No matter the age, seeing holiday lights is one of the most magical parts of the season. While homeowners and decorators in the United States have been known to really put on a show – there are tons of holiday light displays around the world that will dazzle and delight the whole family!

Sydney holiday lights. Photo courtesy of Sydney

Sydney holiday lights. Photo courtesy of Sydney

Cold chills don’t detract from the joy of the holiday season in large part due to the magnificent holiday light displays around the world country. Here are some of our favorite holiday light displays from other countries:

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Tivoli Gardens in Denmark has the distinction of being the oldest intact amusement park in Europe. During the festive season it is converted into a Christmas village with rides and food and lots of mulled wine. The holiday light displays, designed by Tiffany and Co. Design Director John Loring are a sight to behold in all their Old World elegance and charm.

Gubbio, Italy

The Gubbio Christmas Tree (l’Albero di Natale più grande del mondo) is literally the largest Christmas tree in the world, set into a mountainside in Italy and more than 650 meters high. The tree has more than 250 points in light and is lit on the eve of the immaculate conception on December 7. In 2011, it was lit by the Pope remotely by tablet!

Hong Kong holiday lights. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong

Hong Kong holiday lights. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong’s skyline is magnificent as it is, but during the Christmas season the lights shine with even more gusto in reds and greens. Hong Kong’s WinterFest blends the best of Eastern and Western cultures and ensures that the city radiates with festive cheer for the whole month leading up to Christmas. Last year’s centerpiece was the Wishes on the Wind LED light display with a Swarovski Christmas tree and carolers galore, and we are sure that the residents of Hong Kong will outdo themselves again this year.

Kobe, Japan, holiday lights. Photo courtesy of Kobe.

Kobe, Japan, holiday lights. Photo courtesy of Kobe.

Kobe, Japan

Most people remember Tokyo’s Milky Way display at Roppongi Hills from last year but not to be forgotten is Kobe’s Luminarie, Japan’s oldest light festival, started after the devastating earthquake in 1995. Every year the theme of Kobe Luminarie changes, and has people from all over the world, to the tune of five million or so, coming back to see the new light structures. Italian designer Valerio Festi chooses a theme that may be unrelated to Christmas but still captures the essence of the festive season (last year’s theme was “il cuore nella luce”, the heart in the light). The festival is held for 12 days in December.

Krakow Christmas marketKrakow, Poland

Krakow’s Christmas Market is the best in Poland, and extends from the end of November to February 2. The market takes place in the city’s main square in the historic old town, and offers the best of Poland’s traditions in entertainment, art, and local handicrafts. Visitors to the market will be treated with hand-painted lights, pottery and crafts as well as sumptuous dishes and copious amounts of mulled wine.

London holiday lights. Photo courtesy of London

London holiday lights. Photo courtesy of London

London, UK

The lighting of this famous Christmas Tree at Trafalgar Square, a gift from Norway to Britain as a token of friendship and gratitude for the latter’s support in World War II, is a city-wide affair attended by the Mayor of Westminster. There is no surer way to get festive than to marvel at the light of a 25-meter high Christmas tree in the heart of this glorious city.

Mallorca, Spain

Although the Epiphany and the Three Kings Parade is celebrated all over Spain, the one in Palma in Mallorca is particularly noteworthy. On December 5, the parade starts at about 6pm and continues into the night with music and performers and a special train for children with Santa bearing gifts.

Mumbai, India

Diwali marks the start of the Hindu New Year and the beginning of India’s festive season. The date fluctuates between October and November every year as it is linked to the lunar calendar. Known as the “Festival of Lights”, Diwali is celebrated with spectacular firework displays, and with the illumination of major buildings in every city. Mumbai’s Marine Drive is the hub of activity as thousands gather to set off and watch fireworks over the sea.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

The benefit of having a snow-less Christmas is that street parties can be a lot more energetic. And that’s exactly what happens when you head down to Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo. This street is the heart of the business district and several major institutions set up displays and installations too woo and wow the spectators. And because it’s Brazil, there’s much dancing and revelry along the way.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s Christmas is a month-long festival of lights and merriment. The highlight is the digital animations on iconic buildings such as Sydney Square, Sydney Town Hall and buildings along George Street and Pitt Street Mall. This year, the festival will take interactivity to a new level, allowing patrons to text a holiday message to a special number and to watch their words appear on the branches of the Christmas tree that will be lit by the Mayor and Santa. Pitt Street Mall will be graced with an overhead magical forest installation and the Street Light Disco will take over Martin Place.

More Holiday Lights

Holiday Lights Displays in the Northeast U.S.

Holiday Lights Displays in the Southeast U.S.

Holiday Lights Displays in the Midwest U.S.

Holiday Lights Displays in Texas and the Southwest U.S.

Holiday Lights Displays in California, Hawaii and the Northwest U.S


Looking for the best places to check out gorgeous holiday lights all over the world? Here's our top picks!

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