41 things to do in London in January 2023

Pick up some bargains, enjoy winter activities and make the most of London's free attractions in January.
Four women wrapped in coats and scarves are walking with shopping bags on Carnaby Street in London.
Shopping in Carnaby. © visitlondon.com/Antoine Buchet

January is one of the best months to visit on a budget. The January sales are on, so you can shop at some of London's top shopping destinations for less. Plus, many hotels offer reductions at this time of year.

London's attractions are quieter than usual this month, so it's a great time to enjoy a stroll around a museum and avoid queues at popular attractions. And, don't forget, many of London's attractions are free!

Make sure to wrap up warm when out exploring London in winter. Then, take refuge from the cold in one of London's cosy pubs, or enjoy a hot drink with a view on a heated rooftop terrace transformed for winter. 

Unmissable January events in London

A marching band dressed in yellow and blue walk through confetti at London's New Year's Day Parade.

  1. Watch the spectacular New Year's Day ParadeCheer on the marching brass bands, colourful performers and elaborate floats. 1 Jan
  2. Explore Hogwarts in the Snow: See the Harry Potter film studios transformed for winter. Until 15 Jan
  3. Enjoy fairground fun at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park: Ride the carousel or brave the loops of the rollercoasters. Until 2 Jan
  4. Cheer on runners at the Serpentine New Year's Day RacesHead to Hyde Park for the New Year's Day 10K Race or 3K Fun Run. 1 Jan
  5. Celebrate British music and culture at the New Years Day Proms: Kick off 2023 with fantastic performances from talented artists. 1 Jan
  6. Go ice skating: Skate at one of London's temporary outdoor ice rinks, many of which are still open at the start of the month.
  7. Watch the latest works in film at the London Short Film Festival: Be moved by short stories captured on screen. 20-29 Jan
  8. Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in 2023: Join the Chinese New Year celebrations in London, in previous years you could enjoy an annual parade, live performances and festival. Around 22 Jan TBC
  9. Toast to Burns Night in London: Mark the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns with haggis and tatties, bagpipes and plenty of whisky. 25 Jan
  10. Attend the London International Mime Festival 2023 at the Barbican: See captivating theatre shows with eccentric puppeteers and performers. 24 Jan-5 Feb
  11. Discover Croydon: The Mayor's London Borough of Culture 2023Enjoy cultural events and activities in the south London neighbourhood. 

Theatre shows in London

Cast members seated and standing around a man lying on a sofa with shocked expressions on their faces

  1. Catch one last Christmas show or pantomime: Book your seats before theatres wrap up for the festive season.
  2. See one of the city's best musicals: From Disney classics such as Lion King and Frozen to exhilarating family favourites such as Back to the Future and Matilda
  3. Laugh out loud at The Play That Goes Wrong at Duchess Theatre: Expect slapstick comedy and hilarious antics from the accident-prone actors.
  4. Experience the mystery and suspense of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap: Can you solve the murder?
  5. Join millions who have fallen in love with the iconic Les Misérables: Enjoy a 21st Century production of this world-famous show. 
  6. CS Lewis' classic tale The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to the West End: See the beloved book come to life on the stage. Until 8 Jan
  7. Travel to prohibition era New York at Bugsy Malone The Musical: Mobsters, showgirls and dreamers and a whole lotta' of custard pies - don't miss this fun filled show. Until 15 Jan
  8. See the fortieth anniversary production of comedy great, Noises Off: British TV icons Felicity Kennedy and Matthew Kelley star in this hilarious take on the antics of a touring theatre company. 19 Jan-11 Mar
  9. A story like no other, ORLANDO is a joyous new adaption of the Virginia Woolf classic: Star of The Crown, Emma Corrin plays a near-immortal individual that crosses space and time meeting various historical figures along the way. Until 25 Feb
  10. Watch the riotous dark-comedy The Unfriend: A new friend invites themselves to stay but all is not as it seems... From 15 Jan
  11. Two men fight to become the next President of the United States in Best of Enemies: David Harewood (Homeland, Ten Percent) and Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, Heroes) star in this exhilarating, multiple award-winning show. Until 18 Feb

Top activities in London in January

A man in a long black coat stands under a spotlight surrounded by an audience in masks at the burnt city immersive experience in london.

  1. Tick off the capital's top attractions: Cross incredible sights such as the London Eye and Big Ben off your London bucket list.
  2. Do a spot of royal sightseeing: From Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle, explore the city's royal hot spots.
  3. Discover top sights for history buffs: Hear gruesome tales at the Tower of London, or explore the impressive Hampton Court Palace.
  4. Have a guide show you around the city on a walking tour: Seek out London's hidden gems, or follow in the footsteps of famous detective Sherlock Holmes.
  5. Explore London's incredible food scene: Take a guided tour of Borough Market, indulge at an afternoon tea or enjoy a meal with a view.
  6. Simulate your senses at an immersive experiences: Become a member of the Peaky Blinders, enter the city of Troy at The Burnt City or take on martians in the War of the Worlds
  7. Learn from the experts at a fun masterclass: Painting and pottery to cocktails and kayaking, you're truly spoilt for choice when it comes to learning a new skill.
  8. Venture to some of the city's more unusual museums: Go behind the scenes at The Household Cavalry Museum, or explore never-before-seen evidence at the Jack the Ripper Museum.
  9. Take a day trip from London: Hop on a bus tour and explore iconic locations such as Stonehenge, Bath and Oxford

Exhibitions in London

A watercolour and pencil drawing on paper of Benjamin Bunny

  1. Don't miss Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Get a glimpse of the author's original drawings of her beloved characters. Until 8 Jan
  2. See the works of 23 international artists at Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art at Hayward Gallery: A beautiful collection of impressive ceramics, from small abstracts to large-scale installations. Until 8 Jan
  3. Be inspired by Lucian Freud New Perspectives at the National Gallery: Explore a lifetime of work by the famous artist in his first major exhibition for more than 10 years. Until 22 Jan
  4. Hear stories from 'unexpected survivors' at Road to Recovery at the National Army Museum: Follow the challenging journeys of recovery and rehabilitation in this eye-opening exhibition. Until 29 Jan
  5. Piece together an epic tale 2,000 years in the telling at Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth at the British Library: Artists and storytellers of today re-imagine one of history's greats. Until 19 Feb
  6. Discover the works of British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Tate Britain: Admire portraits of people painted from the artist's imagination. Until 26 Feb
  7. Explore The EY Exhibition: Cézanne at Tate Modern: Discover the iconic works of a leading figure in modern art, some never seen before in the UK. Until 12 Mar
  8. See Executions at the Museum of London Docklands: Hear the often traffic human stories behind London's public executions, including that of King Charles I. Until 16 Apr
  9. Catch a planetarium show at the Royal Observatory Greenwich: Explore our planets, solar system and beyond as it unfolds right before your eyes.
  10. Uncover Hidden London with the London Transport Museum: Explore an immersive exhibition while discovering the London Underground's secrets.  

For more things to do in January in London, take a look at the events calendar and guide to what's on in London, or catch the best of the London stage with this theatre guide.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see the London weather page.