Most London attractions and venues are reopening from 2 December 2020. London has been placed in the tier 2 level restrictions, and there are lots of things going on in December 2020. Most attractions, galleries and events are reopening their doors to the public in time for Christmas. Things look a little different, with hygiene and social distancing measures in place at all venues. Tickets will now need to be booked online with restricted timed-entrance, and many popular exhibitions and events will likely sell out of tickets. This means that booking early to avoid disappointment is the new norm.
Make the most of post-lockdown life with our round-up of some of the hottest attractions and events going on in London this Christmas 2020.
Update 20 December 2020: London is now in stay-at-home tier 4 restrictions and all non-essential venues will close.
What’s open in London?
Family friendly attractions open in London
After months of lockdown, enjoy some family fun this Christmas! There are lots of family activities now open in London, with new social distancing and hygiene rules in place. Tickets must be booked in advance.
The Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter is now open! Add a touch of magic to your winter and step back into the world of witches and wizardry. You’ll notice a few changes and The Studio Tour will be running at reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. Get tickets >>>
Windsor Castle reopens its doors on 3 December 2020. The State Apartments will be transformed with shimmering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and festive garlands for Christmas. Get tickets >>>
The London Eye is now open and you can once again enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of the city. You’ll have to wear a face-covering and must book online. Get tickets >>>
Madame Tussauds is now open in London. It’s operating at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Some experiences and facilities have been adapted or suspended. Get tickets >>>
Climb the Roof of the 02 Arena reopens to the public on selected dates during September 2020. Climb over the iconic roof of London’s most popular entertainment venue! Get tickets >>>
The Tower of London reopens on 3 December 2020, including seeing the Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders, the White Tower and more! Get tickets >>>
Sea Life London Aquarium is now open. A firm favourite with kids as you journey into the underwater world. Like most venues in London, it must now be pre-booked online. Get tickets >>>
London hop-on hop-off bus tours are back! Available with a special offer for reopening. When you buy a 24-hour ticket you’ll get a free extra day plus a River Thames Cruise. Get tickets >>>
Shrek’s Adventure! London is back. Join the search to find Shrek in this immersive experience. Now open with limited admission numbers. Get tickets >>>
London’s River Thames Cruises have returned, a fun way to get to know the city. Get tickets >>>
Theatre is reopening in London just in time for Christmas! Get into the festive spirit with shows like A Christmas Carol, Potted Panto and more. Make sure to book your tickets early since capacity is limited.
The Nutcracker Delights is opening on 17 December 2020. This classic Christmas show returns in a COVID friendly format. This year, enjoy highlights from the famous ballet by Tchaikovsky. This is a great way to spend a festive evening at the London Coliseum. Tickets are likely to sell out fast! Read more >>>
A Christmas Carol is opening on 7 December 2020, in a socially distanced production at the Dominion Theatre. See Dicken’s classic come to life with fantastic music and a star-studded cast. Brian Conley is set to star as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, alongside a cast of West End favourites in this concert production. Read more >>>
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is reopening to the public in time for Christmas! See the smash-hit musical that everyone’s talking about at London’s Apollo Theatre. Opening from 12 December 2020 under the latest COVID safety guidelines. Read more >>>
Events Open in London – Christmas 2020
After a long wait, we’re seeing exciting London events opening their doors in December! Read our Christmas 2020 guide for more inspiration!
Come and rent a private dome at the Secret Garden in London this December. A great way to get out and about whilst keeping your bubble. Read more >>>
Cinema in the Snow by pop-up screens is a snowy festive cinema screening popular movies this Christmas. Opens on 3 December 2020 and runs until 20 December in Peckham. Read more >>>
Hire a private picnic boat and sail through London’s Little Venice during December. You’ll get your own private picnic boat, with no boating experience needed! Read more >>>
The Crystal Maze Live Experience has reopened in London! Relive the hit 90s TV show in this crazy immersive team experience. The ultimate London escape room to unwind with friends! Read more >>>
Join the Murdér Express for an immersive dining experience this December! From 3 December 2020 you’ll get to head back to the beginning of the 20th Century for a glitzy meal on a train carriage with a twist. Read more >>>
Iconic London Attractions Now Open
It’s been a long time coming, but London’s iconic tourist attractions are reopening their doors! You’ll need to book tickets and advance and adhere to new social distancing and hygiene measures.
St Paul’s Cathedral is open! The cathedral is operating a one-way system with limited numbers of people allowed in at one time. Get tickets >>>
Kew Gardens already opened in June, although with limited visitor numbers and prebooked entry timeslots. The glasshouses are also now open to visitor’s as well as new shops and cafe. Get tickets >>>
Cutty Sark& The Royal Observatory Greenwich are now open! Enjoy a day out in Greenwich and explore two of the most famous sights in the area. Stand on the historic Prime Meridian line. Get tickets >>>
Westminster Abbey reopens on 11th July, although initially, it will be open for visiting on Saturdays and on Wednesday evenings
The Old Royal Naval College reopens on 13th July 2020. This includes the grounds, Painted Hall, King William Undercroft, and Chapel, although opening times have changed.
Many London attractions are reopening or have already opened. More are likely to follow suit over the coming weeks.
The London Zoo has reopened, offering a safe outdoor experience for all the family.
Tower Bridge has also reopened
Somerset House will reopen part of the site on 16th July 2020, including free exhibition Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi, the magnificent courtyard, and on-site café Hej (takeaway only).
Indoor spaces at Hampton Court Palace will reopen on 17 July 2020. Some of the outdoor spaces are already open
The Royal Mews & Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace reopens on 23 July 2020. This includes George IV: Art & Spectacle exhibition
Kensington Palace reopens on 30 July, including the State Apartments and Victoria: A Royal Childhood
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens reopens on 30 July. Outdoor spaces are now open Thursday to Sunday
The Drive-In is offering drive-in cinema experiences, a great way to get out of the house while socially distancing! Lots of films, outdoor theatre and live performances will be on show at Troubadour Meridian Water in Enfield
Several museums and galleries are re-opening their doors to visitors in the next few weeks, with new restrictions in place in response to coronavirus. This means booking tickets in advance, wearing face masks and adhering to distancing restrictions.
Monday, 6 July 2020: The RAF Museum London reopens in phases, with more hangers reopening after 20 July
Wednesday, 8 July 2020: The National Gallery opens, including a highly-anticipated Titian exhibition which will run until January 2021.
Wednesday, 8 July 2020: The Foundling Museum reopens to the public, including its Portraying Pregnancy: from Holbein to Social Media exhibition.
Monday, 13 July: The Barbican Centre is partially reopening, with the art gallery and Conservatory open to the public. This includes the Masculinities: Liberation through Photography exhibition.
Tuesday 14 July: Whitechapel Gallery reopens, with bookings to their major show, Radical Figures, as well as an array of free displays.
Wednesday, 15 July 2020: The Wallace Collection is reopening it’s doors to the public, albeit with reduced opening hours and a free timed ticket system that will need to be booked in advance. The temporary exhibition Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company, will reopen on Wednesday 29 July.
Thursday, 16 July 2020: The Royal Academy of Arts reopens, including a Picasso exhibition that returns following a nearly 4-month closure due to the coronavirus.
Monday, 27 July 2020: The Tate Modern and Tate Britain will reopen on this date. An Andy Warhol exhibition opens at the Tate Modern displaying iconic works from the Warhol collection, showcasing his experiments with different mediums.
Thursday, 30 July 2020: The Horniman Museum reopens and all visitors will have to book a free ticket in advance
Friday, 31 July 2020: The Design Museum will partially reopen
August: Some of the major museums are reopening in August 2020, with the Imperial War Museum on 1 August, Natural History Museum on 5 August and Victoria & Albert Museum on 6 August. The Science Museum follows on 19 August.
What’s Still Not Open in London?
A few attractions, museums and galleries have yet to announce their reopening dates and there are indications that some venues might not open at all. And it seems that most theatre shows will not be open to the public this year 🙁 However, The Mousetrap has announced it will be reopening in October 2020.
In light of the continually changing situation, this page will be regularly updated. Last update: 17 October 2020.