Amsterdam Light Festival 2018-2019

The annual Amsterdam Light Festival is a winter event that combines light, art and — of course — water.

The organization promotes boat-, walking-, and bicycle tours along the 30 art installations.

Now in its seventh year, the previous two editions drew 900.000 visitors each.

However, the festival leaves us (among others) underwhelmed.

We suggest an excellent alternative.

The Night Watch by Rembrandt is not actually called The Night Watch

Quick: What is the official name of Rembrandt’s most famous painting, The Night Watch? And what does the painting depict?

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam sees 2.2 million visitors a day — and most of them want to see The Night Watch.

Now that is has been determined that the enormous canvas has to be restored, what’s the museum to do? Well, do the restoration work in full view of the public, of course. Details inside…

Westertoren

On August 10, 1943, Anne Frank — hiding in the Achterhuis — wrote, “We’ve all been a little confused this past week, because our dearly beloved Westertoren bells have been carted off to be melted down for the war, so we have no idea of the exact time, either night or day…” So, whatever happened to the bells of the Westertoren?

How to find and rent a room in Amsterdam

Housing in Amsterdam is at a premium, so students and interns (as well as locals) tend to have a hard time finding a room. We list several services and advertisers that list rooms for rent.

We also give details on how to avoid room rental scams. And did you know that certain types of properties come without renters’ protections (e.g. cancellation terms)?

Also: is your room legal or illegal? Are you allowed to register?

Plus: What to do if you are being charged too much rent.

Airbnb in Amsterdam

Under certain conditions it is legal for citizens of Amsterdam to rent out their privately-owned homes via Airbnb and similiar services.

Airbnb, which currently has a market share of 12% of the city’s hotel sector, collects tourist tax on behalf of the city.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam is putting more restrictive polices in place in an effort to address the many problem caused by Airbnb and similar platforms.

The latest: Starting in 2019 Amsterdammers can only rent out their homes via Airnbnb and similar platorms for 30 days a year.

By the way: Amsterdam is the only capital city in Europe in which it is more expensive to spend a night in an Airbnb vs a night in a hotel.