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Posted: November 29, 2010 05:11 PM

From illuminated boat parades to spectacular light extravaganzas, towns and cities around the world each have distinctive ways of celebrating the holiday season.

Though New York City and Paris lead the pack with iconic holiday decorations, the cities of Madrid, Melbourne, and six other destinations around the world are arguably just as festive and brilliant.

Text by Laura Kiniry. Photos courtesy of (unless otherwise noted), where you can plan trips and connect with other travelers.

Paris, France
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What: City of Light indeed, especially during the holidays. From the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Elysees is brought to life each evening with hundreds of thousands of fairy lights sparkling from the avenue's trees. This famed stretch in Paris also hosts its own Marche de Noel, a Christmas market featuring artisans, food, and holiday-themed vendors. For one of the city's most festive holiday window displays, don't miss Galeries Lafayette, on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement. Another classic landmark is the main plaza in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral, where a holiday tree is dressed in lights and baubles.
When: Lights along the Champs-Elysees shine Nov. 19-Dec. 24, 2010. The Champs-Elysees Christmas market takes place Nov. 9-Dec. 24.

Photo The-doe/ Community
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So fun!

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