Christmas markets and fairs in London

Ditch department stores and wrap up all your Christmas shopping at London’s best festive markets and fairs for 2018
Canary Wharf Christmas Market
By Time Out London Things To Do |

Come Christmas, London’s streets are transformed. From pop-up ice rinks playing catchy pop-tunes to unique events beneath twinkling lights, it’s a far cry from the usual concrete metropolis. But let’s be honest - whether you love or loathe Christmas shopping, the crowds on Oxford Street can make even the jolliest shopper say humbug. Luckily, there’s an alternative: a festive frolic through one of London’s magical markets.

Whether you’re looking for festive food, classic decorations, arts and crafts or that last-minute gift, you can find all you want for Christmas at a London market. Here’s our pick of London’s best Christmas markets and fairs to help you check off your seasonal shopping list. Eat your heart out, Santa.

We’ll be updating this list as more markets announce their dates for Christmas 2018.

Recommended: Your ultimate guide to Christmas in London 

Christmas markets in London

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Winter Wonderland

icon-location-pin Kensington

Even the Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's annual tribute to festive fun. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa's grotto) or through the Christmas markets is a real treat. For access to the other festive activities, attractions and themed bars you’ll need to book tickets.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market
Southbank Centre Christmas Market © Jason Alden
Things to do, Festivals

Wintertime at Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is a glorious place to be at Christmas, so make sure you pay a visit to this London institution over the festive period. There'll be pop-ups, activities and all manner of Christmas fun to jolly up your holiday.

Things to do


Expect great street food, festive performances, wintery film screenings, market stalls and loads more fun at London’s most eccentric Christmas village. It moved from east London to Clapham Common in winter 2017. 

Christmas in Leicester Square
David Jensen
Things to do, Event spaces

Christmas in Leicester Square

icon-location-pin Leicester Square

Christmas is coming to Leicester Square again, so expect sacks of festive fun and a twinkly, goodtime atmosphere in Central London for 2018. The ‘square’ in Leicester Square will be home to Santa's grotto, traditional Christmas market, featuring several food, drink and Christmas gift stalls, and a vintage Speigeltent – a velvety, wooden, mirrored home to a stocked programme of Christmas cabaret brought to you from the Underbelly team.

Things to do

Spirit of Christmas Fair

icon-location-pin West Kensington

Just when you thought Christmas couldn't get any bigger it goes and gets its own consumer show at Olympia. The vast exhibition centre will be packed with more Christmas shopping opportunities than you can shake a sleigh bell at and workshops in all kinds of festive activities to get you prepared for the big day itself.

Find more festive fun in the capital