London Christmas markets to visit in 2016

Yes, I admit, I’m like a little child when it comes to Christmas. I get so excited once it gets to November because I can get out my fairy lights and decorations, light Christmas-scented candles, bake my nan’s Christmas cookies and put on that Christmas playlist. This week the first Christmas markets are opening their doors in London. Just imagine the wonderful smell of Gluehwein (mulled wine), freshly baked waffles, and hog roasts. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Then here is a list for you with the best London Christmas markets to visit in 2016. I’ve also thrown in my favourite spots in London to see Christmas lights. Share your favourites in the comments below!

Southbank Centre Winter Market

It’s one of my favourite Christmas markets in London because it’s small and the atmosphere is lovely. You walk across a little bridge where you can warm yourself up by fire pits. Food and drink stalls offer a delicious selection and the little chalets selling gifts look really cute. Last year, Kopparberg put up a hut serving delicious winter cider and offering a place to warm up a little. A major plus is the location because you can admire the view of London from Waterloo bridge when walking to the market.

Opening Hours: Every day, 10 am – 11 pm

Where: Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX

When: Friday, 11 November 2016 – Sunday, 8 January 2017

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southbank centre christmas market london

 

London Bridge City Christmas Market

A German-style market that’s very London with views of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. I love the cozy atmosphere and twinkly fairy lights. Another must-see Christmas market in London.

Opening Hours: Every day, 11 am – 7 or 8 pm

Where: London Bridge

When: Wednesday, 30 November 2016 – Tuesday, 3 January 2017

london bridge christmas market

 

Christmas in Leicester Square

This Christmas market will run for the first time in central London this year. It will have a Santa’s grotto, traditional Christmas market and a vintage Spiegeltent.

Opening times: Monday – Friday from 12pm to 10pm and Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 10pm

Where: Leicester Square

When: Friday, 11 November 2016 to Sunday, 8 January 2017

 

Winter Wonderland

Although not my favourite given its enormous size and resemblance to a theme park rather than my cute German Christmas markets, Winter Wonderland has to make the list. It’s a fun place to go and if you make your way to the Bavarian Village, you may just get into the Christmas spirit. Despite that, it’s great for families and kids with lots of rides and an ice-skating rink. Those looking for a bit of a party won’t miss out either, you may want to put on your dancing shoes.

Opening Hours: Every day, 10 am – 11 pm

Where: Hyde Park, W2 4RU

When: Friday, 18 November 2016 – Monday, 2 January 2017

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Little Feast

Shepherds Bush Yard will be transformed into a quirky English winter garden with “Christmas trees, sparkling fairy lights, glittering reds, golds and greens – a quintessential English yuletide with a twist.” Fancy a cheeky burger or a Bao? They have 5 street food vendors and sell winter cocktails and beers. If you get cold, don’t worry, you can snuggle up under blankets with mulled wine and cider. Capacity is only around 200 people so it’s really nice and cozy.

Opening times: Wednesday to Friday from 6pm to 11pm, Saturday from 12pm to 11pm & Sunday from 12pm to 8pm

Where: Shepherds Bush Yard, Goldhawk Road, W12 8HA

When: Friday, 4 November – Friday, 23 December 2016 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

 

Alright, the next ones aren’t Christmas markets but definitely worth putting on your list anyway. Twinkle, twinkle, beautiful fairy lights.

 

Somerset House Ice Skating

This place is to die for – Somerset House. In winter it is transformed into a lovely space with a huge Christmas tree and romantic fairy lights. Up for a round on the ice with your loved ones? I definitely think this is the best, most beautiful ice skating rink in London. You need to book tickets in advance here. They also host club nights with DJs which is quite cool.

Opening times: From 8.45am to 11.30pm

Where: Somerset House, WC2R 1LA

When: Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 – Sunday, 15 Jan 2017

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Oxford Street and Carnaby Street

Despite being a very busy street, you can’t miss the decorations and lights on Oxford street. The best time to visit is after 9pm during the week.

Where: Walk from Bond Street to Tottenham Court Road with a detour into Carnaby Street

When: from beginning of November

oxford street london christmas lights

 

Covent Garden

Every year Covent Garden lights up in magical lights and decorations. You’ll be surprised with one performance after the other all while being covered from potentially rainy London winter weather. Plenty of good food options too after you’re done with your Christmas shopping.

Where: Covent Garden, WC2

When: from beginning of November

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Covent Garden Christmas Lights 2014

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Covent Garden Christmas Lights 2015

Hampstead Village Christmas Lights

Though there isn’t a Christmas market here, Hampstead Village will be decorated very beautiful with loads of lights and decorations and transformed into a cute Christmas village. So if you’re looking to do some Christmas shopping, this may be the place. Hampstead has a lot of independent retailers and also some really good restaurants.

Where: Hampstead, NW3

 

Is it Christmas yet?

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