The Amsterdam light festival - Hand in hand with our houseboat rentals



When you think of Amsterdam, colorful tulips, people sitting along the sunny canals, bikers everywhere, are just some thing that can come to mind. But Amsterdam has so much more to offer than these stereo types. When you hear 'Amsterdam and festivals', you'll probably think of the hundreds of food and music festivals the city hosts every year. This festival is different, the Amsterdam Light Festival is doesn't have any music or DJs nor does it offer food. It does host about 25 incredible works of art that light the city's canals in the evening and night. During the months December and January, the cozy Dutch wintertime, The Light Festival is something unique you should visit.

This year at its 8th edition, new artists and amazing installations are now waiting for you to visit!


Amsterdam light festival



General info


Didn't yet have time to plan when to visit Amsterdam? Why not this winter?! You are still on time to enjoy the Light Festival as it starts on November 28, 2019 and ends on January 19, 2020. So the artists and their creations will be all around the city canals, ready to be visited and explored. Preferably by boat of course.


Amsterdam light festival


The theme of this year's exhibition is "DISRUPT!", an awakening call from the artists to show the effects of humans on nature and climate. The pieces of art, or light installations, are fixed to the city's structures like bridges, the quay walls and of course, houseboats! Besides the pieces of lighted artwork, more is offered to enjoy the festival. For kids and adults, the complete program can fulfill the expectations of all ages! Check the programming here for more information.



Light festival route


In line with the theme 'DISRUPT!', this year the festival has a completely new route: Oosterdok, Oudeschans, Amstel, Nieuwe Keizersgracht, Plantage Muidergracht, Entrepotdok. Don't miss any of the amazing light installations along this new circuit.


AMterdam light festival route 2019 -20120



Either by walking, biking or boat, you are free to choose your most suitable way to visit the many artist attractions along the canals. Check the route for your tour here.



Best places to stay during the festival


What is better than visiting the festival? Glad you ask. What about sleeping next to one of the artworks in a houseboat? Late afternoon, evening or night, every moment will be a good moment to admire the festival and exploring all it has to offer!


Here some examples of amazing houseboats close to some of your favorite artists' creations:

These are just some of the many options of available houseboat rentals you can book to experience the light festival from your bedroom. Check our full availability here. Use the map section to be sure to don't miss any rentals along the route. Book now and to get the best out of your holiday time!



Artists and houseboats offered to support the organization of the Amsterdam Light Festival by being one of the main unique accommodation partners. Some artists have been invited to sleep for free on our houseboats as part of our collaboration. We are happy these artists bring their creativity and their unique pieces of art to our city. Such wonderful artistic input inspires everybody to express their own creativity. As company, we're proud to have contributed to their presence.


One of the most interesting pieces of this Light Festival edition is definitely 'Big Bang'. It was created by Ying - Chu Chen and Kuan - Hung Chen, who are part of the UxU Taiwanese collective of architects, designers and artists which was founded in 2011. According to the artists: "there’s nothing that symbolizes disruption – and destruction, war, and aggression – more than a bomb. The blue-lit bomb BIG BANG hangs somewhat threatening in the air, like it is just about to hit the water".


BIG BANG amsterdam light festival 2019


For the more curious people among us, if you get closer to the 'big bang' you'll discover that it is fully covered in soft feathers! With this contradiction, the artists want to pass the message that humans, with all their pollution, are destroying and exhausting our tiny lonely blue planet. Unfortunately our fear is only temporary: we quickly get used to war and images of natural disasters. Ying and Kuan leave us with an intense question: 'how will you react when chaos invades your safe environment'?


Ying - Chu Chen and Kuan - Hung Chen could realize their amazing work thanks to the hospitality of one of's co-founders, Juul! Curious about the boat they are staying in? It is a 1950's style bed and breakfast houseboat. Do you like the artwork and thought behind it of Ying and Kuan? If yes, we'd advise you to check other pieces of their work while exploring opportunities for your next trip.





Besides housing artists, this year our community of houseboat owners also had the chance to host Sergey Kim's contribution to the Light Festival. With his artwork "NEIGHBORHOOD", Sergey illuminated the Oudeschans canal with an opera inspired by personal laundry, that hangs by the street on a casual summer's day. Trousers, t-shirts, underwear and typical Moroccan and Jewish cultural dresses become part of the city's scenery to show the cultural mix of Amsterdam's citizens.


A special thanks to our amazing host Robert for having Sergey's artwork on his houseboat.


Feel like sleeping on a houseboat during The Light Festival or your next visit to Amsterdam?

Check our rentals to see all the offers we have available.



Houseboat rentals Amsterdam



View the 2019 LightFestival after move