Are you already dreaming of a White Christmas? If so, prepare to fully immerse yourself in all things festive at one of these Christmas markets and events. Taking place across the Netherlands, they’re guaranteed to put a smile on the face of even the biggest Grinch.
Celebrate Christmas in the Netherlands at these 11 eventsIt’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas. If you’re looking to get into the festive spirit, these 11 events will be right up your alley!
Christmas Town Valkenburg, November 18 – January 8This has got to be one of the most unique and well-known Dutch Christmas markets, taking place every winter in the town of Valkenburg in Limburg. Probably best to avoid this one if you aren’t a fan of small dark spaces, as the Christmas Town is held in the famous caves of Valkenburg – but don’t think that makes the market dark and dingy, oh no! The setting is transformed by all the twinkling lights and magical decorations, and the indoor setting means it’s the perfect place to spend the day, as you’re protected from anything the Dutch weather could throw at you.
Christmas Market Haarlem, December 9 – December 11After a two-year hiatus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this beloved Christmas event is back! One of the largest and liveliest on offer in the Netherlands, the Christmas Market Haarlem sees the city taken over by 300 stalls, interspersed with various angelic choirs singing all your favourite Christmas tunes.
Ice Village Amsterdam, December 14 – December 26While the iconic Ice Amsterdam skating rink has already returned to Museumplein, the extremely popular Christmas market, Ice Village, will also be returning to the Dutch capital this winter. In the lead-up to the big day, roam the dozens of stalls that will be making an appearance at this year’s edition of the event, and gorge yourself on delicious food and drink – or perhaps even pick up a few last-minute gifts!
Amsterdam Winter Paradise, December 15 – January 1Another popular Christmastime event in the Dutch capital is Amsterdam Winter Paradise, which takes place every year at RAI Amsterdam and has absolutely everything your Christmas-obsessed heart could dream of. Picture a Ferris wheel, a winter wonderland decked out with plenty of fake snow, an enormous ice rink, and lots to eat and drink!
Winter Fair Ahoy, December 14 – December 18The Winter Fair is only on for a couple of days, which means the event organisers are sure to pack in as much festive feeling as humanly possible. The Winter Fair Ahoy – taking place, as the name suggests, at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam – is the perfect place to engage in some seasonal fun or stock up on some gorgeous decorations to make your house suitably homey in time for the holidays.
Magical Maastricht, December 1 – December 30Magical Maastricht is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most impressive events on this list, and has got to be one of the Netherlands’ most famous Christmas markets. Head on down to Maastricht in the month of December and experience what it feels like to be immersed in the Christmas spirit. The event hosts a range of market stalls, several cosy chalets, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel – what more could you ask for!?
Royal Christmas Fair, December 8 – December 23Taking place in The Hague every winter, the Royal Christmas Fair will bring a bit of class to your holiday celebrations. The event takes over the city centre, transforming it into a charming and romantic market with over 100 stalls, lots of traditional German food, and plenty of activities to keep the entire family entertained.
Dickens Festival, December 10 – December 11Looking for something both classic and kitsch this festive season? Then be sure to check out the Dickens Festival in Deventer (a city near Apeldoorn). For one weekend in December, the whole city is taken over by all things even vaguely Dickensian, allowing you to feel like you’ve stepped back in time and are able to experience Christmas as it might have been in 19th-century England. On top of the amazing theme, this event also has all the more conventional aspects you’d expect from any Christmas market – it just serves it up with a little extra pizazz.
Castle Christmas Fair, November 17 – November 20The Castle Christmas Fair – like the Dickens Festival – offers up something truly magical to all its visitors. Every year, Beeckstijn country estate (which is on the outskirts of Haarlem) hosts an extravagant range of exclusive events (everything from fashion shows to musical performances) and cute stalls selling a range of Christmas and lifestyle goodies.
Archeon Midwinter Fair, December 10 – December 11This is another Christmas event with a historical vibe, and it’s a great option for anyone with kids! This year, the Midwinter Fair at the Archeon museum park goes back to the origin of our modern-day Christmas traditions, celebrating all things seasonal under the theme of Renaissance. There are a couple of stalls, but also lots of activities, exhibitions, workshops and entertainment for Christmas lovers of all ages.
Gouda by Candlelight, December 16Last but not least, Gouda by Candlelight isn’t technically a Christmas market, but it’s certainly a Christmassy way to spend an evening this December. For one night (and one night only), Gouda will be lit up by thousands of candles as the city prepares for the holidays. You can’t do much shopping, but there will be stalls selling food and drink, and you can attend a magical concert in one of the city’s many churches.
Have a very merry Christmas at a Dutch Christmas market!Are you feeling ready for Christmas yet? If all that didn’t get you in the festive spirit, nothing will! Whether you’re just planning to make a quick stop at your local market, or are thinking about booking a weekend away to make the most of a specific event, these Christmas markets in the Netherlands are all definitely worth a visit!