December is a very nice month to visit the Netherlands, thanks to the many Christmas markets all around the country. These Netherlands Christmas markets are very atmospheric and ornamented with Christmas decorations and lights.
December is high time in The Netherland to prepare for the festive days that are coming. This naturally also includes choosing the nicest Christmas market.
Of course Holland Windmills is always happy to lend a hand. We list the best events in the Netherlands.
The caves of Valkenburg
Totally unknown to the rest of the world, but very famous in Holland is the Christmas market in Valkenburg. This nostalgic Netherlands Christmas market is held in a natural cave. The Gemeentegrot (Communal Cave), at the bottom of the famous Cauberg is one of the most loved Christmas markets. It runs from mid-November until after Christmas.
By visiting the adventurous, underground corridors, you will imagine yourself in a magical world full of lights, music and surprises. You will find beautiful Christmas stalls and decorations here and you can find the greatest gifts here to your heart’s content.
The beautiful, natural caves are all the way in the southern tip of The Netherlands. It takes about 3 hours by train from Amsterdam to get there. You can do this as a day tour, or overnight in nearby Maastricht.
Haarlem Netherlands Christmas market
The Christmas market in Haarlem (in the first weekend of December) has been around for 25 years. It’s the ‘gezelligste‘ Christmas market in The Netherlands. This Dutch word can’t be translated. The closest would be something like ‘cozy togetherness’.
The Netherlands Christmas market in Haarlem has around 350 stalls that are set up on and around the Grote Markt. To get directly into the atmosphere there are familiar Christmas songs everywhere.
A live Dickens orchestra provides extra atmosphere, they can be found at various locations in the center of Haarlem during the Christmas market with well-known Christmas songs. In one old street, the Schagchelstraat, people are dressing up in 19th century costumes
For those who want to taste even more Christmas culture, different choirs with Christmas songs perform at historic locations in the center of Haarlem.
Netherlands Christmas market in Maastricht
Staying in the south of the Netherlands in Christmas gives you the chance to visit the Christmas market in Maastricht. The capital of the province of Limburg has a big impact every year and always promises to be a great party.
Prepare yourself for the nicest activities, such as enjoying the view in a high ferris wheel, skating in a covered ice rink or sledding down a giant slide.
During Netherlands Christmas, the Dutch like to eat oliebollen. Literary, ‘oil balls’. They are the original donut. Also it’s the time of year to enjoy Gluhwein, warm mulled wine that will get you into Christmas spirits real fast. The centre of Maastricht, Het Vrijthof, is set apart for Christmas chalets with red roofs and sparkling garlands, where you can buy your Christmas presents.
Largest market in Dordrecht
The largest Netherlands Christmas market is the one in Dordrecht, an old and picturesque town to the south of Rotterdam. You can count on it that there are lots of fun things to do and lots to see here.
Much attention is paid to putting together a varied program, so that there is something for everyone. It usually runs during one weekend in mid-December.
You can of course visit the many Christmas stalls and at the same time enjoy the various street theater shows or sing along with the Christmas Sing-a-Longs. There are also music stages where artists perform and create the right atmosphere for an optimal day out.
Christmas market in Dordrecht has been built up at various locations in the city. Allow enough time, so that you can see as much as possible. Visit the Stadhuisplein, the Grote kerktuin, the Vismarkt, the Grote Markt and the Waagplein.
Royal Christmas Fair – The Hague
The name already gives a clue: this Christmas market promises quite a spectacle. You can expect to be welcomed by thousands of whirling lights, mood lighting, soft blankets and decorated Christmas stalls as far as you can see.
Several stores have their merchandise in the many stalls, so you can do all your Christmas shopping in one day. The atmosphere is optimal and the fragrant aromas of sweets, cheeses and mulled wine naturally flow through the air to seduce you into even more joy.
Floating Netherlands Christmas market – Leiden
If you are wondering what a floating Christmas market is, then you should see it for yourself in Leiden. Here you will find the only floating Christmas market that you will encounter in the Netherlands. The Christmas market is built on a plateau that has been laid on the water in the Rhine river. All 75 decorated chalets are placed here and here you will find everything you need to make Christmas a perfect party.
A true Dickens Christmas – Deventer
The Christmas market in Deventer is combined with the annual Dickens festival, which will take place in the third weekend of December. Here you are transported back to 19th century England and see how 950 characters from the books of this famous English writer come to life.
The atmosphere of the Christmas market is clearly noticeable through the many decorations and Christmas stalls that are set up throughout the Lebuinus Church. Moreover, a fully musical Christmas program has been devised to bring everyone in the right Christmas mood even further.