Best Christmas Markets in London for a Classic Christmas Celebration

 “The London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.”~ John Betjeman

You must have understood by these lines that London is a great place to get festive. With tons of events taking place, the Capital city of London gets flooded with the festivities and celebrations during the Christmas season. Whether you live here, or you are visiting the city in winter, the festive spirit of London is something you will never forget for a lifetime. Be it ice skating, attending the Magical Lantern Festival, watching the Christmas lights on the Oxford Street, following the adventures of Peter Pan, or meeting the "magical man" Santa, Christmas in London is super-special. So, this time, when the Christmas is coming close, and you want to make your Christmas celebrations better than ever, head to these Christmas markets in London to buy the perfect gifts and everything else you need!

1. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland: A Christmas Wonderland

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland - THE Christmas shopping destination

Image Source: MrT HK/flickr.com

Dates: November 17 to January 1 (except Christmas day)

Opening Time: 10am to 10pm daily

Location: Hyde Park, London

So much to wonder at Winter Wonderland of Hyde Park! With an ice rink, plenty of festive rides, Munich Looping, Nutcracker, Magical Ice Kingdom, Giant Wheel, and a Circus, Winter Wonderland is the largest Christmas wonder in London. Every year, this market comes with something unique and that is the reason people in London find it so tempting. Winter Wonderland market is held in Hyde Park every year during winter. While admission to this park is completely free, you have to book some attractions and events in advance to enjoy the best of this market. This market is a fun-paradise for children as they will find many things to do here. In addition to plenty of rides and swings, they can watch an interesting puppet show. The shops in form of wooden huts inside the alpine style village are laden with all the Christmas items that you will want to bring home. So, Londoners, get your bags ready, and come to this lovely wonderland!

What’s cool: Meet Santa in his grotto with elves and get clicked with him in a souvenir photograph. 

2. Southbank Centre: The Centre of Festivities

Southbank Centre - best christmas market in heart of London

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dates: November 10 to January 4

Opening Time: 10am to 11pm

Location: South Bank, London SE1 8XX

The winter festival at Southbank Centre arrives with chalet-style stalls displaying hand-crafted trinkets, wooden toys, jewelry, candles, ceramics, clothes, glass ornamental Christmas trees, and everything to make your Christmas a pleasant memory. Taking a walk through this market is a visual treat as you will see all the shops decorated with glittering lights and lamps that will brighten your heart. Besides, for all the food lovers, there are many options to eat and drink. With plenty of festive products, sweets, shows, and gifts, the winter market at Southbank Centre is, indeed, one of the best Christmas markets in London. You will find many bus routes to stop nearby. 

What’s cool: Relax at the Finnish Rooftop Sauna during the Southbank Winter festival and listen to the ‘ice music’. 

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3. Greenwich Market: A Heritage Market

Greenwich Market - London's best place to shop this christmas

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dates: November 22 to December 24 (Closed on Tuesday and Bank holidays) 

Opening Time: 10am to 5.30pm

Location: Greenwich, London

This is the market where festivities blend with history. Imagine a market set within a World Heritage Site! Isn’t the idea exciting? Greenwich Market is a historic market located in Greenwich and boasts plenty of stalls full of traditional and hand-crafted items, clothes, and antiques. As you walk through the market, you will see many independent Greenwich market shops displaying designer clothes to wear on Christmas eve. The market is most famous for its exotic collection of arts and crafts. Greenwich Market is also considered as one of the best Sunday Markets in London. To make your shopping comfortable and relaxing, the Greenwich Market offers some amazing gastropubs, restaurants, and bars (with a lot of vegan options) inside the market area. 

What’s cool: Royal Observatory Greenwich, National Maritime Museum, Queen's House, and Greenwich Park are just a few minutes’ walk. 

4. Kingston Christmas Market: For the Best Christmas Souvenir

Kingston Christmas Market

Image Source: Pexels.com

Dates: November 16 to December 31

Opening Time: 10am to 6pm

Location: Kingston-Upon-Thames, Greater London

As the Christmas countdown begins, and you are in hurry to purchase the best Christmas gifts for your loved ones, Kingston Christmas Market is the best place to head to. The wooden chalets full of decorations, food items, and all the festive goodies welcome all the visitors with a magical atmosphere. The market is also known for the one of a kind mulled wine and German style street food that you will find the restaurants and bars lining the market. In addition to this, this market will always keep you energized and entertained with the street performance by the London artists. If you are coming here with kids, take them to the Candy Cane Forest for a great delight. 

What’s cool: Come here on 16 November and soak up the festive atmosphere during the Christmas lights switch-on event.

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5. Winterville Christmas market: The Wacky Winter Shopping

Winterville Christmas market

Image Source: Heather Cowper/flickr.com

Dates: November 23 to January 1

Opening Time: 11.30am to 10pm

Location: Clapham Common, Clapham

The frosty town of Winterville glitters with festivities as soon as the Christmas carol begins. Located in east London, this Christmas market is the place where Christmas party starts before the Christmas eve. Be it ice skating, festive shows, Christmas shopping, or golfing, Winterville Christmas Market has something for people of all ages. Dance on the crazy music, eat the best London food, drink the old wine, or enjoy the exciting rides, you will not be able to forget your visit to Winterville during the Christmas season. Do you prefer a relaxed way of shopping? Then place your shopping bags in the Winter Night Garden and just gaze at the bustling city. 

What’s cool: Go for a ride on the Big Wheel to enjoy the panoramic views of Winterville and the city beyond.

6. Leicester Square: Glittering Christmas Market of London

Leicester Square

Image Source: Paul Hudson/flickr.com

Dates: November 10 to January 6

Opening Time: 12pm to 10pm

Location: Leicester Square, Central London

Christmas in Leicester Square brings joy, enthusiasm, and delight. This sparkling market is located in the heart of London. Home to a traditional Christmas market, featuring more than 25 food, drink and Christmas gift stalls, Leicester square comes alive in December. The market is situated close to the famous Piccadilly Circus. The market is best known for its festive entertainment that includes Black Cat Cabaret, Fascinating Aida, and The Showstoppers Christmas. The entry to this market costs nothing, but if you want to attend the events, remember to book in advance so that your joy doesn’t get spoiled. 

What’s cool: Watch your kids laugh and dance at Baby Disco Dance Hall and Roald Dahl’s medicine show.

7. London Bridge City Christmas Market: Christmas by the River

London Bridge City Christmas Market

Dates: November 30 to January 3

Opening Time: 11am to 7pm

Location: London Bridge City, London Bridge 

There is no other place as wonderful as the London Bridge City to get the perfect Christmas gift. Imagine yourself shopping at London's most prestigious location! With River Thames flowing below, plenty of wooden stalls providing a glimpse of German style, and people offering delicious cocktails, this market on the Tower Bridge of London is incredible. What are you looking for this Christmas? Food, wine, clothes, or crafts? There is something for everyone in this market. If you only talk about food, this market is an amalgamation of various cuisines. Hog Roast, Great British Bangers, Bubble waffles, German sausages, French crepes… you will find everything just at one place. While roaming on the bridge with your shopping bags, don’t forget to taste the craft beer with the delicious London cuisines.

What’s cool: Head to the pop-up bar TwoRuba By the Pier for an ultimate enjoyment. 

8. Danish Christmas Market: Get the Danish Hygge

Danish Christmas Market

Image Source: Extempore/flickr.com

Dates: November 25 and November 26

Opening Time: Varies

Location: Danish YWCA, Frognal

Located in Danish YWCA near Finchley Road, Danish Christmas market offers a unique Nordic experience to all the Londoners. Located inside the cozy rooms of a grand building, Danish Christmas Bazaar is the best place to experience Denmark's’ ‘hygge’ (a Danish word for an extraordinary feeling). Apart from the shops laden with Christmas decorations, the most tempting things you will find here are the food trucks selling authentic Danish food (ketchup, mustard, remoulade, diced raw onions, crispy fried onions, sliced pickles and what not!). The buttery biscuits of this market are something you will want to buy for a whole year. 

What’s cool: Listen to the Danish Christmas carol and eat some delicious hot-dogs. 

9. The Swedish Church Christmas Fair: The Swedish Musical Treat

The Swedish Church Christmas Fair

Dates: November 23 to November 26

Opening Time: 11am to 8pm

Location: Swedish Church, Marylebone

A place to experience the best Swedish treat, the Christmas market at the Swedish Church (svenska kyrkan) welcomes all with big smiles and lights. The market takes place in the month of November every year. Nestled between Baker Street and Edgeware Street, this Christmas market is a full of people during the Christmas season. Although the market has a Swedish taste and look, you will find more English people here. It would be good if you avoid visiting the market on Saturday as you will find long queues of people. And, what will you find here? Everything! Christmas decorations, papers, candles, food, clothes, fruits and nuts. Yes, you will also be able to taste the Varm korv (Swedish hotdog) here. 

What’s cool: Purchase a Swedish costume to try something different this Christmas. 

Apart from the markets mentioned above, London is also famous for the Christmas Market at Tate Modern which will unfortunately be closed in 2017. But all the other Christmas markets, with all their charm, festive food, and lights are there to make your Christmas eve bright and beautiful. Merry Christmas! 

You May Like to Read:

Best Christmas markets in Prague

Top Christmas Markets in NYC

Best Christmas Markets in Germany

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SHRADDHANVITA TIWARI SHRADDHANVITA TIWARI

After five years of her teaching career, Shraddhanvita decided to make 'travel' her passion. For her 'a rolling stone does gather moss'. She is a wanderlust driven soul, a poet, a pluviophile, and a humanist. Fascinated by nature's bounty, she finds solace in the lap of magnificent hills and her books. Travelling made her learn much and love much more with one thing that remained constant is her desire to keep moving.

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