The Amsterdam Light Festival is an event that takes place during the holiday season every year in the Netherlands capital. This 53-day event is one that many people, locally and internationally, look forward to as it is an unforgettable experience and known as one of the largest light art festivals in Europe. Keep reading for all the best advice regarding the Amsterdam Light Festival 2019 dates, times and the best way to see Amsterdam Light Festival.
When is the Amsterdam Light Festival?
This year marks its 8th anniversary of brightening up the dark days brought by the winter. The Amsterdam Light Festival dates 2019 is: 28 November 2019 until 19 January 2020.
What is the Amsterdam Light Festival?
The Amsterdam Light Festival, as its name suggests comprises of light installations and sculptures that are designed by both Dutch and international artists and architects. Out of hundreds of worldwide submissions, only around 30 are selected by a committee to be displayed in the city. The installations are then positioned around the public spaces of Amsterdam for the entire duration of the festival.
How Can I View the Light Installations?
The ultimate Dutch way to experience the installations is perhaps through renting a bike for a bike tour which roughly costs €10 and takes place for approximately 2 hours. In our opinion, the best way to see Amsterdam Light Festival is from the water. Viewing the Amsterdam light festival by boat creates a unique experience. However, this isn’t for everyone, so there is also a walking route you can follow. There are 2 main unique ways to view the light installations, the Water Colors boat route and the Illuminade land route.
The Water Colors boat route lets you tour the light art through the canal from the comfort of a boat cruise. There are different types of boats that you can choose from with their own special offerings such as heated boats, toilets on board and blankets. This route is ideal if you have children and you want to escape the winter cold. Tickets for this range from €20 to €150. Did you know that some boats also offer delicacies during the trip? Have a bite to eat and a drink while you cruise through the canals and the guide will tell you all about the works of art that have been made.
It is advised to pick an official canal tour partner of the Amsterdam Light Festival as they are guaranteed to give you the best views of the installations. If you are wondering what time the event starts, the boat tours from Lovers Canal Cruises depart every 15 minutes from 16:45, with the latest boat departing at 22:00.
The second route is the Illuminade land route. If you prefer to stroll around and view the installations at your own pace then this path is paved out for you. Walking takes a little longer, but plenty of time to reflect on the works of art. You can do this with an official guide, or on your own. Guided walks range from €10 to €20. Amsterdam is packed with restaurants from all over the world if you’re looking for a quick snack or a filling meal. Food stalls can also be found parked in various locations of this beautiful city if you prefer to have a bite on the go.
Our top tip is to always make sure you dress warmly so that you can comfortably enjoy the exhibitions without worrying too much about the cold, as it is indeed winter.
As with every work of art, there is a great amount of effort that went behind it. If you are curious about the makers of these beautiful light sculptures, then you can read about it here.
Amsterdam Light Festival Map
Going hand in hand with this years theme ‘DISRUPT!’, the Amsterdam Light Festival route is completely new. The 2019 Amsterdam Light Festival route covers Oosterdok, Oudeschans, Amstel, Nieuwe Keizersgracht, Plantage Muidergracht and Entrepotdok. Below you can see the Amsterdam light festival map.
Why Visit Amsterdam?
The city of Amsterdam has a lot to offer in terms of culture, art and history. It is one place that will never leave you bored as there is always something to do. The city is almost always full of tourists which contributes to the easy-going culture that it is known for. As you walk through the city you are guaranteed to hear multiple languages due to the diverse population of the town. It is also perfect if you want to tour some major attractions but do not want to walk very far as a lot of them are located in the centre. If you want to experience Amsterdam a little more in the winter time, read our ‘6 reasons you should take a family trip to Amsterdam around Christmas’, or our ‘Visit Amsterdam’ blog for top tips on how to get around, and other things to see and do in Amsterdam.