The world’s 9 most spectacular Christmas trees

Thousands of sparkling lights, colourful baubles and hours of man-labour go into constructing the world’s largest and most magical Christmas trees. Get ready to swoon…

Jessica Reid
16 December 2022

We may have approached the darkest nights of the year in the northern hemisphere, but in cities across the world, Christmas offers the perfect excuse to brighten up dreary urban centres with some of the most magical trees you’ll ever see. Whether the biggest, the prettiest, or the most unique, we’ve handpicked some of our favourite Christmas tree displays that never fail to spread the festive cheer.

Vilnius Christmas Tree, Lithuania

Vilnius’ Christmas tree is often voted the most beautiful in the world (Shutterstock)

For many years, Lithuania’s capital has been recognised for having one of the most beautiful Christmas tree displays in the world. Every year, the theme of the tree changes; past themes have included time, chess, the colour purple, and a birthday cake (to celebrate the city’s 700th birthday in 2023).

Vilnius’ spectacular tree has returned to Cathedral Square for 2023, but this year, its moved away from its recent modern displays and has gone down a much more traditional route. The enormous Christmas tree glows a bright gold, and perches on top of several giant, illuminated silver presents wrapped with a golden bow.

Mount Ingino Christmas Tree, Gubbio, Italy

The largest Christmas tree in the world in Gubbio, Italy (Shutterstock)

The largest Christmas tree in the world. Well, kind of.

Head to the medieval town Gubbio in Italy to see this extraordinary 2,000ft light display decorated on pine trees on the side of Mount Ingino. The top of tree, which reaches up to the peak of Basilica of the Patron Sant’Ubaldo, is crowned with a bright white shooting star.

The display is illuminated every year from 7 December at 6.30pm from Piazza Gramsci, with Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis previously having the honours of switching on the lights.

Rio Di Janeiro Christmas Tree, Brazil

The world’s largest floating Christmas tree is in Rio Di Janeiro (Shutterstock)

Rio Di Janeiro go a level up when it comes to their Christmas tree display. How? They construct it on water. It is known as the largest floating Christmas tree in the world reaching heights of 278ft (back in 2007, according to the Guinness Book of World Records).

The on-off traditions first started in 1996, alongside a dazzling firework display on the day the lights get switched on. Hundreds of thousands of visitor’s flock to Rio to see the multicoloured display afloat on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.

Strasbourg Christmas Tree, France

Strasbourg’s stunning Christmas tree (Shutterstock)

Back to a more traditional tree. Strasbourg Christmas Market, otherwise known as Christkindlsmärik, is France’s most popular market dating all the way back to the mid-1500s and is known as the Capital of Christmas.

Located in Place Kléber, the festive market is made even more magical with its iconic centre piece Christmas tree. Towering over 30m high, the tree is decorated with 7km of fairy lights and around 400 baubles, and has 180 extra branches implanted to make it appear plumper. In total, it takes around 120 man-hours to create the final look.

Covent Garden Christmas Tree, London, UK

Covent Garden Christmas Tree (Shutterstock)

London has several spectacular Christmas trees lighting up its capital, with Trafalgar Square often stealing the show. However we think Covent Garden’s tree has something quite special about it.

In central Covent Garden, right next to the famous market, the 60ft tree is dressed in more than 30,000 red and white lights and giant baubles, which require 60 workers and around 300 hours of labour.

But this isn’t any ordinary tree. It’s handpicked from the same farm the Royal Family get theirs from. What makes it even better? Sustainability is at its heart, so for every one tree cut down, three more are planted. And when the festive period is over and it’s time for the tree to be taken down, it will be recycled to make woodchips.

Christmasland Tree, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Christmasland in Taipei, Taiwan puts on quite a show (Shutterstock)

Probably the most outrageous Christmas tree display of them all. New Taipei City in Taiwan hosts an annualChristmaslandevent every year with incredible art installations, projections and dazzling lights. Located in Citizen Square is the region’s tallest Christmas tree.

This extravagant display and experience for Christmas may be surprising considering Taiwan doesn’t officially celebrate Christmas, as it is not a national holiday.

Lisbon Christmas Tree, Portugal

Lisbon’s Christmas tree is located on the waterfront (Shutterstock)

Varying in height every year, the tallest Lisbon‘s Christmas tree has ever been is a whopping 249 ft, competing for the tallest Christmas tree in Europe title.

Although artificial, Lisbon’s tree always feels quite traditional and tasteful in lights and colours. Visitors can even step inside the tree and gaze up at the sparkling display, which is located on the large waterfront square, Praça do Comércio.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, New York, USA

Rockefeller Centre has the most famous Christmas tree in the world (Shutterstock)

How could we not include one of the world’s most iconic Christmas trees?

New York attracts tens of millions of tourists throughout the entire year, but winter is magical. Visiting in December means witnessing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, with its lights being switched on around 1 December. Considered the ‘Holiday Beacon of New York’, the history of the tree goes back eight decades to 1931.

2023’s Norway Spruce is 80ft tall, with 50,000 lights and a three-dimensional Swarovski star covered in three-million crystals.

Dortmund Christmas Tree, Germany

Dortmund Christmas tree (Shutterstock)

Not only will you find one of the biggest and prettiest Christmas markets in Germany in the smaller city of Dortmund, with more than 300 stalls attracting thousands of visitors every year, but you will also find another enormous Christmas tree, again boasting to be one of the largest in the world.

Every year, Dortmund creates a 150 ft tall tower of branches out of hundreds of spruce trees. It usually weights up to 40 tonnes and decorated with nearly 40,000 electric lights. This isn’t light work. The construction of this tree is usually four weeks labour, so it really is worthy of featuring in our list!

Saint Pancras International Christmas Tree, London, UK

The bookshelf Christmas tree at St Pancras International (Alamy)

A new mention for 2023 is the Christmas tree located at arguably London’s most iconic train station. But this isn’t any ordinary tree. St Pancras have partnered with bookshop Hatchards to create 12m-tall festive centrepiece as well as a literary wonderland.

The design includes a spiral staircase which winds around 270 book shelves stuffed full of hand-painted novels. Take a look and you’ll find classics such as Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and C.S Lewis’ The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

Of course, this creative tree is also interactive, and includes eight cosy seating areas where you can pause for a moment and listen to a short extract from an audiobook. Just don’t miss your train!

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