Christmas market in Haarlem

The Best Christmas Markets in the Netherlands

Thinking of visiting a couple of Christmas markets in the Netherlands, but you don’t know where to go?

You’ve come to the right place. After living in the Netherlands for more than 20 years, I know where to go to get into the Christmas spirit.

In this article, you’ll find a guide to the best Christmas markets in Holland.

Haarlem during Christmas market
Christmas market in Haarlem

The best Christmas markets to visit in the Netherlands

There are plenty of Christmas markets in the Netherlands. They’re the perfect place to visit during a chilly winter in the Netherlands. With lots of lights, warm drinks and a cosy atmosphere, these Christmas markets are definitely worth visiting:

Funky Xmas Market, Amsterdam

On Sunday, December 17, head over to the Westergas area in Amsterdam for the Funky Xmas Market.

Discover numerous stalls offering unique Christmas gifts including clothing, jewelry, vintage goods and Christmas decorations. This is the best market to visit for a lively Christmas atmosphere.

Enjoy live music and try some delicious Dutch snacks from the food stalls and food trucks.

Open: December 17 from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and admission is free.

Tip: also don’t forget to visit Amsterdam Light Festival. During this event, the streets and canals of Amsterdam are lit up.

Although it’s not a Christmas market, it’s definitely an amazing event to visit during the winter. It takes place from 31-11-2023 until 21-01-2024. This year’s edition is called: Art, AI and Tech.

Amsterdam with Christmas lights

Christmas Village, Amsterdam

Another Christmas market in Amsterdam is the Christmas Village. Every year, the Museumplein transforms into a charming winter village when Christmas Village sets up on the square.

I’s filled with winter chalets, where you’ll discover all sorts of goodies, such as Christmas accessories, live entertainment and delicious food.

Open: December 13 to December 26.

Lights Parade Lelystad

On Saturday, December 16, the Lights Parade brightens up Lelystad.

This festive parade makes the city centre the coziest place in Lelystad with thousands of lights and dancing people.

Open: December 16. The Lights Parade starts at 5:30 pm on Florijnstraat and ends around 7:00 pm at Agorahof.

Afterward, until 8:30 pm, enjoy Christmas music and explore several stalls offering tasty food and drinks.

Magical Maastricht Vrijthof, Maastricht

From November 30 to December 31, Vrijthof in Maastricht transforms into Magical Maastricht.

There’s a massive indoor ice rink of 1,000 m2, a street curling rink, the new Luna Park, a carousel for little kids, and a 45 m high Ferris wheel offering a spectacular view of Vrijthof and Maastricht.

Additionally, there’s a traditional Christmas market with beautifully lit stalls featuring handmade crafts—perfect for gifts or decorating your home.

Open: November 30 to December 31, Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 12:00 am, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 am. Free entry.

Chocomel and gluhwein at a christmas market in the Netherlands during winter

Royal Christmas Fair, The Hague

From December 7 to 23, the Royal Christmas Fair takes place in the historic heart of The Hague on Lange Voorhout.

Explore dozens of Christmas houses, thousands of LED lights, cozy fires, mulled wine, and almost daily visits from the real Santa Claus.

Alongside the market, enjoy special programs featuring Christmas choirs, storytellers, children’s activities, and musical performances.

Open: from December 7 to 23, from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Note: closed on Monday, December 18.

Christmas Market in Haarlem

From December 8 to 10, Haarlem’s city center turns into one of the coziest Christmas markets in the Netherlands.

Santa at Christmas Market in the Netherlands

The market winds through the city with nearly 350 stalls across 12 locations offering Christmas items, gifts, jewelry, fashion accessories, food, and drinks. It’s one of the largest Christmas markets in Holland.

The Christmas market features an extensive entertainment program. It only lasts a couple of days, so expect lots of crowds. If you don’t mind this, then it’s a great market to visit. There’s free entry.

Open: December 8 to December 10.

Gluhwein at Christmas Market in the Netherlands

Nostalgic Christmas Market, Leiden

From December 13 to 17, the Nostalgic Christmas Market graces the Hooglandse Kerkgracht in Leiden.

Enjoy cozy wooden chalets with delightful Christmas gifts, food trucks serving winter snacks, and a winter terrace for sipping hot chocolate or mulled wine.

Open: December 13 to 16, from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and on December 17, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Free entry.

Also, check out the Floating Ice Rink in Leiden, open from December 9 to January 7, 2024, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm on the Nieuwe Rijn. A day pass costs €9, including skates and excluding mandatory gloves.

Candlelight Shopping & Music, Castricum

On Saturday, December 16, Castricum’s village center transforms into a Christmas winter wonderland.

Candlelight Shopping & Music features live music, an ice rink and various food trucks offering some delicious treats.

Although lovely Castricum is only a small village close to the sea and the dunes, it’s definitely worth visiting. Especially if you’re looking for a smaller Christmas market, then this is the place to be.

The event takes place in the following streets: Torenstraat, Dorpsstraat, Burgemeester Mooijstraat, Kerkplein, Bakkerspleintje, and Dorpsplein.

There’s even a Christmas train with stops in Torenstraat and Kerkplein. Also don’t miss the Art and Lights Path in the Garden of Captain Rommel.

Open: December 16, from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and the stores are open until 10:00 pm. Free entry.

house in Castricum
Castricum during winter

Lights Parade Lelystad

On Saturday, December 16, the Lights Parade brightens up Lelystad.

This festive parade makes the City Center the coziest place in Lelystad with thousands of lights and dancing people.

Open: December 16.

The Lights Parade starts at 5:30 pm on Florijnstraat and ends around 7:00 pm at Agorahof.

Afterwards, until 8:30 pm, enjoy Christmas music and explore numerous stalls offering tasty food and drinks.

Christmas market Holland

Christmas Town, Valkenburg

If you’re looking for a true winter landscape, then you should visit the extensive Christmas Town in Valkenburg.

From 17 November 2023 until 7 January 2024 Christmas Town Valkenburg is filled with the Christmas spirit. Here you can enjoy the many festive lights, live music and Christmas food, not only above- but also underground.

For a unique Christmas feeling inside of a cave, you’ll have to visit this town.

Open: 17 November to 7 January. For most of their attractions you need to buy a ticket. There’s more information here.

Dickens Festival, Deventer

Last but not least, on December 16 and 17, the Dickens Festival takes place in Deventer.

This unique event transports you back to the 19th century in the historic Bergkwartier, bringing characters from the famous books of English writer Charles Dickens to life.

Relive old times in the beautifully decorated city, decorated with lots of lights, music and treats from Dickens’ era.

This is without a doubt one of the best Christmas markets to visit in the Netherlands.

Open: December 16 and 17, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Free entry, only accessible via Keizerstraat. Be prepared for a potentially long queue, which may take up to 1.5 hours.

If you can’t make it this year, mark your calendar for December 14 and 15, 2024.

In conclusion

Christmas markets are the perfect place to get those warm cosy feelings during a cold winter in the Netherlands. There are several great Christmas markets here which are definitely worth visiting.

They’re filled with thousands of lights, food stalls and sometimes even Christmas choirs. So, head over to some of these cosy Christmas markets to get into the Christmas spirit.

Away with Danae

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