Bring your sunglasses. These eight cities are set aglow in dazzling light displays come Christmastime. Expect electrifying exhibits and amped-up takes on tradition, across city skylines and festive town squares alike.
Featured on the CN Traveler Gold List 2014, these are the most extravagant Christmas light displays around the world.
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.
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.
HITOSHI YAMADA / ANDIA.FR
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.