Festivals of Lights 2022/2023
Lyon and more. Europe’s most brightly-lit cities

When the days grow shorter, the nighttime darkness of some of Europe’s most beautiful cities is the scene for some incredible light shows, thanks to festivals that attract millions of visitors from around the world.

FÊTE DES LUMIÈRES – LYON (8 to 11 December)
This is the world’s biggest light festival. The lights were switched on for the first time on 8 December 1830, to mark the feast of the Virgin Mary, and the event became a city holiday in 1852. This year there are some 30 spectacular installations and huge video mappings to illuminate the city. The light show at the Cathedral of Saint-Jean is by the digital artist Filip Roca.

(from 2021 edition, photo © Muriel Chaulet – Ville de Lyon)

AMSTERDAM LIGHT FESTIVAL (1 December to 22 January)
Now in its 11th edition, the Amsterdam event makes the most of reflections on its lovely river and features works by some twenty world-famous light artists. For an even more spectacular experience, you can admire all the magic from an exclusive boat trip.

LUX HELSINKI (4 to 8 January)
Although seeing the Northern Lights is no more than a hope for visitors to Finland, if you’re in Helsinki you can rely on the Lux festival, which brightens up the days surrounding Epiphany – the darkest time of year – with buildings, courtyards and facades transformed into extraordinary urban artworks.

Lighting effects and installations embellish this gorgeous Swiss city on the shores of Lake Lucerne, along with a packed programme of concerts and events.

LLUM BCN – BARCELONA (3 to 5 February)
The Poblenou neighbourhood is the home of this festival of light art in Barcelona, an open-air urban workshop showcasing the latest trends in art, design and lighting.

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