AMSTERDAM LIGHT FESTIVAL
When we say city of light, an awesome walking route passing one impressive light installation after the other shedding a completely new glow on the beautiful streets, what place comes to mind? We’re guessing it took you about one second to think: Amsterdam of course. Move over Paris, Amsterdam is the new city of light!
And not just any lights. On top of the classic holiday decorations that bring an amazing, cozy winter vibe to the city, Amsterdam Light Festival makes things really special. This year, the 8th edition of the festival will take place, revolving around the theme ‘disrupt’. From the 28th of November until the 19th of January 2020, Amsterdam will be the brightest place in the universe.
And you haven’t heard the best news yet. With your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket, you get a special offer on boat tickets. And if there’s something cool happening in the city, the best way to see it is always from the water. But it’s not the only way, definitely not. Below we’ll guide you through the Amsterdam Light Festival experience.
About 25 art installations and 10 city stories will form the base of the festival, and they will have a lot to tell you. But before we tell you all about this year’s theme, let us give you an idea of the size of the festival. Perhaps 25 art installations doesn’t sound like much, but for this year’s edition over 650 concepts from 60 countries were considered for the festival. And only the best 25 are welcome in Amsterdam for this year’s ‘disrupt’ edition.
When you think about disruption, the idea often isn’t positive. Amsterdam Light Festival aims to change that. Disruptions can be fun, exciting, inspiring and awesome! This year’s theme matches the spirit of Amsterdam seamlessly: provocative, ready to shake things up and making you think outside the box.
Artists were also inspired by climate change and the disruptive forces of nature we have to deal with more often these days. Their installations paint a picture of our future on a warmer planet. And finally, the festival and its art also interact with parts of the city that already exist. Disruptive events from the past that have left their mark on Amsterdam and perhaps don’t usually stand out, are given a little extra attention.
The Amsterdam Light Festival brings stories to light that would otherwise remain enveloped in darkness.
The Amsterdam Light Festival walking route doesn’t only take you where the art installations are. It guides you through the most beautiful parts of the city with plenty of options for food, drinks and fun along the way or afterwards. You can start at central station and head East or West.
If you head West, you’ll start in the Jordaan area and the first thing you will see on the route are Amsterdam’s stunning canals. Spotting the art installations is like a treasure hunt and every time you see one there is a story to unravel. Starting East? Prepare for epic views of the Amstel River that provide a stunning backdrop for the extraordinary art pieces.
Want to get a preview of what’s waiting for you along the route? Check out the official website to learn more about the artists and their stories.
Amsterdam is beautiful from the water. Getting on a boat is like stepping into a new world that gives you a different perspective on this famous city. And the magic that comes with the light festival definitely adds another dimension to the experience. For 6.5 kilometers you can see Amsterdam shine. Take it all in while you sit back and relax, don’t have to watch out for traffic and focus your full attention on the Light Festival.
With your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket, you get special offers on boat tours. Don’t miss out and head to the Nightlife Calendar to book your spot!
Fun in the City
December and January are excellent months to visit Amsterdam. It’s cozy, warm (inside) and pretty. And there’s lots of fun to have! Especially when you are equipped with an Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket. With the suggestions below, you can create your trip of a lifetime.
Boom Chicago Comedy Club has been around for 25 years, and that’s not because they aren’t funny. They offer improvisation, theatrical shows and stand-up comedy and most of their shows are in English. They love making fun of everything Dutch and with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket you enjoy 2 for 1 entrance. Get there early because the locals know where the fun is and things can get a little crowded. And you don’t want to miss out on the free shot that’s also included with your Nightlife Ticket!
Hard Rock Cafe
Only a small detour from the walking route and a perfect spot to have a break, warm up and fill your belly. Cocktails are two for one with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket and while you enjoy that drink, check out the menu that’s overflowing with American classics. Epic burgers, like the 24-karat gold leaf steak burger, boozy milkshakes and classic desserts like New York cheesecake, brownies and apple cobbler. A meal at the Hard Rock Cafe is the perfect way to fuel up for the rest of the Amsterdam Light Festival walking tour.
Your visit to the Netherlands is not complete without a local beer tasting. The staff at Delirium knows all about what’s brewed within the borders and can help you find your favorite. There are over 500 beers to choose from, so a little help is probably wanted but trying them all is perfectly fine too of course. With your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket you can enjoy 2 for 1 beers, but that’s not all. The 2 for 1 also applies to the beer tasting! You will taste five quality beers and hear more about their unique story and background. And to make it even better, each beer is served with a carefully selected snack that helps bring out the flavor of what you are drinking.
The Amsterdam Dungeon
Beautiful lights seem even brighter after spending some time in a dark, dark place. The Amsterdam Dungeon is such a spot and what you will get to see there definitely matches the festival’s theme ‘disrupt’. Lots of disruptive things have taken place in the long history of Amsterdam and if you want to see the worst, you’ve come to the right place. Nowadays the Dutch are experts on fun, back in the days we knew all about misery and we’d love to share it with you. Pain, fear, ghosts, torture and a good dose of dark humor: The Amsterdam Dungeon welcomes you to the darkest spot in town.
Enjoy 2 for 1 entrance with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket.
Party All Night Long
Of course you’re not ready to call it a night after the lights of the festival have faded into the night. In other parts of the city, things are just getting started! Get a tight hold of your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket and step into the excitement of the city’s bars and clubs.
In the Leidseplein area, you’ll find some of Amsterdam’s finest clubs and most appreciated bars. Melkweg and Paradiso go way back and always bring a good party to the agenda. Club Up may not look as impressive from the outside but is definitely a hidden gem. The best house music is found here and the audience is always a little crazy. A few smaller bars, like Hartje and Bubbels, offer you a cozy place to dance into the night. Small: yes, but definitely not limited in any way and excellent places to experience some of Amsterdam’s wildest nights.
Can’t decide on what music you and your group want to dance to? Hush Silent Disco is your answer. Your personal headphone connects to three different channels, so you can bring your friends along but dance with your own crowd. If you are looking for something exotic, club La Favela takes you to Brazil for the night. It’s exotic and adventurous. Their Fiesta Friday brings you the unique combination of the best hip-hop, classics and sing-along songs.
Rembrandplein does everything bigger and better and that starts with Club Escape. This spot gives you eclectic party music seven nights a week, because who needs a break from partying? In different parts of the club there is always a tune that sings to you, so dress up and head over for your great Escape! Club John Doe is mysterious in many ways, but we can tell you this is where you want to be for your dose of tech-house, dance, Afrobeats and more.
Looking for something a bit different? Apart from the main party squares, a few treasures from the party department can be found in less obvious places throughout the city. Bret near Sloterdijk is in theory not more than a bunch of sea containers thrown together, but in reality, it adds up to much more than that. Industrial vibes, awesome DJ’s and a crowd that’s there for just one thing: party till the early hours of the morning.
Club Good Vibes, it’s all in the name, is known for bringing you the best Afrobeats in the country and they present them to you in style.
Check the Amsterdam Nightlife Calendar to see exactly what’s on during your visit and what you don’t want to miss out on!
Are you in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve? Read our blog about what to do on the wildest night of the year!
– In winter, you don’t have to wait long before the sun to set in the Netherlands. That means the lights get switched on at 5 pm in the afternoon. They will illuminate the city until it’s time to go to sleep, at 11 pm (except on NYE, the lights will be switched off at 8 pm).
– Check the weather before you head out! Wear gloves, and bring an umbrella as the Dutch weather also perfectly matches this year’s theme ‘Disrupt’.