Back in December 2016, I visited Paris and London. Then, at a similar time in 2017, I set my sights on The Big Apple. My mission? To see first-hand which sparkly city out of the three offered the most magical Christmas displays.
I ventured every street corner, gazed up at every monument and peered in every department store window during my mulled-wine induced pursuit of Lapland - and I came to a firm favourite. So, here’s my guide on whether you should visit New York, Paris or London for Christmas. Enjoy!
I'm a sucker for a big city. In fact, the perfect trip for me would involve visiting every city, in succession, all year round - I love them all. But, if it’s festive joy you’re looking for over the Christmas period, you should be walking off the runway tarmac in London. And, given it’s so close, take the Eurostar to Paris afterwards.
The difference is simple: London has a very defined geographical area that’s decorated for the season and designed to delight the masses of stargazing visitors, like me.
In particular, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street are the Santa’s grotto to 80% of London’s Christmas lights, so their displays are intense and beautiful. Plus, they’re perfect for taking wide-eyed little ones without tiring them out (and making them grumpy).
Paris, however, is a little more spread out - with the stunning Champs Elysees acting as a focal point well worth the trip.
Now, New York - widely considered to be the best place to visit for Christmas. In all honesty, I didn’t feel the same wow factor as the European cities I had meandered through before. Their displays are spread across the whole city, so you don’t really get that all-encompassing magic as when you see lights upon lights twinkling above you - but we did catch the snow.
If, like me, you usually spend Christmas Day with 30* degree heat, a touch of white snow is just delightful.
Don't get me wrong - if you can visit New York at Christmas, it’s worth the visit (it’s New York, after all, complete with the Rockefeller and giant Christmas tree in New York’s epicentre) but please, just don't forget London.
Everyone talks about New York for Christmas, but there are other magical options - and of course, London’s proximity to other European cities makes it an easy place to springboard from if you and your family are thinking of embarking on a winter wonder journey for the whole of December.
Here are a few more of my favourite photos from New York, Paris and London - I hope they give you a snapshot into each city over Christmastime. If you like these, why don’t you check out some of our other photo-blogs for more festive inspiration leading up to the holidays?