Planning a Christmas vacation? Get your passport ready, because we’ve rounded up some of the world’s top destinations for viewing spectacular Christmas lights and decorations. All you have to do is decide which one to visit!
Rockefeller Center, New York City
For Christmas tree (and Home Alone 2) enthusiasts, Rockefeller Center is an absolute mustsee at Christmas time. The 80ft (~24m) tree was first lit in 1933, and is decorated with around 45,000 lights each year, providing the perfect ambiance for the popular ice‐skating rink beneath.
Each year the town of Kobe, Japan plays host to a spectacular light show, known as Luminarie. Now in its 21st year, the festival was first conceived as a memorial to the victims of the Hanshin earthquake in 1995 and continues to draw holiday crowds from around the world.
Hong Kong, China
Christmas may not be a traditional Chinese holiday, but that certainly doesn’t stop Hong Kong from getting into the festive spirit. With hotels, shopping centres, and the city skyline adorned in decorations, you can take in the sites while enjoying delicious food, extravagant light displays, and celebrations around the city. Take an evening cruise along Victoria Habour for a truly magical experience.
Christmas in Gothenburg is like visiting a fairytale wonderland, with enough Christmas spirit to win over even the biggest Grinch. Old traditions seamlessly blend with new, and the streets are lined with markets and glittering lights, while the traditional songs of Lucia fill the air.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Bring the kids and an empty tummy for this Christmas adventure, because Monte Carlo sure knows how to throw a party. With gourmet food, markets, and a delightful Christmas village featuring arts & crafts, regional produce, rides and a skating rink, the whole family can experience a very merry Christmas indeed.
Carnaby Street, London, England
If you’re into shopping, Carnaby Street in London is the place for you this Christmas. With some of the most distinctive lights in town, you can take in the flamboyant decorations while maxing out your credit card at one of the street’s notorious shopping parties. Even better still, visitors are treated to a 20% discount at most of the shops in this highly fashionable district.
Berlin is a truly wonderful place to soak up the Christmas spirit. Book yourself in for a tour and see many of the city’s landmarks in all their illuminated glory, including Brandenburg Gate, 16th century cathedrals, and Friedrichstadtpalast – the largest theatre in Berlin. Berlin is also well known for its vibrant Christmas markets, including the Schloss Charlottenburg, Gendarmenmarkt, and Potsdamer Platz markets.
The Frankfurt Christmas Market is undeniably one of the biggest Christmas markets across Germany. Here the scent of baked apples, chestnuts and bratwurst sausages fills the air, and thousands of glittering fairy lights complete the festive setting. Take a stroll through the scenic light displays surrounding the Römerberg and St Paul's Square, and find the perfect one‐of‐a‐kind Christmas gift in the St Paul’s Church market.
The Colombian capital really knows how to take Christmas to the next level. And as a predominantly Catholic country, it’s really no surprise that December is one of the most popular times to visit. In Bogota, you can follow the Ruta de La Navidad – or Christmas Route – which takes you on a tour of all the parks and plazas featuring an abundance of Christmas lights and markets. Make sure you’re hungry, because one thing Colombians really love to do at Christmas, is eat!
Are we feeling festive yet?
Happy holidays from all of us at Open2Study!
This post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.
Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and grammar pest.