When it comes to great cities to visit during Christmastime, nothing compares to the magic of London. Simply watch the film Love Actually and you’ll see for yourself. The holiday rom-com classic is filled with scenes showing off some of the best destinations in London. In fact, Love Actually has inspired us to list the five coolest things to do in the city. These attractions are great any time of the year, but they’re especially fun during the holidays.

1.) Take a Stroll through Trafalgar Square

anyaivanova / Shutterstock

anyaivanova / Shutterstock

As the largest public square in Greater London, Trafalgar Square has been an important meeting site since the 13th century. Today, it’s a great place to explore some beautiful fountains and notable statues like the Landseer Lion. The square is anchored by Nelson’s Column, a 13-foot monument honoring an admiral who died at the Battle of Trafalgar. During the holiday season, however, all of these sites are trumped by the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, which is considered the largest in London.

2.) Lace up Your Skates at Somerset House

Throughout most of the year, the courtyard at Somerset House features an array of dancing fountains. When winter comes around, the area is converted into one of the most popular ice rinks in London. Visit the rink during the day to enjoy the Neoclassical splendor of the Somerset House while you skate. At night, the rink often features DJs and more of a club atmosphere. Those who are interested in learning more about the property, which was home to three Catholic queens, can partake in a guided tour.

3.) Buy Some Gifts at Selfridges on Oxford Street

"Selfridge & Co sign" by Ambernectar 13 is licensed under CC 2.0.

Selfridge & Co sign” by Ambernectar 13 is licensed under CC 2.0.

No trip to London is complete without a bit of shopping. If you’re a fan of large department stores, there’s hardly a better choice than the flagship Selfridge & Co. on Oxford Street. As the second largest store in the UK, this retail mecca has over 500,000 square feet of selling space. The building, which was first opened in 1909, is famous for its window displays. In fact, many visitors come just to look at these lavish attractions. However, Selfridge is more than just a large shopping center with a long history. It was named best department store in the world in 2010 and 2012.

4.) Enjoy the View from the London Eye

Lukasz Pajor / Shutterstock

Lukasz Pajor / Shutterstock

Located right off the South Bank of the River Thames, the London Eye offers a perfect vantage point for those who want to see all of the UK’s biggest city. It’s easy to understand why more than 3.75 million annual visitors ride this 443-foot Ferris Wheel, the tallest in Europe. In addition to great panoramic views, the London Eye is a cultural landmark. There’s no need to worry about the brisk London air while riding. All of the enclosed 32 passenger capsules have heating and air conditioning.

5.) Explore the Galleries at Tate Modern

"Millenium Bridge" by Andrew Stawarz is licensed under CC 2.0.

Millenium Bridge” by Andrew Stawarz is licensed under CC 2.0.

If you’re a fan of contemporary art, then visiting Tate Modern is a must. This museum, which is based in the former Bankside Power Station, houses the national collection of British art from 1900 to today as well as modern international art. From abstraction to expressionism and Monet to Matisse, browsers can experience a range of impressive artwork within Tate Modern’s seven floors. Free daily activities like guided tours and family events make visiting even better.
Will you be visiting London this holiday season? Which sites are you excited to visit? Are you planning to reenact any of the scenes from Love Actually? Let us know in the comments!

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