Amsterdam Light Festival brightens the cityscape

If you’re a new arrival to Amsterdam, one thing you’ll quickly learn is that come rain or shine, something is always going on in the city. Amsterdammers aren’t put off by cold weather, a drizzle of rain or a downright a hailstorm – they’re always game to get out and about for some entertainment.

For the past 10 years, Amsterdam Light Festival has delivered just that: bringing light into the darkest and arguably the wettest month of the year in the form of beautiful and thought-provoking light installations across the city.

On our first year living here we came across the Amsterdam Light Festival by chance – but it sounded like the perfect thing to do to shake off those post-Christmas blues. A walk in the brisk Amsterdam winter evening to see some art – all for some 7 and change euros for the interactive digital map with interesting details of each piece. It was a lovely way to spend an evening, with a few pitstops to some craft beer bars on the way.

Last year the festival wasn’t able to go ahead due to the strict restrictions, but this year we managed to get out to enjoy the beautiful artwork despite the semi-lockdown and ice-cold drizzling of rain. Sure, we couldn’t stop by any cafes to warm up in between the locations but managed by packing a thermos of warm glühwein, dressing in layers (so, so many layers) and arming ourselves with some umbrellas. I know it doesn’t sound like the ideal weather to be out and about but we channelled the Amsterdammer spirit and braved it anyway and it was just what we needed to blow the post-Christmas cobwebs away.

Every year there is a theme, and this year was no different. This year the Amsterdam Light Festival put the spotlight on the young, the poor and the lonely elderly in a series of stunning and inspiring pieces from artists all over the world. Our favourites were the Drawn in Light and the Starry Night, but every piece was captivating in its own way… except the Spider. Tom Doesn’t like spiders, especially giant ones. I feel like I have to point out that I didn’t find it scary at all but then again, I don’t hate our eight-legged friends like Tom does. Each to their own I suppose. Art is, after all, subjective.

It’s definitely worth of the few hours it takes to walk the route – and by buying the digital map or the audio tour you support the festival so we can enjoy it in the coming years too.

Get your tickets here and if you can, please consider making a donation to support this amazing event.

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