Christmas in the City
Visit the City of London during the festive season for a wide range of fun activities that you can do with friends, family or colleagues. You'll find Christmas trees & light installations, Christmas markets, shopping, carol services, concerts, craft workshops, Museum Lates, family days out, festive walks and more - all within one Square Mile!
A selection of events below - keep checking back as this page will be updated throughout November and December. We'll also share more events on our @visitthecity social accounts on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
Christmas Activities and Events in the City include:
We recommend you check with the venue in-case of any last-minute changes.
1) Christmas Trees and Lights
Leadenhall Market, Bow Lane and St Mary-le-Bow Churchyard | FREE
See the City sparkle with spectacular lights and trees as you eat, drink or shop. Leadenhall Market's iconic Victorian splendour is enhanced with a giant real Christmas tree, colour changing LED light festoons and beautiful fir tree garlands throughout. The historic shopfronts along Bow Lane are even more beautiful under the Christmas lights, and the churchyard of St Mary-le-Bow hosts another real Christmas tree.
Festive Fleet Street Quarter | FREE | from 24 November
The streets, alleys and squares in and around Fleet Street Quarter are being magically transformed for Christmas. There's a full calendar of festive events until 15 December with Christmas trees and lights, choirs and carols, and workshops too.
IlluminoCity Light Festival | FREE | until 27 January
Brookfield Properties IlluminoCity Festival has returned to light up the City of London this winter with two new spectacular installations by HYBYCOZO. These large-scale geometric displays mark the London premier of their reflective, dimension shifting work. See them at Citypoint (near Moorgate) and Principal Place (near Liverpool Street station).
2) Christmas Markets
Paternoster Square | Free Entry | 21 November - 23 December
Paternoster Square's popular Christmas Market has returned this year with a variety of stalls selling gourmet street food and Christmas gifts and crafts from 11am-7pm daily. Outdoor bar with mulled wine and more until 10pm. On the doorstep of St Paul's Cathedral, why not combine the two when you visit the City? Special reindeer visits the week of 5 December.
The Crescent, Tower Hill | Free Entry | 27 November - 17 December
Discover a brand new Christmas shopping experience at London Love Affair's Christmas market nestled within an idyllic location, and especially created for the occasion. Open every day with live music, mulled wine and hot festive delights, and a beautiful, grand Christmas tree. With sustainable and handcrafted goods, you're sure to find the perfect Christmas gifts!
Christmas Card Launch, St Bride Foundation | Free Entry | 30 November
A unique opportunity to view and purchase Christmas cards printed on antique presses at St Bride Foundation - originally set up to serve the print and publishing trade of nearby Fleet Street in 1891. Enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies by the cosy fire while you browse.
FIND IT @ Fleet Street Quarter Market | Free Entry | 1, 8, 15 December
Find stocking fillers and gorgeous gifts as Crafty Fox brings together a range of independent artisans and makers. Pop into the pop-up festive market on Thursdays in December at New Street Square.
3) Festival: Aldgate in Winter
2 December | FREE | Aldgate Square
Join a magical community event that's open to everyone. The Aldgate in Winter festival by Aldgate Connect returns for a sixth year with some firm favourites: lantern parade, live performances, creative workshops and markets. New this year: community feasts and a portraiture project showcasing local heroes. (Lanterns will be exhibited afterwards from Wednesday 7 December until January 2023.)
4) Festive Evenings with Friends
Christmas Workshops at Leadenhall Market | £ | Selected dates until 18 Dec
For a festive night out with a difference, book your place for Christmas workshops in Leadenhall Market on weekday and weekend evenings. Choose from beautiful crafts and wreathmaking with Floral Merchant London, and ‘A Taste of Leadenhall’ wine-tasting sessions.
Christmas Hits Live at Eastcheap Records | £ | 26 Nov, 10 & 23 December
Get into the festive spirit on Saturday afternoons at Eastcheap Records when the Winter Wonderband will be playing the very best Christmas hits that’ll have even Scrooge on the dancefloor!
Black Girl Knit Club Presents: Pom-Pom Christmas Wreath Workshop at Andaz London | £ | 12 December
Learn to make your own pom-pom Christmas wreath and decorations for the festive celebrations. Black Girl Knit Club is a collective that aims to bring together and celebrate women of colour, whilst learning a new skill. This festive workshop is open to all and includes festive treats and mince pies.
Museum Late: Christmas Special at Bank of England Museum | FREE | 15 December
Deck the halls at this month's Museum Late! Get into the Christmas spirit by filling your own bauble using shredded banknotes. Sing along to a few carols with the Bank of England Choir and enjoy festive refreshments. Free, no need to book ahead.
Christmas at the Tower of London | £ | 23 November - 3 January
This Christmas, see the Tower of London transformed like never before with magical festive displays across the famous fortress. Pick up a special trail map to explore The 12 Days of Christmas with a unique twist including 9 rowdy ravens & 3 lordly life-size lions! Find all the song’s famous verses with your true loves – whether they’re friends or family.
Second Saturday at Guildhall Art Gallery | FREE | 10 December
Enjoy festive family activities at a special Christmas-themed Second Saturday. Make beautiful Victorian style Christmas decorations, just like the ones adorning the 12ft tree in the centre of the Gallery. There's Christmas storytelling in the morning, and a family tour in the afternoon. Stay all day, or drop in - free, but advance booking recommended.
Jingle Bells Family Activity Day at Tower Bridge | £ | 17 December
Ring in the festive season by making a handcrafted decorative bell for your Christmas tree in this fun family session. Discover inside Tower Bridge, enjoy its Christmas decorations including a brand-new Christmas tree, and create your own decoration to take home.
Horrible Histories, Horrible Christmas at Barbican | £ | 27-30 December
Embark on a festive adventure with the kids as Horrible Histories presents the terrific tale of Christmas. Book tickets for an afternoon family show at the Barbican Centre.
6) Carol Services
Lunchtime Carols at Holy Sepulchre London | FREE | 6, 7, 13 December
Do something different with your lunch break! Choose from three different styles of lunchtime carol services at Holy Sepulchre London - outdoor, contemporary and full Christmas. Free mulled wine and mince pies too! Book your place in advance.
Carols by Candlelight at St Stephen Walbrook | FREE | 14 December
Join an evening Parish Carol Service at St Stephen Walbrook with Blessing of the Crib. Come and sing your favourite carols and hear beautiful music performed by our choir and organist. Continue the celebrations after the service over mulled wine and mince pies!
7) Christmas Concerts
Handel's Messiah at St Paul's Cathedral | £ | 30 November
Don't miss this well-loved annual event - the Cathedral Choir and Chorus perform Handel's glorious and world-famous oratorio with the City of London Sinfonia. Handel's Messiah is a wonderful re-telling of the life of Christ in the run up to Christmas.
A Christmas Cracker at Middle Temple Hall | £ | 14 December
All good Christmas crackers contain delightful surprises and this festive concert will be no exception. Featuring seasonal songs and readings in the majestic and historical surroundings of Middle Temple Hall. Hosted by Temple Music Foundation.
Christmas with Kings College Choir at the Barbican | £ | 21 December
Hear a glorious programme of festive classics at the Barbican Centre with the world-renowned Choir of Kings College. Featuring sublime carols sung by the angelic voices of the chapel choristers, and an opportunity to join them in song during the participatory Carols for all.
8) Festive Walks - Explore the City
Limited Edition Christmas guided walks | £ | Wednesdays until 21 December
Leadenhall Market’s much loved guided walks take on a festive flavour with tales of a Christmas past and present – from its Roman roots to Dick Whittington, then onwards to Dickens’ Victorian festivities, to the luckiest and pluckiest goose in the City. Led by City of London guides and suitable for all ages.
Illuminated River - guided walks | £ | Tuesdays until 3 January
The llluminated River is the longest public art commission in the world. Join qualified City of London guides for an evening riverside walk in the City and discover the first four bridges to be illuminated. Each bridge has a specially designed sequence personally created by the artist and all together they shine a subtle and beautiful light on the Thames and London.