The 9 MOST ENCHANTING Christmas Markets in London

Our Guide for the BEST Markets in holiday time

After all, the first commercial Christmas card was created here, and it’s considered one of the city’s most important holidays! And come on, it’s London. You know they go big.

Whether it’s the plethora of carol singers belting out Christmas classics, the pretty lights that dazzle the city, or the festive atmosphere that’s present on every street, there are few better places to spend the festive period and tons of things to do.

But aside from the bustling vibe and eye-catching decorations, there’s one festive activity you really won’t want to miss the next time you’re in town. The extensive world of the Christmas market stretches as far as the eye can see.

London’s Christmas markets are excellent, whether you’re looking for gifts for your friends and family or simply plan on enjoying a comforting cup of mulled wine. Read on to explore the best Christmas markets London has to offer.

The Best Christmas Markets in London 2023

While a Christmas visit to Harrods is always on the card (for you and 300,000 others!), if you’re looking for somewhere cheaper and more unique to buy your Christmas presents this year, consider a Christmas market in London.

There are plenty out there to explore, from the coveted Winter Wonderland event to the London Bridge City bazaar. As well as offering a range of stalls selling homemade, unique, and innovative gifts, you can pick up a mulled wine, hot dog, or other festive snack and spend an evening stroll with friends.

It’s always a good time, and to help you make the best memories of spending the holiday in the best way, here are the best Christmas markets in London to visit in 2023.

  1. 01

    Winter Wonderland Christmas Market

    Holiday Markets in Knightsbridge
    Christimas Market in Hyde Park London
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    The ultimate Christmas experience in London, Winter Wonderland is a must-visit for those looking to soak up the festive season and really get immersed in the Christmas spirit. It’s undoubtedly home to one of the best London Christmas markets.

    Located in the city’s iconic Hyde Park – with its central location making it ideal for visitors – Winter Wonderland is more than just a Christmas market.

    Running from November to January, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers a selection of rides and attractions, ice skating opportunities, delicious food and drinks, as well as a section with traditional Christmas markets selling gifts, crafts, and trinkets.

    Those who want to cosy down and soak up the atmosphere can gather around the fire pit, while those who want to try their hand at a winter sport can head to the ice rink.

    From a haunted mansion to the Christmas tree ride, there are plenty of rides for the more adventurous to try out, while people looking for a more wholesome activity can take part in ice sculpting or visit the magical ice kingdom.

    You will need to buy tickets for this event, so remember to get your hands on yours before they sell out!

  2. 02

    Covent Garden Christmas Market

    Holiday Markets in Covent Garden
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    Covent Garden has long been a go-to destination for shopping, and Christmas is no exception.

    The main piazza transforms into a magical festive wonderland with Christmas decor, heated al fresco dining, a photo op with Santa, and, of course, its famous markets laden with Christmas lights and artisan gifts.

    Selling everything from stocking fillers to homemade treasures under the sparkling Christmas lights, the stalls of the Covent Garden Christmas markets are the perfect place to find gifts for all the family.

    While you’re at this Christmas market in London 2023, enjoy a cup of mulled wine or a burger from the food stalls to keep your tummy full for the retail therapy ahead.

    Surrounding the Christmas market are Covent Garden’s iconic big-name boutiques, where you can find designer brands as well as places to drink and dine after a busy day shopping. The Winter Warmer Festival starts in November 2023, and more details are set to be uploaded to the site later in the year.

    While in the area, you’re also a stone’s throw from the stunning London Bridge and the World Heritage site of the Tower of London – both of which you know look stunning surrounded by the festive fun.

  3. 03

    Leicester Square Christmas Market

    Holiday Markets in Piccadilly Circus
    Christmas Market at Leicester Square in London
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    Located at the heart of London’s city centre, Leicester Square is the ideal place to host Christmas markets, with easy access from public transport and a wide open space that visitors can enjoy strolling around.

    Here, you’ll find a pop-up market filled with plenty of Christmas stalls selling gifts and trinkets, such as ceramics and jewellery, as well as tasty food and drink.

    Like most of London’s Christmas markets, the food is German-inspired, so you’ll find bratwurst and pretzels aplenty, as well as, of course, mulled wine.

    Alongside stalls, Leicester Square’s markets tend to offer entertainment for visitors. In previous years, performances like The Clique have graced Leicester Square with their presence – although you’ll have to buy a ticket for any specific performances you plan on attending.

    Thanks to its central location and popularity with tourists, Leicester Square often boasts the buzzing atmosphere that London is known for, and it’s never truer than at Christmas.

    So head on down for impressive shows, one-of-a-kind gifts, and that all-important festive tipple.

  4. 04

    Christmas Market Southbank Centre

    Holiday Markets in Southbank Centre
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    Running from the 3rd of November to the 26th of December, the Southbank Centre’s Winter Market is an essential addition to London resident’s and visitors’ festive calendar.

    Located along the Thames with an unparalleled view of the river, visitors to this winter market can stroll down the South Bank’s twinkly lights and sample delicious food and drinks served up from the alpine-inspired chalets.

    With more of a focus on food than gifts, this Christmas market is home to pop-up bars and street food stalls offering a wide range of cuisine, so you certainly won’t leave with an empty belly.

    Savoury plates include avant-garde dishes like a truffle burger or lobster roll, with many of the food stalls also serving up Christmas market classics like Dutch pancakes and fondue. Wash it all down with a hot chocolate, mulled wine, or festive-spiced coffee.

  5. 05

    Kingston Upon Thames Christmas Market

    Holiday Markets in Kingston upon Thames
    Kingston Upon Thames Christmas Market in London
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    Opening on the 16th of November, Kingston Christmas Market is located in southwest Kingston Upon Thames, a charming neighbourhood situated on the River Thames.

    Kingston’s is a traditional Christmas market, home to plenty of stalls selling all the stocking fillers you’ll need for family and friends this Christmas.

    2022’s DIY Christmas art market stalls included cheese makers, jewellery stalls, artists, handmade gifts, and even a stall selling winter and Christmas-themed goods. We can expect to see similar small businesses here this year, with various products for all ages.

    From continental classics like bratwurst and fondue to a typical British hog roast, you’re sure to be tempted by the tasty treats on offer at this popular Christmas market, which draws in crowds year after year.

    There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained among the fairy lights, too.

    The vintage carousel will occupy kids while live carol singers and music contribute to the warm and welcoming festive atmosphere. There truly is something for everyone. Plus, it’s just a beautiful spot to enjoy under twinkling lights and Christmas decorations.

  6. 06

    Trafalgar Square Christmas Market

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    Trafalgar Square in London at Christmas
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    For the past few years, Trafalgar Square has hosted a Christmas market drawing in crowds of residents and tourists alike, and while the dates haven’t been confirmed, we can expect the same this year.

    2022 saw the site transformed into the winter wonderland of dreams, with stalls selling hand-crafted goods as well as a range of delicious food and drink.

    The festive bar at this popular market is the best place to pick up either a traditional festive tipple like mulled wine or simply a classic G&T while enjoying time spent with friends and family.

    This iconic square is also home to one of London’s most impressive Christmas trees at its centre to help you get into the festive spirit. If you’re looking for a way to spend the rest of the day, the good news is the markets are located just outside the National Gallery.

  7. 07

    Christmas at Borough Market

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    Borough Market in London
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    London is already known for its impressive food markets, which span a range of international cuisines, and Borough Market is one of the most popular ones. While not specifically just a London Christmas market, this foodie’s paradise transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas period.

    With twinkly lights and festive decor, you’ll feel like you’re at a purpose-built Christmas market, and you’ll find an increase in the amount of festive fayre on offer. A benefit of visiting Borough Market at Christmas instead of heading to one of the more traditional Christmas markets is you can access a wider range of cuisine.

    From oysters to luxury burgers to Asian street food, you’ll find food to tickle every tastebuds while still soaking up the festive atmosphere. It’s also the perfect spot to buy a gift for the foodie in your life, whether it’s a bottle of premium wine or the ultimate cheese and crackers set.

  8. 08

    Christmas By the River

    Holiday Markets in Bankside
    A view of Tower Bridge during Christmastime in London.
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    If you’re looking for a Christmas market with the best views in London, you’ll love Christmas by the River. Although dates for 2023 haven’t yet been confirmed, we expect this super popular Christmas market to return to its location along the River Thames.

    The last Christmas By the River event played host to more than 70 wooden cabins selling Christmas-themed goods as well as stocking fillers and one-of-a-kind hand-crafted items.

    It’s also one of the best-placed markets for sightseeing in London, so once you’re done with your retail therapy, you can take a walk-up and over Tower Bridge.

    In 2022, Christmas By the River offered a whole host of festive events, tastings, and workshops alongside the market stalls, making it an entertainment fest for the whole family. Nearby film screenings showing the likes of Elf and Home Alone also do an excellent job of spreading festive cheer.

  9. 09

    Christmasy Greenwich Market

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    Greenwich Market in London
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    Greenwich Market is not normally a Christmas market, it is rather a traditional London market that guarantees a very special visit during the Christmas season.

    Greenwich Market is generally one of the most beautiful markets in the city and less touristy than other more centrally located markets.

    During the holidays, you’ll find everything you need to decorate your domicile for Christmas, as well as hot chocolate and mulled wine. The most festive months of the year are definitely a good time to explore Greenwich!

    You (or maybe your kids) can meet Santa in his grotto, and the Christmas Late Markets on the three Advent days offer extra festive stalls with shopping opportunities.

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Conclusion

So there you have it! Our ultimate guide to London’s Christmas markets 2023. For more information about what to do in this incredible city, check out our London guide.

Best Christmas Markets in London on a map

Christmas Markets in London - Frequently Asked Questions

When do the Christmas markets start in London?

The exact start date depends on the Christmas market in question, but most Christmas markets in London open either at the end of November or the start of December. They tend to finish at the end of December or the start of January, and some are even open Mondays to Sundays during this time.

Are Christmas markets in London free?

Most Christmas markets in London offer free admission, especially during off-peak hours, but some must be booked in advance. Once you’re there, you’ll have to pay for anything you buy from the stalls. Other Christmas events in London might require tickets or a fee to enter.

How long should I spend at the Christmas markets?

In general, you can see most of a Christmas market within 2–3 hours. If you’re hoping to spend more time hanging out with friends or plan on seeing a show, however, you might want to stay for longer. Visiting the Christmas markets can be a whole-day activity.

Profilbild Laura Haig
About the author

I love traveling in Europe and I am passionate about writing about my travels. The cultural peculiarities of each region always fascinate me. I enjoy exploring and discovering the best-kept secrets of each town or village. I love road trips as much as city breaks; I love visiting an art gallery and also the magic of musicals or discovering new delicacies in a street market. In this blog, I write about all my travel adventures and my best tips and tricks! Auf Loving Travel schreibe ich über alle meine Reiseerlebnisse und gebe euch meine besten Tipps und Tricks!

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