These Are Europe’s Best Cities To See Christmas Lights

By Olivia Emily

7 months ago

Hint: a certain UK city comes out tops


Whether you fancy a last minute sparkly winter break or you’re wondering where to direct your festive scrolling this season, research from travel experts at DFDS has revealed Europe’s best cities to see Christmas lights. London locals are in luck: the UK capital is home to five of the best light displays in all of Europe.

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Europe’s Best Cities To See Christmas Lights

1. London, UK

London comes out tops in DFDS’ ranking of Europe’s best cities to see Christmas lights, thanks to festive spots such as Regent Street, which also topped DFDS’ specific list of Europe’s best light displays. Joining Regent Street in DFDS’ best light displays are Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Carnaby Street and Christmas at Kew, whose annual displays light up the capital with glittering delight.

Where To See Christmas Lights In London 2023

@josylopezz what to do in london during the christmas season!!! 🎄💫✨ #christmas #christmasmarket #londonlife #london #CapCut #londonchristmas #whattodoinlondon #thingstodoinlondon #londontiktok #londontown #londongirl #londonchristmaslights #londonhotspots #holiday #holidayseason #tiktoklondon ♬ Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

2. Barcelona, Spain

Next up is Spain’s gorgeous city of Barcelona, whose beauty is elevated even further during the festive season. Sparkly lights take over the city’s famous streets, with impressive displays found in the main shopping areas like Plaça de Catalunya, La Rambla and at the famed Corte Inglés Department Store.

@victorialaurban can‘t wait until Barcelona looks like this again in December 🥹🎄✨ am I too early? #barcelona #barcelonachristmas #barcelonachristmaslights #barcelonaindecember #christmasinbarcelona #christmas #christmascountdown #christmastiktok #barcelonatraveltips #explorebarcelona #barcelonaguide #barcelonatravel ♬ snowmann – ‍

3. Paris, France

Hop on the Eurostar for the most romantic of Christmas city breaks in Paris. The Paris Illuminations light up iconic spots including the Champs-Élysées, Avenue Montaigne, Place Vendôme and Bercy Village, with pop-up ice skating rinks and markets spreading the festive cheer.

@neil.jamesChristmas in Paris ✨🇫🇷🎄♬ Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

4. Zurich, Switzerland

Switzerland is a perfect winter destination due to its high quality skiing, but a city break is also brimming with festive cheer. Head to Zurich to see Lucy, the nickname for Bahnhofstrasse’s Christmas lights, made up of 40km and 12,000 clear and coloured crystal lights (named after the Beatles’ song, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’). Of course, towering trees, gorgeous decorations and buzzy markets also come as standard.

@swiss_beautiful Merry Christmas🎄#swissroads #switzerland🇨🇭 #switzerlandnature #roadtrip #zürich #zürichcity #Switzerlandsnow✨ #swissbeautiful #sisiswiss #christmas ♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of our favourite European city breaks year-round, but it takes on a magical glow in the winter. Over two million lights illuminate the hilly, coastal city, with notable displays appearing in Camões Square, Avenida da Liberdade, Rua Aurea, Rua Victoria and Avenida Igreja, with a towering, 30 metre tall tree lighting up Terreiro do Paço.

@isa__m_ Lisbon at Christmas time 🎄🎅✨🇵🇹 cant wait 😍😍😍 #christmas #lisbon #lisboa #portugal #traveltiktok #foryou #foryou #foryoupage ♬ The Polar Express – Main Theme – Geek Music

Where Else?

More top spots worth a trip include:

  • Brussels by Lights: An annual event that has lit up Belgium’s capital every year since 2013 with bold, imaginative Christmas lights displays and decorations.
  • Christmas at the Botanics, Edinburgh: The Scottish capital hosts a glorious display at the Royal Botanic Garden every year, featuring a magical, botanical-themed light trail.
  • George Square, Glasgow: Also in Scotland, Glasgow’s George Square is known for its impressive Christmas lights, featuring a large tree and colourful glowing displays.
  • Colmar, France: This picture-perfect fairytale town in France borders Germany, and each year dresses up to resemble a town of gingerbread houses draped in Christmas lights – the perfect festive sight.


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