We’ve always thought we preferred escaping to beaches and the mountains over the hustle and bustle of cities but the more cities we visit the more we realise we love a good city break as much as the next person! Some of our favourite cities around the world are London, Rome, New York, Paris and Sydney and we are in awe of some landmarks around the world, especially when they are beautifully illuminated of an evening. They inspire us to decorate our own space with neon lights – perhaps from the Neon Mama team – in order to give our homes a city feel. All of the lights in these locations make the place so much more exciting. Festive Lights has released a really interesting infographic that was also featured on Business Insider about lighting around the world and how much it costs to keep the world’s landmarks and light shows lit up. We wanted to share some of our favourite illuminated landmarks around the world and would love to hear some of yours!
Love it or loathe it, Times Square, located at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Ave is quintessential New York City. All of your NYC Instagram dreams come true here with yellow cabs, soaring skyscrapers, Broadway marquees, flashing neon lights and giant digital billboards. It is big, bright and unforgettable and sees over 50 million visitors every single year! Times Square is not surprisingly one of the most expensive landmarks in the world to keep lit up, with 55 giant LED displays pumping out bright lights all day and night! It’s a must visit for anyone going to New York and a place I’d love to return to with Dan one day, especially now we are no longer on a backpacker budget!
THE EIFFEL TOWER
It’s well known that Paris is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world and even after three visits I still can’t get enough of this incredible city. One of my favourite times in Paris is at night when the Eiffel Tower sparkles for all to see. Every night, every hour on the hour, the tower sparkles for five minutes while the tower’s beam also lights up the city. The best places to see the light show are from Place du Trocadero, the Pont Nuef Bridge, Montparnasse Tower or as you take a cruise along the Seine. The Eiffel Tower may be one of most famously lit landmarks in the world, lit by 20,000 ‘sparkler’ light bulbs but it has one of the lowest energy expenditures as the government has invested in high-efficiency bulbs in a bid to reduce Paris’ carbon footprint! So you, along with the other 7 million annual visitors can enjoy the show without having to worry about the high energy usage!
One of my favourite brightly lit landmarks in the world is Piccadilly Circus in London which even if you haven’t been to London you would know from your Monopoly board! Standing in Piccadilly Circus really makes you realise you are in London! Piccadilly Circus is one of London’s busiest squares and is known for its bright billboard marketing and as a favourite place to congregate before heading to the nearby shopping and theater areas in London. Over 70 million people are said to pass through Piccadilly Circus a year!
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
The world heritage listed Sydney Opera House was designed by a Danish architect and is one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks. The white sails of the Opera House have a commanding presence on Sydney Harbour and leave both visitors and locals in awe. The Opera House is not lit up all year round like most of these other landmarks but is most famously lit during the annual Vivid Festival. Vivid Sydney is an annual winter festival of light, music and ideas showcasing amazing light sculptures, creative industry forums and a cutting-edge contemporary music program. The most iconic part of Vivid is the illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails! Vivid has grown so big that this year there was over 400 music events, 260 ideas sessions and 90 light installations spread across seven locations and saw over 2.3 million people attend the festival!
LAS VEGAS STRIP
Las Vegas is one of those crazy destinations that you won’t truly appreciate until you visit in person! I’m lucky enough to have visited twice and absolutely loved every moment of it! I’m not a gambler at all but loved strolling the Las Vegas Strip both during the day and night and exploring the casinos themselves. The brightly lit casinos will leave you a little starstruck as you wander the streets of Vegas! One of my favourite places along the strip is the Bellagio hotel and of course the magical Fountains of Bellagio! The fountain show is one of the best I’ve ever seen, with a choreographed show of water, music and light that literally leaves you mesmerised (and each show is different)! The price of lighting the Las Vegas Strip is insane, costing over $1.5 million Australian dollars a day! I suppose with the amount of money that comes from gambling and the 40 million visitors a year, the electricity bill basically pays for itself. I do like that during Earth Hour each year, the Strip resorts, along with millions of people, businesses and landmarks around the world turn off their lights for an hour to raise awareness of climate change and other environmental issues.
EUROPE DURING CHRISTMAS MARKETS
You haven’t experienced Christmas lights until you’ve witnessed one of Europe’s best Christmas Markets with miles of artfully hung lights. Whilst again these lights are only seasonal, they are some of my favourite in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Brussels Christmas Markets and Winter Wonderland in London and certainly plan to tick a few more off next year when we head over to Europe for Christmas! Winter is such a beautiful time to visit Europe and experience the magic of Christmas! There’s no better feeling than being rugged up and drinking mulled wine as you stroll the brightly lit markets as the snow falls softly over head. I’m daydreaming about how perfect is it as I type!
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
Whilst the Northern Lights aren’t man made or use electricity, they would have to be one of the most magnificent light shows in the world! There really is no phenomena or brightly lit landmark that even comes close to the Aurora Borealis and seeing these in real life has been on my bucket list for pretty much my entire life! Next year when we visit Iceland, Scotland and Scandanavia we are really hoping we will get the opportunity to witness this magical dancing light show that I am sure will be an experience we will never forget. The Northern Lights are the ultimate light show.
What are you favourite illuminated landmarks? xInfographic provided by Festive Lights.
Our opinions are as always, our own.