Best Christmas markets in the Netherlands

by Tanja
Best Christmas market in the Netherlands

Christmas markets are famous in Germany and Belgium, but did you know there are some amazing Christmas markets in the Netherlands as well? Whether you are a fan of Dickens, caves or a luxurious estate, Holland has got the perfect market to fit your Christmas holiday. Here are the best Christmas Markets in the Netherlands.

Christmas Town Valkenburg

Christmas Market Netherlands
Christmas market underground in Valkenburg.

In between Germany and Belgium, lies the Dutch city of Valkenburg. It’s not just the only city in the Netherlands that comes with a mountain, but it also holds the best Christmas market in Europe! (It’s official!).

The reasons are obvious. Twice a week there is an amazing Christmas Parade and you can try out the best of this culinary capital of the Netherlands on the Route d’amuse tour. But, best of all, part of the Christmas market takes place underground, in caves! Image all those lights and decorated trees and thousands of stands, sand sculptures and miniature villages… this Christmas Market will take your breath away.

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Christmas Town Valkenburg Information

  • The general Christmas Market is open from 15 November until 5 January 2020. From 15 November until 29 December 2019, you can also visit the underground Christmas market.
  • You need tickets for the special markets and events.
  • Valkenburg is easy to reach by train from Germany and Belgium.

A Dickens Festival in Deventer

Which writer do we associate more with Christmas than Charles Dickens? If you love the characters of Dickens: in the Dutch city of Deventer they come alive! Volunteers play the roles of hundreds of characters from the famous British writer: Scrooge, Oliver Twist, orphaned children, drunkards, and many others. They wear over 700 beautiful costumes. Step back in time to the 19th century and head off to Deventer. The same weekend there are also many Christmas markets, concerts, and other activities.

Dickens Festival Information

  • The Dickens Festival and the Deventer Christmas Market take place during one weekend: 14 and 15 December 2019. It’s very popular, there will be a queue of around 60 minutes for the entrance of the Dickens Festival.
  • Entrance is free.

Floating Christmas market of Leiden

The Christmas Market in Leiden.

Leiden is a wonderful city to visit. Even more so, around Christmas time. in the month of December, there is a very special Christmas market that takes place on barges that float on Leiden’s river Nieuwe Rijn. Stroll around the more than 70 winter chalets that offer winter delicacies and Christmas gifts. Onshore is a nostalgic Christmas fair. Recommended: take a boat cruise to see it all from the water.

Christmas Market in Leiden Information

  • The Winter Wonder Weeks of Leiden take place from 23 November until Sunday 5 January.
  • The floating Christmas market is from 13 December until 24 December 2019.
  • Leiden is easy to reach by train. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is 20 minutes away. Rotterdam The Hague Airport is 25 minutes away. 

Christmas Market in Haarlem

Christmas market in the city center of Haarlem.

Haarlem is Amsterdam’s neighbor. If you are spending Christmas in Amsterdam this year, hop over to Haarlem, it’s only 30 minutes away by train. The Christmas Market of Haarlem is one of the biggest in the Netherlands.

The main market takes place at the Botermarket, a large square. Expect also famous Christmas carols and taste craft beers at the Winter Beer Festival.

Christmas Market Haarlem Information

Dordrecht Christmas Market

The biggest Christmas Market in the Netherlands is in Dordrecht, near Rotterdam. There are almost 300 market stands here. But there is much more than just a Christmas market here!

There are an ice rink and a living nativity in the garden of the Grote Kerk (Big Church). Everywhere circus acts surprise visitors with their acrobatics. The main square is a musical terrace and you can sing along with your favorite Christmas Carol.

Dordrecht Christmas Market Information

  • The Christmas Market in the Dutch city of Dordrecht takes place on the weekend of 13 until 15 December.
  • You can get to Dordrecht by train. The Christmas market lies only 10 minutes walking from the train station.

Castle Christmas Fair at Estate Beeckenstein

Buitenplaats Beeckestein is a beautiful estate built for the rich Amsterdam merchants. It dates back to the 18th century. In 2019 Beeckestein is the romantic location for a Christmas fair. Especially beautiful is the garden, one of the most important historical gardens in the Netherlands. During the Christmas Fair there are also live musical performances.

Castle Christmas Fair Information

  • The Castle Christmas Fair takes place from 28 November until 1 December 2019.
  • The estate ‘Landgoed Beeckestein’ is near Amsterdam (about 25 minutes), but it is only to be reached by ar.

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