Weekend tip: plan a day trip to one these christmas markets
The Christmas vibe is really coming around in The Netherlands. I’m currently travelling all over the country for my new book Staycation in my new Peugeot 208 looking for the best hotspots. And I’ve come across so many fun things in all of the cities! That’s why I thought it would be fun to not only make a list of the best Christmas markets in Amsterdam this year. In Amsterdam you of course have the De Amsterdamse Winterparade and the Sissy-Boy Kerstmarkt, but the rest of Holland is also packed with Christmas markets.
A great tip for a day out of the city. The snow hasn’t fallen yet, but who knows, we might get a white Christmas this year! How fun would that be? Either way, these Christmas markets are the right place to have some wintery coziness. Great food, a little bit of shopping and drinking lots of Glühwein! That’s why we’ve lined up the 10 best Christmas markets of Holland for you. Enjoy!
10 x the ‘coolest’ christmas markets in the netherlands
Maastricht: Up until January 1st the Vrijthof in Maastricht is being transformed to a Christmas market. Besides the many stalls you can also go iceskating on the icerink that’s over 1000m2, or go for a round in the Ferris Wheel that’s 60 meters high. Furthermore there are several expositions and activities in a lot of the cafés. So it’s no wonder that the city is also called Magical Maastricht during this holiday season!
Vrijthof, Maastricht – website
Dordrecht: You might not consider it, but the biggest of all the Christmas markets in Holland can be found in Dordrecht. There are over 300 stalls here and lots of entertainment, like music stages and every day is concluded with a Christmas Sing-a-long. The Christmas market is there from 15 – 17 December. Good to know: there are free shuttle buses from and to the free parking spaces, up until half an hour after closing time of the Christmas market.
Binnenstad, Dordrecht – website
Valkenburg: The most special market of all the Christmas markets in Holland may very well be the one in Valkenburg. Up until January 7th you can visit an actual underground Christmas market here! That really makes a special view. Besides the underground Christmas experience you can also participate in a route d’amuse, where you can try several amuse bouches while walking through this old trench town. They also have built a miniature world in the MergelRijk cave. Attention: The markets in the caves are open till December 23rd.
Several locations in Valkenburg – website
The Hague: To experience the full-on Christmas experience with a dash of royalty you’d have to go to The Hague. Because that’s where the Royal Christmas Fair is being held again this year. Besides the tons of stalls they also host a Christmas market for children every weekend and they spend a lot of attention to cultural activities and exhibitions. Also very nice to go to the beach of Scheveningen afterwards! The Christmas market is being held this year from 15 – 24 December.
Lange Voorhout, The Hague – website
Deventer: In Deventer they revisit the 19th century with their Dickens festivity (exactly – after Charles Dickens). This Christmas market in Holland is all about this English writer and over 950 characters from his books will be portraited on December 16 and 17. The market is being held inside the Big- or Lebuïnus church and that’s – very convenient – a calefactory church. The entrance is € 3,-.
Walstraat, Deventer – website
Leiden: Another very special Christmas market, as this is the only floating Christmas market of The Netherlands! On the water you can visit 75 Christmas stalls where they sell several things, from Christmas presents to tasty snacks. In 2016 they even won the KerstAward and that’s not without good reason. The market itself is not very big, but has a great atmosphere on the water and on the shore there’s a fair. The Christmas market is held from 15 to 27 December
De Nieuwe Rijn, Leiden – website
Roermond: The Munsterplein in Roermond is transformed to Santa’s Village from November 17 – December 31. Make a Christmas wish at the giant Wish-tree or go ice skating on the big icerink. For the kids there’s a Christmas train and the adults can participate in a wine tasting. Fun detail: they even host a bootcamp on Monday! In case you’ve eaten too many deep fried douhnut balls ;-). Munsterplein, Roermond
Utrecht: In Utrecht you van find several nice Christmas markets throughout the entire city during Christmas. For example, you have the Knüss Winterfest at the Mariaplaats on December 16 and 17, and Wintery city walks are organized. But it’s not just a Winter spectacle in the city of Utrecht, in the entire province you can do several things. Like the Winter Fair in Woerden. It’s best to check the website for the exact schedule.
Several locations, Utrecht – website
Haarlem: In Haarlem you won’t just find a Christmas market, but also a winter beer festival. This is organized by the Jopenkerk and Café Briljant and is a must-visit for the beer fans among us! On the Hortus sqaure you can try lots of different kinds of beers. On the Christmas market there’s also enough things to do: there are live perfomances, a Christmas sing-a-long and of course hundreds of stalls where you can go do Christmas shopping. This is definitely one of the Christmas markets in Holland where you can take your lover without having to talk him into going!
Kerstmarkt: 9 & 10 december op de Grote Markt, Haarlem – website
Bierfestival: 9 & 10 december op het Hortusplein, Haarlem – website
Heemskerk: The Castle Christmas Fair is being held in Heemskerk from December 7 – 10 and the name kind of gives it away, as the setting is a castle! The castle Assumburg is dipped into the Christmas vibes and over 20.000 visitors can enjoy the several bites, drinks and live perfomances. Tickets are for sale online but also at the door. Watch the aftermovie on the website to get a good first impression!
Tolweg 9, Heemskerk – website
Have fun if you’re planning on visiting one (or more ;-) ) of these Christmas markets!