Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Top 10 Christmas Light Displays Around the World

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Christmas memories can be made up of several things: chilly weather, fabulous Christmas parties, carols playing on the radio, nicely wrapped presents, and Christmas lights. Christmas light decorations have become such a large part of the holiday tradition that the yuletide season seems to be incomplete without them. In some places, however, the lights have gone beyond being a mere thing of tradition – great Christmas light displays have also been known to amaze and inspire. In some places, the best Christmas light shows are nothing but spectacular, breathtaking, and well worth a visit.

1. Disney World, Florida, USA


Photo from Randy Pertiet via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

A favorite destination whatever time of the year, Disney World has established itself as a prime vacation getaway with its numerous must-see sights, shops, and recreation spots. Dubbed as “the happiest place on earth,” Disney World may just be in the running for the brightest place in the planet come Christmas time. During the holiday season, the myriad lights that illuminate the site add to Disney World’s magical appeal. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is also a must-see Christmas tradition with its animated display of brilliant lights dancing to well-loved holiday tunes.

2. Forum des Halles, Paris, France


Photo from pterjan via flickr. CC BY 2.0
The famous city of lights has its own share of must-see Christmas light displays. Located in the 1st arrondissement south of rue Montorgueil, the Forum des Halles is an open air center in the Les Halles area of Paris near the Louvre and the Centre Pompodou. The area is accentuated with magnificent sculptures, fountains, and mosaics. Its underground maze of shops and chic cafés are usually alive with energy, and when the Christmas season comes, the Christmas light decorations further enhance the festive ambiance, making it an ideal place for a Parisian night out.

3. Rockefeller Center, New York, USA

© James G. Howes via Wikimedia Commons

 

Perhaps one of the most iconic of all Christmas tree traditions is at the Rockefeller Center in mid-town Manhattan. A 69-100 foot Norway spruce is decorated with around 18,000 lights and placed in the Rockefeller center, a tradition that spans over 80 years. More recently, eco-friendly LED lights have been used to decorate the tree that remains one the most famous Christmas light traditions in US history.

 

4. Orchard Road, Singapore

Photo from soeperbaby via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Orchard Road is one of the most popular shopping and entertainment hubs in the small island state of Singapore. Culling its name from the pepper, nutmeg and fruit orchards that once populated the area, it has transformed into an upscale commercial space, comparable to the most stylish retail centers in the region. It has been recently ranked as one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. Around Christmas, Orchard Road transforms into a glitzy space alive with stunning lights and night-long holiday revelries.

5. Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia


Photo from chilangoco via flickr. CC BY 2.0

The beautiful city of Medellín, the capital of the Department of Antioquia in Colombia, is quickly becoming one of South America’s most prominent cities. During Christmas the metropolis hosts the Los Alumbrados de Medellín (Medellín City lights), where 18 million LED lights animate the whole city, turning it into a magnificent jewel of a place. The most impressive spot in the metropolis centers around the Rio Medellín (Medellín River) and at the Puente de Guayaquil (Guayaquil Bridge). For a truly magnificent view, climb to the top of Cerro Nutibara.

6. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark


Photo from vitamindave via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Being the world’s second oldest amusement park, the Tivoli Gardens has a few tricks up its Christmas sleeve. Tivoli’s Christmas market is a treasure trove of festive ornaments, lights, mulled wine, and sweets. During the holiday season, all rides are open for everyone to enjoy. Some rides like The Siberian Railroad  takes you to a magical Russian village, while families can ride along the holiday fun in the Christmas Express. A sampling of local food like smørrebrød (open sandwiches) and gløgg (mulled wine) while strolling around Tivoli’s green areas, lakes and fountains will surely be an unforgettable holiday memory.

 

7. Oxford Street, London, UK

Photo from gorfor via flickr. CC BY 2.0

The city of London is nothing but enchanting during the Christmas season, boasting one of the best Christmas light displays in the world. Oxford Street in particular, a major London thoroughfare and one of the busiest shopping streets in Europe, becomes a breathtaking sight filled with twinkling lights. Traditionally the lights are switched on by a lineup of popular guests, illuminating the high end London street. The Christmas light tradition dates back to 1959, and to this day remains a sight to behold.

8. Rathausplatz Square, Vienna, Austria


Photo from Honza Soukup via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Charming in every way, beautiful Christmas decorations transform Vienna into a dramatic, opulent city. Shops are decorated with silk ribbons and tree branches while the road leading to St. Stephen’s Cathedral is adorned with glistening chandeliers. Quaint markets abound in the city, set up in narrow streets that make the experience of walking around the shops a bit more intimate. Lastly, a visit to the Weiner Christkindlmarkt at the Rathausplatz Square and its surrounding Gothic-style buildings will be a delight to both sight and smell as shops selling roasted chestnuts, waffles, ham, and other culinary delights abound.

9. Newport Beach, CA, USA


Photo from fortherock via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Newport Beach’s Christmas Boat parade features spectacularly decorated yachts, canoes, and kayaks while Christmas music is played all around the area, inviting a warm Christmas feel. The dazzling appeal of this boat parade has attracted almost a million viewers per year, as the views along the waterfront in Bilboa and Newport are truly spectacular. The Ring of Lights concert has also been a main attraction, wherein bayside homes are artfully decorated with animated lights, adding to the boat parade’s magical holiday celebration.

10. Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan


Photo from OiMax via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

One of the best Christmas lights shows in Tokyo can be found in the modern city’s Roponggi Hills, an urban center that is composed of office spaces, shops, apartments, theaters, hotels, and museums. The light spectacles are called “Illuminations,” wherein lights and decorations are meticulously wrapped around buildings, trees, and gardens forming magnificent light shows that are some of the most impressive in Japan. Apart from the amazing light shows, restaurants, shops, and bars abound in the area, making it an ideal destination for the some holiday fun.

About 

Inspired by my passion for the visual arts and my years of experience in the field of design, I enjoy a life of style and artistry. I am a devoted follower of minimalism and I believe in the marriage of form and function. I try to live by these principles, from my subtle but classic fashion sense when it comes to clothes and jewelry, to the various projects I manage and work on in my professional career

Influenced by the refined grace of Coco Chanel, the timeless beauty of my favorite city, Stockholm, and the new ideas and trends I read from design books, I try to infuse my life with elegance and sophistication. Join me on Balsam Hill’s blog to get my tips and advice on home design and personal style.

About the Author
Inspired by my passion for the visual arts and my years of experience in the field of design, I enjoy a life of style and artistry. I am a devoted follower of minimalism and I believe in the marriage of form and function. I try to live by these principles, from my subtle but classic fashion sense when it comes to clothes and jewelry, to the various projects I manage and work on in my professional career Influenced by the refined grace of Coco Chanel, the timeless beauty of my favorite city, Stockholm, and the new ideas and trends I read from design books, I try to infuse my life with elegance and sophistication. Join me on Balsam Hill’s blog to get my tips and advice on home design and personal style.