December is a magical time in the Netherlands as many towns and cities around the country light up and host special holiday markets that sell a variety of festive items associated with Christmas season. If you have some spare time between study sessions, visit the nearby Christmas market to get in that holiday mood. But if you are up for a festive weekend trip, here are the 5 best Christmas markets in the Netherlands you should visit.
1. Christmas City Valkenburg
One of the best Christmas markets in Holland is located in Valkenburg. The kerststad (Christmas city) offers seven impressive Christmas attractions that last until the first week of January. The main attractions are the unique underground Christmas markets located in the caves of the Cauberg. Besides the underground experience, you can also visit Santa’s Village, participate in a route d’amuse and watch the Christmas Parade.
2. Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague
For a full-on Christmas experience visit the Royal Christmas Fair in the Hague. Besides having around 80 fun and colorful Christmas chalets, they also host a Christmas market for children and have a diverse programme of cultural activities and exhibitions. This is definitely one of the best Christmas markets to enjoy bischopswijn (mulled wine), shop for Christmas treats and decorations, as well as enjoy choir and theater performances. If you choose to visit this market, don’t forget to go to Scheveningen beach afterward.
3. Leiden’s Floating Christmas Market
On the canals of the historic inner city of Leiden, the traditional Floating Christmas Market takes place. Last year it attracted around 150.000 visitors so this year the market will definitely not let you down. In fact, it offers around 70 Christmas chalets with a wide variety of presents, treats, and special holiday offers. In addition, here you can also enjoy a floating ice rink, winter boat tour, and different festive performances.
4. Magical Maastricht
Up until the 1st of January Maastricht’s historic Vrijthof square turns into a winter wonderland. Here, you will find many seasonal events such as exhibitions, concerts, and dance shows. Besides exploring the stalls, you can also enjoy ice skating on a large ice rink or go for a round in the Ferris Wheel which is 60 m high! This is definitely a place to be if you want to find original Christmas gifts and taste, smell, and experience that magical feeling of this season.
5. Dordrecht - The Home Of One Of The Best Christmas Markets
Surprisingly, one of the biggest Christmas markets in Holland is located in Dordrecht. This city provides an authentic Christmas market experience similar to the one you would get in Cologne or Dusseldorf. Here you’ll find more than 300 stalls and a rich cultural program. For instance, there are several music stages that host Christmas Sing-a-longs. Additionally, you can enjoy the magnificent ice skating rink or treat yourself to various delicious Christmas foods. Moreover, the Christmas market has a route of 2.5 km which leads you through the historic city center and makes it a perfect holiday destination.
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