Amsterdam canals and Light Festival

By Naomi Louwerens:

I am proud of the Netherlands and its beautiful cities, as I live and work in 2 of the biggest cities of my country. Even though it is a small country, it is one with many characteristics and a lot of heritage, history and culture. One of my favorite cities, and also the city where I work, is Amsterdam. Every day I am lucky to be able to walk around this city’s canals and enjoy the sights it has to offer.

Amsterdam is highly sought after by tourists for many features, but is most of all renowned for its canal area, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, with more bridges than Paris and more canals than Venice.
With its 8,000 monuments, a multitude of crooked houses with a variety of facades, and several stunningly illuminated hotels, apartments and houseboats aligning the canals, this area alone already makes an impressive picture, especially at night. But Amsterdam itself has much more history and beauty to be discovered. It is a vibrant city, with lots of different cultures living next to each other and a lot of room for creativity and innovation because of its tolerant character.

One of these creative initiatives is the Amsterdam Light Festival, which transforms the city into a colorful spectacle with the help of several (inter)national light artists every year from the 28th of November. The initiative originated from the idea to give the city more positivity during the darker period of the year and at the same time provide a stage for talented artists.


Both locals as tourists can enjoy the artworks throughout the city by walking the canal route, rent a boat or book a cruise to enjoy the artworks from the water, which is recommended as many installations can only be seen on the open waters. Boats depart daily from 5 to 10 pm and the 75-minute boat tour will take you through, under and along the illuminated artworks, which can be fully experienced by boat. The 55-day festival can still be visited until the 17th of January and has the theme ‘Friendship’ this year. You can book a boat cruise and find more information on:

The boat tours following the route from the Herengracht to the Oosterdok to the Amstel, will show you Amsterdam like never before. It is a very special way to experience the city, while learning all about the artists’ ideas and the story behind each artwork. Passing by the artworks while gliding through the renowned 17th century canals gives the city and its cultural heritage a whole new dimension.


If you are planning to visit Amsterdam before the 17th of January make sure not to miss this colorful and creative festival.
The full Amsterdam Light Festival article can be found on

Naomi Louwerens