Brighten up the holidays with the Amsterdam Light Festival

Brighten up the holidays with the Amsterdam Light Festival

Wintertime in Amsterdam could be dark and gloomy but the Amsterdam Light Festival brightens up the long nights of winter in the Dutch capital. This year is the festival’s tenth anniversary, which means that it is time to Celebrate Light.

Butterfly Effect - Masamichi Shimada - Copyright Janus van den EijndenAmsterdam Light Festival history

Ever since 2012, the winters in Amsterdam have been lit up by the bright lights of the Amsterdam Light Festival as well as the yearly Christmas decorations. The festival is dedicated to light art, which are installed on and above the Amsterdam canals. Over the past decade, the various themes of the festival have allowed artists to create artwork which brought contemporary issues to light, surprised, told stories and transformed the urban surroundings of the artwork.

This year’s theme is Celebrate Light, which allows the festival to look back on the past decade and include some of the most appealing, inspiring and popular light artworks of past editions back to the canals of Amsterdam. The complete route of the festival will consist of over 20 light artworks.

Celebrating is something that is usually done together, this year the festival also shines a light  on those who cannot automatically join in with celebrations. Children and students of all ages were involved in creating this year’s festival, the elderly who suffer from loneliness were put in the spotlight, and the festival’s education project highlights the topic of child poverty in Amsterdam.

LOVERS Canal Cruises Amsterdam Light FestivalAmsterdam Light Festival canal cruise

There are two ways to enjoy the Amsterdam Light Festival. You can walk the route on foot, or you can take a canal cruise. As the artwork is both on, above and on the edges of the canals, a canal cruise is the best way to see and enjoy the light art. The canal cruises come with an audio guide in English and Dutch, which will tell you all about the different artworks and the artists.

Together with LOVERS Canal Cruises, Tours & Tickets offers three types of Amsterdam Light Festival cruises that will let you appreciate the festival at its best. The most famous and popular Amsterdam Light Festival cruise has two departure points to choose between, Central Station and Leidsekade. 

If you want to take the best pictures? Then you can join the Semi-open boat cruise. The boat doesn't have any windows, so you are exposed to the colder weather but your view of the light art is perfect! And for those who want to enjoy some drinks and bites as they cruise through the canal and wonder at the light art, there is the Drinks & Bites Cruise.

Light A Wish - OGE Group - Copyright Janus van den EijndenChristmas lights and light art

Like most western cities, Amsterdam’s streets are decorated with Christmas lights during the holiday season and a big Christmas tree takes pride of place on Dam Square. With the addition of the light artworks on the canals, Amsterdam is a shining light in the darkness of the cold winter months.

During an Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise around Christmas time, you can see the amazing light art of the festival as well as the Christmas decorations of those who live in the canal houses. The Dutch are known for their lack of curtains, which allows you to look straight into their living rooms. During the holiday season this is especially fun, so why not celebrate Christmas with an Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise?

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About Tours & Tickets

Tours & Tickets, situated in the very heart of Amsterdam, has over 35 years of experience as a flexible incoming tour operator. We are specialized in offering excursions in The Netherlands and Belgium. And we offer various tickets for museums, attractions and all kinds of canal cruises. We also offer an exclusive range of combination deals.