Thru the Lens: Amsterdam Light Festival

The Amsterdam Light Festival is a showcase of outdoor art installations during the dark winter months of northern Europe. Some installations, such as the lights overhanging the 9 Streets, appear every winter. The temporary ones though are the stars of the festival; they are brightly lit structures that appear on canals, bridges, and plazas in the centre of town. They bring an extra splash of colour and warmth to what would otherwise be a cold dark environment. To be fair though, the canal ring is beautiful anytime of year. The Light Festival is like the icing on the cake.

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The Nine Streets district

The best way to see the lights is on the water. There are several companies that offer canal cruises which visit most if not all of Light Festival installations. It’s also possible to go on foot but a better way is, of course, on a bicycle. The sites are a bit spread out so going on foot would take a few hours, not to mention it’s quite cold out. I visited several of the main sites via bicycle which only took a little over an hour, and I probably could have visited a few more if my hands weren’t going numb from the fiercely cold wind.

Oh and I forgot to mention the best thing about the festival… it’s FREE!

For more information about the Amsterdam Light Festival, check out http://www.amsterdamlightfestival.com/en/

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My favourite installation of the Light Festival

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It looks like an organic structure under a microscope… I think?

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The city is beautiful at night.

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The only wave in the canals is this lit up one

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Guardsmen

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A classic Dutch bridge

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Along the River Amstel

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Looking north on the River Amstel

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Light shines against several jets of water to form a perfect image of a ship

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Illuminated orbs near Central Station

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A house of cards near Amsterdam Central Station

Have you ever been to a Light Festival?

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