Food & Drink
picture of the christmas market at Trafalgar Square. There are tents and fairy lights strung up in front of the National Gallery

Hot chocolate prices across seven London Christmas markets 

The prices of hot chocolates varied across Christmas markets in London in 2023, and were largely in line with the cost of rent in the market areas.

Out of the seven London Christmas markets assessed, the Southbank Winter Festival and Tower Bridge markets had London’s most expensive Christmas hot chocolate at £4, and the Kingston market had the cheapest at £2. 

As with many other activities in 2023, the cost of living crisis loomed large over people’s choices to spend time at Christmas markets this winter. 

Emily Akers, 25, said: “It’s hard having to pick between getting your loved ones high quality gifts from local artisans versus cheaper gifts you can buy online that won’t break the bank.

“How are we supposed to pick between expressing love and paying rent?”

For others, however, the spirit of the holidays superceded savings. 

Sally Harpley, who found herself spending £150 at a London Christmas market, does not regret her choice to splurge.

The 26-year-old said: “The luxury of going to Christmas markets as an adult with my own income stream makes up for not really being able to afford that kind of thing as a kid.” 

With the following list of London Christmas markets, the cost-conscious can know how far their money will take them.

Kingston Christmas Market

The cheapest festive hot chocolate on this list can be found at the Kingston Christmas Market for only £2.

Sure, you may have to pay for a South West Rail ticket to get there, but once you’re in Kingston, your hot chocolate purchase will not break the bank.   

Greenwich Peninsula Market

This market did not have very many stalls, but what they lacked in bustling activity they made up for in reasonably affordable hot chocolates priced at £3.40.

Christmas in Leicester Square

Operated by Underbelly, Christmas in Leicester Square cost £3.50. A reasonable cost for central London. Be prepared, however, for long queues, crowding, and a bag check to enter. 

Christmas in Trafalgar Square 

Also operated by Underbelly, it’s no surprise that Christmas in Trafalgar Square also cost £3.50.

The queue for hot chocolates was shorter in Trafalgar Square, just a five-minute walk away from Leicester Square, so if you’re looking for a less crowded market for the same price, Trafalgar Square is likely a better bet. 


Twickmas, Twickenham’s Church Street Christmas market, did not have a market-organised hot chocolate stall, but had vendors who normally operate on Church Street selling their usual goods with a festive flair.

Corto, the Italian cafe on Church Street, took up the mantle of Christmas hot chocolate and was selling it for £3.60 outside of their shop for the duration of the market.

Winter Festival Southbank

London’s most expensive Christmas market hot chocolates can be found at the Under the Bridge bar at the Southbank Winter Festival. Hot chocolates Under the Bridge were £4 each.

There were other independent stalls scattered around the market who sold hot chocolates for different prices, but the official market bar’s hot chocolates were £4.  

Tower Bridge Christmas by the River

On the same bank as the Southbank Winter Festival, London Bridge’s Christmas by the River had hot chocolate at the same expensive price of £4. 

The discrepancy between these prices becomes less surprising when looking at the overall cost of living in these neighbourhoods.

According to City Hall’s private rental market research, the cost of a one bedroom flat in each of these postcodes between October 2022 and September 2023 varied dramatically. 

In Kingston, the mean rental price for a one bedroom flat near the market between October 2022 and September 2023 was £1,355.

In Greenwich Peninsula, the mean rental price for a one bedroom flat in the same time period was almost £300 higher at £1,645 per month.

The area around Twickmas, even though it had higher priced hot chocolates than Greenwich, had slightly lower priced flats with the average one bedroom rental in Twickenham actually being one pound cheaper than Kingston at £1,354 per month between October 2022 and September 2023. 

Neither Trafalgar Square nor Leicester Square have rental costs listed for their specific postcodes as neither are residential areas.

However, since they are both in the borough of Westminster, the average rental for their surrounding area is the same, at £2,386 a month to rent a one bedroom flat in Westminster.

So, anyone looking to rent in that area might have to cut back on the hot chocolate purchases if they’re going to afford their flat. 

Hot chocolates were more expensive on the Southbank, but rents are cheaper than the West End with one bedroom flats costing an average of £1.739 a month in SE1.

That said, this is still significantly more expensive than a one bedroom flat in Kingston. 

Similarly to the Southbank, hot chocolates by Tower Bridge were pricey and rents are expensive but not as expensive as in Westminster.

The average rent for a one bedroom flat by Tower Bridge is also £1,739 a month. 

Although cutting back on seasonal beverages is probably not the best way to save up for rent, if you are looking for a festive but affordable cup of hot chocolate it looks like Kingston is one of the cheapest choices out of these seven areas for a flat and a Christmassy hot chocolate.

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