Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, New York, USA
New York attracts tens of millions of tourists throughout the entire year, but winter is magical. Visiting in December means witnessing the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, with its lights being switched on around 1 December. Considered the ‘Holiday Beacon of New York’, the history of the tree goes back eight decades to 1931.
This year’s Nordic Spruce is 79ft tall, with 50,000 lights and a three-dimensional Swarovski star, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018 and covered in three million crystals.
Vilnius Christmas Tree, Lithuania
For many years, Lithuania’s capital has been recognised for having one of the most beautiful Christmas tree displays in the world. Every year, the theme of the tree changes; past themes have included time, chess, and the colour purple.
This year Vilnius' spectacular tree returns to Cathedral Square. It is designed by Dominykas Koncevičius and inspired by his fascination with the geometry of snowflakes. The bright white wonder stands at 88ft tall, and has been designed to be admired from a distance.
Rio Di Janeiro Christmas Tree, Brazil
Rio Di Janeiro go a level up when it comes to their Christmas tree display. How? They construct it on water. It is known as the largest floating Christmas tree in the world reaching heights of 278ft (back in 2007, according to the Guinness Book of World Records).
The on-off traditions first started in 1996, alongside a dazzling firework display on the day the lights get switched on. Hundreds of thousands of visitor’s flock to Rio to see the multicoloured display afloat on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.
Mount Ingino Christmas Tree, Gubbio, Italy
The largest Christmas tree in the world. Well, kind of.
Head to the medieval town Gubbio in Italy to see this extraordinary 2,000ft light display decorated on pine trees on the side of Mount Ingino. The top of tree, which reaches up to the peak of Basilica of the Patron Sant’Ubaldo, is crowned with a bright white shooting star. The display is illuminated every year from 7 December at 6.30pm from Piazza Gramsci, with Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis previously having the honours of switching on the lights.
Strasbourg Christmas Tree, France
Back to a more traditional tree. Strasbourg Christmas Market, otherwise known as Christkindlsmärik, is France’s most popular market dating all the way back to the mid-1500s and is known as the Capital of Christmas.
Located in Place Kléber, the festive market is made even more magical with its iconic centre piece Christmas tree. Towering over 30m high, the tree is decorated with 7km of fairy lights and around 400 baubles, and has 50 to 80 extra branches implanted to make it appear plumper. In total, it takes around 250 man-hours to create the final look.
Prism at Coal Drops Yard, London, UK
Forget Trafalgar Square. Bringing a pop of colour to the UK's capital, Coal Drops Yard at Kings Cross always delivers when it comes to its modern Christmas tree displays.
This year's psychedelic design is called Prism, a large kaleidoscope ‘tree’ standing at 28ft tall and redesigned from 2020's tree structure. Step inside the installation and you’ll be surrounded by multicoloured lights and mirrors. It's designed by structural specialists This is Loop. who wanted to represent unity and connection 'in a beautiful world of colour and light'.
Christmasland Tree, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Probably the most outrageous Christmas tree display of them all. New Taipei City in Taiwan hosts an annual Christmasland event every year with incredible art installations, projections and dazzling lights. Located in Citizen Square is the country's tallest Christmas tree, with the 2021 theme being LEGO.
This extravagant display and experience for Christmas may be surprising considering Taiwan doesn't officially celebrate Christmas, as it is not a national holiday.
Lisbon Christmas Tree, Portugal
Varying in height every year, the tallest Lisbon's Christmas tree has ever been is a whopping 249 ft, competing for the tallest Christmas tree in Europe title.
Although artificial, Lisbon's tree always feels quite traditional and tasteful in lights and colours. Visitors can even step inside the tree and gaze up at the sparkling display, which is located on the large waterfront square, Praça do Comércio.