8x Beginner's tips for the Lichtjesroute
Attention, attention, starting 18 September, the Lichtjesroute (Route of Lights) is back! For three weeks, luminous smurfs, ghosts, and saxophones will beam at you in all their glory. We've created a little beginner's guide for those celebrating their first Lichtjesroute this year. How exactly does the route run? What's the story behind this festival of lights? And what's happening at the Eendjesvijver? Check it out with these beginner's tips!
In the city where Philips became big, making light bulbs, a festival of lights makes sense, right? Yet the origins of this event are quite different. In fact, the Lichtjesroute celebrates the liberation of the city. Whereas large parts of the Netherlands had to wait until 1945, Eindhoven got liberated some eight months earlier. On 18 September 1944, to be exact. On that day, Allied troops entered the city. The people of Eindhoven welcomed the Americans and the British soldiers with lights behind their windows. A year later, residents commemorate the liberation by lighting candles. Behold the idea behind the Route of Lights. Over the years, this tradition grew into the festival as we know it today: 22 kilometers of twinkling lights to celebrate freedom.
The Route of Light runs from the north to the south of the city. Or the other way around. In fact, you can start at any point, and the route will show itself. Just follow the lights! Like a little more detail on how to drive? Then check out this route map.
Lights naturally shine at their best when the sun is down. So we advise starting from 8 p.m. onwards. If you want to get going a little earlier, that's possible too. The lights are switched on at 7 p.m. and stay on until 10:30 p.m. On Friday and Saturday even until 11.30 p.m. The Lichtjesroute lasts three weeks, from 18 September through 9 October.
How to get around
You can enjoy the Lichtjesroute basically any way you like. So by bus, car, scooter and foot. Or by bicycle. Something we would actually recommend because it saves a lot of traffic jams on busy days. There’s even a cycling night! You can cycle the route in two hours. Be sure to put your lights on, right?
Spot the themes
The Lichtjesroute mainly takes you through the districts Stratum, Strijp and Woensel. Different themes often have a link to the area. For example, in Vaartbroek, you will find different constellations: a nod to the street names in the neighborhood.
Ok, and then the Eendjesvijver (Duck Pond). An absolute must-see, if you ask us. The pond is located at Hendrik de Keyzerplein, and you'll find the more significant works of the festival here. It is a very lively spot on the route where lots of people gather. Extra pleasant surprise: volunteers hand out tasty sweets in the street towards the pond.
Choose a weekday
We recommend you ride the route during the week, Monday through Thursday. On weekends it is busier, and you have a chance of traffic jams. Especially on the last weekend of the festival, when many people want to enjoy the Lichtjesroute at the last minute.
Want to know more? Listen to the audio tour!
Curious about more stories behind the route and the light artworks? Then download the free izi.travel app. Find the Lichtjesroute audio tour, put it on hands-free mode, and you're ready to listen to the stories! Another excellent listening tip: the song Lichtjesroute by the Eindhoven music group Hangmat.