4 Magical winter activities in The Netherlands

Flex workers at a Christmas market in Holland

The days are getting shorter and colder, and stores are filling up with Christmas decorations. It’s almost winter in The Netherlands! 

It can be tempting to stay in the warmth of your home, but these magical winter activities may just be worth it to step outside for! If you don’t have a car, our blog about public transport in the Netherlands can help you plan your journey.

1. Christmas City Valkenburg

Every year around Christmas, the city of Valkenburg in Limburg transforms into a true winter wonderland. The highlight of it all is a Christmas market inside an old cave.

The Valkenburg even got voted “Best Christmas Destination of The Netherlands” this year (2022). You don’t want to miss this unique activity! You can enjoy the Christmas City of Valkenburg from November 18th until January 8th this year. Got a bit cold while exploring the city? Why not visit to the Thermae 2000 spa as well? If you stay at a nice hotel – the Spa hotel has some wonderful package deals – you could easily make a weekend trip out of it!

2. Christmas Market in Maastricht

Maastricht is a fun city to visit at any time of the year, but especially around Christmas. The Vrijthof square, will be filled with wooden stalls selling winter treats, and Christmas decorations and gifts. There’s also a huge skating rink (1000m2!), a big ferris wheel (45m high!), and a two-story merry-go-round. Besides at the Vrijthof square, you’ll find Christmas activities in other parts of the city as well. Make sure to check out the little streets around the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Basiliek, for example. Maastricht itself is also a great place for shopping! For more information, check out the Maastricht Christmas Market website – it’s only available in Dutch, so you may need to use Google Translate.

3. Winter Efteling

The Efteling is a theme park that is most popular with families with kids, but even adults can enjoy the fairytale setting of the Winter Efteling. Most rides will be open (the ones that don’t involve water) and you’ll find all kinds of Christmas decorations and bonfires throughout the entire theme park. Get into the Christmas mood and enjoy the fairytale forest with magical decorations!

4. Phantasialand Wintertraum

If you don’t mind the drive, Phantasialand Wintertraum in Germany is a wonderful winter activity! Similar to the Efteling, this theme park has all kinds of winter decorations, activities, and shows. The rides at Phantasialand are a bit more exciting and can be more fun for adults that are looking for a thrill.

If you wanted to stay at home this winter, we hope our suggestions have changed your mind! We’d love to hear your stories about exploring these activities – feel free to share in the comments!

Looking for activities for other seasons? Check out our autumn activity tips!

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