From extravagantly decorated department stores to quaint market stalls, London offers wonderful Christmas shopping opportunities.
Of course, the city is so big that you probably won't have time to check everything out and may not even know where to start, so we decided to make a few suggestions to give you a push in the right direction.
Christmas shopping just isn't the same without a jaunt round a few department stores. Luckily, London has quite a few – and some of them are among the most famous in the world.
Harrods is an essential stop, as it's arguably London's best department store. Moreover, they never do Christmas in half measures – the entire store is lavishly decorated and there's even a section of it dedicated entirely to Christmas decorations and items. Every year Harrods sell a different Christmas teddy bear (this year's is Sebastian) – which is a brilliant gift idea.
The Selfridges flagship store on Oxford Street should certainly be your second stop. Like Harrods it has a large Christmas section, as well as numerous cafes in which you can grab a bite to eat once you've built up an appetite looking around.
Regent Street's Liberty is another store that's definitely worth experiencing – if not only for its Tudor Revival facade and wooden interior. In addition to that you'll find luxury goods from prestigious brands, and plenty of inspiration for gifts.
CDs, books and DVDs are always safe options for gifts, and Fopp in Covent Garden is the place to go for all three. They always have tempting deals on, and the prices are generally lower than other shops of that sort.
Magma, which is just a few metres away from Fopp, sells more unusual items such as coffee-table books and stationery items – certainly worth a visit if you're trying to find a present for someone who's artistic or a little eccentric.
When it comes to finding unique gifts, your best bet could be heading to the various Christmas markets. Many of them run from mid-November and all the way through December, such as Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. In addition to the craft and gift stalls, you'll notice there are quite a few dedicated to food and drink – so you may need to dedicate an entire afternoon or evening to it.
Enjoy Christmas in London
Whether you're staying in London throughout the Christmas period or heading home to visit your family and friends, we hope you have a great time. If you're an international student who'll be staying around, we're sure you won't be disappointed, as London is an especially enjoyable place during Christmas.
We have some of the finest international student housing in London, with four locations across the city – all of which are luxurious and secure.