Amsterdam Light Festival
Amsterdam Light Festival
2.5
About
If you’re visiting the Netherlands in the winter, don’t miss the Amsterdam Light Festival that takes place for 55 nights from late November to early January. Wander around the city to explore the nearly 40 large-scale light installations that dot Amsterdam’s already scenic canals. Because the winter days are short, it will start to get dark as early as 4pm, meaning you can hit the festival and still plan a night out in Amsterdam. You can walk along “The Illuminade,” the free 90 minute walking tour, and there is also a paid boat cruise that takes you alongside and even under some of the installations.
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The area
Neighbourhood: Centrum
Amsterdam’s buzzing hub, with its sprawling network of tram rails and a seemingly constant flow of tourists and commuters, yields convenient access to some of the best sightseeing, shopping, and street life in Europe. Closest at hand are the Royal Palace, the quaint shops of Haalremmerdijk, the pedestrianized zones Kalverstraat and Dam Square with popular neighborhoods such as the Red Light District, and the Canal Ring hardly more than a moment’s stroll away. With the well-connected Centraal Station as Centrum’s base, it's easy to travel farther afield via one of the city’s iconic trams.
How to get there
  • Waterlooplein • 5 min walk
  • Weesperplein • 7 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

2.5
2.5 of 5 bubbles638 reviews
Excellent
106
Very good
101
Average
107
Poor
117
Terrible
207

Roslyn138
Wrexham, UK1,154 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Couples
We were on a cruise , one of the stops being Rotterdam- took the train to Amsterdam and spent the day looking around .
On the way back to central station decided to take a Festival Light canal trip. It was around 45 min in total and cost 25 Euros each.
Amsterdam was on partial lockdown with everything closing at 5 pm however being December it was getting dark so we took the trip.
Always good to see the city from a different perspective and the English commentary was good .
The light sculptures were interesting and made more so with the explanations of what they were .
Written December 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Somia K
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Solo
That’s a total scam, I paid 26 euros to be disappointed for one hour.
Canal in my home country is more beautifully decorated for one month during winter and thats too free of charge.

There wasn’t much of lights to see. A couple of lights sculptures scattered here n there most of the lights weren’t working.
They asked to come 15 mins before tour start and boat itself came after 20 mins of start time. Everything can be forgotten if that was worth it at the end.

An absolute joke and a rip off.
Better spend your two hours and 26 euros somewhere else.
Written January 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tatiana K
Kyiv, Ukraine13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
To visit the Amsterdam Festival of Lights, which lasts 55 nights from 30 of November to 20th January, was in my birthday gift plans and notes. Good thing I have it on Christmas))) It turns out this festival happens every year in this winter time, it's a special charm of course, even if it rains all day. We booked a paid boat cruise passing by some of the installations - and sometimes underneath them!

The boat ride is 75 min (90 euros for two people), our tour included gluhwein, snacks and soft drinks. There was a great guide, told about each installation in English. Of course we didn't have time to see all the installations, but at least something, it was interesting too.
Written January 5, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KJK2611
6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Would advise against wasting your time and money to listen to the depressing audio relating to each artist's light installation. It's focused mainly on technology and artificial intelligence - two of many things I go on holiday to forget about. Talks about the lack of "human connection" due to advancing technology taking over our lives, but fails to recognise that if anywhere in the world, Amsterdam is not lacking it. Lights weren't particularly spectacular either. If what the artists hoped to achieve was to stimulate conversation or debate, then they've achieved that. However I can't help but feel they've completely missed an opportunity to embrace the wonderful history and culture this city has to offer. I would have preferred to have been uplifted and even educated by that.
Written December 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kipper-MacRae
Boston, UK24 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Did this trip on Friday the 8th December picking up a boat from very close to Centraal Station, and being informed by the boat reps that this tour was only going to do the lights, and the other canal trips were not. the price was 26 euros a head, and the trip lasts about an hour. If you are thinking of doing this, do not bother, save your money, it is massively disappointing, and only about a dozen light sculptures to see. A few years ago, it was absolutely brilliant, but now it seems to be a way of getting as much money off you as they can. Do a day time cruise, you will see the city better, and if you want to see the "fanrastic!!" lights, walk along the Herrengracht after dark. A massisve massive rip off and disappointment.
Written December 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SharonSMG
Herzliya, Israel27 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
We took the BlueBoat light festival canal cruise. 90 minutes and 53 Euros wasted. The light displays were sparse and except for the three ( which I am showing) were underwhelming and disappointing. The narration was bizarre and focused only on the displays, not a word about the city or some of the prominent buildings we passed. The boat is closed and heated as expected in the cold of December but sitting by the window ( which cannot be opened) I felt so dried up I had to get out to the rear.
The alluring pictures of the festival when looked up in google are nothing like what we saw- did we go another route or it’s from different years? I wonder. If this is it- not worth your time or money.
Written December 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ignoranttraveller
93 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
Some lit up plastic figurines and some weird art plonked along the canals. This is NOT a festival, nor is it worth any money. Audio guides babbling on about ‘human connections’ and ‘internet loading icons’ - what an utter, utter waste of time and money. Pathetic for a tourist hub such as Amsterdam.
Written December 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lorraine H
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Avoid!! I was looking forward to Christmas illuminations and exciting modern art light sculptures. The commentary was utterly pretentious and pathetic drivel about various concepts of AI and all very Emperor’s New Clothes. More like an A Level student’s exam piece than something spectacular befitting a great city like Amsterdam. Someone is having a laugh and making a fortune. The sculptures themselves were not massive so it was sometimes hard to spot them.
Written December 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nelsy H
114 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
There were not too much of lights.
But, We really enjoy the houses in the water during this time, with their own Christmas decorations , some houses had lights on on could look how was inside their homes.
We went through the canals in a semi open boat , at night, so I took some good pictures.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah Louise
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
Kevin was our guide! Fantastic! He was so funny with he’s stories and he’s humour! Kept our wine glasses fully topped! Niko was our driver, well done to you both. A fantastic experience seeing Amsterdam x
Written January 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Amsterdam Light Festival - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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