8 Alternatives to the Amsterdam Light Festival

December, 10th 2019

Hidden spots at Youseum

The Amsterdam Light Festival is upon us again, so do check out the spectacular installations along the canals ASAP 😃 But at Youseum, we love discovering hidden spots in Amsterdam and reconsidering the way we interact with the world around us. So once you’ve got your fill of the official Festival, check out these other stops with incredible lighting this season!

1. Artisplein

This breathtaking square is straight out of a fairy tale: lights hang from the trees and an aviary full of beautiful birds flanks the terrace where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or cocoa from the Plantage Café. One of our absolute favourite hidden spots in Amsterdam!


The artisplein hidden spot amsterdam

Photo by @thebagscout

2. ICE* Amsterdam

This ice rink at the Museumplein is a wintry wonderland smack dab in the middle of the city. Lights hang from the trees, and a small replica of the Magere Brug helps create a little snow-globe fantasy as you skate across the ice.

ICE* Amsterdam skating rink

Photo by @johnboschphotography

3.  The Magere Brug

Did the ice rink’s replica leave you wanting more? Well the real McCoy is just a hop, skip, and jump from the Museumplein (or about a 20 minute walk). There are dozens of wild and fantastical stories about this beautiful old bridge’s history, and no one knows where the truth lies. Go take in the magic and see for yourself!

Magere brug Amsterdam

Photo by @dutchie

4. The Magna Plaza

At this time of year the Magna Plaza on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal near the Dam Square is absolutely decked out to the Christmas nines. Don’t miss this gorgeous 19th-century building (which used to be Amsterdam’s main post office) at its most magical—and duck inside for a bit of respite from the wintry weather!

Magna Plaza hidden spot in Amsterdam

Photo by @angelacoomey

5. The American Hotel

The American Hotel at the Leidseplein looks beautiful year-round, but in the wintertime the enormous fountain outside is lit especially bright with hanging orbs of light strung from the trees above.

American hotel lights amsterdam

Photo by @bryanming

6. The Nieuwmarkt

The Nieuwmarkt is the heart of Amsterdam. Come stand on the Kloveniersburgwal and take it all in: De Waag Café, the lights in the trees, and the pulsing energy of the city bringing the canals and the cafés to life.

The nieuwmarkt lights amsterdam

Photo by @lafleurwander

7. The Utrechtsestraat

This posh shopping street near the Rembrandtplein is perfect for a stroll, some window-shopping, a quick beer (or a slow one 😉), and a gorgeous view of the holiday lights that hang above the street in a mile-long procession.

Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam lights

Photo by @trilalirt

8. Weesperzijde 150

A not-so-shameless plug here: the lights at Youseum, inside and out, are absolutely stunning. Take pics, have a drink, and take in our world-class interactive experience in our towering building over on the Weesperzijde. 💙


museo interattivo