Cities With Beautiful Christmas Trees 2023 / 2024
As we step into the enchanting winter season of 2023/2024, our hearts turn towards the festive winter celebrations that brighten up our world. In this special time, City Halls, shopping centers, main squares across the globe undergo a magical transformation, becoming luminous beacons of joy and festivity.
Their twinkling lights and vibrant decorations invite us into a realm of holiday delight. In this heartwarming journey, we'll explore various cities that stand out with their spectacular Christmas trees, each a symbol of hope, unity, and the spirit of the season. Join us in marveling at these urban landscapes, where the spirit of Christmas comes alive in its most brilliant form.
Every year from mid-November, a majestic tree rises in the heart of Galeries Lafayette's centre, shining amidst the store's stunning art-nouveau architecture. This Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette is not just a decoration but a marvel, making a visit to the renowned department store a must.
In 2023, this spectacular tree was revealed on November 15th. It illustrates the tale of a young girl and a magical paintbrush journeying through a fantastical realm. Designed by Charles de Vilmorin, the theme is titled “Noël de mes Rêves” (Christmas of my Dreams). Let's be honest- not many cities & places keeps on decorating Christmas trees by theme. So far I know Vilnius (I'll cover it later) and Galeries Lafayette Paris does it.
Moreover, the exterior of Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann is another wonder, showcasing the story of Lady Star and Santa Claus in its windows, in collaboration with Atelier Bournillat. As of 2023, the glass walkway (rooftop) has reopened to visitors at no cost, though it's advisable to book your visit in advance.
If you planning to visit Chrismatic Paris, you may also be interested in reading such articles:
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New York City, The USA - Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center, a renowned feature of New York City's skyline, transforms into a festive wonderland as Christmas nears. The centerpiece, an imposing 80-foot Norway Spruce, captures everyone's attention with its 50,000 vibrant lights and a magnificent Swarovski star.
This tradition dates back to December 1933, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony has been a cherished annual event ever since. This year marks the 91st celebration, which was scheduled for November 29, 2023. On Christmas Day, the tree was illuminated for a full 24 hours, creating a magical experience. Be sure to witness this captivating spectacle, as the iconic tree will continue to brighten the city until its final goodbye on January 13, 2024, at 10 pm EST. This glowing symbol of the holiday season is a sight not to be missed.
London, England - St Pancras railway station
St Pancras station surprised everyone this year with a remarkable 12-meter-high Christmas Tree. This tree is extraordinary, adorned with a spiral staircase encircling 270 bookcases. Nearly 4,000 artfully painted books, showcasing holiday classics such as "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens and "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis, embellish the tree.
At its base, the tree offers eight inviting nooks, perfect for book lovers to take a moment, relax, and immerse themselves in enthralling stories. Each nook provides a unique experience with a five-minute audiobook sample from Penguin Books. This Christmas tree is more than a seasonal ornament; it's a whimsical haven for bibliophiles to revel in the festive ambiance. What can I say... it's definitely worth visiting compared to The Trafalgar Christmas tree.
However, you should also consider visiting "The Churchill Arms Pub & Restaurant" in Kensington. This place takes so much attention in the media that you probably already know it (picture above).
Often overlooked by travelers, Lithuania becomes a festive wonderland during Christmas, especially at its cathedral square. Each year, this square is transformed into a vibrant celebration center, attracting visitors with its uniquely themed Christmas tree.Garnering has been acclaimed as Europe's most beautiful tree for several years, and it presents a new, captivating design annually. Vilnius has been recognized as one of Europe's most magical Christmas cities from 2019 to 2022, ranking in the European Top 5 and among the world's 25 best places to celebrate Christmas.
The 2022 tree was particularly noteworthy, resembling a three-tiered birthday cake illuminated by 700 candle-like lights. This design was a tribute to Vilnius' 700th anniversary. This year, the festival aims to bring brightness and joy to Vilnius' residents and visitors, continuing its long-standing festive traditions. The best part of visiting - there are many various beautiful street decorations and it's easy to navigate within the city. Great option for a weekend getaway.
Strasbourg, often hailed as the unmatched capital of Christmas, is an ideal place to immerse in festive celebrations. This destination beckons with its traditional Christmas market and dazzling illuminations. Here, one can't help but give in to the allure of delicious pastries and the warmth of mulled wine in this enchanting city.
The arrival of Strasbourg's Christmas Tree is a highlight, marking the commencement of the Christmas market. Renowned as one of the largest and most beautiful Christmas trees in Europe, it's a sight to behold.
To fully experience Strasbourg's festive charm, consider booking your flights and accommodation well in advance. Enhance your visit with activities and tours, such as a guided exploration of the Christmas market and a delightful wine tasting experience. This year, Strasbourg will be enveloped in the festive magic of the Christmas market from November 24th to December 24th.
Copenhagen, Denmark - Tiroli Garden
Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens is a place of wonder during the Christmas season, transforming into a magical winter wonderland that captivates visitors from around the world. As the festive lights twinkle and the aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds fills the air, the garden becomes a hub of joy and celebration.
One of the must-visit attractions in this enchanting setting is the Christmas market, brimming with charming stalls that offer a variety of traditional Danish Christmas treats and handcrafted gifts. The historic amusement park rides are adorned with festive decorations, adding an extra layer of excitement to the already thrilling experiences.
A highlight of Tivoli's Christmas festivities is the spectacular light show. This dazzling display of lights and music creates a mesmerizing atmosphere that embodies the spirit of the holiday season. The garden's famous lake is transformed into an enchanting ice skating rink.
One of our team members, Vilmantas, had the privilege of experiencing the Christmas magic at Tivoli Gardens. He recalls the experience as the best Christmas cities he has ever visited, filled with joy, wonder, and the festive spirit that Tivoli is renowned for.
Many regard this year's Christmas tree as exceptionally beautiful, although to me, it seems reminiscent of Vilnius' 2015 Christmas tree. Setting that aside, Craiova emerges as a trendy Christmas destination with its authentic markets, creative children's workshops, amusement rides, and concerts. Notably, its ice rink is among Europe's most picturesque Christmas rinks. Adorned with hundreds of thousands of lights, Craiova has dedicated significant effort to transform its Christmas celebration into a magical experience for all ages.
Cologne, a top choice among Christmas travelers, is renowned for hosting some of Germany's finest Christmas markets. The city, seemingly designed for the festive season, is home to some of the most authentic and picturesque Christmas markets in the country.
During this season, Cologne transforms into a winter wonderland. The air is filled with the enticing scents of baked apples, cinnamon biscuits, and famous mulled wine, creating a truly festive atmosphere. There are many Christmas markets, each with its own unique theme, inviting visitors to meander, shop, and discover. Additionally, Cologne's stunning architecture and historical backdrop add to the charm, making it an unforgettable destination for celebrating the holiday spirit.
Perhaps I missed some wonderful cities, I should have mentioned. So in this case, drop the comment below! Or share your favourite Christmas City <3