The 7 best Christmas markets in the Netherlands

Are you itching to see the Christmas decorations in the shop windows? Have you been looking forward to visiting the most charming Christmas markets? Then read on, because we've put together a summary of the most delightful, surprising and romantic Christmas markets in the Netherlands!

1. Christmas Market in Magical Maastricht

Image: Happiness is an outfit

Maastricht is a veritable winter fairy tale. You can taste the festive atmosphere all over the city. The Christmas Market will be held at various squares and streets throughout Maastricht from the 1st of December till the 1st of January. Do you fancy doing something active? Fetch your figure skates or speed skates from the cupboard and get out on the Vrijthof ice rink. From a snow globe for your grandma to a reindeer for you neighbour: you’ll find presents for everyone at the Maastricht Christmas Market.

If one day in Maastricht isn’t enough for you, spend the night at Stayokay Maastricht. This welcoming hostel is beautifully situated in the River Maas within walking distance from the city centre. It is the perfect location from which to discover the city!

2. Christmas Markets in Valkenburg

Image: Velvet Cave Christmas Markets

Valkenburg is the Nº 1 Christmas Town in the Netherlands. It is particularly unusual because all of its Christmas markets are underground! You can wander through miles of passageways of the Municipal Cave and the Velvet Cave where you will find hugely inspiring and extraordinary Christmas accessories. Even when the outside temperature drops to freezing, you will keep warm in the cave as the temperature there is deliciously constant at around 10 degrees Celsius. When you’ve had enough of shopping, pop into one of the many bars or simply admire the Christmas Parade or Magic Sand. This market takes place from the 16th of November till the 6th of January.

Valkenburg is also close enough to Maastricht for you to combine visits to the Christmas markets in both places. Enjoy Maastricht and spend the night at Stayokay Maastricht! If you cannot get enough of it, combine your visit to Stayokay Maastricht with visits to the Maastricht and Valkenburg Christmas markets. The best of both worlds!

3. Christmas Market and Dickens Festival in Deventer

Image: VandaagOpstap

In the Hanseatic city of Deventer you can immerse yourself in a great Christmas market and Charles Dickens Festival. More than 950 characters from the famous English author's books come to life. If you have you always wanted to meet mean old Scrooge, then you can now! Oliver Twist and Mr Pickwick are there as well! So you'll be there too, won't you? You will be able to buy the nicest gifts and decorations at the Christmas market in and around the Great Church. Afterwards you can take a well-earned break in one of Deventer's numerous bars. Visit this Festival on 15 and 16 December.

If you don’t live in the area, then Stayokay Gorssel's wonderful Norwegian hunting lodge is just a 20-minute drive from Deventer. This welcoming hostel is the perfect base from which to visit the Dickens Festival.

4. Christmas Market in Haarlem

In the North Holland capital you will find one of the largest Christmas markets in the Netherlands. So this Christmas market can certainly not be missing in this top 7! The center of Haarlem will be transformed into a large Christmas party on December 7 and 8, 2019. With a big apple flap in your hand, you wander through the city! Don't forget to visit the Botermarkt, sing the wrong Christmassongs and taste delicious fresh Dutch pea soup!

Of course you want to experience this weekend from start to finish, so book a night at Stayokay Haarlem quickly!

5. Christmas Market in Historic Dordrecht


With over 200 stalls, food and music, the Dordrecht Christmas market is one of the largest in the Netherlands. Enjoy the Christmas market atmosphere and glimpse into the lives of artisans from decades ago. See how the silversmith creates jewellery, take in the delicious aroma of freshly-baked bread and watch and listen to the etching of a wooden engraving. You can also marvel at the living Nativity scene and sing along to Christmas carols with the choir. We understand why the Dordrecht Christmas Market is one of the most festive events in the Netherlands! You can visit this market from 14 till 16 December.

No doubt you would like to wander round the market stalls until late. That works out well because Stayokay Dordrecht is just around the corner. So you can spend the night close by!

6. Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague

Image: Royal Christmas Fair

Yayyy! The Royal Christmas Fair is back! You can immerse yourself in atmosphere and enjoy the aromas of the ultimate Christmas sensation at the Netherlands’ seat of government. Come and listen to one of the many story tellers and children’s choirs. The Lange Voorhout is packed with festive market stalls selling flambéed tarts, woodcarvings and winter furs. Wow, we can’t wait! Visit this magical fair from 14 till 24 December.

After the Christmas market, you can be at Stayokay Den Haag in no time: the perfect place to spend the night!

7. Castle Christmas Fair in Heemskerk

Image: Castle Christmas Fair

One of the largest Christmas markets in North Holland can be found on the Beeckestijn country estate, a beautiful historic country estate that was founded in the 18th century on the edge of the dunes in Kennemerland as a summer residence for Amsterdam regents. What could be better than a glass of mulled wine in one hand and a seasonal Dutch doughnut in the other? We love it! Meanwhile, wander through the Fair or go and find some kitsch Christmas decorations and a warm winter outfit. You can visit it from 28 November till 1 December 2019.

Carry on the fairy-tale theme by spending the night in a castle in nearby Stayokay Heemskerk. All you need to put on your wish list is some freshly scattered snow on the castle’s towers to make a Christmas to remember!