" /> Why you should visit Amsterdam in Winter - nonsoloamore
Saturday, 2 December, 2023

Read this in: German

Who thinks about Amsterdam as a holiday destination don’t think about planning a trip to this city during the Advent season or even in January. Anyway the capital of the Netherlands owns a lot of pituresque corners that seems like you’ve traveled back in time. But during this time Amsterdam has an phenomenally romantic and aesthetic charm. Everybody who’s visited this city fell in love with this small-town allurement and wants to recur ‘cause it’s different at each time. You can find something worthwhile in every corner.

Beneath the christmas light decorations a special light event is part of this time since 6 years. I know, a ot of cities in Europe and the whole world has got light festivals or nights for a weekend. Though this light exposition  is possible to be visit for about 6 weeks in the dark season on land and water. The contemporary light artworks from all over the world reveal  a great synergy with the Graachten and cityscape of Amsterdam.



Anually the Amsterdam Light Festival stands for impressive and sometimes more subtle light art which are based on a special topic. This year is about the topic “Existential”. More than exhibits are shown from artists from all over the world.

When I investigated for this blogposts by buying and reading to buy the festival guidebook for 5 Euro, I’ve decided to also look what people say about this festival in the world wide web. At TripAdvisor I’ve found a lot of people who where disappointed by the light festival, but when I’ve read the detailed valuations I’ve realized that a lot of people thought that this term “festival” means something like a music festival event and not only some artworks. Or they were dissappointed  ‘cause they booked an expensive boat tour and didn’t see much of  the art.

One tourist called the artwork “Thinline” by the chinese artist and activist Ai WeiWei just “an simple red lighthose which was continiously laid”. With art it’s always the same – some people are keen by this lighthose which connects the whole water exhibition like a red strand and guides the people the way at water and land. And other visitors don’t become familiar with the meaning of this artwork.





Every year aftr an announcement a committee decides which artworks which blueprints become part of the exhibition. Only the already mentioned Ai Weiwei was invited to contribute an own artwork which run like a thread through the festival. This artwork can be interpreted in many ways. It reminded me of a story in the Chinese mythology that a red strand connects two lovers by destiny – whatever my come.

Another exhibit by an Asian artists was The Garden of Schröedinger’s Cat of the Japanese artist Takeo Sugamata. It’s lso an artwork which can be interpreted in many ways Sometimes you see a cat and sometimes not – so it exists or not?



While most light events I know from German cities are just created to have a night shopping event or tint the city in some beautiful colors is the feature of the light festival in Amsterdam that it’s art which is accessible for everyone for free. It doesn’t matter whether you are art connoisseur, a hobby photographer or a tourist who doesn’t know anything of this festival – sooner or later everybody come upon some artworks and the most people are curious what’s about this light all over the Herrengraacht.




Who don’t have much time to explore Amsterdam or is restricted to explore the exhibition by afoot can book Graachten boat ride. A lot of vendors offers boatages from 7pm ‘till 11pm every evening. So you can experience the exihibition very close. If you book a tour via web it’s not natural that you have some adventages towards the people who buy tickets on site. My husband an me booked some boat tours for two years and decided that as a hobby photographer it’s easier to capture the artworts afoot. For me the boat tours are like a segway tour through the louve, just scurry at the Mona Lisa.

Abovementioned a lot of tourists were dissapointed by boat tours, so I recommend a boat trip with open boat – windows can be very annoying when you want to watch and capture light art. But some artworks are made to be observed for a longer time or just more beautiful from a special angle like the artwork Infinita near the Nemo museum.

Lichterfest Amsterdam


A very pleasant shift in the festival of 2017/18 ist that the land exhibition is not divided anymore all over the city. In the preceding years you always had the problem that you can’t find all artworks on land but now they are all gathered on one place. The land exhibition is just 10 minutes afoot away from the central station on a beautiful way along the water. Of course, it was very neat to find some artworks like light angel wings for a selfie or little glowing Statues of Libeties glowing  in giant ice cones, floating in the water. But now it’s easier to enjoy all the beautiful art in just one evening.

A lot of artworks enchant and invite to think about what could its meaning. A lot them can’t be captured by photo or video in all there beauty like a forest backdrop whose light conditions can changed by your moves or an artwork which is simple like a big version of a diy latern made out of a tin can with some holes pound with nails. This bid tin hole lantern is so amazing that no photo can give you the feeling that the blazing light rays give you an incredible feeling that you can just touch the light. There is also an artwork  for selfie enthuasiasts. There was a big ring light which could be used to film yourself, screened on a big wall behind you – everybody is able to see you in this time but you can’t see the pictures behind you. And what did I see when I’ve sighted the other people using this tool? They streched their necks and tried to see theirselfs on the wall. What wants the artist to say? Mabe that it’s very important for us today to exploit ourselves and always stand in an unflattering light. To take a photo of yourself without seeing yourself or even wait a week to see the results? We don’t know this anymore in the age of smartphones.



Amsterdam is one of the few cities I would never scout by public transport. Who arrives at Sloterdiek station has to use the tram which costs 3 Euro per hour. However you have your shelter at the inner city you don’t need any taxi or tram. It’s very convenient to explore the city by bycycle or afoot. You can rent a bike for about 15 Euro per day and so you are able to make bigger tours. By foot you can discover a lot of new and interesting places all over the inner city.



Amsterdam is no city where you have to fast. Probably it’s ‘cause of the coffeshops that there are so many ice bakeries all over the city with churros, donuts and macarons. But please steer clear of these macarons – the bright colored sugar bombs are not as exquisite as their originals pattiserie artworks in France.

I can recommend the little cafés and bistros a lot more which are a little bit away from the popular sights.

eher empfehlenswert sind die kleinen Cafés und Bistros außerhalb der Touristenhotspots. Dabei ist besonders „The Avocado Show“ is very admired by German tourists. The restaurant around the topic avocado offers breakfast and lunch daily from 9am to 5pm. And it’s good to know that you can just pay at this place by card, so take a v-pay or creditcard with you. Who doesn’t like avocados like a girl on the next table at our visit, finds a lot of other good restaurants near the Heinecken Experience. The Albert Cuyp market is famous at Amsterdam insiders for it fresh juices which only costs 1 to 2 Euro and there are also a range of stalls which sells stroopwaffles or churros.

My favorite place in this area is the little restaurant called Onigiri ya!, a little shop with Japanese food, rice balls and miso soup and a war-hearted owner you can always have a good conversation with. The riceballs costs 1,80 Euro und 3,00 Euro – depends on the filling. They tastes very delicious and saturating.

Who wants relaxation in all this crowd of tourists in Amsterdam can find repose and food made with love at Labeled with Trust. This concept store with bistro, formely known as Trust, is operated by volunteers. The slogan is „pay as you feel“ -what does it worth for you? You can find there spendid vegetarian and vegan breakfast and lunch dishes made with fresh organic ingredients. But the store also sells little reminder like pillow covers, water bottles or key chains which should reminds us in the daily live to watch out for the neds of the people around us, to trust other people and give the world a positive feeling.




Amsterdam has accommodations in every price category. But a expensive price isn’t a warranty for a good place to stay. Who likes privacy and likes to be a self-caterer can book a airbnb. Good quarters for two persons or more are aviable starting by 120 Euro per night. But currently there is some problem about the airbnb in Amsterdam. A majority of appartments in Amsterdam are used as airbnb – so the Dutch goverment decided that a appartment just can be rent as an airbnb in 60 days per year. So you will might not be able to rent the same airbnb twice when you come to visit Amsterdam again. Since that time the prices of airbnb appartments increased dramatically.

A safe way to find a beautiful place to stay and discover cool concept hotels in boats or old cranes is to investigate the best hotels and its ratings in Amsterdam beforehand. You can spent 40 Euro on a bleak little room or you can find some awesome places for just 10 or 20 Euro more than this.

Fotos und Text: Bettina Barth

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1 Comment

Victor February 14, 2018 at 10:59 am

I have been to Amsterdam but not in winters.But after this all now I am thinking to visit Amsterdam in winter.I Hope that it will be the same as mentioned above.

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