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Lichtjesroute for beginners

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 guide for those celebrating their first (or fiftieth) Lichtjesroute. How exactly does the route run? And what's the story behind this festival of lights? Check it out with these (not so) beginner's tips!

What is the Lichtjesroute?

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 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. One 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.

Lichtjesroute Eindhoven

When is the Lichtjesroute?

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 Monday, 18 September, till Sunday, 8 October.

How to get around?

The Lichtjesroute 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.

You can enjoy the Lichtjesroute basically any way you like. By bus, car, scooter, foot, or by bicycle, of course. Something we would actually recommend because it saves a lot of traffic jams on busy days. In less than two hours, you can cycle the entire route . Don't forget to put your lights on ;)

Looking for a one-in-a-lifetime adventure? Hop on an army vehicle! For more information, visit the website.

Lichtjesroute Eindhoven

What to see?

The Lichtjesroute mainly takes you through the districts Stratum, Strijp and Woensel. Different themes often have a link to the neighborhood. For example, in Vaartbroek, you will find different constellations: a nod to the street names in that area.

An absolute must-see, is the Eendjesvijver (Duck pond). The pond is located at Hendrik de Keyzerplein, where you'll find the more significant works of the festival. It's one of the most vibrant spots on the route where many people gather. Extra surprise: volunteers hand out tasty sweets in the streets towards the pond.

Our tip: Choose a weekday

We recommend visiting the route during the week, from 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? Download the free 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.