Acrobats, lights, fire, and funny characters surround those in Dam Square who are there to experience Turn on the Lights. It’s just another fun event that makes Amsterdam–even when it’s cold–definitely worth visiting.
In the cold and with a bit of rain, we all waited patiently as the crowd finished gathering. Announcements were made that make you question your decision to be close to the action and shadows start to appear as the actors find their spot for the opening.
Each year is different. But it’s bound to be amazing and make your jaw drop. The show is in Dutch and it can be hard to figure out what’s going on at times, but it certainly keeps your attention.
No. More than that. It DEMANDS your attention! With characters in the crowd–some on stilts and one on wheels with fire underneath, it’s completely immersive.
Maybe I should explain what Turn on the Lights is all about. It’s surprisingly simple. De Bijenkorf (a high-end shopping store) is a staple in cities around the Netherlands, and as part of the community they contribute an amazing opening to the festive season.
Lasting around 40-45 minutes, a theatre group entertains from the crowd, inside a sphere, and in the air thanks to a crane! Then a well-known celebrity helps with the countdown and yells “Turn on the lights!”. At that point, de Bijenkorf turns on its holiday lights for the first time of the season! With over 600,000 lights, it’s quite the sight to see!
I encourage you to see this show if you are in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven, or Maastricht when they hold the event. De Bijenkorf has a special place on their website to get all the information once available.
Ready to take the trip?
Here’s your toolkit full of links so you don’t have to go searching!
These are affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, I get a percentage back at no extra cost to you.
- Get more info on your destination through guidebooks.
- Find the right hotel for you on Booking.com through the incredible amount of filters available.
- Discover the perfect experience through GetYourGuide. From transit tickets to food tours, it’s all right here.
- Need a flight? Gotcha covered with Skyscanner (USA people, THIS link is for you).
- Already in Europe and just need a bus or train. We always use GoEuro because it’s so easy!
Now, go and have an AMAZING time! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram (@awanderlustforlife) so we can see you memorable experiences.