Search Events

24 ways to have a budget Christmas in London

Enjoy the festivities in London for less with these budget activities to get you into the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.

Find affordable ways to feel festive in London this Christmas and enjoy Christmas carols, festive lights and colourful markets cheaply, or for free!

Free Christmas things to do in London

Christmas decorations around a shopfront in Chelsea, London.

  1. Take in Christmas lights and decorations across famous London areas, from the sparkling spirits of Regent Street to the kaleidoscope of colours above Carnaby.
  2. Walk through shopping streets to enjoy festive shopfronts and department store windows colourfully decked out for the season.
  3. Explore Belgravia’s Christmas Trail to spot Insta-worthy floral installations and glittering lights scattered around the area.
  4. Drop by Covent Garden for a festive treat, including mistletoe chandeliers, Christmas photo opportunities and showers of snow.
  5. Take a trip to Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival to find colourful installations created by renowned artists as part of Winter Light. 3 Nov-8 Jan
  6. Look up to admire the Christmas tree at Coal Drops Yard, adorned with ski ornaments and all things alpine. From 9 Nov
  7. Make your way to Leadenhall Market, where centre stage is given to the magnificent Christmas tree covered in dazzling lights. From 17 Nov
  8. Amble through the beautiful gardens of Grosvenor Square, lit up in a sea of white roses dedicated to loved ones for The Ever After Garden. 23 Nov-20 Dec
  9. Learn about the historic freezing of the river Thames at the Bankside Frost Fair, and enjoy nights filled with music, entertainment, food and drinks. 1 Dec-31 Jan
  10. Wrap up warm and watch the Peter Pan Cup, where members of the Serpentine Swimming Club race through Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. 25 Dec

Budget-friendly festive activities 

A giant traditional Christmas tree, covered in warm white fairy lights and a big star on top, in the centre of the ice rink filled with people and in front of Westfield Shopping Centre.

  1. Browse Christmas markets showing off goodies from around the globe, from delicious foods and warming drinks to beautiful trinkets and crafts.
  2. Listen and sing along to traditional Christmas carols at stunning venues, including Fulham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. 
  3. Hit the winter sales this year and get ahead of your Christmas shopping list or bag yourself some bargains.
  4. Grab your friends and family and visit Club Curling at Coal Drops Yard for a fun-filled game of curling. 9 Nov-26 Feb 
  5. Skate around Glide at Battersea Power Station, offering scenic views of the river, as well as funfair rides and photobooths to capture sweet memories. 11 Nov-8 Jan
  6. Head over to Winter Wonderland, where Hyde Park is transformed into a festive extravaganza filled with rides and games, food and market stalls. 18 Nov-2 Jan
  7. Glide around the ice rink at Westfield’s Winter Village and soak up the festive atmosphere. 18 Nov-8 Jan
  8. Bag £5 tickets to watch The Fir Tree at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a Christmassy fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. 15-31 Dec

Cheap winter activities 

A Christmas tree with dazzling warm white lights and red ornaments in the foreground. Red buses beneath shining 'spirits' of Christmas and stars.

  1. See the city’s streets glisten with twinkling Christmas lights and colourful decorations on a Christmas lights bus tour.
  2. Journey along the iconic river Thames on an Uber Boat by Thames Clippers to see a different side to the capital this winter.
  3. Take a walk around the streets of London on a walking tour and learn about the city’s history and famous areas, as the capital is lit up in festive colours.
  4. Fly over the city in an IFS Cloud Cable Car to see the capital illuminated in twinkling lights, including The O2.
  5. Head high above the city at The Garden at 120 or Sky Garden to admire London transformed into wintry Christmas card.
  6. Escape from the cold and warm up at one of London’s free museums and galleries
Find more Christmas inspiration and things to do this winter, as well as 101 free things to do in London and cheap London activities

Explore by category