New York and Paris are hands down the best holiday cities in the world. The lights, trees, window displays and joy of music fill the cities this month. Conde Nast Traveler gives us their choices for the cities that have the 'most extravagant' lighting displays.
Here are some of my favorites and you can see the rest here.
Predictably, the City of Light doesn't disappoint in the holiday lights department. Follow the famous Champs-Élysées, flanked by shops done up in holiday décor, under a canopy of 200 trees draped in color-changing light schemes. More displays are found about town at Notre-Dame Cathedral's shining Christmas tree, swanky shopping strips Avenue Montaigne and Rue Saint-Honoré, the ritzy Place Vendôme, and the outdoor shopping complex at Bercy Village.
Experience old-world Christmas at its most exquisite in Vienna, a city set aglow in a 2.5-million-bulbs, and trimmed by giant chandeliers, floating globes, and other assorted baubles. Don’t miss the nearly 200-foot-high illuminated tree affixed to the Ringturm building in Schottenring; the sparkling lights of shopping strips Graben and Kärntnerstrasse; or the imposing Rathaus (town hall), with its transporting illuminations and Christmas market out front.
3. Gothenburg, Sweden
Braving the big chill and long nights of a Scandinavian winter rewards savvy travelers with the warmth of the festive riverfront city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Visitors can follow the nearly two-mile-long "Lane of Light," leading from the Gothenburg's harbor to the local traditional Christmas market at Liseberg Amusement Park (Scandinavia's largest), which comes draped in no fewer than five million Christmas lights.
4. Medellín, Colombia
This Colombian city puts Christmas on overdrive with its annual Los Alumbrados festival of lights, a citywide tradition since 1967. Some 27 million flickering bulbs, 10 tons of colored foil, and dozens of animated figures blanket the city—some of the best displays are found along the Medellín River, the Avenida La Playa, and the Cerro Nutibara hilltop.
High-tech highlights in Tokyo include the Roppongi Hills district, blanketed in blue and white LEDs; Tokyo Midtown's "Starlight Garden," enveloped in a 360-degree arch of light and some 280,000 blue lights; and the Caretta Shiodome complex, with its "White Xmas in the Sea" theme, featuring an ocean of LED illuminations and 3D projection mapping.