It’s that time of year again. Visiting a new city - or one you might have been to before - takes on a whole different dimension during the festive season. You could find yourself strolling through Christmas markets with the smell of sugar and cinnamon wafting in the air, admiring department store trees glittering with gold and silver baubles, and enjoying twinkling Christmas lights when the sun goes down.
With so much festive cheer going on it can be difficult to separate the magnificent from the mediocre. We’re here to help. In no particular order, here are our top Christmas lights to visit around the world in 2017. Get your passport (and your KYZA wallet) ready and let’s go. Happy holidays!
- Christmas Light Trail at Kew Gardens – London
With over one million sparkling lights (yes you read that correctly – one million!), Christmas at Kew Gardens is even more magical this year. There’s singing trees, a cloud of mistletoe, fields of illuminated baubles and a fire scented garden – and that’s just the beginning!
- Kobe Luminare - Kobe, Japan
Whilst not strictly to celebrate Christmas (these lights are in memory of the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995), the Kobe winter light festival is enjoyed by millions of visitors every year with the over-the-top colour and spectacle evoking that Christmassy feeling.
- Rockefeller Square - New York, USA
What’s a ‘must-see’ Christmas light list without mentioning Rockefeller Square? You’ve got trees twinkling with silvery lights, golden angels, skaters rolling around an illuminated ice rink and of course the star of the show - the world famous Rockefeller Christmas tree. Don’t miss the lighting of this year’s tree on Wednesday 29 November. This is definitely one to tick off the bucket list.
- Ayala Triangle Festival of Lights, Ayala Triangle - Manila, Philippines
The Philippines might not be the first place you think of when someone says ‘Christmas lights’ but trust us on this. The Ayala Triangle Festival of Lights is a spectacular show of glittering lights, music and all things Christmas. Think hanging lights that dance in time with Christmas carols, laser lights, haze machines and more.
5 – Bath Christmas Markets – Bath, England
Like your Christmas lights with a side of shopping? Maybe a sugary treat too? If you’re visiting Bath in December this year you absolutely cannot miss the Bath Christmas markets. With over 200 illuminated chalets holding some of the most breathtaking Christmas decorations, gifts and more this market will indulge all your senses – and that satisfy that twinkling light craving too.
6- Strasbourg Illuminations - Strasbourg, France
When a city hails itself ‘the capital of Noel’ you just know the Christmas lights are going to be good. Whilst charming at the best of times, Strasbourg transforms during the festive season with the city’s streets, houses, churches, windows and balconies sparkling with thousands of lights and decorations – each as original as the next.
- – Vienna, Austria
Vienna’s Christmas lights add a touch of magic to the city and are less about colourful Santas and more about understated charm with classic white lights strung between buildings and oversized, illuminated chandeliers lighting up the streets.
Have we missed anything? Comment below and tell us your favourite Christmas lights around the world.