Are you looking forward to doing your Christmas shopping in London? I know I am! While celebrating Christmas itself isn’t recommended (everyone visits family and the city is pretty much closed), the weeks before Christmas are more fun than anything! Time to book a city trip to London this Winter!
From October, you can find Christmas items in the shops and in November, everyone goes crazy. There is almost nothing more fun than Christmas Shopping in London, because a couple of stores have really made it a competition to make their windows look as pretty as possible. That alone is worth the visit.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN LONDON
BOXING DAY IN LONDON
So I never realized this, but in England there is only Christmas day, while in The Netherlands, we have two. On the 25th of December, they sell Christmas and pretty much the entire city drops what they’re doing, shops close and even the tube doesn’t go. The day after Christmas isn’t ‘2nd Christmas day’, as we call it, but it’s ‘Boxing Day’. This is the day that the shops open their doors (extra early) for mega sales. Everything is on sale, so run for it!
Of course, you can imagine this is a bit of chaos, especially on Regent and Oxford Street, but the discounts are quite big, so perhaps you want to give it a go. Good luck, in that case!
If this is too much for you, and you’d really like to finish all your shopping before that, then here are my tips to go Christmas shopping in London:
#01 – Christmas Shopping at Harrods in London
Harrods has to be the number 1 department store in London and it’s a must to visit it at least once. It’s a bit out of the way of the other attractions, but around Christmas, the shop windows are decorated so beautifully (and the outside of the building is lit up with about 11.500 lights), that people line up for it! On the five stories of the shop, you can buy expensive, but very beautiful and high quality presents. They have a special Christmas floor that you don’t want to miss. In December, you can also meet Santa here.
TIP: Harrods is closed during Boxing Day (26 December). Sale starts here on the 27th of December at 9 AM every year as tradition..
Where: 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
#02 – Christmas Shopping at Regent Street in London
Regent Street goes from Picadilly Circus all the way to Oxford Street and it has a nice mix of affordable shops like H&M, GAP, Superdry and Mango and shops where you really only can afford to see the shop windows. Apple lovers will have a good time at the Apple Store and on this street, you’ll also find phenomenon Hamleys, in which I will tell you more in the next section.
TIP: From Picadilly Circus, if you go into the street ‘Picadilly’, you’ll get to the luxurious ‘Fortnum & Mason’ food-walhalla.
#03 – Christmas Shopping at Hamleys in London
Hamleys is an institute where you also really need to have been once in your life. This is probably enough for you, because this Toy Paradise can be a bit much. All the toys can be tried out before buying and all employees do their best to get everyone, from little to adult, to play with something, colour something, let something fly or roll…. Complete hysteria, but a great place to find a Christmas gift for your child or cousin.
TIP: on the ground floor, you’ll find a whole section with Paddington Bear‘s in all shapes and sizes and on the third floor, you can even fill your own Teddy (or other animal) and dress it up. Unique gifts for back home!
Where: 188-196 Regent St, Soho, London W1B 5BT
#04 – Christmas Shopping at Oxford Street in London
To be honest, we usually try to avoid Oxford Street around Christmas, but to be fair: for that true London Christmas feeling, you have to pay it a visit. The shop fronts of department stores like Selfridges, Debenhams, John Lewis, etc. are decorated in such unique ways, and most of the shops you will need are here. It’s one long street of about 2 kilometers, but in the side streets, you can find even more nice little shops (and it’s a bit more quiet). Oxford Street is not car-free, so pay attention when crossing, because it’s always mega-busy here.
TIP: arrive at night, so you can enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights. Over 750.000 led-lamps light up Oxford Street!
#05 – Christmas Shopping at Selfridges in London
Besides Harrods, Selfridges is another department store you want to check out around Christmas. The windows are also decorated and there is a separate floor filled with Christmas decorations and gifts. It’s a bit more affordable than Harrods, but still quite fancy.
Where: 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
#06 – Christmas Shopping on Carnaby Street in London
Carnaby Street is one of our favourite places to go shopping and around Christmas, it even gets more charming. They light it up and have themed decorations above the street. It’s a bit hidden behind Regent Street, so don’t miss it! It’s car-free, so nice and quiet to walk around in.
TIP: at Carnaby, you can have a great lunch, for example at ‘Kingly Court’ or one of its many side streets.
#07 – Christmas Shopping at Covent Garden in London
Covent Garden is one of my favourite places in London. It’s tourist-y, but there is still enough space for everyone without getting too crowded. Besides the big market hall in the middle, which has lots of nice shops and a market, you can find even more shops around the big square (lots of beauty products and stationary) and restaurants. You can easily walk to the ‘7 Dials’ area, where you can find lots of clothing shops. Around Christmas, it’s beautifully decorated here and there will be a big Christmas tree. There are also many street artists, so you can entertain yourself for not too much all day!
TIP: Convent Garden is also theatre land, so perhaps it’s fun to see a show at night!
#08 – Christmas Shopping at Liberty in London
The building of the Liberty department store is one of my favourite buildings in the city! Inside, it even gets better. They sell luxurious clothing for men and women, accessories, cosmetics and nice scents, but also things for your house and great gifts. The building was founded in 1875 and still is one of the most remarkable shops in London.
Where: Regent St, Carnaby, London W1B 5AH
#09 – Christmas Shopping at Bond Street in London
To be able to shop at this street, you’ll need a full bank account, so it’s perhaps not for everyone to do Christmas shopping here. But, looking is free and just for the decorated shop windows, this side street of Oxford Street is worth a visit. Perhaps you’ll bump into a celebrity while you’re here!
#10 – Christmas Shopping at Westfield in London
If you’re a bit like us and would like to do all your Christmas shopping in one go, then it’s easiest to go to one of the Westfield shopping malls in London. There is one in West London, at Shepherd’s Bush and one in East London (close to where we live, yasss), in Stratford. These shopping malls are open nice and late and they’ve got gigantic food courts and a cinema, so you can really spend all day here.
Where: Olympic Park, Montfichet Rd, London E20 1EJ (Westfield Stratford City) and Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GF (Westfield London)
GREAT LONDON HOTELS FOR CHRISTMAS
London Hotels around Harrods
- The Ampersand Hotel
- Doubletree by Hilton London
- Number Sixteen
- Roof Garden Rooms
- Sloane Square Hotel
London Hotels around Oxford Street (Selfridges, Debenhams, John Lewis, etc.)
- Holiday Inn London Oxford Circus
- The Marylebone Hotel
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London
- The Mandeville Hotel
- Radisson Blu Edwardian, Sussex
London Hotels around Regent Street & Carnaby Street (Liberty, Hamleys, Apple Store, etc.)
- Mimi’s Hotel Soho
- The Piccadilly London West End
- Ham Yard Hotel
- Karma Sanctum Soho Hotel
- Le Meridien Piccadilly
London Hotels around Covent Garden & 7 Dials
- Covent Garden Hotel
- Amba Hotel Charing Cross
- W London Leicester Square
- The Z Hotel Soho
- Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street
London Hotels around Westfield Shepherds Bush
- Shepherd’s Bush Boutique Hotel
- Dorsett Shepherds Bush
- The Portobello Hotel
- ibis London Shepherds Bush
- The Abbey Court Notting Hill
London Hotels around Westfield Stratford
These hotels are all centrally located, close to the shopping areas and Christmas markets in London. A great base for a weekend Christmas Shopping in London! Many hotels have Christmas deals, so keep a close eye.
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