Every year, the city of Amsterdam organizes the Amsterdam Light Festival. From 28 November 2019 until 19 January 2020 the canal belt of Amsterdam lights up with spectacular light sculptures, projections, and art installations. The Amsterdam Light Festivals is best enjoyed on a canal cruise, a guided walking tour or bike tour.
Amsterdam Light Festival 2019-2020
In 2019, the Amsterdam Light Festival is from 28 November 2019 until 19 January 2020. International and national artists have created 25 spectacular light sculptures especially for the light exhibition in the canals of Amsterdam. This year’s theme is ‘Disrupt’.
The light art installations illuminate every day from 5 pm until 11 pm. The Festival for Light Art in Amsterdam is in open air and so free for everyone. Great opportunity to take impressive photos!
Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise
The easiest way to see the Amsterdam Light Festival is by Canal Cruise. The basic canal boat tour during the Amsterdam Light Festival takes you to see the light sculptures, but there is only an audio guide on board. Below you will find canal cruises that have a good guide on board, who knows more about the artworks. And there are warm drinks!
Amsterdam Light Festival Walk
The Amsterdam Light Festival can also be enjoyed on an evening walk. The Amsterdam Light Festival walk is especially recommended when you want to take photos, which is not so easy from a moving boat!
Start the route: metro Waterlooplein and river Amstel
The Amsterdam Light Festival walking route is a circle. The route runs from NEMO Science Museum via the Oude Schans to the Amstel river. From the river the walk goes east into Nieuwe Keizersgracht and wraps around Artis Zoo. From Entrepotdok it goes back to Scheepvaartmuseum and NEMO.
On foot, the Amsterdam Light Walk takes about 6 kilometers. The route is signposted with little lanterns, but still, it is not easy to follow. Also: dress warm!
How to get to the Amsterdam Light Festival?
From the city center, you can walk to the Amstel river. If you take the metro, get out at Waterlooplein. Walk towards the Amstel river where you can start the walk. Next to the first bridge across the river (Blauwbrug), there is an Amsterdam Light Festival Information Point.
Map of the Amsterdam Lights Festival route
Below is a map of the Amsterdam Light Festival route. Highlighted are the artworks and information points.
Maps of the festival route and more are available at one of the three Information Points. There is one at Stromma Coffee House, right across Central Station. There is also an information desk all the way on the other side of Central Station, inside the station at the Iamsterdam Store. Another information office is along the route, next to the Blauwbrug, the first bridge across the Amsterdam river.
If you want to know more about the art and the artists, I recommend a guided walking tour along the art sculptures of the Amsterdam Light Festival.
Amsterdam Light Festival by Bike
The Amsterdam Light Festival is also good to visit by bike. The route is along a quiet part of the city and mostly along bike lanes. On this guided bike tour, you will be guided by a guide from the Amsterdam Light Festival who can tell you more about the spectacular light installations.
Festivals of Light at Amsterdam Artis Zoo
Artis Zoo is on the route of the Light Festival. During the time of the festival, the zoo opens in the evening. The pitch dark zoo can be explored with an app, while also learning more about how animals live or sleep at night.
Amsterdam Light Festival in photos
Below you will find images of the Amsterdam Light Festival 2019/2020 and previous years.