Top 8 Christmas Markets In Valkenburg, The Netherlands

christmas markets in valkenburg

Valkenburg is a historic town nestling along the River Geul in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands. Visitors can view much of the town’s past at its many historic sites, including the Valkenburg Castle ruins from the 14th century, perched on a hilltop, and ancient caves in the area. Enjoy a tour in Gemeengrot, one of the ancient caves, and Fluweelengrot, a cave with a chateau and ruins to visit. The previous occupation by the Romans can be seen in the marl quarries, the defensive moat, and the newly reconstructed city gates. However, Valkenburg is also famous as being the “Kerststad,” or Christmas City in the Netherlands. A culinary walk is arranged with festive bites, Santa’s Gift Factory attracts the kids and Santa’s Post Office is the place to send their wish lists. Read below to find out about the top Christmas markets in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.

1. Christmas market in Valkenburg Velvet Cave

Christmas Market - Cave Entrance
Source: Photo by user Chris Friese used under CC BY 2.0

One of the most fascinating Christmas markets to be visited in Valkenburg is one held in the Velvet Cave (Fluweelengrot), a cave that was created by the Romans while digging for marlstone. The Velvet Cave is one of these and is located underneath the ruins of Valkenburg Castle. Here visitors will find around 50 stalls, beautifully decorated and full of unusual Christmas items, as well as tasty local food to enjoy. The entrance to the market is also beautifully decorated in the festive tradition to lure in potential shoppers!

Velvet Cave Christmas Market

Address: Daalhemerweg 27, 6301, BJ Valkenburg, Netherlands

Website: Velvet Cave Christmas Market

Opening hours: Nov 15 - Dec 29: 10am - 7pm (daily); Dec 24: 10am - 4pm; Dec 29: 10am - 6pm (closed on Dec 25)

Price: From 6 USD

2. Christmas market in the Municipal Cave

Gemeentegrot Valkenburg, Kerstmarkt 2012 - panoramio (5)
Source: Photo by user Gimo61 used under CC BY 3.0

The Municipal Cave, or Gemeentegrot in Dutch, is home to the largest underground Christmas market in the whole of Europe. The maze of tunnels is decorated with lights, color and festive effects, including hundreds of fairy lights, a beautiful nativity scene (pictured here) and a number of quaint stalls. Here visitors can buy the perfect Christmas gift for family or friends, or enjoy the tasty, traditional treats and drinks on offer throughout the market.

Christmas market in the Municipal Cave

Address: Cauberg 4, 6301, BT Valkenburg, Netherlands

Website: Christmas market in the Municipal Cave

Opening hours: Nov 15 - Dec 29: 10am - 7pm (daily); Dec 24: 10am - 4pm; Dec 29: 10am - 6pm (closed on Dec 25)

Price: From 6 USD

Christmas markets near Valkenburg

3. Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague

Den Haag
Source: Photo by user FaceMePLS used under CC BY 2.0

Situated right in the heart of The Hague, the Royal Christmas Fair is set in the historic district, among the Noordeinde Palace, the Binnenhof, various museums, and embassies, as well as the popular shopping streets of the Plaats and Plein Squares and Denneweg. Besides a variety of stalls selling traditional arts, crafts and gifts, there is a variety of food stalls with delicious, typical treats of the region. A host of musical and other events are held throughout the run of the fair. While there, take a winter visit to Scheveningen and the beach. Entry to the Royal Christmas Fair is free.

Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague

Address: Lange Voorhout, The Hague, The Netherlands

Website: Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague

Opening hours: Dec 12 - Dec 22: 12pm - 9pm; Dec 23: 12pm - 8pm

4. Christmas market in Kerstmarkt Dordrecht

Kerstmarkt Dordrecht

Dordrecht is located in the western Netherlands on Dordrecht Island. This is the oldest city in the Netherlands with many historic sites to visit and is backed by a rich culture and history. Dordrecht hosts the largest Christmas market in the Netherlands each year, with around 200 stalls set along a 2.5-km (1.5-mi) route through the historic center of the city. Among the offerings are a range of delightful Christmas gifts, pretty Christmas ornaments and decorations and a selection of hot treats to enjoy on cold, winter days. In the heart is an ice skating rink. Other items of interest along the route are the inland harbors, the medieval Minster with its winter garden, Voorstraat, Holland’s longest shopping street, and the traditional Groenmarkt. During the run of the Christmas Market, various events are planned including choirs and bands, performing at different places along the route. For those feeling the chill, a large tent is set up next to the ice skating rink where warm seating areas are available, surrounded by beautiful fairy lights.

Kerstmarkt Dordrecht

Address: Dordrecht historic center, Netherlands

Website: Kerstmarkt Dordrecht

Opening hours: Dec 13 - Dec 15: 10am - 6pm (daily)

5. Magical Maastricht

2016-Maastricht, Vrijthof, Kerstmarkt 05
Source: Photo by user Kleon3 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Each year, this Dutch city hosts the Magical Maastricht Christmas market in Vrijthof Square. Residents and visitors can enjoy a ride on the Ferris wheel, viewing all the pretty lights and decorations from the air, or go skating in the ice rink. Parents can take the kids to Santa’s Grotto to meet the man himself in front of a roaring log fire. Quaint stalls offer tempting fare, including pastries, hot chocolate and more, as well as a range of Christmas gifts, arts and crafts. During or after a visit to the market it is well worthwhile exploring the streets of Maastricht to view all the Christmas lights and decorations.

Magical Maastricht Christmas Market

Address: Vrijthof Square, Maastricht, Netherlands

Website: Magical Maastricht Christmas Market

Opening hours: Nov 29 - Dec 31: 10am - 10pm (hours might differ on certain days)

6. Dickens Festival Deventer

Dickens Festival
Source: Photo by user Helena used under CC BY 2.0

Deventer celebrates the life and stories of the 19th-century iconic author Charles Dickens each year in the quaint Bergkwartier on December 14 and 15. The Dickens event will feature more than 950 of the author’s characters from his books, including Scrooge, Marley, Oliver Twist, and Mr. Pickwick. Vagabonds and Christmas carollers will be there on the streets, as well as the smell of punch, roasted chestnuts, punch, and other tasty treats. All the shops and galleries stay open during the festival and a magical Christmas market will be held in the main square on December 15. Among the attractions are 75 stalls, with the perfect Christmas gifts, toys, handicrafts, clothing and food, while choirs and vocal ensembles from Deventer offer musical entertainment.

Dickens Festival

Address: Bergkwartier, Deventer, Netherlands

Website: Dickens Festival

Opening hours: Dec 14 - Dec 15: 11am - 5pm

Gelukkig Kerstfeest in the Netherlands

While exploring fascinating, historic cities like Valkenburg, Den Haag, Maastricht, Deventer and Dordrecht, make sure you take in all the sights, sounds and attractions but also ensure you are there for the unique and top Christmas markets.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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