18 best Christmas markets in and near the Netherlands [2023]

These markets have festive spirits all wrapped up ✨

Munching on delicious oliebollen, warming yourself with a steaming mug of glühwein (mulled wine) after a round on the ice rink, and dancing to Christmas music under twinkling fairy lights: Christmas markets in the Netherlands are amazing.

But the Netherlands has spectacular Christmas markets in almost all of their cities — and that’s not counting the amazing fairs in nearby Belgium, Germany, and France! Choosing the best one to visit can be as difficult as only eating one stroopwafel.

So here’s our cadeautje (present) to you: the ultimate list of the best Christmas markets happening in and around the Netherlands!

1. Christmas Town Valkenburg: an enchanting market in a cave

The entirety of this quaint Dutch town in Limburg comes alive during the Christmas season with Christmas Town Valkenburg.

Boasting the largest underground Christmas market in Europe, the Gemeentegrot (Municipal Cave), these centuries-old tunnels wind under the ruins of the castle of Valkenburg and are filled with over 50 festive market stalls for you to explore. 

If exploring the stalls has tired you out, be sure to stop off at Santa’s Village for some delicious oliebollen, waffles, crêpes, and churros — washed down with hot chocolate or mulled wine.

📅 Dates: November 17 – January 7
💰Entry price: prices vary from €5.60 to €8.50 depending on attractions
📍Location: Valkenburg

2. Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs: part market, part seasonal paradise

Grab yourself a mug of mulled wine and clear your agenda because the fifth edition of Amsterdam Winter Paradise begins this December!

At this Dutch Christmas market, you can stroll down festive booths selling seasonal products and delicious goodies under garlands of twinkling fairy lights or even check out exclusive live musical performances by several Dutch artists.

And activity-hungry shoppers needn’t fret! Whether you’d rather visit the skating rink, take a ride on the Ferris wheel, or try your hand at skiing, this Christmas market features a winter wonderland unlike any other.

Note: all events taking place after 9 PM are 18+. The venue also enforces a strict “no sweatpants” dress code for late-night events.

📅 Dates: December 14 – December 30
💰Entry price: €54 for everyone over 13, €41 for children aged 4 to 12, and €27 for children aged 1 to 3
📍Location: Amsterdam RAI

3. Christmas Market Haarlem: the Spaarnestad puts on its winter finery

The centre of Haarlem will be transformed into an enchanting Christmas market this December that’ll have you feeling merry long before the Glühwein hits!

The market also offers the best selection of seasonal gifts, mouthwatering delicacies, and warm beverages for the absolute gezelligste experience.

Meanwhile, if you fancy some carols, you’ll have your pick of several choirs and a moody “Dickens Orchestra”.

📅 Dates: December 8 – 10, from 10:30 AM to 7 PM
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Throughout Haarlem’s city centre

4. Magical Maastricht: a true Limburgian Christmas market

a-drone-shot-of-the-christmas-market-at-vrijthof-square-in-maastricht
We can almost smell the glühwein from here! 😋 Image: Depositphotos

This season, Maastricht’s Vrijthof Square will be transformed into the enchanting Magical Maastricht Christmas market.

Stalls will be filled with special regional products, delicious seasonal goodies, and cheery decorations.

And when you’ve skated your heart out at the ice rink and picked out some awesome gifts for your loved ones, you can pop into the toasty Almhütte chalet for some glühwein (mulled wine).

Visitors will also be treated to festive light routes, with Maastricht’s walking paths illuminated by thousands of shining lights. Gezellig!

📅 Dates: November 30 – December 31
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Vrijthof, Maastricht

5. WinterWonderWeken Leiden: floating festivities in the City of Discoveries

Stroll down the stunning Hooglandse Kerkgracht with a warm mug of glühwein (mulled wine) in hand and explore Leiden’s WinterWonderWeken!

This nostalgic Christmas market boasts stalls packed full of seasonal cheer — and, best of all, a floating ice rink! Twirl, pirouette, and dance over one of the most picturesque canals in the heart of the city.

Even better, if you plan on shopping in Leiden, you’ll be pleased to know that shops are also extending their opening hours during the Christmas season.

📅 Dates: December 17-18, from 11 AM to 7 PM on Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Hooglandse Kerkgracht, Leiden

6. Winter Fair in Ahoy: Rotterdam’s seasonal market chock-full of goods

Rotterdam’s family-friendly Winter Fair boasts over 200 stalls selling all you’ll ever need to get into that holly, jolly Christmas spirit.

With stalls and events spread out over the Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre’s Halls 3, 5, AND 6, we sure aren’t kidding when we say this market is a must-see on anyone’s Dutch Christmas market bucket list.

And if the prospect of shopping all day doesn’t thrill you to the core, you can also check out the Fair’s daily musical performances, fashion shows, workshops and more.

📅 Dates: December 14-17
💰Entry price: €7.50
📍Location: Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam

7. Country & Christmas Fair: Utrecht’s royally festive market in a castle

Kasteel de Haar (Castle de Haar) once again comes alive with holiday spirit this season as it hosts its annual Country & Christmas Fair.

Tour stalls loaded with festive goods as you’re serenaded with Christmas music, then marvel at a dazzling light display with a flagon of glühwein in hand as the sun slowly begins to dip below the horizon.

Hungry? Don’t miss trying some of the delicious poffertjes or waffles that will be available onsite!

Tip: Buying your tickets online instead of at the castle will nab you a fabulous korting (discount).

📅 Dates: November 21-26, from 10 AM to 10 PM Tuesday to Saturday, and from 10 AM to 6 PM on Sunday
💰Entry price: ticket prices vary depending on whether you’re touring the castle or not
📍Location: Kasteel de Haar, Utrecht

8. Winter Market Molen de Ster: Utrecht’s cosiest winter market

group-of-friends-drinking-mulled-wine-at-a-christmas-market-in-Netherlands
Dutch Christmas markets are a masterclass in gezelligheid! Image: Depositphotos

Fancy a Christmas market in the courtyard of a gorgeous windmill? Then you need to check out the Winter Market at Molen de Ster!

You can stroll through stalls full of unique handmade goods from Utrecht’s artists and designers, let your children frolic in the mill playground — and perhaps pat an adorable goat or two.

Visitors are also offered a free tour of the windmill, and there will be hot chocolate and warm snert (pea soup) for sale. Lekker hé?

📅 Dates: December 9, from 11 AM to 5 PM
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Molen de Ster, Utrecht

9. Royal Christmas Fair: a festive market in The Hague’s historic centre

With over 100 stalls and a diverse cultural programme to celebrate the season, the Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague is a definite must-see!

Still got time on your hands after picking out some truly amazing gifts from the market’s stallholders? Be sure to stick around for the spectacular light shows, and take a magical walk amongst the ice sculptures.

Those with kids will also have a chance to meet Santa Claus (in his sleigh!) and visit the special Children’s Christmas Fair.

📅 Dates: December 7 – 23, from 12 PM to 9 PM and open its doors at 5 PM on December 7
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Lange Voorhout, Den Haag

10. Gouda by Candlelight: a Christmas market with old world charm

Gouda’s stunning Christmas market, Gouda by Candlelight, is here once again, with a dash of history amidst the seasonal cheer.

Shop for delightful seasonal products illuminated under the romantic glow of over a thousand candles, then watch the lighting of a Christmas tree that represents a long tradition of friendship between Gouda and the Norwegian city of Kongsberg.

But wait — the celebrations don’t stop there!

The city centre also plays host to a dazzling light festival, complete with singing, theatre productions, and more.

📅 Dates: December 15
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Gouda

11. Dickens’ Festival: Deventer’s festive trip back in time

men-sing-on-a-roof-at-the-dickens-festival-christmas-market-in-Netherlands
Please, Sir, can I have some more…of these fabulous Christmas festivities? ✨ Image: Aisha Brown/Supplied

Deventer’s gorgeous Lebuinuskerk will once again play host to the city’s cheery Christmas market, featuring around 75 stalls full of exquisitely artistic and handmade goods.

Not enough? We gotcha. Fans of Charles Dickens can’t miss the Dickens’ Festival, where 950 of his beloved characters come to life and take to the streets!

There will also be a special performance of the play Alles is Dickens and a Dickens Walk around Deventer featuring an accompanying radio play.

📅 Dates: December 16 and 17
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Deventer

12. Archeon Midwinter Fair: the ultimate winter market for Renaissance fans

Want a less typical Dutch Christmas market? The 19th edition of Archeon Museum’s Midwinter Fair in Alphen aan den Rijn celebrates the Yule tradition, an ancient winter celebration observed by Germanic people.

Between a Masked Ball, a retelling of Midwinter stories, and a live game of Dungeons and Dragons, there is an abundance of things to see and do!

Tip: Museum Card holders are offered discounted rates, so be sure to bring your card along if you have one.

Visitors can also try several activities at Archeon’s spellbinding theme park, such as archery, swordfighting, and a cosplay workshop.

📅 Dates: December 9
💰Entry price: Between €19.50 and €34.90
📍Location: Archeon Museum Park, Alphen aan den Rijn

13. Winter Heerlijckheid: Christmas magic set in a castle

a-group-of-friends-drinking-mulled-wine-at-a-christmas-market-in-Netherlands
Heading outside to “chill”? Grab some mulled wine! Image: Depositphotos

Set in the gorgeous estate and castle of Warmelo in Twente, this outdoor Christmas market features over 100 booths selling a range of seasonal products that’ll have you buzzing with festive cheer!

Whether you’re dying to pick up the perfect winter scarf or a fancy bottle of wine, you’re sure to find something to get you into a festive mood.

📅 Dates: November 10 to 12
💰Entry price: €12.50 for adults, €5 for children aged 6 to 12, and free for children under 6
📍Location: Kasteel Warmelo, Diepenheim

Christmas markets beyond the Netherlands

If you’re looking for choices further afield or want to make a weekend getaway of it — great idea!

Here are some fabulous Christmas markets in Belgium, Germany, and France for an extra helping of festive cheer. 🎄

14. Winterland Hasselt: an alpine winter experience in the heart of Belgium

Winterland Hasselt will soon be here to treat you to a uniquely alpine experience with over 50 market stalls and drinks in a traditional Austrian mountain chalet!

Are you looking for fun activities whilst you shop? This Christmas market’s got it all, whether you’re more into Ferris wheels, indoor skating, or exploring unique attractions like Santa’s Ghost Villa.

And if you’re also interested in entering the new year in style, be sure to book your ticket for Winterland Hasselt’s New Year’s Eve party.

📅 Dates: November 17 – January 7
💰Entry price: Free
📍Location: Kolonel Dusartplein, Hasselt, Belgium

15. Winter Wonders: Brussels celebrates Christmas in style

people-at-a-christmas-market-in-brussels-with-a-ferris-wheel-in-the-distance
It’s fun for the whole family, so you don’t want to give this one a miss! Image: Press Photos

The 23rd edition of Brussels’ Winter Wonders offers visitors a spectacular sound and light show at the Grand Place.

Dubbed one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, it features many fun cultural activities in the heart of this stunning city.

Between going ice skating, exploring 250 stalls full of Christmas goodies, and checking out entertaining shows for both adults and children, there’s loads to see and do!

📅 Dates: November 24 – December 31
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium

16. Köln Cathedral Christmas Market: traditional winter cheer

a-cheery-christmas-market-under-köln-cathedral
Christmas festivities in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! Image: Depositphotos

A Christmas market on the grounds of a UNESCO World Heritage Site — what could be merrier?!

This Christmas market has over 130 stalls selling handicrafts, gifts, and seasonal food. You can pick up glassblown items, festive ceramics, children’s toys, or even personalised embroidered items.

As for entertainment, there are over 100 (free!) events on the central stage.

📅 Dates: November 23 – December 23
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Köln Cathedral, Köln, Germany

17. Mosel Wein Nachts Markt: the ideal market for wine lovers

Escape the cold weather outside at the Mosel Wein Nachts Markt!

This quaint German town’s underground wine and Chrismas market is set in a 16th-century wine cellar, where twinkling fairy lights and cheery music are sure to get you into a festive mood.

There’s much to discover, including artisan food products, jewellery, antiques — and, of course, wine. 🍷

Tip: We suggest driving there and making an overnight stay. If you don’t have a car of your own, why not try car-sharing or renting a car?

📅 Dates: November 18 – January 1
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: An d. Mosel 25, Traben Trarbach, Germany

18. Metz Christmas Market: seasonal cheer in one of France’s most beautiful cities

senior-couple-at-a-christmas-market-in-france-buying-decorations
Pick up a trinket or two — and a large helping of Christmas cheer! Image: Depositphotos

Step aside, Paris, there’s another French city brimming with seasonal cheer!

The Metz Christmas Market promises a shopping experience full of festive gifts, fabulous festivities, and wine tastings.

And if you need to chill after you’ve shopped yourself giddy, pop on a pair of skates and have a twirl at the city square’s giant ice rink.

Tip: For a truly breathtaking view of the city, you need to check out the Place d’Armes, where a giant Ferris wheel will lift you high above all the festivities.

📅 Dates: November 24 – December 30
💰Entry price: free
📍Location: Metz, Lorraine, France

What can I expect at a Dutch Christmas market?

Visiting a Christmas market is the best bucket list item if you’re staying in the Netherlands over the winter!

City centres up and down this cheese-obsessed country blossom with cheery market stalls selling homemade goods, festive decorations, and — best of all — delicious seasonal food.

a-group-of-friends-drinking-hot-chocolate-at-a-christmas-market-in-the-netherlands
Eating delicious food, having fun on the ice, AND shopping? Sign us up! 🙋🏻‍♀️ Image: Depositphotos

As you wander through these stalls, you’ll also be treated to the scent of glühwein and oliebollen (a scrumptious deep-fried ball of dough). Lean into temptation and give these a try!

More activity-hungry visitors are also in for a treat, as Dutch Christmas markets generally offer a range of fun activities. Whether you’re a lover of ice skating, going on fairground rides, or just swaying to some live music, you’re guaranteed to have a fabulous time.

What to eat and drink at a Dutch Christmas market

In addition to fan favourites oliebollen and glühwein, there are many other delicious things to try!

  • Appelbeignets and appelflappen are deep-fried apple pastries which go very nicely with hot chocolate 🍎
  • If you’re in the mood for something more savoury, then try some bitterballen (deep-fried and breaded meatballs) or their longer cousins kroketten (a deep-fried and breaded cylinder of ragout)
  • Every Dutch Christmas market will serve glühwein, a type of spiced wine that is served hot and will warm your belly🍷
  • You can also pick up bags of kruidnoten — hard round cookies made of speculaas 🍪

Ready to experience the Dutch winter wonderland at these incredible Christmas markets in the Netherlands and beyond? Pop on your gloves, grab your warmest winter coat and hit the streets — the glühwein is calling your name!

Which Dutch Christmas markets are you going to visit this winter? Tell us all about them in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Liana Pereira 🇱🇰
Liana Pereira 🇱🇰
Liana juggles her role as an Editor with wrapping up a degree in cognitive linguistics and assisting with DutchReview's affiliate portfolio. Since arriving in the Netherlands for her studies in 2018, she's thrilled to have the 'write' opportunity to help other internationals feel more at home here — whether that's by penning an article on the best SIMs to buy in NL, the latest banking features, or important things to know about Dutch health insurance.

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