Although the capital is much quieter than usual on Christmas Day, there's actually no shortage of things to do. It’s a rare chance to explore and experience a different side of the city.

Getting Around

There's no public transport on Christmas Day, but you could opt for a Boris bike to explore Central London with much less traffic around. There will also be a few taxis and mini-cabs for hire.

With limited transport options, and thousands of Christmas calories consumed, walking might be your best bet. You’ll have London’s beautiful architecture, street art and Christmas lights largely to yourself, and walking is the best way to experience it. 


Discover London on a sightseeing tour taking in key attractions. There are plenty of tours over the festive period, including some on Christmas Day. Enjoy Christmas lunch aboard a boat while taking in London's iconic riverside sights; go on a Thames cruise; or see Central London at its most tranquil on a hop-on hop-off bus tour or night tour to see the lights. Alternatively, head out of town on a guided coach tour with the likes of a Dickensian Christmas tour of Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich, or a trip to the pretty Cotswolds and Oxford.


Almost all of London’s attractions are closed on Christmas Day. However, some attractions remain open.

Alternatively, head to The Serpentine lake at Hyde Park, where the hardy members of the Serpentine Swimming Club take part in the annual Peter Pan Cup swimming race.

Christmas Church Services

Most London churches will have Christmas Day services. It's advisable to arrive early, as Christmas services can be very busy and there is limited space. It’s best to check with the individual church in advance but Central London churches with Christmas Day services include:

• St Martin-in-the-Fields
• Southwark Cathedral
• St Paul’s Cathedral
• All Hallows by the Tower

Eating and Drinking

Many restaurants close on Christmas Day but some are open for lunch or dinner. Most restaurants require you to book in advance for Christmas Day dining.

Some pubs open for a few hours around lunchtime but most will be closed or ticketed in the evening. Make sure you check in advance for opening hours. Hotel bars are a good bet for a drink on Christmas Day, but again, check with the hotel in advance.

Boxing Day (26 December)

The day after Christmas (known as Boxing Day in the UK) is still quiet. Some of the January sales start on Boxing Day. Most attractions will still be closed.

Reduced public transport options are available - check the Transport for London website to plan your journey.

Find out more about transport and opening times over Christmas and New Year with our Essential Information guide.