you might want to check out what’s going on at the Hampton Court Festive Fayre or head up to Kew Gardens for the Christmas light trail.
Kingston Christmas market 2023 dates
Kingston Christmas market runs from mid-November to end of December.
There may not be as many Christmas markets this year, but there are also lots of other things to do in London at Christmas such as ice skating, visiting the Christmas lights or carol singing.
For something a little different…..
Selfridges are offering an outdoor Christmas market – 5th November to 23rd December 2022.
Covent Garden is a lovely place to visit at Christmas with all the decorations and street performers.
Christmas at Kew is a really magical experience with one of the best light trails in the country.
Ice Skating at Christmas in London is fun for all ages and a really festive activity to enjoy.
Accommodation in London
See our guide for family-friendly hotels in London or better yet, family-friendly hotels in London with pools.
Some of them do a fabulous festive afternoon tea for kids.
You might also like…
13 Magical Things to do at Christmas in London with Kids
21 Deliciously Child Friendly Restaurants in London
The Best Christmas Markets in Europe
25 Fun and Free Things to Do in London with Kids
100+ Santa’s Grottos and Santa Experiences in the UK
40+ Gift Ideas for Kids Who Travel
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