• Brighten up your winter with a visit to the Amsterdam Light Festival

    by  • October 23, 2018 • Amsterdam

    Head to Amsterdam this November or December for some festive fun or bring some light to those dark and dreary January days. From 29 November 2018 until 20 January 2019, the Amsterdam Light Festival creates a spectacular display of light sculptures and installations on the beautiful canals and streets of Amsterdam.


    After much success, the festival is returning for its seventh year with Dutch and International artists contributing their originality and creativeness. Every year the festival has a different theme that is incorporated in all of the artworks. This year’s theme is ‘The Medium is the Message’, which is taken from the famous statement by the Canadian scientist Marshall McLuhan. The role of light in conveying a message or story can be seen throughout the city with artworks from 30 different artists.

    Possibly the best way to experience the festival is by joining one of the many canal tours. One of the Light Festival open boat tours are a great choice as they take you up close to the artworks for great photos and the captain doubles up as a guide providing interesting insights for each of the exhibits. There are also walking and bike tours if this is more appealing or if you prefer to explore independently, there are dedicated routes to help you find your way around and see everything or you can just wander at your leisure and stumble across these impressive displays.

    To find out more about the artwork on display and the range of tours on offer, visit Amsterdam Light Festival Website. Also have a look at previous displays to appreciate what the festival is all about.

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    Amsterdam is a great city for breaks at this time of year as there are many museums to escape the cold weather. Even on a grey day, the canals look beautiful and with less tourists, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll between the many sights. You might even get lucky and experience the beautiful canal buildings dusted with snow. The Anne frank House museum is a little less busy at this time of year but it is still advisable to book tickets in advance. The Van Gogh museum is also a must see. Take a break and visit Café Het Molenpad in the heart of the Canal District. This cosy, intimate pub restaurant has a great choice of speciality beers and traditional Dutch bar snacks. With its canal side location, it is also a pleasant place to stop and watch the world go by on a cold, crisp, sunny afternoon.

    Where to stay…
    JL No. 76 Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel located within minutes of the Van Gogh Museum and Vondel Park. Hotels in this area offer great value for money and you are just 10 minutes or so walk away from the lively Canal District. This inviting hotel has 39 rooms in a renovated 19th century townhouse all featuring unique Dutch artwork. The lounge is furnished with a contemporary but homely interior. Sit in a comfy armchair and enjoy a glass of wine from the honesty bar after a long day of sightseeing.


    Rose was never in any doubt about where her career was heading. Her love of travel and experiencing different cultures developed at a young age. When the opportunity to work for a Portuguese specialist tour operator arose, she jumped at the chance and four years later, she took things a step further and studied Tourism Management at university. The course gave Rose the opportunity travel to many parts of America culminating with a work placement in a ranch hotel in California. Since graduating, Rose has become an integral part of the Cities Direct team. She travels with her family at every opportunity and has built up superb first hand knowledge of some of Europe’s finest cities.