Germany gets all the credit when it comes to Christmas markets and with good reason. However, that’s not to say its neighbour doesn’t have plenty to offer. Whether you want to visit a more traditional Christmas market [link to other article] or prefer something a little different, there is a Christmas market in the Netherlands for you. Here are some of our favourite “alternative” markets.
Enjoy an extended Christmas atmosphere in Valkenburg, where the city transforms into a Christmas town (Kerststad). The highlight? The Christmas markets held inside the Valkenburg caves. The caves were once used to mine marl and also as an escape opportunity in case the castle was invaded.
For one weekend each December, the historic city of Deventer goes back in time to celebrate Christmas and Charles Dickens. This combination results in a festival with over 900 characters, from Scrooge to Oliver Twist, and a Christmas market with around 200 stalls.
If you haven’t visited the city of Maastricht yet, or even if you have, a visit during Christmas is well worth it. The city transforms into a magical destination, complete with plenty of Christmas lights, a Christmas market, ice rink, and a Ferris wheel.
Taking place in the grounds of the Beeckestijn country estate, the Castle Christmas Fair features a Christmas bazaar, winter fashion and products, performances, and plenty of culinary treats.
Bonus Tip: There is also a Castle Christmas Fair in Slot Assumburg, a castle in the city of Heemskerk in Noord-Holland.
A perfect one for the kids! The Archeon Midwinter Fair is part of the Celebrate Winter at Archeon event. If you aren’t familiar with Archeon yet, you should be. This archaeological living museum is interesting to visit any time of year, but it takes on a special atmosphere in the winter.
A beautiful fortified city in the northern part of the Netherlands, Bourtange, is well worth a visit for its Christmas market. When you aren’t admiring the historical city itself, you can indulge at one of the almost 100 Christmas stalls.
Another Christmas event that earns bonus points purely for location is the Country and Christmas Fair. Located in the grounds of the picture-perfect De Haar Castle, you’ll find 240 stalls, carol singing, and plenty more to make you happy.