The Classic, the Quirky, and the Absolute Most Festive Christmas Trees Around the World
Whether you prefer the most traditional of Tannenbaums or seek out the more experimental and avant-garde creations, there’s a city or town somewhere in the world with a Christmas tree that’s exactly right for you.
London offers up a little something for everyone: an LED-block tree with a slide winding through it in Wembley Park, a traditional tree in Trafalgar Square that’s gifted by the city of Oslo each year, and a giant living redwood delicately decorated by conservationists at Wakehurst Place, south of Gatwick Airport. And that's just to name a few.
In the U.S., the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City may be one of the most famous and most visited trees in the world. But visitors also flock to the quirkier creations, including the hubcap tree on Baltimore’s “Christmas Street,” and a sand sculpture tree in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Trees in Europe range from the classically decorated showstoppers at the Vatican and in Milan to a holographic tree at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and an artist-created wooden structure that visitors can climb in Rakvere, Estonia.
Here are 30 of the most sparkly, most innovative, most Christmas-y Christmas trees worth traveling the world to see.
Design agency Droog created the spectacular hologram tree that floats (and rotates, and changes color) above the Rijksmuseum’s public atrium.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Famous set designer Es Devlin created The Singing Tree for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Visitors contribute words to construct the audio-visual installation, which also features an ensemble of digital and human voices.
Wembley Park, London
If you’re looking for an interactive tree experience, head to London’s Wembley Park. There you’ll find the Slideatron attraction; it looks a bit like a Tetris-inspired Christmas tree, has a pulsing light show every hour, and houses a slide in its core.
Residents of the tiny medieval town of Gubbio, Italy intall more than 1,200 lights in the shape of a Christmas tree on the side of Mount Ingino each December.
St. Pancras Station, London
Luxury floral designer Moyses Stevens designed this ombré flower tree for the St. Pancras International station in London. More than 15,000 flowers – including roses, hydrangeas, and orchids – decorate the 47-foot-tall tree.
Les Sapins de Noel des Createurs, Paris
For trees with high style and lots of heart, head to Paris for the annual Les Sapin de Noel des Createurs charity exhibit. Famous designers, artists and architects – including Jean-Paul Gaultier, India Mahdavi, Emmanuel Ungaro and Olivier Theyskens – design trees to benefit the non-profit’s chosen charity each year.
Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, England
Stroll along the Enchanted Christmas trail at the Westonbirt Arboretum for a different kind of Christmas tree experience, including colorful, illuminated faces projected onto the trunks of trees.
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
The traditional Christmas market in Dortmund, Germany houses one of the world’s tallest holiday trees. The 145-foot-tall tree is made up of more than 1,000 smaller fir trees, and takes four weeks to construct. A 13-foot-tall angel is its topper.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Galeries Lafayette, Paris
Many guests come just for the Galeries Lafayette’s highly anticipated shop window displays, but the soaring, whimsical tree under the department store’s famous dome is also a must see.
Rockefeller Center, New York
St. Petersburg, Russia
West Palm Beach, Florida
Six hundred tons of sand are used to create Sandi the sandcastle tree, a West Palm Beach holiday tradition since 2011. It even has its own Instagram account: @sanditreewpb.
Wakehurst Place, Haywards Heath, England
Conservation specialists from Wakehurst Place carefully decorate the giant redwood growing on the property’s grounds each year. The process takes two days, and the huge tree can be seen by pilots flying into Gatwick once it’s fully lit.
LEGOLAND (multiple locations)
LEGOLAND locations around the world build intricate, not-to-be-missed LEGO trees each Christmas season.