10 Top Free Things to Do in London in December

Top Free Things to Do in London in December

London is a busy and vibrant city that never fails to captivate visitors with its rich history, iconic landmarks, and festive spirit. As December rolls around, the city transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with dazzling lights and bustling Christmas markets. And on New Year’s Eve, the entire city parties with spectacular fireworks and events.

But of course, such a big city can be difficult to navigate if you have never been before. So, let us check out the 10 top free things to do in London in December, the most magical of months.


10 Top Free Things to Do in London in December


Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

Location: Hyde Park, Central London

​​​​Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is an annual event that brings joy and excitement to all ages. It is a an extremely popular place to visit during the holidays, so it is wise to arrive early.

This enchanting festival features ice skating rinks, thrilling rides, live entertainment, and a Christmas market filled with unique gifts and delicious treats.


Oxford Street’s Christmas Lights

Location: Oxford Street, Central London, W1
Oxford Street comes alive during December, adorned with mesmerizing Christmas lights. Take a leisurely stroll along this famous shopping street while marvelling at the stunning displays that illuminate the night sky.

As far as Christmas activities go, this is a fantastic way to spend your time without spending a penny. Also, be aware that the main shopping streets are very busy during the early evening hours and at the weekend.  


The Festive Market at Covent Garden

Address: Covent Garden, London, WC2

Covent Garden is known for its lively atmosphere throughout the year but takes on an extra special charm during December. Explore the festive market where you can find handmade crafts, seasonal decorations, and mouth-watering food stalls.


Christmas Carols on Trafalgar Square

Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DS
Trafalgar Square hosts daily carol singing sessions throughout December where choirs from around London gather to spread holiday cheer. Join in or simply soak up the joyful atmosphere while admiring Nelson's Column and other iconic landmarks nearby. The weather may be chilly, but don’t let that stop you enjoying the festive vibe.


Southbank Centre's Winter Festival

Address: Southbank Center, Central London

The Southbank Centre hosts a delightful Winter Festival featuring various free events such as concerts, performances by street artists, pop-up markets selling unique gifts from local artisans – all set against breath-taking views of the River Thames. This is one of the most popular and top free things to do in London in December.


Tate Modern & Tate Britain

Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Both Tate Modern and Tate Britain offer free entry to their permanent collections, allowing you to immerse yourself in the world of contemporary and classic art. Explore the galleries and discover masterpieces by renowned artists such as Picasso, Warhol, and Turner.

It is a good idea to arrive early if you are traveling at the weekend, as these locations can get extremely busy.  


London’s Christmas Markets

Address: Various locations across London

London's Christmas markets are a feast for the senses. From the traditional stalls at Winter Wonderland to the charming market at Southbank Centre or Leicester Square, these markets offer an array of festive delights including handmade crafts, delicious food, and warming drinks.

Marvel at Festive Window Displays

Address: Various locations across London

London's department stores go all out with their extravagant window displays during December. Take a stroll along Regent Street or Bond Street to admire these artistic creations that highlight the magic of Christmas.


The British Museum

Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

The British Museum is home to an extensive collection of world treasures spanning thousands of years. Explore its vast halls filled with ancient artifacts such as Egyptian mummies, Greek sculptures, and Roman relics – all for free! Again, make sure you arrive early to avoid waiting.


Enjoy Winter Concerts & Performances

Address: Various locations across London

During December, many venues across London host free winter concerts and performances that celebrate the holiday season through music and dance. Keep an eye on listings from places like St Martin-in-the-Fields or Royal Albert Hall for opportunities to enjoy these magical experiences and the best shows without spending a penny.


Practical Tips For Visitors

London is a big city so you will need to know some travel tips to help you get the best out of your time. Thankfully, London is a laid-back place and it is easy to simply walk around and see amazing things.

Here are some general tips to help you navigate the city easily and enjoy every second.


What to Pack For December

As you’re walking around, you will need a warm coat, comfortable walking shoes, and an umbrella. London can be very cold during December, but equally, you might get the odd mild day too. Layers are a good idea, but always dress for comfort and not for fashion—there is a lot to see and do, and being comfortable will allow you to experience more.


London’s Weather in December

As you plan your visit in December, keep in mind that London experiences winter weather during this time of year with temperatures ranging from 2°C (36°F) - 8°C (46°F). Be sure to pack warm clothing and suitable footwear if you plan to explore the city on foot.


Transportation in December

London boasts an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trains, and the iconic Underground (Tube). During December, these services usually operate as usual but may have reduced schedules on public holidays or weekends. It is advisable to check for any service disruptions or changes in advance and these will be widely advertised online and at stations.


Remember Your Travel Insurance

While you are exploring the top free things to do in London in December, remember to cover your back and purchase travel insurance before you travel. The AXA Travel Protection Plan is a cost-effective choice that is flexible and designed for unique needs and individuals.



London truly comes alive during December with its festive spirit and numerous free activities that cater to everyone's interests. Whether you are exploring enchanting markets or immersing yourself in art galleries, or simply enjoying the twinkling lights adorning iconic streets, there is something magical awaiting you around every corner in this bustling city during this special time of year!

So, grab your coat, embrace the holiday spirit, and make unforgettable memories while discovering London's amazing attractions.


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