I am currently writing this blog post across the Atlantic Ocean in the comfort of my bed to give you something to be excited for during this festive time. Are you staying in the Netherlands for the holidays? Not being able to go back home can be a bit bittersweet during this time, but if it makes you feel better, youâ€™re not the only one! If some of your friends may not be returning home or you have Dutch friends in nearby cities, ring them up and tell them to put on their Christmas socks because there are so many markets and fairs to make you feel the holiday spirit enough to not miss home!
In order of proximity to Rotterdam, I have put together a list just for you and your friends (or family!) if youâ€™re in the neighborhood!
Dordrecht Christmas Market
- What: This market is the largest Christmas market held in the Netherlands with over hundreds of stalls spread across the historical center. You can find traditional holidays treats along the entire route, which is bound to get you into the Christmas spirit!
- Where: Inner city and harbor of Dordrecht
- When: December 17, from 10.00 till 21.00 – December 18, from 11.00 till 18.00
- More information: http://www.kerstmarktdordrecht.nl/
Royal Christmas Fair The Hague
- What: Set in a city known for its vast shopping center, you will not have to go far along this street to feel the great festive ambience. Sip on some warm glÃ¼hwein and make your way down this street of Christmas stalls and performances.
- Where: Lange Voorhout
- When: December 17 until December 23, from 12.00 till 21.00
- More information: http://royalchristmasfair.nl/
Leiden Christmas Market
- What: This market stands out from the others by being the only floating market in the Netherlands. Iâ€™m sure you will be able to find something to eat, drink, or buy from the variety of stalls to get yourself into a Christmas-y mood. Also, feel free to make your way to the ice rink with your friends next to the market to feel slightly better about having eaten all those holiday sweets!
- Where: Nieuwe Rijn
- When: December 16 until December 28, from 12.00 till 21.00 (with a few exceptions, check link below)
- More information: http://www.visitleiden.nl/nl/ontdek-leiden/specials/winter-wonder-weken/kerstmarkt-leiden
Amsterdam Pure Winter Market
- What: This is the holiday edition of the Pure Market which is held in different locations every time around Amsterdam. It embodies organic and sustainable products; so, if youâ€™re an advocate for an organic lifestyle, this is definitely a Christmas market you should visit this weekend!
- Where: Park Frankendael
- When: December 18, from 11.00 till 17.00
- More information: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/whats-on/festivals/overview-cultural-festivals/pure-winter-market
- What: You can find something different to do every step of the way at this grand festival. From ice rinks and light routes to the Christmas market and winter cafÃ©s, this city shines bright with diverse activities and treats. If youâ€™re looking to travel a bit further, I highly recommend this market!
- Where: Het Vrijthof
- When: December 2 until January 1, opening hours vary (check link below)
- More information: http://www.vvvmaastricht.nl/en/magical-maastricht.html
If youâ€™re in a neighboring country to the Netherlands or want to leave the Netherlands for a different experience, here are a few festive events you might want to check out!
Cologne Cathedral X-Mas Market
- What: This market has a memorable backdrop of Cologneâ€™s landmark and numerous German eateries, drinks, and performances to give you another taste of the holiday season!
- Where: Between the Roman-Germanic Museum, the Cologne Philharmonic Concert Hall, and the Dom Hotel
- When: November 21 until December 23, from 11.00 till 21.00
- More information: http://www.cologne.de/events/christmas-markets/cathedral-x-mas-market.html
Champs-ElysÃ©es Christmas Market
- What: Located on a reputable street in Paris, from Concorde to the Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es roundabout, you are bound to get into a full-on Parisian holiday mood, complete with French treats (we all know how much we love those pastries!).
- Where: Avenue des Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es
- When: November 11 until January 8, from 10.30 till 00.00 (till 01.00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
- More information: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-show-exhibition/136109/marche-de-noel-des-champs-elysees
Donâ€™t forget to stay warm!
Yashita here! I would just like to wish you the happiest and merriest of holidays this season, regardless if youâ€™re with family or friends. Itâ€™s a jolly season, so get out there and make some new memories to end this year with a bang!