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Christmas and New Year London transport, opening times and essential information

Over Christmas and New Year, there are changes to transport and opening times in London.
A London Underground sign lit up at night, with Christmas lights shining in the background.
Transport in London at Christmas. Copyright: visitlondon.com.
  • There is no public transport on Christmas Day and all London attractions are closed.
  • Public transport to and around London is reduced over the Christmas and New Year period, so plan your journey in advance.
  • Central London is extremely busy on New Year's Eve and public transport is limited on New Year's Day.

Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January) are all public holidays (bank holidays) in the UK. As Boxing Day falls on a Sunday in 2021, there is a substitute bank holiday on Tuesday 28 December.

Christmas transport and travel

Is public transport in London running over Christmas?

Public transport is limited over the Christmas period, so make sure you plan your journey in advance. Alternatively, hop on a Santander Cycles bike to explore the capital on two wheels or walk around the city. 

There is no public transport on Christmas Day. Public transport, including buses, trams, London Underground and London Overground trains, do run on Boxing Day, but on a reduced service. On Christmas Eve, public transport starts to wind down from early evening and there are no night buses.

Some taxis are available, although these may charge more on Christmas and Boxing Day. You should check details before travelling and book in advance to avoid extended waits.

Make sure to check the Transport for London website before travelling for the latest Christmas travel information.

Are there train services to London over Christmas?

Engineering works affect train journeys into and out of London and around the UK over the Christmas and New Year period.

Very few train services run on Boxing Day, except for some airport transfer services, such as the Stansted Express and Heathrow Express.

Take a look at the National Rail website before travelling to check the latest Christmas travel information. 

London on Christmas Day

Most businesses and attractions close on Christmas Day in London, and many close from 24 to 26 December, as well as on 1 January. Always check before travelling.

There are still plenty of things to do on Christmas Day in London: see top London landmarks on a Christmas Day tour, enjoy a Christmas Day walk in a park, see London’s beautiful Christmas lights or cheer on the swimmers racing for the Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park.

Hotels and restaurants on Christmas Day

Most London hotels are open at Christmas and some hotel restaurants offer Christmas dining on 25 December. Check the where to stay section for hotel listings and booking information.

Some restaurants, bars and pubs serve Christmas Day meals, but most require advance reservation.

Boxing Day and January sales in London

Shoppers and cars pass Selfridges, covered in twinkling lights for the festive season.

Activity returns to London on Boxing Day (26 December). The January sales start in many London shops and public transport also resumes but with a limited service. 

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in London

Central London is very busy on New Year's Eve.

There is usually free travel on the TfL network, including the Tube, from 11.45pm on New Year's Eve until 4.30am on New Year's Day. Check back later for confirmation of this year's New Year's Eve travel times and fares.

There is limited public transport on New Year’s Day, so check Transport for London’s website for details and make sure you plan your journey in advance over the New Year period.

Visit the National Rail website for information about train services. 

Take a look at the top things to do on New Year’s Eve for ideas on how to celebrate the New Year in London.

Christmas and New Year events in London

For more things to do around Christmas and New Year’s Eve in London, see our calendar of events or guide to what’s on in London.

Don't forget to also check the London weather for a potential white Christmas! 

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