Christmas Markets in Holland

Each year, in the winter, several towns and cities in Holland host wonderful Christmas markets. These are not only a terrific pace to stock up on gifts and decorative items, but are also perfect for buying handicrafts and art work that cannot be found in regular stores. Seasonal food and drink are commonly available at the markets, and organizers do their very best to try and create an enticing and captivating winter wonderland during Christmas in Holland. There is invariably a huge Christmas tree, with the very vest décor. Lights shine and decorations glint, and there are usually other attractions, such as nativity scenes, funfairs, a Santa’s grotto, an artificial ice rink, or similar. Very often you can hear festive music and Christmas carols as you stroll around the magical markets. You may see people performing show of traditional dancing, dressed in traditional Dutch dress, or other folk activities. Christmas markets offer a unique seasonal attraction, filled with festive cheer and a delightful atmosphere. Awash with people, you too can see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the tantalizing aromas, and experience the joy of a Christmas market in Holland. 

Regardless of your religion, the seasonal markets offer a fantastic experience.  They typically operate from mid November to mid December, although some remain open for longer.  

Valkenburg 

Valkenburg Christmas market is truly unique and one of a kind. Situated inside a cave, visitors can escape the dark nights and head into the brightly lit cave for an abundance of treats. It is the largest and oldest underground Christmas market in the whole of Europe. There is music and singing aplenty as you wander through the long maze like grotto alleys. An astounding selection of products means that you are sure to find the perfect gift for a loved one … or a terrific treat for yourself! The fun doesn’t stop after you exit the cave, when you can admire the brightly lit streets and the ruined castle, and dine in a variety of great restaurants.

Maastricht

Historical Maastricht really shines as Christmas approaches. The city has several different markets throughout its streets, with the centre of the city hosting many light art projects. Lights connect squares and streets, creating a great festive ambiance. Vrijthof Square is at the heart of the action, with stalls and attractions radiating outwards. On the square you will find a big wheel, from which you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the delightful scenes below, a carousel, and an ice rink. When you have had your fill of shopping for the day, why not head to one of the theatres? You can enjoy a fascinating festive cultural show. Indulge yourself with local specialities, such as pofferties and oliebollen.

Haarlem

The quaint and traditional market in Haarlem is home to around 200 beautifully decorated and inviting stalls, offering a range of items and gifts. Wrap up warm, take the kids to visit Santa Claus, drink mulled wine, and discover the magic that awaits you in Haarlem.

Amsterdam

The country’s capital city is also home to some great markets around Christmastime. Indeed, there are over 20 different neighbourhood markets to try! The largest can be found at Albert Cuypstraat, where you will find toys, clothes, yummy seasonal foods, and more. Bloemenmarkt flower market specialises in Christmas trees. Koningsplein and Leidseplein offer a veritable treasure trove of goodies. Pure Markt is the number one place to stock up on healthy and organic food products. It also has a carousel, which is sure to please the kids. Inclusive in every way, Amsterdam also has the Pink Christmas Market. At the Zeedijk you can experience the gay Christmas market, with plenty of fun and frolics. As well as stalls and shopping galore, you can enjoy a fashion show and various performances. At Westergas Fabriek you can pick up unique handmade items.

 

Deventer

Step back in time at this wonderful market and experience the Christmas of yesterday. The market offers a glimpse of life in Victorian England, with this fantastic Charles Dickens themed market. Meet well known characters from Dickens’ novels, such as scrooge, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim, and more. The choir songs carry through the air, and it really is a memorable experience.

Other places in Holland to join in with the Yuletide fun include Rotterdam, Nijmegen, and Dordrecht. 

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