Light up your winter: 9 amazing light festivals in Europe

Don’t get me wrong, winter is a great time of year… But, it’s just so incredibly dark. And cold. And wet. You get the point. So, luckily there are tons of ways to make it feel a little less dark, cold and wet! If you’re travelling Europe in winter, make sure to brighten up your trip with at least one of these beautiful cities. So what are you waiting for,? Go lightseeing!

Amsterdam Light festival

28 November 2019 to 19 January 2020

This will be the 8th consecutive time the Dutch capital city will be lit up with beautiful designs. Take a canal tour to take it all in, or just walk around the city and see which ones you’ll find. It’s an adventure either way.

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Prague Signal Festival

10 to 13 October 2019

The Old Town of Prague is already magical, but during Signal weekend all the brakes come off. Discover all the art installations while walking through this fairytale-like city.

 

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Fête des Lumieres Lyon

5 to 8 December 2019

The light festival of Lyon dates all the way back to 1852. It all started out in the spirit of solidarity, with people placing lit candles in their windows. In all these years it grew out to be one of the biggest festivals in France.

 

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Lux Helsinki

4 to 8 January 2020

The most northern capital of mainland Europe is also one of the coldest and darkest in winter. The light festival has a unifying purpose in Helsinki, bringing people together to enjoy their company and of course the beautiful lights.

 

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Glow Eindhoven

9 to 16 November 2019

Eindhoven is one of the most innovative cities in the Netherlands. With a technical university and Philips (from the light bulbs!), there’s bound to be some impressive light sculptures. This winter you’ll discover the ‘Living Colors’ of Eindhoven, so make sure to stop by.

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Festival of Lights Berlin

11 to 20 October 2019

Berlin is always a good idea, especially during the 10 days of the Festival of Lights. This year they’re celebrating 15 years of light festivals and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall of Berlin. As a result of this the theme for this year is: Lights of Freedom.

 

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Lumiere Durham

14 to 17 November 2019

Of course the UK’s largest light festival had to be in this list! What started of in Durham in 2009 as a one-time-only event, turned into this annual festival with thousands of visitors and beautiful, innovative art.

 

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Lausanne Lumieres

20 November to 31 December 2019

Lausanne Lumieres takes place on the shores of Lake Geneva, in the fourth biggest city of Switzerland. With the beautiful backdrop of this grand lake and the tall mountains, this light festival is one to put on your bucket list.

 

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Essen Light Festival

25 October to 3 November 2019

Discover the second largest Ruhr city during the winter light festival. This tradition started in 1950 and has a different inspiring theme and continuing innovations every year. Besides that, the electricity for this festival is fully generated from renewable energy sources!

 

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Most of these light festivals are annually, so if you can’t make it this year, plan it for your Eurail trip for next year ;)!

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