Visiting London during the festive season? Discover the best Christmas tours in London for 2022 including lights, markets, day trips, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & more.

From an open-top bus “Christmas lights in London” experience to a day trip to Europe, there are so many things to do when you’re based in London during the festive season!

If you want to find the best walking tours, enjoy a 3-course meal while sailing along the Thames or even attend a church service on Christmas Eve or morning, then read on.

We’ve rounded up 22 of the finest options, including London taxi tours for Christmas plus walking, cycling, bus and boat tours. 

Whether you prefer to shop til you drop at the finest festive markets in the UK or explore historic London, these are the best Christmas tours from London for 2022. 

Christmas tours in London picture of the angels in Regents Street.

Best Christmas tours in London – Quick picks

Type & TourDurationBook
London Christmas lights tours by bus, taxi or on footBook here
🎄 Open-top bus Christmas lights by night tour1 hour 45 minsBook
🎄 Vintage open-top bus Christmas lights tour1 hour 15 minutesBook
🎄 Tootbus London Christmas lights tour45 minutesBook
🎄 Christmas Eve London illuminations bus tour1 hour 45 minsBook
🎄 Christmas Lights and Festive Sights walking tour3 hoursBook
🎄 Christmas lights tour by black London cab3 hoursBook
🎄 London Christmas lights tour by taxi3 hoursBook
Christmas walking tours of London
⭐️ Private London Christmas sites walking tour3 hoursBook
⭐️ Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol walking tour2 to 3 hoursBook
⭐️ London Christmas lights and markets tour2.5 hoursBook
⭐️ Personalised London walking tour with a local3 hoursBook
⭐️ Christmas markets walking tour of London4 to 5 hoursBook
Christmas tours of London by boat
🎅🏼 Christmas party Thames lunch cruise3 hoursBook
🎅🏼 Christmas dinner party river cruise4 hoursBook
Christmas bike tour of London
🎊 3 hour tour of London by bike3 hoursBook
Best day trips from London at Christmas
🎁 Bruges Christmas markets in a day17 hoursBook
🎁 Kent countryside & church day trip from London9 hoursBook
Christmas Eve tours of London
🎉 Total London Experience Christmas Eve tour10 hoursBook
🎉 Christmas Eve tour with St Paul’s and the London Eye10 hoursBook
🎉 Christmas Eve dinner in London with Midnight Mass6.5 hoursBook
Christmas Day London experiences
🎄 Christmas Day sights and sounds of London3 hoursBook
🎄 London tour plus Christmas Day Sung Eucharist at St Paul’s3.5 hoursBook

7 London Christmas lights tours by bus, taxi or on foot

Open-top bus Christmas lights by night tour

  • Duration: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: London Eye
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, audio guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

This Christmas lights bus tour of London whisks you past all the top sights in the capital – as illuminated for Christmas. Starting out from the London Eye, landmarks you’ll see en route include Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge.

During the hour-and-three-quarter tour you’ll hear all about London culture and history, and see for yourself how one of the world’s most visited cities does Christmas. 

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London street with Christmas lights.

Vintage open-top bus Christmas lights tour

  • Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Grand Hotel, Northumberland Avenue
  • What’s included: Vintage transport, tour guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

Hop aboard a Routemaster bus from the 1960s for an hour-and-a-quarter whistle-stop tour of London’s grandest streets. Places you’ll pass on this London lights tour include Harrods in upmarket Knightsbridge and Oxford Street to the other side of Hyde Park.

This tour is designed to amuse as much as to educate, so hopefully your experienced guide will have you rolling in the aisles with laughter. As they’re fond of saying in London theatres.  

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Many Christmas tours in London will include the beautiful angel lights on Regents Street.

Tootbus London Christmas lights tour

  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Varies
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, Santa hat, Christmas playlist
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

This Tootbus tour of London’s Christmas lights will keep you switched on, as there’s free WiFi on board plus complimentary access to the Tootbus app and Christmas playlist. Your guide will even give you a Santa hat to keep!

Central London’s most illuminated districts will all be seen on this fun London lights bus tour, including Regent Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Kids under five can also travel for free if sitting on an adult’s lap.

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London street with Christmas lights.

Christmas Eve London illuminations bus tour

  • Duration: 105 minutes
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 1
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, Christmas gift
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

As it takes place on Christmas Eve, you can only experience this magical London Christmas lights 2022 tour only once per year. So it’s pretty special. To mark the occasion, you’ll even be given a Christmas gift. 

You’ll also see so many London landmarks lit up in their festive finery, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, the City, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. Phew!

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London street with Christmas lights.

Christmas Lights and Festive Sights walking tour

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: To be agreed
  • What’s included: Local tour guide, mulled wine or hot chocolate
  • What’s not included: Meals, tickets, transport, tips

This Christmas lights tour of London for 2022 takes place on foot. As it’s private and personalised, the itinerary can be adjusted to suit you. If you’re not sure of where to go, don’t worry as your guide won’t be short of suggestions!

You can see some of London’s best Christmas lights during the three hour tour and discover hidden secrets about this charming city. From stunning Christmas shop windows to Christmas markets, this festive tour of London is about doing it your way. 

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Harrods at Christmas.
Father Christmas dummy in Harrods window.

Christmas lights tour by black London cab

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local driver & tour guide, water & biscuits
  • What’s not included: Meals & tips

There’s no one better to show you their city than a licensed London taxi driver. Who also happens to be a registered tourist guide! Two-and-a-half hours in a black cab gives you plenty of time to see all the sights you want to.

You can take photos and have refreshment stops along the way, and if you like can be dropped off at a Christmas market instead of your hotel. The itinerary is built around you for this London Christmas lights tour by taxi, and can take the children to see Santa or include a stop at Winter Wonderland. 

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London street with Christmas lights.

London Christmas lights tour by taxi

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local driver & tour guide, water & snacks
  • What’s not included: Meals & tips

This London Christmas lights tour for 2022 by taxi is great for groups or families, as you can pay a good value rate per person to have the cab to yourselves. Your driver guide will pick you up before taking you on a three hour city tour. 

Your driver is not only that but also a registered tour guide. Under his or her guidance you can see all the sights you want to, including stops for photos. Complimentary mince pies, biscuits and water are supplied to keep your energy levels up!

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London street with Christmas lights.

5 Christmas walking tours of London

Private London Christmas sites walking tour

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local tour guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, transport, entry fees & tips

If you prefer to see things more slowly and enjoy walking, then why not book a private walking tour with an experienced guide? It’s sure to make a most memorable addition to your London Christmas trip.

Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby. Then you can head off to see the Leicester Square Christmas Market, Covent Garden, Waterloo Bridge, Borough Market, Tower Bridge and finally Winter Wonderland.

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London market with Christmas lights.

Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol walking tour

  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Destination: Old London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local tour guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, transport, entry fees & tips

If it’s old or literary London you want to experience, then book this walking tour led by a history enthusiast. The tour takes you to various locations used by Charles Dickens as the setting for his Christmas Carol story. A literary and festive classic.

Though it’s not strictly a Christmas lights walking tour of London, you can’t avoid seeing the festive illuminations as you stroll around the city during December. En route you’ll also visit the Inns of Court, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub, the Royal Exchange, the George and Vulture, Leadenhall Market and more. 

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London Christmas lights and markets tour

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Covent Garden Tube Station
  • What’s included: Local tour guide, mulled wine or cider or soft drink
  • What’s not included: Meals, extra drinks & purchases, tips

Also taken on foot, this walking tour offers another great alternative to the usual Christmas bus tour of London. You’ll really get up close to sights like the Christmas markets, a hidden square decorated with Victorian street lamps and Trafalgar Square.

You can also see the Christmas tree with 40,000 lights on it, and enjoy a glass of mulled cider or wine – or a soft drink if you prefer. 

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Christmas goodies to buy at a market in London.
London street with Christmas lights.

Personalised London walking tour with a local 

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: London 
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local tour guide, mulled wine or hot chocolate
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, transport, entry fees & tips

Book this tour and an expert local guide will be matched to your own interests. It’s impossible to give an itinerary, as the tour will be tailored to suit exactly what you want to see and where you want to go. 

If your hotel is within central London you can be collected there, before setting off on your festive London voyage of discovery. What will you explore during your fully personalised tour? 

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Christmas markets walking tour of London

  • Duration: 4 to 5 hours
  • Destination: London Christmas markets
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: London Bridge Station
  • What’s included: Local tour guide
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, transport, purchases & tips

This walking tour of London takes the guesswork out of getting to the city’s festive markets. Starting out at London Bridge, you’ll visit Christmas markets in Covent Garden, on the South Bank and in Greenwich. 

With four to five hours to spare, you may well have time to stock up on every present or decoration you need to buy! The wooden stalls and smell of mulling spices in the air also make this a magical experience. 

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London street with Christmas lights.

2 Christmas tours of London by boat

Christmas party Thames lunch cruise 

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: River Thames
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment
  • What’s included: River cruise, 3 course meal, drinks, live music
  • What’s not included: Extra drinks

You should be feeling thoroughly festive by the time you disembark from this boat cruise on the Thames. The fee includes a three course festive meal plus a glass of sparkling wine and tea or coffee. You’ll also enjoy live music as you sail past key London sights.

Setting off from Westminster, you’ll head to Canary Wharf, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the London Eye and The Shard. Do note there’s a smart casual dress code, and that you’ll be seated at a table for ten.  

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The London Eye lit up at night.

Christmas dinner party river cruise

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Destination: River Thames
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment
  • What’s included: River cruise, 3 course meal, drinks, DJ & dancing
  • What’s not included: Extra drinks

If you fancy partying by night or for even longer, book this four hour cruise along the Thames. It’s like a London Christmas lights tour by boat, with a four course meal, a glass of fizz and half a bottle of wine thrown in. Plus a DJ and dancing.

There’s a bar on board for buying extra drinks, and you can dance the night away after a dinner of turkey and all the trimmings, plus a salmon starter and a chocolate pud. Again you’ll pass key landmarks by the river, all lit up for Christmas. 

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1 Christmas bike tour of London

3 hour tour of London by bike

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Kennington Road, London SE11
  • What’s included: Tour guide, bike & helmet hire
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks or other extras, tips

Take to two wheels to see London at Christmas from a different perspective. Being closer to ground level, you’ll see even more than you would via a typical Christmas lights London bus tour.

With three hours at your disposal, you can cycle past the South Bank Christmas Market, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Harrods and Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. You can also see and snap the Christmas window displays at Sloane Square, Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square.

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London street with Christmas lights.

2 best day trips from London at Christmas

Bruges Christmas markets in a day

  • Duration: 17 hours
  • Destination: Bruges, Belgium
  • Meeting time: 06:00
  • Meeting point: Earls Court underground station
  • What’s included: Transport, channel crossing & tour guide
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks or other extras, tips

One of the joys of visiting London in winter is how easy it is to access other European destinations during your stay. This day trip will transport you to Bruges, via luxury coach and either ferry or the Eurotunnel.

You’ll have free time to spend in Bruges just as you wish, and can also get all your shopping sewn up at the Christmas market. Highlights to look out for in the city include canals, cobbled streets and mediaeval buildings. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous Belgian chocolate too!

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Bruges street at Christmas.

Kent countryside & church day trip from London

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Destination: Canterbury & Kent
  • Meeting time: 08:30
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 1
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, Christmas lunch, church service
  • What’s not included: Other extras, entry fees & tips

Those interested in the true meaning of Christmas will appreciate the chance to attend a  ‘Sung Eucharist’ service on Christmas Day at the impressive Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. 

During the day you’ll also enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch, as well as seeing majestic Dover Castle and the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. A visit to Greenwich, home of the Old Royal Naval College, is also included on the way back to the city. 

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3 Christmas Eve tours of London

Total London Experience Christmas Eve tour

  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: 08:00
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 1
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, boat cruise, Eye & St Paul’s entry fees 
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, Tower of London entry fee & tips

Anyone will tell you not to venture into central London on Christmas Eve, when the streets are thronged with last minute shoppers. Avoid it all by booking this tour, which includes bus and boat transport. 

Entries to the London Eye and St Paul’s cathedral are also included. You’ll also take a cruise on the Thames and see the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. If you’re all prepared for Christmas, this is the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve in the British capital. 

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London street with Christmas lights.

Christmas Eve tour with St Paul’s and the London Eye

  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 1
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, boat cruise, Eye & St Paul’s entry fees 
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, extras & tips

This tour is very similar to the one above, but is bookable via GetYourGuide rather than Viator. 

During the 10 hour tour you’ll take in Westminster, Buckingham Palace, the City of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye. A boat cruise on the River Thames is also included.

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Christmas Eve dinner in London with Midnight Mass 

  • Duration: 6.5 hours
  • Destination: Central London & St Martin-in-the-Fields
  • Meeting time: 18:30
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 3
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, 3 course dinner+fizz, church service 
  • What’s not included: Extra drinks, other extras & tips

There’s no more Christmassy way to enjoy London on Christmas Eve than by joining Midnight Mass at St Martin-in-the-Fields church. You’ll start by taking a London bus Christmas lights tour before tucking into dinner at Brown’s.

Next up is the annual Midnight Mass service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. What better way to celebrate the real meaning of the festive season?

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2 Christmas Day London experiences

Christmas Day sights and sounds of London

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: 14:00
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 1
  • What’s included: Transport & tour guide 
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, extras & tips

After spending Christmas morning at your leisure, why not embark on this afternoon city tour? You’ll see all the sights of central London – and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere or almost-empty streets.

This tour takes you past Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament,  Big Ben, Downing Street, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Trafalgar Square. Enjoy capturing pictures without the crowds. This is ideal for those who don’t really celebrate Christmas – or want to do something different on that day.  

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Covent Garden at Christmas.

London tour plus Christmas Day Sung Eucharist at St Paul’s

  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: 08:30
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 1
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide & hotel pick-up
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, extras & tips

This is very similar to the above tour, but takes place during the morning instead of the afternoon. You can attend Sung Eucharist at the mighty St Paul’s cathedral with this one, as well as seeing the sights. 

For those who want to experience Christmas in London complete with the church service, this tour is unmissable. 

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Which Christmas tours in London will you take?

Whether you fancy escaping the city for the day or want to experience the most peaceful London possible on Christmas Day, there are plenty of ways of tours to take in or from the UK capital during December. 

What will it be? Exploring at your own pace with a local expert, riding around on a bike or open-top bus, or partying on the Thames? Whichever you pick from these Christmas tours in London, have a very merry Christmas in one of the world’s greatest cities!