Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival 2


The 2019-2020 edition of the annual Amsterdam Light Festival will last 53 days, starting the 28th of November 2019, till the 19th of January 2020. If you’re lucky enough to be in Amsterdam during this period, then the Light Festival is an absolute must-do! This eighth edition, around thirty illuminated artworks and sculptures, will naturally blend into the Amsterdam landscape. Every year during the chilly Dutch winters, the Amsterdam Canals become decor to the led artworks of both national and international artists. The light arts can be admired from a boat during a strongly recommended cruise, but also by foot following a specific walking route.

The artworks of the festival of the lights are illuminated daily between 17:00 till 23:00, with the exception of New Year’s evening when the artworks are switched off at 20:00. During the opening hours several boating companies offer tours. We advise you to reserve in advance, especially in the period around the Christmas holidays!

Disrupt! – the theme for Amsterdam Light Festival 2019 – 2020

Each year the Light Festival is dedicated to a certain theme. The 2019 – 2020 theme for the festival of the lights, is very present-day: Disrupt! The idea behind choosing for disruption as a theme is two-sided; disruption is often linked to chaos, danger or conflicts and thus should be avoided at all costs. However, apart from this dark, negative side, disruption is also an essential trigger for change. Change that triggers new discussions and makes way for new innovative ideas. Will we, as the human race, will ever able to live in harmony with nature? Will we be able to battle climate change? Or is it the other way around and has nature been disrupting human civilisations, since the very beginning of humanity?

Boat tours, prices & discounts during the Amsterdam Light Festival 2019-2020

There are several boating companies that operate during the Amsterdam Light Festival. You are able to choose from a wide variety of boats from basic to luxury. Some of the tours include food and drinks and even entertainment, while others just focus on the light sculptures. Of course, the more basic tours are a lot cheaper. To give you an idea; expect prices ranging from €20,- up to €70,- per person for the more luxurious tours.

KINboat Amsterdam Light Festival

Small open boat tour by KINboat during last year’s edition of ALF

Small open boat tours by KINboat

To get the most out of the artworks, you will have to take an open boat tour. It might be a bit chilly, but if you dress up warm, it’s definitely worth it! In these small open vessels, you’ll make a 75-minute cruise along the illuminated Light Festival route. Thanks to small open boats you’ll get a more intimate experience. From the open rear deck, you’ll be able to take fantastic pictures. You will receive blankets cushions or a 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. This tour was rated a 5-star experience on TripAdvisor!

– Use our Exclusive KINboat discount code ‘THINGSTODOALF18’ and get €2,- discount per persone! –

Selected light festival tickets by Tours & 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.
  • 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.

– Use our Tours-tickets.com discount code ‘THINGSTODO10’ and get 10% off on all cruises! –

Amsterdam Light Festival walking tours

Besides the several boat tours available, you can also choose to enjoy the artworks on a special walking route. Check out last years walking route below. The total route was 8.5 kilometers. If that’s a bit too much for you, you can always choose to cheat a bit with the aid of public transport.

Update 28-05-2019: As soon as the new map and route are available we’ll post it on this page.

Amsterdam Light Festival 2018 2019 - walking route 1

Last years map

Amsterdam Light Festival 2017-2018 aftermovie

Photo impression of last year

Want to see a little more? Check out these magnificent photos from previous editions.

Snowy bike on bridge - with Amsterdam Light Festival artwork

Snowy bike on bridge

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016

Amsterdam Light Festival 2016©Photography by Janus van den Eijnden

FAQ concerning Amsterdam Light Festival opening

Why is a popular attraction only open 53 days per year?

The shortest days of the year are during this period. It needs to be really dark. Only during this period, it’s dark before 17:00 hours. Nobody wants to visit a light festival without seeing the lights well.

What has changed compared to 2018 – 2019?

The sculptures will be entirely replaced. Also, the routes for the boats and the light festival walking route can change from year ti year.

What are the opening hours for the Amsterdam Light Festival?

The opening hours this year are from 17:00 in the afternoon till 23:00 in the evening.

How much time do I need?

Mostly off the tours will take one hour. But, keep in mind to be there in time, since there might be a queue during these days.

Is the Amsterdam Light Festival suitable for children?

Yes, perfectly! It is an exciting, but not scary trip.

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