travel to london

London is a beautiful city enriched with history, culture, and breathtaking culture. It’s also a city that is pleasant to visit all year round. Except for one time of the year…

Christmas.

When I traveled across the pond to London, I was expecting any other holiday filled with making new friends, bustling bars and pubs, and tasting food at a variety of restaurants.

Little did I know that Christmas would be the most inopportune time to fulfill those expectations. And now I want to let other travelers know when to avoid visiting London – if they’re expecting many places to be open.

Now don’t get me wrong. Any chance you get to travel to London – take it. It’s a magical city that never disappoints. However, here are some reasons why you may want to avoid Christmastime if you can.

Why?

Most Pubs are Closed

london pubs

In America, on holidays, even Christmas Day, you can expect many bars, theaters, and restaurants open for at least a portion of the day. In large cities, almost all tourist-driven places are open and bustling.

Which was why it was such a surprise to me that I had the most difficult time finding restaurants and pubs to meet locals and have a good time and enjoy good grub.

Hotels are an excellent place to goΒ when the rest of the city is shut down. Find the hotel bar and chat with fellow travelers and make friends with the bartenders if it’s not too busy.

The St. Giles HotelΒ is 1 block from Tottenham Court road in SoHo has a great bar and also a casino if you’re feelin’ lucky.

Closed Public Transportation

london subway closed

During my recent jaunt to London, I had the idea of taking the Eurostar from London to Paris.

The Eurostar is Closed

Want to explore the city or actually find an open bar a few neighborhoods away?

Think again.

The tube will be closed, busses don’t run, and almost all taxis will be off the roads as well.

Be sure to check theΒ www.tfl.gov.uk website before traveling over the holidays in London.

 

Museums and Tours Closed

london travel
Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day. Tours were closed, but you can still walk around outside!

Almost all of London’s attractions close for at least one day over Christmas, and many close from December 24th to the 26th, and depending what day Christmas falls on, possibly December 27th.

Be aware that many businesses and attractions have modified opening hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Of course, this advice of when to avoid visiting London is purely based on my experience. And I can’t wait to see the city in the summer months!

What should I put on my itinerary the next time I visit London? Let me know in the comments!

Author

Hi, I'm Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I've always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 15+ countries in one year. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

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