Global experiences

Amsterdam Lights the Way to the Winter Season

On November 28th, Amsterdam was set aglow for the city’s annual Light Festival. For the fifty-five nights that make up the event, visitors are treated to a spectacular show of lights throughout the city’s historic center in celebration of the winter season.

Amsterdam Lights

Daniel Antal/Via Flickr

Amsterdam’s quaint, charming architecture serves as a perfect backdrop to the modern, mesmerizing installations that illuminate the city. The juxtaposition is symbolic of the city itself – the classic and the contemporary coexisting in perfect harmony. This year, the festival’s theme is Friendship, and participating artists were challenged to create new and innovative works of art that fit this theme, and use light. The thirty-five installations were created by artists from Amsterdam and around the world. The pieces range from spectacularly elaborate to boldly minimalistic, each captivating and festive in their own right.

Amsterdam’s unique layout allows for the festival to be experienced through two means: by foot and by boat. The walking trail winds through the heart of the city, whereas the water route cycles through some of the city’s many canals. Observing the festival from Amsterdam’s famous waterways is truly an experience unlike any other. The 75-minute tour passes by artwork on bridges and streets, floating atop the water, and suspended midair above the canals.

A third way to enjoy the festival falls on December 19th, when visitors can catch the inaugural Amsterdam Light Parade. With boats featuring music, entertainment and even more lights, it’s a perfect way to celebrate the winter season!

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