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The Best Things For Students to Do In London This Christmas

December 5, 2018

Christmas has come to place voted the best student city in the world, London. And any international students who come to study abroad will be able to take part in and soak up the wide variety of fun festive events on offer.

London has an amazing festive atmosphere over the Christmas period, going all out with big displays, towering trees, and magnificent markets. So, we wanted to break down some of the best things for students to do this Christmas, while studying in London.

Include a bit of ice-skating

London plays host to a number of ice skating rinks every winter over the festive season, with most operating from November until the middle of January. Many of the ice rinks allow people to rent their skates and some even host special events throughout Christmas.

The Winter Wonderland pop-up in Hyde Park will once again be back this year, and it will have the largest open-air skating rink in the UK (next to the Victorian bandstand). Visitors can go and enjoy traditional German beer halls, circus acts, food stalls, grottos, and fairground rides as they take in the carnival atmosphere.

Somerset House will also be hosting its renowned ice skating rink, where visitors will be able to glide along the illuminated ice beside the impressive historical site. Those who stay later can visit the Christmas Arcade for some shopping and Fortnum’s Lodge or the Skate Lounge for a quick cocktail.

Take a trip to the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree

Every year a gigantic Christmas tree is delivered to Trafalgar Square in London, all the way from Norway. The city of Oslo sends it as a gift to say thank you for Britain’s help during World War II.

The terrific tree itself is over 20 metres high, and is usually around 5 or 6 decades old. 500 sparkling white lights will decorate it, and they are normally switched on during a special ceremony on the first thursday of December.

Thousands of people attend the lights switch on for the Christmas tree, including the Lord Mayor of Westminster. The tree will normally stay standing at Trafalgar Square until the Twelfth Night of Christmas on January 6, so students will have plenty of time to go and see it.

Go seasonal shopping at the markets

Over Christmas shopping really does take over the city, with markets and fairs popping up everywhere. Leicester Square will have a Spiegeltent, (essentially a large tent) which will host comedy and cabaret shows. There will also be plenty of handmade trinkets, toys and festive ornaments on offer at the markets, all up until the 6th of January, as part of the Spirit of Christmas Fair

The Southbank Centre will also once again be hosting the Winter Festival and Christmas Market. It’s an all out art celebration, with a variety of festive theater performances, activities, and decorated wooden market stalls along the riverfront. Traders from all over the world will offer their gifts and treats, including traditional food such as raclette, bratwurst, burgers and vegan dishes.

These are just two examples, and there is more where they came from because London will be littered with magnificent Christmas markets over the holiday season. Students and anyone else can head down for some mulled wine and delicious snacks, as they purchase some interesting and unique gifts.  

Pick up a pantomime ticket

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the English tradition of pantomime theatre, and this year anyone in London will have the opportunity to go and see a show. Panto is a type of musical comedy on the stage, and generally includes quite a bit of audience participation, usually in the form of singing along and shouting “He’s behind you!” when the villain is behind the hero.

This Christmas in London the Hackney Empire is putting on the pantomime version of Aladdin over the festive season, as part of the theatre’s 20th anniversary. The performances will continue up until the 6th of January.
These are just a few examples of all the great things for students to do in London this Christmas, and if you’re an international student looking to find out more about studying in London, then contact us at IEC Abroad today – our specialists can help you find the perfect university for you.