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5 Christmas Events You Can Still Visit in the Netherlands in 2023 

You don’t need snow to get into the holiday mindset - grab some mulled wine and poffertjes and the rest will take care of itself. The best place to do that? A Christmas market, of course. Here’s our guide to the 5 Christmas events you can still visit in the Netherlands in 2023. 

1. Royal Christmas Fair The Hague 

Depending on which city you’re studying in, chances are a Christmas market in The Hague is easily accessible. This year again, the Lange Voorhout area in the city’s historic city center has transformed into a hub for all things Christmas – from Christmasy treats to small businesses selling their handmade Christmas decorations. 

Whether you’re looking for some last-minute Christmas presents or just want to grab some Bratwurst and Glühwein, you can easily spend an hour or two wandering through this market. Just remember to bring an umbrella and wear shoes that can get dirty – it can get muddy. 

  • Where: Lange Voorhout, Den Haag
  • When: December 7 – 23rd; 12:00 – 21:00

2. Magical Maastricht Vrijthof

A common favorite among Dutchies, most people you speak to would give the award for best Christmas market in the Netherlands to Maastricht. Not only is it the biggest, but it also offers all sorts of fun activities - from ice skating and a ride on the Ferris wheel to checking out the beautifully decorated stalls and admiring the big tree. 

Due to the offering of activities, you could definitely spend a whole day here. Enjoy live music, walk through the tunnel of lights, or challenge your friends to a game of curling. 

  • Where: Vrijthof, Maastricht 
  • When: November 17 - December 30; 10:00-18:00

3. WinterWelVaart Groningen 

You better hurry if you want to catch the holiday festivities in Groningen – during the last weekend before Christmas, an event like no other will take place yet again. Around 20 old charter ships will dock at the canals, and anyone interested can even take a peek inside. 

Otherwise, you’ll have your regular Christmas market line-up as well, from food and drinks to gifts and decorations.

  • Where: throughout Groningen 
  • When: December 15, 16 & 17

4. Winter-Fair at Ahoy 

Unfortunately, Rotterdam doesn’t have a proper city-center Christmas market. Instead, it’s hosting an event at the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam South. A great place to find your Christmas presents, there will be plenty of stalls available across several categories, including decorations, clothes, accessories, and arts & crafts. Of course, there will be plenty of food and activities to keep you going as well - notably some Christmas workshops. 

While this is definitely a fun event, it doesn’t have quite the charm of an outdoor Christmas market. How do you solve this? Combine the Winter-Fair with another market on this list!

  • Where: Ahoy, Rotterdam 
  • When: December 14, 15, 16 & 17

5. Gouda by Candlelight 

Another last-minute one – head to Gouda this Friday for a magical and cozy experience. It’s not a Christmas market, but the entire city center will be lit only by candlelight, for example behind the windows of the historic Town Hall. There will also be music and performances in the Gouda Theatre, museums, churches, and on the streets. 

The highlight? The lighting of the Christmas tree takes place between 19:00 and 20:00. 

  • Where: Market Square, Gouda 
  • When: December 15, 2023 

That was it – our guide to the 5 Christmas events you can still visit in the Netherlands in 2023. Do you want more context about how the Dutch celebrate the big day? Then check out this blog post here. Happy holidays! 

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