The Amsterdam Light Festival offers a unique chance to witness a stunning fusion of art and technology. Renowned artists from around the world come together to create mesmerizing light installations, that are showcased along the historic canals. The festival creates a warm and festive atmosphere during the chilly winter months, making it an ideal time to experience the city's hospitality and culinary delights.
This annual art festival has been taking place at the heart of Amsterdam since 2012. From several hundred submissions, only around 20 of them are displayed along the canals. Any passer-by walking along the canals or floating away on a cruise can watch the displays light up from 5 PM to 11 PM. On New Year's Eve, the light artworks are switched off at 8 PM.
The Amsterdam Light Festival is a private initiative that happens to be a grand celebration organized by the collaboration of the board and management, including the municipality, cultural organizations, and commercial organizations. The selection board for the Light Festival consists of representatives from different organizations in the city.
Technology and artificial intelligence (AI) have profoundly impacted our daily lives across various aspects. Communication has evolved with messaging apps, social media platforms, and video conferencing, allowing us to connect with people globally. The internet and AI-powered search engines have revolutionized how we access information, influencing our learning, decision-making, and staying informed. The #12 Edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival pushes you to examine the impact of technology and artificial intelligence in your daily lives.
Amsterdam Canals form concentric belts around the city, stretching over 100 miles with 90 islands and 1500 bridges. The Amsterdam Light Festival offers a chance to float along these historic canals and witness exemplary art installations. Over 1550 historical buildings were built on these canals, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Amsterdam Light Festival is an initiative to showcase innovative art pieces. It contributes to the city's vibrant cultural scene, inviting residents and tourists to explore the Amsterdam art scene in a new light. Currently, in its edition #12, the festival is urging artists to explore the impact of technology and AI in our daily lives.
Experience the Amsterdam Light Festival from a unique vantage point- sailing through its iconic canals. You can enjoy sweeping 360-degree views of the art installations from one of these cruise boats. You can also look at Amsterdam's oldest historical landmarks while cruising along its canals, most of which are situated close to the waters.
The Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise provides a luxurious way to enjoy the spectacular installations. The 75-minute ride comes with free Wi-Fi onboard, an audio guide in Dutch and English, and headphones to make your experience more informative and memorable. You can also snack on refreshments while watching the artworks and historic buildings pass by.
Every year in the winter season of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Light Festival is organized with installations of artworks that are created especially for the festival. Along with all that, special projects artworks made in collaboration with artists, partners, and stakeholders are installed, including special education projects on which primary students and Breitner Academy take part, where the students co-create the festival artworks.
The artworks are installed in public spaces all over Amsterdam near the canals, making them easily accessible to the public.
As the festival spreads from the Sloterplas to the city district South, several light art installations displayed on the different editions of the Amsterdam Light Festival also find their place in the permanent collection. It includes works of artists like Tijdmakers and collaborators like Uilenstede University Campus.
The light art displayed in the Amsterdam Light Festival is too good to be stored away once the festival is over. So to ensure that they receive their due recognition, most of the light artworks become part of an internationally traveling collection, managed by the Light Art Collection, illuminating cities, and exhibitions around the world.
It is the current project of the Amsterdam Light Festival, in which the area of Amsterdam Nieuw West will see a major change as they get redesigned as the Municipality of Amsterdam coordinates with several real estate parties. It will also find an installation of permanent light art, with several other artworks finding their place in public spaces in the near future.
Made by Tijdmakers, Saskia Hoogendoorn and Lieuwe Martijn Wijnands, the artwork of ‘178 Bottles, 1 Message’ which was displayed in edition #3 has found its place in the permanent palace in Amsterdam West on the Amsterdam Sloterdijk square. Consisting of 178 bottles, its LED lighting represents the different nationalities residing in the city.
Another one of the creative works by Tijdmakers, which was displayed in edition #4 of the Amsterdam Light Festival which now enjoys its permanent space at the Sloterplas. It is a throwback to the days of our past where we had ample time for ourselves to fly kites without worries. The artwork is symbolic of friendship and the freedom of people’s lives.
Commissioned by DUWO and displayed in edition #3 has found its permanent space at the Uilenstede Amstelveen university campus. The artwork seems to remind people about the traditional campfire where people used to come together to tell stories as fire seems to emerge from the tree trunks, making the benches its meeting place.
Edition #12 Amsterdam Light Festival Dates
Wheelchair facilities, audio guides, and other facilities depend on the kind of cruise ticket you choose. For walking tours, you need to keep in mind that the walking route runs through the city center, including uneven pavements and bridges, which might be a cause of concern for those with mobility issues.
The Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise includes:
For more details, check your tickets before purchasing.
This project is done in collaboration with organizations like Company New Heroes, Studio Aldo Brinkhoff, and Juf op Straat. It is based on a famous fairy tale of a girl who sells matchsticks but dies of cold and hunger as no one notices her. It is an educational project that is being done to create awareness about child poverty via the modernized fairy tale.
Created by Caland Lyceum, Damstede Lyceum, Ir. Lely Lyceum, IJburg College, and Kaj Munk College, students of five different technasium schools learn about light art, sketch, and develop a garland, corresponding to the theme ‘Celebrate Light’ together with Eibert Draisma, who happens to be an artist, designer, and inventor.
Minutes In Blue is a light art that draws inspiration from the interplay of natural light and artificial light. Quite like the seven previous editions where the talented students of the Breitner Academy got a spot to promote their knowledge in light, for this edition Kyra, Naomi, and Kira draw inspiration from the interplay of natural light and artificial light.
Sticking true this year's theme of Imagine Beyond, the Bridge Of 1000 Dreams is part of a four-year collaboration between the festival and the Municipality of Amsterdam, created by the artist of Edition 11 - Studio Toer with 1200 school students of the city.
Through the educational project and the workshop programs, the children get to learn more about the history of the city, the origin of the Amsterdam canals, and the restoration projects involving the bridges and quays while being connected with the festive theme.
The 'Bridge of 1000 Dreams' Artwork is a luminous bridge created with bamboo sticks. The bamboo sticks are painted by the 1200 school students, where they share their dreams and fantasies. Their markings and drawings light up when neon lights are shinned on them, thus illuminating the entire structure, making it a beautiful, unique artwork - the bridge of light.
The Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual festival that has been taking place in the center of Amsterdam since 2012. During the festive season of December and January, artists from all over the world gather to create beautiful elaborate art displays, decorating the whole city and beautifying the city’s iconic canals.
Amsterdam Light Festival is a public event where the light installations are placed in public spaces in the heart of the city, along the city's historic canals. You can book a canal cruise to watch these installations.
This year, Amsterdam is celebrating its edition #12 of the Amsterdam Light Festival. This year, the artists are displaying installations that focus on highlighting the impact of technology and AI in our daily lives.
The #12th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival will be held from 30th November 2023 to 21st January 2024. The art installations will be illuminated from 5 PM to 11 PM every day along the renowned canals of Amsterdam.
The timings of edition #12 of the Amsterdam Light Festival are from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, every day, and on New Year's Eve until 8:00 PM.
We recommend you book your Amsterdam Light Festival tickets online to save time and money. Online ticket bookings ensure that you do not miss your attractions, no matter the crowd on the day of your visit.
Amsterdam Light Festival is a private initiative organized by the joint collaboration of the municipality, cultural organizations, and commercial organizations to provide a platform for artists to showcase their innovative pieces.
With the theme of analyzing the impact of technology and artificial intelligence in our daily lives, the #12 edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival will feature 20 artworks along the canals.
Tourists and visitors can enjoy the light festival in several ways. You can either choose a walking tour or book an Amsterdam canal cruise. It is a long walk, around 6.5 km. If you have limited mobility or toddlers, and infants with you, it is best to book a canal cruise. Not only are you in a warm space, protected from the rain, but you can also enjoy free Wi-Fi, multilingual audio guides, and refreshments on a canal cruise.
Yes, Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise tickets include access to the light festival as they are designed around the festival to ensure you get the best experience of the festival with amazing views.
Yes, there are Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise tickets which include drinks. Make sure to check your ticket information before purchasing.
The duration of the Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise depends on the ticket you are purchasing, as it usually lasts between 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours.