Amsterdam Light Festival 2017-2018 edition


The 2017-2018 edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival will be held from 30th of November till the 21st of January 2018. If you’re lucky enough to be in Amsterdam during this period, then the Light Festival is an absolute must-do! This edition of the annual festival is the sixth in a row. The Amsterdam Light Festival features illuminated artworks and sculptures from international artists. These artworks are beautifully integrated into the Amsterdam ‘landscape’ with its typical canals and architecture. One part of the sculptures can be found on a walking route called ‘Illuminade’, this part is completely free of charge. However to see all of the artworks you have to book the ‘Water Colors’ boat tour as well. Trust us if we’re saying that a canal cruise in Amsterdam is always a treat. Please do note that the free walking tour closes the 7th of January, while the boat tours run until the 21st of January.

Illuminade: free walking tour30 Nov 2017 – 7 Jan 2018
Water Colors: boat tour30 Nov 2017 – 21 Jan 2018

Every year artists from all over the world are invited to submit their concept. From all submissions, a jury picks the winners that will have their artwork exhibited in the gorgeous scenery of the Amsterdam canals. This year’s theme for the Amsterdam Light Festival is ‘Existential’. This theme is inspired by today’s global situation; “This year’s theme EXISTENTIAL was inspired by the present situation people face in the international arena as global shifts create uncertainty and anxiety throughout the world. It is therefore important to look again at what defines and unites mankind in a positive way. The existential elements of light have always provided consolation and comfort to people in distress.”

If you’d like to get a better picture of what to expect we recommend you to check out the after movie of the 2016 edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival below.

Boat tours, prices & discounts during the Amsterdam Light Festival 2017-2018

There are several boating companies that operate tours during the Amsterdam Light Festival. Different tours will be available at different prices. You will find basic tours that just take you along the Water Colours route, while there are also cruises that include dinner & or drinks. Prices for these tours have not been released yet but expect a price ranging from €20,- up to €70,- for the more luxury tours including beverages. Stay tuned as we’ll inform you on the different tours that are available for booking at our ticket partners.

Selected light festival tickets

From the various tours available during Amsterdam Light Festival we’ve selected four different boat tours on different boats. Check out what boat suits you best and buy your tickets online so that you don’t have to miss out! The different types of boats are;

  • Medium semi-open boat; this is the cheapest tour. The boat is one size smaller than the standard canal boat. The boat has a plastic roof that will be closed with rain, but if the weather allows it will be opened up so you can make the most stunning pictures. There’ll be blankets on board to keep you warm, but no heating so dress properly.
  • Standard canal boat; this boat is the standard comfortable boat. You won’t notice the winter temperatures thanks to the onboard heating. The standard boat is stable and thus a good choice when you have difficulties walking. The boat is fitted with a glass roof so not the best option when you want to take photographs.
  • Small open boat; the small open boat offers a more intimate setting with smaller groups. You will receive blankets cushions and hot chocolate or gluhwein to keep you comfortable during the tour. The boats are not as stable as the bigger boats, something to keep in mind when dealing with reduced mobility. From the open rear deck, you’ll be able to take fantastic pictures.
  • Luxury authentic Dutch boat; for those who want to enjoy The Light Festival in all luxury, this should be your tour of choice! On this heated boat, you’ll receive free drinks and a snack while you enjoy the view of the illuminated artworks. Very cozy, but not the best choice for photographers.

Free Illuminade walking tour

The free part of Amsterdam Light Festival, the land exhibition can be found this year on the “Marineterrein” which is situated 15 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station right next to the National Maritime Museum. The exhibition can be visited free of charge from the 14th of December until the 7th of January. The terrain will be open daily between 17:00 and 22:00, except for New Year’s Eve when the exhibition closes at 20:00. On the terrain optional guided tours are available. There are also plenty of food stalls for the necessary beverages.

Opening hours of the Amsterdam Light Show

As you’ve read above the Amsterdam Light Festival consists of two different parts; a walking route and a part that can only be visited by boat. Both parts also have different opening hours. Naturally the opening hours start in the evening hours as it needs to be dark in order to see the beauty of the illuminated artworks.

Illuminade: free walking tour17:00 – 22:00
Water Colors: boat tour17:00 – 23:00

Please note that one New Years Evening the festival closes early; the artworks are illuminated until 20:00.

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016-2017 aftermovie

Photo impression of last year

Want to see a little more from the Amsterdam Light Festival? Check out these magnificent photos of last years edition.

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016©Photography by Janus van den Eijnden

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