The Amsterdam Light Festival adds bright beauty to the city during the darkest months of the year. View the spectacular light sculptures created by artists in public spaces either on foot, by bicycle or by canal boat.
AMSTERDAM LIGHT FESTIVAL • 2018-19
The Amsterdam Light Festival 2018-19 takes place from November 29, 2018 to January 20, 2019. The theme this year is “The Medium is the Message”.
There are 30 artworks around the city relating to this theme. And this year for the first time there will be a theater performance in addition to the light art works.
The Amsterdam Light Festival can be seen from both water and land. Check out this map for the walking and boat routes.
The Amsterdam Light Festival Boat Route
You can see the Light Festival sculptures from the canalside but some of the amazing artworks look best from the water. If you or your friends are lucky enough to have a canal boat, bundle up and head out once it gets dark. Otherwise you can book a cruise with one of the participating boat companies. Here are a few Light Festival canal tours we’ve found.
We did a Water Colors boat tour last year and really enjoyed seeing the lights on the water. Here is another open top boat tour. Be sure to bundle up with your scarf, hat and gloves as it gets chilly on the canals especially if you sit outside – which I like to do. Some of our favorite works this year include:
Light a Wish by the ODE group
Parabolic Lightcloud by amigo & amigo
- OT 976 by Stephan Reiss
- Night Vision by Biddulf & Ryan
Check the Amsterdam Light Festival website for more information about the artworks.
Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Boat Cruises
While it is fun to walk or cycle around to see the art installations, it’s a great idea to take a canal cruise to get a completely different perspective as well. Check out the Water Colors Cruise or Blue Boat cruise, both on on heated, covered boats. Photographers might prefer an open boat, which will be chillier but allow better photo opportunities.
My favorite types of canal boats are the historic wooden salon boats. You can book a cruise on one of them for the Amsterdam Light Festival for a more intimate and romantic experience of seeing the lights.
The Amsterdam Light Festival Walking Route
This year the walking route will take place along the same path as the boat route with a few small differences. Wander the area on your own discovering the various light installations that can’t be seen from a boat like Virtual Fairground in front of the Bijenkorf and Picto Sender Machine near the Hermitage.
Check out this map for the walking route.
We hope this helps you plan your viewings of the Amsterdam Light Festival.
The Amsterdam Light Festival runs from November 29th through January 20th. Don’t miss it!
THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM IN WINTER TIME
Wintertime is a terrific season to be in Amsterdam. Be sure to check out the holiday lights around town. Go ice skating at a local square. Take a break at a cafe with a friendly fireplace and our favorite cozy bars. Check our agenda too for information about what is on in town!
Curious about Amsterdam weather in wintertime? Amsterdam is wonderful all year round but some months are rainier and colder than others. No matter what the weather there are always lots of things to do in Amsterdam.
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