One of the best things about Christmas, or at least for us, is the Christmas markets. England capital is full of them where you can find a lot of interesting things. But you don’t know which one to go to? We propose a list with our personal ranking of the 10 best London Christmas Markets. Come and enjoy great lighting, colours, smells, decorations and much more in its countless and endearing flea markets.
London at Christmas is magical. The city is filled with some of the most beautiful light installations in the world, shops are decked out, traditional markets offer some of the most spectacular decorations you can buy and, of course, there are Christmas markets that make you feel like you’re in a fairytale.
About London Christmas markets
As in the rest of mainland Europe, most Christmas markets in London are held outside, usually along a street that is closed to traffic or in a large esplanade or park. There are usually little huts or stalls where you can buy festive decorations, perfect gifts such as Father Christmas or the Three Wise Men, and food and drink to warm you up. The latter include chestnuts and mulled wine, which, with its spices, gives the market its characteristic smell.
In these Christmas markets you can find all kinds of Christmas-related products (and many more). From traditional food such as mulled wine and roasted chestnuts to items to decorate your home as if it were Santa’s house. You can wander through rows of wooden huts while Christmas carols play in the background and, if you like, enjoy some churros and chocolate.
In addition to shopping and food, London’s Christmas markets usually have events (concerts, light switch-ons, workshops…) during the weekends or in the days leading up to Christmas, as well as other attractions aimed at children. Therefore, visiting them can be a good excuse to get to know London as a couple or as a family.
The best Christmas markets in London
Below we are going to give you all the information about the best London Christmas markets and also some suggestions or tips to get the most out of them.
Southbank Centre Winter Market
- Location: The Queen’s Walk, London
- Date: 28 October to 7 January
Another spectacular London Christmas market runs alongside the River Thames, which is filled with wooden stalls offering an endless selection of crafts, hot drinks and Bavarian delicacies. If you’re celebrating something special, you’ll be delighted to know that they have romantic igloos overlooking the river.
As well as being visually beautiful, this London Christmas market is one of the liveliest in London due to the number of events they have prepared each year, many of which are free of charge. The little ones will have a blast at Santa’s Secret Santa’s Village.
Then we recommend walking to the Tate Modern, where there is also a small Christmas market with a great view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s also very close to the London Eye, so you can take the opportunity to get on it and enjoy the panoramic view of London at night.
Barbican Christmas market
- Address: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London
- Dates: From 12 to 21 December , 4 pm to 8.30 pm
It’s talked about as one of the most unique and original Christmas markets in London.
Barbican Christmas market showcasing exclusive products by local traders, if you’re looking for one-off gifts this is the perfect place to pick up quality clothes and accessories, arts and crafts, jewellery, books, toys and much more. There will be plenty of mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies too.
As well as an exhibition of unique gifts and products from local traders you can also find designer clothes, arts and crafts, jewellery, books, toys and much more. Enlivened with traditional mulled wine, hot chocolate and frosted fruit cakes. Sounds like a warm plan to take shelter from the winter cold, doesn’t it?
Tate Modern Christmas market
Address: Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG
One of the best located markets, just minutes from St Paul’s Cathedral.
In this market, with a German character, you can find some of the products of the German-speaking country. They have Glühwein (mulled wine), bratwurst (the famous German sausage), toasted nuts, gingerbread and many other sweets.
More than 70 authentically decorated wooden chalets will sell a wide range of handmade, unique and unusual gifts. Wooden toys, unique jewellery, handmade soaps and many more Christmas products will be offered in a magical winter atmosphere. A merry-go-round and Christmas carols will be playing at this traditional German flea market for the whole family. In addition you can enjoy a “Glühwein” (German mulled wine), accompanied by a “Bratwurst” (hot dog) and to top it all off, toasted nuts, gingerbread hearts, and many other dishes. It will be open from 20 November to 23 December.
Tower Bridge Christmas market
Location: The Scoop at More London, London Bridge Underground Station (Northern and Jubilee lines)
Date: 15 November to 1 January
One of London’s most beautiful Christmas markets to the banks of the River Thames, next to Tower Bridge and with incredible views of the rest of the city. It’s small, but you’ll find around 70 stalls with crafts, typical food and something warm to keep you warm in the winter temperatures.
It is advisable to check the programme of activities in advance, as there are usually choirs singing Christmas carols, screenings of Christmas films, shorts or documentaries and other community activities.
One of the markets with the best views in London. You can enjoy all the stalls while looking at Tower Bridge in the background.
Among its more than 60 wooden stalls, you’ll find all kinds of gifts, such as toys, books, household items, beauty products and baskets. There are also food stalls: roast pork, waffles, German sausages and French crepes (among others).
Mayfair Christmas Market
- Location: Novikov Restaurant & Bar, 50A Berkeley Street, London
- Dates: 23, 24, 25 November, from 11 am – 9 pm
Mayfair Christmas Market is where you can find that unique and different gift that would otherwise be impossible to imagine. From dazzling and spectacular jewellery to spectacular skincare accessories. Visitors will also be able to find all kinds of Christmas decorations, not to mention the best Christmas trees in the county. And if that’s not enough, on Saturday afternoon a special guest appearance from Reindeers!
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
- Location: Hyde Park, Marble Arch (Central line) or Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line) tube stops.
- Date: 17 November to 1 January, 10am to 10pm
Undoubtedly the quintessential flea market with a Christmas atmosphere that thrills people of all ages and is an exponential success in London tourism. You can ride one of the many rides and rollercoasters, experience the thrill rides, take a trip to ‘Santa Claus Land’, meander through the many stalls of the flea market and enjoy the international treats.
If you plan to go to the ice rink in Winter Wonderland, remember to book in advance as tickets are often sold out at the time. Other attractions such as the Magic Ice Kingdom, Zippos Circus, Giant Wheel and Ice Bar also sell out very quickly, especially on weekends and evenings. No excuse to miss it!
Borough Christmas Market
- Location: 8 Southwark Street, London
- Dates: 28 November to 9 January
- Opening: 9 am – 5 pm
Christmas is a different time of year at Borough Market as the traders’ stalls are filled with fantastic seasonal produce that puts you in a cosy atmosphere. Once again shoppers will be coming from all over London to make sure that Christmas is spread with the tastiest ingredients. As we move into December, the historic arches of this food market are decorated with beautiful decorations while the sound of bells and the aroma of mulled wine fills the air.
In addition, local community groups sing carols, while shopkeepers offer Christmas treats from around the world, including Christmas gingerbread, marmalade, nutmeg and English mulled cider.
Covent Garden Christmas Market
- Location: The Management Office 41 The Market Building, London
- Dates: 9th November – to 3rd January, from 11 am to midnight
Covent Garden Market at Christmas is a tradition that dates back to Victorian times. The market, which is located in the centre of London, is filled with stalls offering typical Christmas products.
It is a unique experience in London. This market is packed with food and craft stalls, and the Christmas atmosphere is incredible. If you are looking for a place to buy Christmas presents, this is the place to be. You can also enjoy free Christmas shows at the market, such as Dancing of the Magi and carol singing.
Leicester Square Christmas market
- Location: Shakespeare Water Fountain, 4 Leicester Square
- Dates: 8 November to 7 January
Leicester Square is also one of the best Christmas markets in London. Located in the heart of the capital’s artistic heart, its Alpine-style stalls are packed with Christmas delicacies (including mulled wine) and artisan goodies to take home.
Admission to the Leicester Square Christmas Market is free, but another interesting thing about it is that there are plenty of events to attend in a marquee they usually put up – from a cabaret to a baby disco! Of course, these are paid and have to be booked in advance.
By the way, this London Christmas market tends to get livelier at dusk, so it’s a perfect plan for when you’ve finished the rest of the day’s sightseeing.
Around London: Kingston Christmas Market
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames village, Ancient Market Place
Date: 16 November to 31 December
Although it’s about 30 minutes away from London by train, if you’re a Christmas market lover, we highly recommend you visit the market in the village of Kingston-upon-Thames. As well as being one of the prettiest markets around the capital, Market Place and the surrounding streets host this European-style market every year, with plenty of food and drink stalls, arts and crafts and lots of decorations and lights.
The little ones will love the carousel and live carol singing. Plus, there’s often live music and workshops, providing that little bit of Christmas cheer you’re looking for during your London getaway.
Other London Christmas markets you might like
In addition to the above, the city is more festive than ever and you can find more Christmas stalls and activities in the following places:
- Greenwich Market: this market has more than 150 stalls all year round. It is even more spectacular at Christmas time.
- Covent Garden: beautiful all year round, but even more so at Christmas, when the huge tree is the highlight.
- Selfridges: located outdoors, as well as stalls, you can find attractions for the little ones.
- Crafty Fox: focused on crafts and more alternative products.
- Copeland Park – Pexmas: promoting small businesses and artists, here you can buy Christmas decorations and cute gifts.
- Canopy Market: Covered market in King Cross where you can find products from independent and more sustainable artists.
- Trafalgar Square: Don’t miss the gigantic Christmas tree, the biggest in the city.
- Spitalfields: Spitalfields is one of the most alternative markets in London and at Christmas it gets all decked out.
- Kew Gardens: the gardens are decked out at this time of year and there are some spectacular light installations.
Tips for visiting London’s Christmas markets
You already know which are the best Christmas markets in London, but here are some extra tips to make your trip more enjoyable:
- Dress warmly and don’t forget your gloves and hat. Although you always have the mulled wine to keep you warm, remember that you’ll be outdoors most of the time and London at Christmas time is not particularly warm.
- Bear in mind that almost all of London’s Christmas markets close on 25 December. Also, as there is no Three Kings, the atmosphere dies down a little after this date.
- While London’s Christmas markets may be amazing, don’t forget to wander around other areas of the city that will be decorated at this time of year. Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and more are all worth a visit. On the other hand, there are other non-Christmas markets that are interesting for shopping for festive items. Such is the case of Spitafields, Brick Lane or Camden and, of course, Harrods department store.
- Check that you have your passport in order, as you will need it as you are no longer part of the European Union.
If you have a Christmas market in London that you like the most or want to make a suggestion, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. And, in case you’re a fan of this kind of places, don’t miss our selection of the best Alsace Christmas markets or what it’s like to travel to Santa Claus Village at Christmas. In both places you can’t help but be overcome by the spirit of Father Christmas.