While many landmarks are best visited during the day, there are some destinations that truly transform at night due to the power of LED lighting. We have compiled a list of places to visit at night that you should add to your summer bucket list.
Venice Canals, Italy
The best way to experience the canals in Venice is with a romantic gondola ride. But waiting in a crowded line, in the heat of the day, with hundreds of other tourists starts to kill the mood. Here are some insiders tricks. Wait until night, that way the day-trippers are gone (the population will drop by half), and the canals lit up by LED lights will add to the romantic ambiance. Have your gondola pre-booked with a trusted agent so you don’t have to hassle with trying to bargain (they won’t, the price is mandated by the city) and you don’t have to worry about paying there.
Matsumoto Castle in Matsumoto, Japan
Matsumoto Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Japan. It has been named “the Crow Castle” due to its prominence of the color black and speaks of the former glory of the Samurai. Majestic to see any time, but this fortress of stone and wood possesses a magical quality at night when illuminated by LEDs. Plus, with summers being quite humid in Japan, a nighttime stroll through history while eating mochi ice cream is the perfect way to cool down, and you may even see fireflies. If you are short on time in Japan visit on your way en route between Tokyo and Kanazawa.
Guangzhou Tower in Guangzhou, China
In the last 30 years, Guangzhou has transformed from a dirty business town into one of the most beautiful and modern cities in the world! The Guangzhou TV and Sight Seeing Tower is one of the crowning achievements with its modern architecture accentuated with colorful LED lighting. Visit at night to take some “insta-worthy” pics of the tower, then ascend to see the city from its lofty perch. Visit mid-week to get the best views and minimal crowds. The queues for the restroom can be quite long, so you might want to make a stop before visiting.
Hangzhou Grand Canal in Hangzhou, China
The Grand Canal was a mammoth project done by the Chinese on a scale similar to the Great Wall. In an effort to move rice and other products over 1,000 miles, the emperors had the Grand Canal built. It is an amazing feat of engineering and today, is also a marvel of LED lighting. Take a night cruise to enjoy the serenity and be immersed in the lights of the bridge.
MG Tour Company / Via mgtourco.com
Yanqi Tower on Yanqi Lake in Beijing, China
Beijing is an incredible city, yet the downtown is crowded, and traffic can make one yearn for a more natural setting. Head just outside the city to Yanqi lake, an area where you can enjoy a variety of activities from boating to bungee jumping. But one of the most enjoyable activities is watching the day turn to night as the Yanqi Tower is lit up by LEDs.
Suzhou Science & Culture Art Center in Suzhou, China
Suzhou is famous for many things, especially its gardens and canals. Built-in 2007 with cutting-edge architectural LED lighting, the spectacular Suzhou Science and Culture Art Center is beautifully reflected in the Jingi Lake’s waters offering a picturesque juxtaposition of engineering and nature. Go here to check out everything from IMAX to opera.
Wuxi Buddha Palace in Wuxi, China
Wuxi is the home of Tai Lake with its famous Wu Stones. The magnificent Wuxi Buddha Palace is revered by devotees and very impressive for all to see with its blend of ornate Buddhist woodwork, sculpture and creative use of colorful LED lighting. Visit an early evening show Ode of Auspiciousness, then stay past sunset to walk the steps to the top to view the Giant Buddha Statue (88 meters high) in all of its glory.
Tilikum Crossing, Oregon, USA
The “Bridge of the People” is a treasure to local Portland residents. Known for eccentricities and innovation, the city worked with installation artists Anna Valentina and Doug Hollis to build an LED illumination system that changes lighting effects based on the Willamette River’s current depth, speed, and water temperature, so every night is a different experience. Completed in 2015, this bridge combining art and technology is yet another reason (as if you needed one) to visit Portland at night.
MG Tour Company / Via mgtourco.com
Niagara Falls, New York, USA
Voted in as the 8th Wonder of the World in 2016, this awe-inspiring miracle of nature has long been a symbol of American natural beauty. The gorgeous green color of the water in the daytime is caused by dissolved salts and “rock flour” generated from the massive amounts of force from the Niagara River. As the crowds die down into the evening, the falls come alive through colorful LED lighting effects, making for perfect photo opportunities.