Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival

During the Amsterdam Light Festival, the organisers, caring not a jot for the leccy bill, light up everything in sight that can have a bulb or LED display on it! The Amsterdam Light Festival, now in its 3rd year, began as a canal parade in 2009, and grew through interest from cultural institutions, businesses, designers and visitors to the city. At this time of the year in the northern hemisphere when there is not enough day in the hours, Amsterdam, a beautiful and fascinating city by day, is transformed into a winter wonderland by night from November 27th to January 18th. A pre-Christmas visit to Amsterdam is guaranteed to get you in a festive mood, and if you get that sinking feeling when the decorations come down at home on the 6th January, you can float along some of the many canals and enjoy the fabulous light installations for another 12 days!

This year’s theme is “A Bright City” – 40 light sculptures and projections can be seen and the boats are lit up too! Highly recommended is the Water Colour Cruise which takes you through the spectacular sights every night during the Light Festival between 17.00 – 21.30, departing every 30 minutes, and mulled wine, hot chocolate and live entertainment is laid on at the pier. If you’re looking for things to do in the daytime, check out 365 tickets special Amsterdam offers.


The city has a Madame Tussauds – always a great place for selfie with your favourite celebrity, and the Amsterdam Dungeon, revealing its horrible history in its trademark laugh and scream style! Art and history enthusiasts are spoilt for choice in Amsterdam, and for beer lovers there is the Heineken Experience – learn about brewing and bottling, then taste the result! Amsterdam is home to the largest theme park in Holland – De Efteling – great for some daytime family fun, and if you want to sightsee by bus, use the hop-on/off double decker, which stops at the major attractions. If you have time, why not venture outside the city and see rural Holland – windmills, flower fields, quaint villages, cheese factories and clog makers, or ( if you’re over 18) take a guided tour through the red light district, pubs and the Museum of Prostitution! Light up your life this winter – go to Amsterdam!

Kate Quigley

Kate Quigley Travel Writer