The Christmas period is an ideal time to visit the cosmopolitan city of London. The city is beautifully decorated and there is a real warm Christmas atmosphere. Shops, squares and monuments are flooded with lights to allow Londoners and the many tourists to fully enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. On Boxing Day (26 December) there are also bargains in London. London is the place to be for an unforgettable and surprising city trip at Christmas. The museums, pubs and trendy boutiques are constantly changing. Some tips can help you have an unforgettable Christmas in London. Source: AlexVan, Pixabay
London, the city on the Thames
London is the capital of England but also of the entire United Kingdom. Greater London is home to approximately 7.5 million people. London is both an important financial city and a tourist attraction for millions of tourists from all over the world. You won’t be bored for a moment in London. The city has four places that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These are the Tower of London, the settlement of Greenwich, Kew Gardens and the combination of Westminster Abbey, the Palace of Westminster and Saint Margaret’s Church. The River Thames runs straight through the city. Tourist boats show tourists the most beautiful buildings and monuments in London via the Thames.
Five tips for Christmas in London
Shopping in Oxford Street and Regent Street
The most popular street in London during the Christmas period is Oxford Street. During this period you can literally walk over your head. Real shoppers must have been there. You will find the Zara, H&M stores there, but also the famous Selfridges department store. In addition to Oxford Street, Regent Street is also worth a visit. On this street you have the Apple Megastore, Ted Baker and of course the largest toy store in London, Hamleys. Moreover, these shopping streets are beautifully decorated during the Christmas period, giving shopping in London a completely different dimension during the Christmas period.
Christmas in Harrods department store
You should definitely see London’s largest department store at Christmas. Harrods has an area of 74,000 m2 and you will find everything you could need there. During the Christmas period, Harrods also has a special Christmas World department. Here you can buy all the Christmas items you could imagine. On average, approximately 150,000 customers come per day during the end of the year period. During the month of December there is also a Santa Claus present in the department store, with whom you can have your picture taken.
New Year’s Eve and New Year in London
On New Year’s Eve, many hotels with restaurants organize an end-of-year dinner. The popular areas of Shad Thames and Southwark are perfect for a delicious end-of-year dinner. You can enjoy a medieval banquet at St. Katharine Docks near Tower Bridge. Traditionally, a large spectacular fireworks display takes place at the London Eye at midnight at the end of the year. On New Year itself (January 1), the New Years Day Parade takes place in London. This starts at a quarter to twelve on Piccadilly. This event attracts half a million spectators and is broadcast live by BBC. The shops are closed on January 1, except the larger shops and department stores in Regent and Oxford Street open their doors from the afternoon.
London in the Christmas spirit from the London Eye
The London Eye on the Thames is the largest Ferris wheel in the world. On the Ferris wheel you have a beautiful view of London and beyond, especially in clear weather. London Eye has 32 capsules, each of which can accommodate 25 people. The highest point of the wheel is 135 meters. From the highest point you have a beautiful view of the illuminated city during the Christmas period. Obviously it is very busy during the Christmas period and it is advisable to purchase tickets in advance via the internet.
Winter Wonderland in London
This event takes place from late November to early January in Hyde Park. During the Christmas period the park turns into a romantic winter landscape. There is also a German Christmas market. There is also a large ice skating rink, a Ferris wheel, a carousel and many other attractions. Santa Claus is also walking around there. On a gastronomic level, you will find many bars and cafes where you can have a warm drink while listening to the Christmas carols. Winter Wonderland is free and open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Of course you have to pay for the attractions.
Shopping on Boxing Day
In England there is only one Christmas day. There is no second Christmas day (December 26) for them. However, December 26 is Boxing Day. Boxing Day is the day when almost all stores organize a mega sale. The discounts are very large, so everyone wants to get their share. It is important that you are there during the opening hours of your store. Otherwise you may be unlucky enough to find that your item is already gone. Plan in advance what you absolutely want to buy on Boxing Day. This increases your chance of success. Boxing Day is an incredibly impressive shopping moment that you must see at least once in your life.
Facts about London
- London is the largest city in Europe. People from more than 100 countries live there and they speak more than 300 languages.
- More than half of London is Christian. The rest are Muslim, Hindu, Jew or non-religious.
- Typical dishes in London are “Fish and Chips”, “Black Pudding” or “Pie and Mash”.
- London is an expensive city. Moreover, the United Kingdom (including London) is not in the Eurozone. In the United Kingdom, payment is made in British Pounds (£).
- Compared to Belgium and the Netherlands, people in London live an hour earlier. When it’s 9am in our country, it’s only 8am there.
- London is perfectly accessible by train (Eurostar from Brussels), by boat (P&O Ferries from Ostend), by plane or by car or coach via the ferry boat from Calais.