What to do in London in January?

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Peter Dragicevich

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The activities in London in January are many and varied. At the beginning of the month, you can still enjoy the magic of Christmas through the ice rinks, decorations and Christmas markets. There is also the magnificent lantern festival, an unusual and exotic activity. But the highlight of this month is undoubtedly the winter sales!

Here are all the events to do, listed in chronological order.

New Year's Day Parade

During the famous New Year's Day Parade, more than 85000 artists (dancers, acrobats, musicians, majorettes) from 20 countries parade through the streets of London. The route that begins in Piccadilly passes Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Square.

To get the best view of the parade, temporary stands are erected along the route on Piccadilly, St James Street, Waterloo Place and Whitehall. Access to the stands is chargeable but you can attend the parade for free by staying on the sidewalk. Get there early to ensure a good vantage point.

When? 1er January 2020

Or ? departure at 12 p.m. from Piccadilly and arrival at 15:30 p.m. at Parliament Square.

Price: £ 35 to be in the grandstand. Ticket reservation only on the Ticketmaster website.


Visit the Palace of Westminster, seat of the British Parliament

During the Easter holidays, the Palace of Westminster is open to the public. A unique opportunity to visit the House of Commons and Lords, the nerve center of British politics, and understand how the parliamentary monarchy works.

An informative and impressive visit to share with the family.

Reservations and information on the site de See tickets (visit with an audio guide in French) or on Expedia (guided tour).

When? January 18 and 25, 2020
Or ? Palace of Westminster
Price: From £ 20 for a tour with an audio guide

Metro bus River shuttles Westminster3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 148, 159, 211, 453Westminster Pier


Exposition Body Worlds

Conceived by the German professor Gunther von Hagens, the Body Worlds exhibition aims to explain the mysteries and the transformations of the organism by relying on real human bodies.
This traveling exhibition presents a total of 200 bodies and organs kept intact thanks to plastination, a technique for preserving human bodies invented by Gunther von Hagens.

With over 45 million visitors, Body Worlds Vital is one of the most visited health exhibitions in the world. Often described as a "life changing experience", Body Worlds will give you a better understanding of the complexity of the human body.

Information and reservations at the British Tourist Office 

When? Until October 1, 2020
Or ?  London Pavilion at Piccadilly Circus
Price : 27 €

Metro bus Piccadilly Circus3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 22, 23, 38, 88, 94, 139, 453

Exhibition "Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh's treasure"

After its immense success in Paris, the exhibition “Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh's treasure” travels to London for the third meeting of its world tour, which began in 2018, on the occasion of the centenary of the discovery of the tomb.

Until May 3, 2020, the Saatchi gallery, museum of contemporary art, hosts 150 objects found in 1922 in the tomb of the young pharaoh, 60 of which are coming out of Egypt for the first time.

Information and reservations on the Ticketmaster website.

When? November 2, 2019 - May 3, 2020
Or ? Saatchi Gallery
Price : £ 37.40

Metro bus Sloane Square 11, 19, 22, 49, 137, 211, 319, 360

Temporary exhibitions at the National Gallery

Portraits of Gauguin

Since October 7, 2019, the National Gallery presents some fifty works by Gauguin including paintings, works on paper and various objects, from public and private collections around the world.

This first exhibition devoted to the portraits of Paul Gauguin, shows how the French artist revolutionized the portrait from his early years as an artist to his last years spent in French Polynesia.

Top deals : With your Eurostar train ticket, benefit from theoffers 2 for 1 to get two tickets for the price of one or book your tickets online, on the museum's website to save £ 2 per ticket!


Information and reservation on the museum website


When? January 1 - 26, 2020
Or ? National Gallery
Price : £ 22- £ 24


Immersive Leonardo Da Vinci experience

The National Gallery is launching the “Leonardo Da Vinci Immersive Experience” during which the secrets of the artist's masterpiece are revealed in four distinct spaces. These four rooms include projections showing the use of light and shadow and a workshop showing how restorers can look beneath the surface of the painting.

At the end of the visit, you will discover the original masterpiece that can be found on the walls of an imaginary chapel in order to allow you to contemplate how the “Virgin of the Rocks” could have appeared in its original setting.

Top deals : With your Eurostar train ticket, benefit from theoffers 2 for 1 to get two tickets for the price of one or book your tickets online, on the museum's website to save £ 2 per ticket!

Information and reservation on the museum website


When?  January 1-12, 2020
Or ? National Gallery
Price : £ 16- £ 18

Metro bus Charing Cross, Leicester Square3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 24, 87, 91, 139, 176


Mamma Mia! The Party

Mamma Mia! The Party is a theatrical dinner in a setting that is intended to be the replica of the tavern from the film with Meryl Streep.
For four hours, enjoy a spectacular show, a gourmet three-course Mediterranean meal and an ABBA nightclub to dance to !!!

Information and reservations on the London Box Office website.

When? January 7 - May 31, 2020
Or ? The 02 Arena
Price : 180 €

Metro bus North Greenwich 108, 129, 132, 161, 188, 422, 472, 486


The boat show: London Boat Show

This nautical show which hosts more than 300 marine brands, presents a wide range of boats, navigation equipment and clothing for yachting.

Visiting the show is an opportunity to discover new trends and technological innovations.

When? 2020 dates not confirmed

Or ? Excel London Congress Hall

Price: £20

Bon plan! Arrive after 15pm and pay entry £ 10 instead of £ 20

DLR bus              Cable car Royal Victoria, Prince Regent 474Emirates Air Line


The rare Christmas markets still open in January

Some rare Christmas markets are still open in January, namely:

Winter Wonderland until 5 January 2020
Southbank Center Christmas Market until 5 January 2020
Leicester Square Christmas Market until 4 January 2020



Christmas decorations in January

The Christmas decorations in the streets of London are present until January 8. As for the Christmas tree located in Trafalgar Square, it is visible until January 4.

This is an opportunity to extend the magic of Christmas and to enjoy the magnificent Christmas lights.

When? Until January 5, 2020 for the illuminations and January 1, 2020 for the Christmas tree

Or ? Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street, Covent Garden...


Outdoor skating

The Canary Wharf and Broadgate rinks are open throughout January. On the other hand, the ice rinks of the Tower of London, the Museum of Natural History or Somerset House close from the first week of January see the 15th of the month.

To find out the opening hours, location and specificities of the ice rinks, read my article: "lhe most beautiful ice rinks in London »

 When? All the month of January for 2 ice rinks

Or ? Canary Wharf, Tower of London, Winter Wonderland à Hyde Park...


Winter sales

The sales winter in London are a great shopping plan that can be enjoyed throughout January. The reductions are significant even on luxury items!

When? Until the end of January

Or ? In all London stores


London International Mime Festival

Le international mime festival offers numerous circus, physical theater and puppet shows in prestigious venues.

When?  8 January - 2 February 2020

Or ?  Peacock Theater, Barbican Theater, Soho Theater, Tate Modern...

Price: £38



London Art Fair: the contemporary art fair

The London Art Fair is a large contemporary art fair that brings together the work of established artists and new talent.

Although painting is the main focus, this fair also features sculptures, photographs, prints, video arts and installations.

Information and reservations on the Ticket Factory website

When? 22 - 26 January 2020

Or ? Business Design Centre

Price: £ 15 - £ 22 Free for children

Chinese New Year

For 2020, the Chinese New Year is January 25.

To celebrate the Year of the Rat the festivities begin at 10:00 am with a parade down Duncannon Street that continues along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue.

The official opening ceremony takes place at 12:00 p.m. in Trafalgar Square where the famous dragon dance is held. Music, performances and food stalls are also present around Gerrard Street, Lisle Street and Shaftesbury Avenue.

When? January 25, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. - 18:00 p.m.

Or ? In Chinatown and the West End

Price: Free


Burns Nights: a Scottish party in London

Each year, London celebrates on January 25 the birth of the Scottish icon: the poet Robert Burns (1759 - 1796).
On this occasion, many London restaurants and pubs offer menus with Scottish specialties such as haggis (stuffed sheep's belly) accompanied by whiskey tasting.

On the program, traditional music, poems and song.


When? January 24, 25 and 31, 2020

Or ? See the Time Out article which offers good addresses.


Commemoration of the death of Charles I

The last Sunday of January is commemorated the execution of King Charles I, assassinated on January 30, 1649.

In remembrance, soldiers dressed in period costume and with weapons identical to those used in the XNUMXth century march through the streets of London.

The commemoration begins at 10:00 a.m. where a wreath is laid at the foot of the statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square, then at 11:00 a.m. the parade begins in front of St James Palace which continues on to the Mall and Horse Guards Road.

Finally a wreath is placed at 12 noon in front of the Banquet House before which King Charles I was executed.

When? January 26 2020

Or ? Trafalgar Square,The Mall, Horse Guards Road, Maison des Banquets.

Price: Free



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