Leave the umbrella at home.
Looking to go to London when the sun is shining? Or maybe you’re on a mission to stretch your bucks and avoid long lines. See when the ideal time of year is to schedule your visit, based on your top travel priorities.
Best time of year to visit London
The best time to visit this popular bucket-list destination depends on what you’re looking to do. For pleasant weather and easy access to guided tours and major London events and attractions, spring and summer are your best bet. But warmer weather draws crowds, which some travelers prefer to avoid.
London’s peak tourist season starts in late spring and continues through the summer. While London’s climate is relatively mild — average low winter temperatures hover around 40ºF — the sunniest, driest weather is in June and July. Highs are in the 70s.
October, November and December see the most average rainfall, making September a sweet spot for London travel. Plan your trip this month for the best chance of sunshine and fewer crowds.
You’ll find reduced rates in the coldest months of the year: January and February. While cooler, the weather’s drier this time of year than in October through December.
For a mix of budget-friendly travel options and nicer weather, consider early spring and fall.
Events and attractions
Most of London’s famous attractions are open year-round, although some have limited hours in the winter. Plan your trip around the ideal times for checking must-do activities off your list.
- Sightseeing. You can go sightseeing year-round, as long as you don’t mind wearing a heavy jacket or potentially getting caught in the rain. Summer’s the ideal time to see parks and main attractions since the weather’s the nicest.
- Shopping. You can shop in London any time of year, but the best time to find sales and savings is post-Christmas in January. When hitting the markets in the busy summer season, try to get there as early as you can to beat the crowds.
- Events and festivals. Annual events in London are held year-round, like the Totally Thames festival in September and the Wimbledon Championships in July.
- Seeing a show. London’s West End is full of small theaters. To avoid the crowds and sky-high ticket prices, see a show in January or February.
- Riding the London Eye. Summer (June through August) has the longest days to enjoy the city’s outdoor attractions like the London Eye, Europe’s tallest observation wheel. But the fall (September to November) sees smaller crowds.
- Visiting Madame Tussauds. Visit the original Madame Tussauds wax museum in London any time of year — don’t worry about rain since it’s indoors! Plan your visit for weekday mornings to avoid large crowds.
For the best shot at a sunny trip to London, plan your trip for the busy summer months. But if you’re content to carry an umbrella or a coat, skip the crowds and get away in late fall or winter.
Take a look at our guide to finding the best flight deals to London once you’ve narrowed down your dates!