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Amsterdam Christmas Markets

The Amsterdam Christmas markets may not be quite as famous as those in cities such as Cologne or Salzburg. However, the Dutch capital embraces the Yuletide spirit and its pop-up seasonal attractions are full of festive cheer. They’re also generally less crowded and more relaxed than some of the large-scale offerings in other destinations.

Whether it’s warming up with a glühwein, having some festive food or going ice skating, there are plenty of traditional and modern experiences to enjoy at one of the Amsterdam Christmas markets. Here’s our round-up of the top locations in and around the city.

Amsterdam Christmas Market 2022 Ice Village

14 to 26 December 2022, Museumplein

This is the closest that Amsterdam comes to a classic Christmas market. The city’s largest square, Museumplein, is transformed into a colourful Christmas village, complete with twinkling lights and wooden chalets selling a wide range of gifts, souvenirs and festive decorations. While you’re browsing you can try one of the traditional festive treats, including fresh warm waffles and traditional Dutch pancakes – just perfect with a cup of hot chocolate. The square is also home to Ice Amsterdam, a large skating rink that’s open from November through to February.

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Amsterdam Winter Paradise

15 December 2022 to 1 January 2023, RAI Amsterdam, Europaplein

For the festive season, part of Amsterdam’s huge exhibition and conference center, the RAI, is transformed into a winter wonderland, providing a host of activities, entertainment and dining options for all the family. Try your hand at curling or cross-country skiing on a 400-metre trail through a winter landscape. Take the kids on traditional fairground rides or feel the thrill of the tube slide. You can also catch a movie in the Winter Cinema or take in a show at the Grand Ice Theatre, a brand new attraction for 2022.

Funky Xmas Market

18 December, Westergas, Haarlemmerweg

Sunday Markets are something of an institution in Amsterdam and one of the most-visited venues is Westergas, a former gasworks that’s been redeveloped into a social and cultural hub. On the Sunday before Christmas the market gets a seasonal theme with an arty, alternative vibe. It’s a great place to shop for quirky artisan gifts while soaking up the funky, festive atmosphere.

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Pure Markt WinterMarkt

18 December, Park Frankendeal

Comprising mainly artisan food stalls, but also with a selection of outlets selling designer and vintage clothes, homewares and gifts, Pure Markt is one of the Netherlands’ most famous itinerant markets. It has a monthly spot on Sundays at Amsterdam’s Park Frankendael, a former country estate just south east of the city centre, and the market will be in residence on the Sunday before Christmas. Although it’s officially a winter market rather than a Christmas market, it’s sure to feel festive and is a great place to tick off a few items on your present-buying list.

Further afield

As well as the Amsterdam Christmas Markets in and around the city centre, there are also some other fairly local ones that are within easy reach by taxi or public transport. If you fancy a change of scene and you have the time during your stay, it’s worth considering building a visit to one of them into your itinerary.

Top of the list is the Haarlem Christmas Market. It’s one of the largest and liveliest Christmas markets in the whole of the Netherlands and is just a short train journey from Amsterdam’s Sloterdijk station. There are hundreds of stalls filling some of the streets and squares in the city center and you can enjoy performances by carol singers along with the festive food and drink.

The Royal Christmas Fair in The Hague has over 100 stalls and features a programme of cultural events, including children’s choirs, theatre groups and storytellers. It’s situated in a romantic setting on the ancient, L-shaped Lange Voorhout, which was a fashionable haunt of the rich and famous in the 17th and 18th centuries.

With 28 kilometres of canals and many fine historic buildings, Leiden is one of the most historic cities in the Netherlands. Make the short trip there (about half an hour by train) and you can visit the country’s only floating Christmas market. A festive village with twinkling mini-chalets is created on pontoons in the River Rijn and there’s also a floating ice rink.

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With so many ways to celebrate the season, a visit to one of the Amsterdam Christmas Markets will add a touch of magic to your city break. Whether you’re shopping for special gifts for your loved ones or getting a nice, warm glow with some fun winter activities, this will definitely feel like the most wonderful time of the year.

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