The best Dutch Christmas markets
The best Dutch Christmas markets
Holland is a beautiful country to visit year-round, but Christmastime adds a unique charm. Holland’s Christmas markets are a treasure trove of handmade souvenirs, local delicacies and fantastic entertainment.
The glittering pavilions sell traditional Dutch savoury and sweet treats, from oliebollen (doughnuts) and pannenkoeken (pancakes) to Bratwurst sausages. Take in the festive magic and browse the stalls with a glass of mulled wine.
Some of the best Christmas markets in the Netherlands include:
Amsterdam Christmas Market
If you visit Amsterdam at Christmas, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to festive activities. Holland's capital has beautiful Christmas markets brimming with traditional culinary treats, arts and crafts and exciting activities.
Amsterdam Winter Paradise is the city's biggest market, with the RAI Convention Centre turning into a winter wonderland. Enjoy seasonal parties, indoor and outdoor ice rinks and a Ferris wheel offering breathtaking city views. In addition to Amsterdam Winter Paradise, there are a few other markets like the Funky Xmas Market, Pure Markt Wintermarkt and Ice* Amsterdam. For a unique experience, consider taking a guided Winter Walk that shows you the city centre, the Nine Streets, and the Jordaan District during the most cosy months of the year.
Rotterdam Christmas Market
With a prime location and rich cultural heritage, Rotterdam is a must-visit city, and its Winter Fair is sure to get you in the festive spirit. Held at the Ahoy Convention Centre, the fair showcases local sellers' goods and culinary treats, including a Rotterdam staple, kapsalon (a layer of French fries topped with gyro meat and covered in cheese).
Valkenburg Christmas Market
Enjoy a unique experience at Valkenburg Christmas Market. This charming village in the southern province of Limburg hosts some of the country's best markets. Explore the underground Christmas wonders in the Velvet and Municipal caves, adorned with twinkling lights and shimmering decorations. The Wilhelmina Caves are home to spectacular sand sculptures depicting the nativity scene. If you want to sample Valkenburg's local specialities, try the Christmas culinary walk!
Dordrecht Christmas Market
Dordrecht Christmas Market is the country's biggest festive market, with over 300 stands stretching for two miles. The stalls sell everything from handmade souvenirs, clothing and accessories to culinary delights. Whether trying your skills at ice skating or keeping warm with a glass of mulled wine, Dordrecht turns into a fairy tale at Christmas.
Haarlem Christmas Market
Quintessentially European, Haarlem Christmas Market is a must if you're visiting Holland at Christmas. The Swiss-style wooden chalets take over the main square, selling local goods. The imposing Christmas tree dominates the scene while lighting up Haarlem's impressive Grote Kerk – a spectacular church. There is no better place to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere and enjoy a sing-along than Haarlem.
Maastricht Christmas Market
Sitting at the border with Belgium, Maastricht is a picturesque city in southern Holland. Its Christmas markets are held at Vrijthof square and are nothing short of spectacular. Beautiful decorations adorn every building, while the main square is filled with Alpine-inspired chalets. There's also an ice rink and a Ferris wheel offering picture-perfect views of the Meuse River.
The Hague Christmas Market
The Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague is one of the best Christmas markets in Holland, and it's easy to see why. The fair is located in the historic city centre, a stone's throw from Binnenhof and Noordeinde Palace. It offers an exciting activity schedule, including Christmas actors, children's choirs and other cultural activities.