With the festive season fast approaching, for many countries and cultures nothing symbolizes Christmas quite like a tree.
From traditionally decorated pines with lights and baubles or illuminated installations featuring modern lights, we have selected six destinations with some of the most iconic Christmas trees to discover around the world.
Whether you fancy a city trip to bustling capitals like New York or London or prefer a tropical getaway to Rio or Taipei. Nearly a quarter of travelers say spending time with family is the main thing they want to achieve from their next trip, take a festive trip away with your family to gaze upon these incredible trees whenever it’s safe to travel.
New York City, USA
Rockefeller Center in New York City arguably hosts the most famous Christmas tree in the world. For over 80 years, the annual lighting of the tree has become a quintessentially New York tradition cherished by the city and the world. It is estimated that 125 million people visit the beautiful 75 foot tall Norway Spruce every year. Featured in famous festive family films, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and symbolizes Christmas in the city. If you fancy branching out from trees but want to embrace more festive feels, enjoy a tour of the Christmas decorations in Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. The houses in this New York neighborhood are decorated to the max with nutcrackers, nativity displays, lights, inflatable Santas and more.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The lighting of the floating Christmas tree in Rio marks the beginning of December festivities in the Brazilian capital. A show of music and fireworks attracts locals and visitors to the beautiful inland lake at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas between Ipanema and the Botanical Gardens. Since 1996, the floating Christmas tree has symbolized a beacon of hope and light for the city and has faced the obstacles of economic slowdowns, storms and the pandemic. Despite these setbacks, the tree has broken the world record for the largest floating Christmas tree standing 278 feet tall with more than 3 million lights. This is the perfect festive attraction for a tropical Christmas trip away.
Pierre, South Dakota, USA
As the festive season comes round in South Dakota, the fresh scent of mountain pine fills the Capitol Rotunda, situated in the state capitol Pierre, as approximately 100 decorated Christmas trees fill the space. Throughout the year, cities, businesses and organizations apply to decorate one of the trees which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The centerpiece features South Dakota’s official tree which is often specially selected from the mountain range Black Hills and stands in the heart of the political building that transforms into this winter wonderland. The lighting ceremony commences the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (23 November in 2021) where carols and holiday music fills the air and visitors can enjoy a delicious slice of warming pie.
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Where to stay: Located just a short walk from the South Dakota State Capitol and a short drive from the airport, the Club House Hotel and Suites offers a homely stay in Pierre. The hotel features an indoor pool and an Italian restaurant and is the perfect cozy trip to the Midwest.
The capital of Taiwan is illuminated by a dazzling array of lights and stunning art installations during the annual ‘Christmasland’ festival , which usually takes place between mid November to the start of January. During the festive carnival, the Christmas Eve concert includes performances from the country’s favorite musicians and comedians creating a buzzing atmosphere in Citizen’s Square. And to make it even more spectacular, Taipei’s Christmasland also features the tallest open-air Christmas tree in Taiwan. Stroll through the decorated courtyards and lit streets of the Xinyi District to celebrate the season.
Where to stay: The Caesar Park Hotel Banqiao is a luxurious stay for visitors traveling to Taipei to see Christmasland which is a short walk away. The property features an outdoor pool, fitness centre and a range of restaurants. It is also highly recommended to enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop bar which has exceptional views of the city. The hotel is just a short drive from the bustling Nanya Night Market which is a perfect opportunity to taste the local cuisine.