Discover the best places to visit in The Netherlands at Christmas and in December. I know that sometimes it can be tough to choose the best country or cities to celebrate Christmas, that’s why I decided to make things easier for you. The Netherlands is filled with some of the best places to enjoy a beautiful Christmas. So if you’re searching for the best Christmas escapes, then these must-visit towns in The Netherlands will be your top contenders. Stop looking for the best places to spend Christmas in Europe and make your way over to The Netherlands in winter.
Winter in The Netherlands is breathtaking, so if you want to know where to go in Holland at Christmas time continue reading.
Note: due to a certain virus, most activities that take place in The Netherlands during Christmas time (such as markets) are cancelled, but there are still certain and special walking routes made in cities like Maastricht (one of the cities mentioned below).
11 Best places to travel over Christmas: Find the best towns to visit in The Netherlands & Holland at Christmas time
You are thinking of places to go in The Netherlands during Christmas, and I will help you out with that. Discover everything from cities to visit in The Netherlands to if you should celebrate Christmas time in Amsterdam or not. With these tips for places to visit over Christmas in The Netherlands and Holland, you will experience your favourite Christmas yet.
Fun facts about Christmas in The Netherlands: The Dutch Christmas date isn’t just one. We celebrate three days of Christmas in The Netherlands. Christmas Eve on the 24th, First Christmas Day on the 25th and Second Christmas Day on the 26th of December. So if you’re want to experience a Dutch Christmas in The Netherlands, then this is one of the traditions you must follow.
There are many great places to visit in The Netherlands in December which you will discover below. The Netherlands at Christmas time is simply amazing. And celebrating Christmas in The Netherlands will be one of the best things you can do. A full Christmas guide to The Netherlands can be found here.
1. Rotterdam (Zuid-Holland)
While Rotterdam might not be one of the first Dutch cities in The Netherlands that you think of when you want to spend Christmas in The Netherlands, I would recommend you to change that. This modern and innovative city has completely charmed me and, as it’s a big city, there are plenty of things to do during Christmas in Rotterdam.
Eat dinner at your hotel, walk along the river the Meuse and enjoy the bustling city of Rotterdam. Do always check online whether a museum or other activity in Rotterdam is opened during Christmas. But honestly, as the city is massive (for our little Dutch standards), you don’t even have to do anything other than a walking or cycling tour in Rotterdam. In the article I’ve written below, you can find the best things to do in Rotterdam, plus extra tips to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
Book your stay in Rotterdam | Booking.com
The perfect one day itinerary in Rotterdam
2. Haarlem (Noord-Holland)
Haarlem is a great day tour from Amsterdam, but also a beautiful city to spend two days. The surroundings of Haarlem are also pretty spectacular with one of the most stunning Dutch National Parks nearby as well as incredible Dutch beaches. Explore Haarlem and discover the magical city while it’s covered with Christmas lights during the day and in the evening after you’ve had a great dinner.
Then visit National Park Zuid-Kennemerland the next Christmas day to relax and burn off a tiny part of your Christmas calories. But let’s face it, we don’t even want to nor can, burn it all off. I mean it’s Christmas. Eat whatever you can, whenever you can. And enjoy the Christmas feeling while you’re exploring one of the most beautiful Dutch cities in The Netherlands: Haarlem.
Book your stay in Haarlem | Booking.com
The perfect one day itinerary in Haarlem
3. Groningen (Groningen)
Groningen can be found in one of the Northern provinces in The Netherlands, named Groningen. It’s one of the more popular student cities in The Netherlands, but even if you’re not a student, this city is great to visit. Stroll along the beautiful canals that are filled with old, decorated boats. Get to know the courtyard in Groningen amongst many other amazing things to do in the biggest city in the North of The Netherlands.
Even during Christmas time, Groningen is a great city to visit. Whether you’re interested in partying in Groningen, or Grunn as we call it, or if you prefer a quieter Christmas day in The Netherlands, Groningen offers both parts.
Book your stay in Groningen | Booking.com
The perfect one day itinerary in Groningen
4. Maastricht (Limburg)
If you’re searching for things to do in the Southern part of The Netherlands during Christmas time, then visiting Maastricht is a must. Not only can you find a Christmas market in Maastricht, but this city is located in the province of Limburg, which is one of my favourite regions in The Netherlands. I am born and raised in the countryside part of the province of Noord-Holland which has an entirely different culture and landscape than Limburg, The Netherlands.
In the surroundings of Maastricht, you can find hills, beautiful nature reserves that are a perfect day trip from Maastricht amongst tons of other different things to do. Maastricht is a truly magical place to visit in The Netherlands at Christmas. Explore the cute alleys, the Christmas market and walk along the Meuse river in one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands.
Book your stay in Maastricht | Booking.com
The perfect one day itinerary in Maastricht
5. Amsterdam (Noord-Holland)
The most popular city to visit in The Netherlands is, without a doubt, Amsterdam. Millions of people visit the small city with 850.000 inhabitants every single year. And with a good reason, because Amsterdam is magical. If, however, you look beyond the crowded areas. Because honestly, I’m not a fan of those, to say the least. But luckily Amsterdam can be explored off the beaten path as there are many secrets and hidden gems to find in Amsterdam. Even during Christmas. Amsterdam is beautiful to visit at Christmas time.
Christmas in Amsterdam is everything you could wish for. Canals are lit up with the Amsterdam Light Festival, Christmas trees are spread throughout the city as well as Christmas lights. Discover Amsterdam beyond the crowds with my two day Amsterdam itinerary below.
Book your stay in Amsterdam | Booking.com
The perfect two day itinerary in Amsterdam
6. Middelburg (Zeeland)
One of the top things to do in the province of Zeeland is visiting the medieval city of Middelburg. Discover the area of The Netherlands that isn’t visited much during wintertime. Quite some people visit Middelburg and other regions in Zeeland during summer, but many of them seem to disappear when winter makes its way to The Netherlands. And that makes Middelburg a fantastic place to visit in The Netherlands at Christmas.
While most places are indeed closed on First Christmas Day (as in almost any city and town in The Netherlands), walking through the city and discovering its castle is always a great idea. Then on the Second Christmas day in The Netherlands, you can explore other things, as Middelburg has a lot to offer.
Book your stay in Middelburg | Booking.com
The best things to do in one day itinerary in Middelburg
7. Nijmegen (Gelderland)
Nijmegen is the oldest city in The Netherlands. It was even one of the Romans households in The Netherlands. Nijmegen is not the biggest Dutch city, but still significant enough to spend your Christmas here. The atmosphere of Nijmegen is like no other town in The Netherlands. The Waal river, its nature reserve with wild cows and horses and its people, might have something to do with my love for the city. That alone makes Nijmegen one of the best places to visit for Christmas vacation.
And during Christmas, this feeling doesn’t change. If anything this time of the year increases my fondness for Nijmegen. The Christmas lights, the historic streets and some of the best restaurants make Nijmegen one of the perfect places to visit in The Netherlands at Christmas and in December.
Book your stay in Nijmegen | Booking.com
The perfect one day itinerary in Nijmegen
8. Amersfoort (Utrecht)
A city that can be found near Utrecht is Amersfoort, and it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in The Netherlands. This city is filled with canals, historic buildings, idyllic streets and a great atmosphere. Whether you’re searching for a Dutch city to visit at Christmas time that is one of The Netherlands most instagrammable places or you simply want to visit a Dutch town that has a cosy atmosphere, Amersfoort is one of the best places to travel over Christmas break.
With beautiful monuments on every corner, friendly people that walk through the streets and great cafes wherever you look, Amersfoort is the perfect town to spend a few magical Christmas days in The Netherlands.
Book your stay in Amersfoort | Booking.com
The perfect one day itinerary in Amersfoort
9. Eindhoven (Noord-Brabant)
My favourite city in the province of Noord-Brabant has to be Eindhoven. This city is filled with street art, modern buildings and most famous for being the Dutch city of lights. When you’re done exploring the industrial part of the town, you can find the best street art by international street artists throughout the entire city. And Eindhoven is truly one of the best Christmas and New Year holidays destinations.
The combination of modern, industrial and old buildings make Eindhoven a city like no other. Cities like these aren’t found often in The Netherlands, and that makes Eindhoven a perfect place to visit. And while some things might be closed during Christmas, there’s street art galore which makes spending one or two days in Eindhoven very easy.
Book your stay in Eindhoven | Booking.com
The perfect one day itinerary in Eindhoven
10. Zutphen (Gelderland)
The small town of Zutphen is incredible no matter what time of year you visit. But somehow the idyllic streets in Zutphen make a walk through the city even better at Christmas time in The Netherlands. Explore the walled town of Zutphen, have a look at the river that flows around it amongst tons of other things that you can do in this city in the province of Gelderland. That’s what makes it one of the places to visit in The Netherlands at Christmas and during December.
Most things are closed in Zutphen at the First Christmas Day; however, if you plan on staying for the Second Christmas Day as well, then the Musea Zutphen are opened along with some other things. And trust me when I say that this city in the province of Gelderland is worth a visit.
Book your stay in Zutphen | Booking.com
The best things to do in one day in Zutphen
11. Delft (Zuid-Holland)
Delft is a city that is known for its Delft Blue pottery, but the city has more than that to explore. It has long, beautiful canals and incredible monuments to discover. What I especially love about Delft is the fact that it is a city with a village feel. Many streets are narrow and old, with historical buildings along with them.
Be mesmerized by the canals and the history of the city of Delft, and I can guarantee you that you will adore Delft as much as any other visitor. Get the Christmas feeling in Delft with the lights and cosy atmosphere. Delft is one of the places you have to visit at Christmas time.
Book your stay in Delft | Booking.com
The perfect itinerary for spending one beautiful day in Delft
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Other articles of this travel blog and guide to The Netherlands that you’ll love
Celebrate and find things to do at New Year’s Eve in Rotterdam
Best Dutch Christmas markets you have to visit
Winter Christmas Market road trip itinerary for The Netherlands
The top and best things to do in The Netherlands in December
10 Things you actually need to pack to Amsterdam & The Netherlands in winter
Great autumn and winter coats for your trip to The Netherlands
I hope you have discovered the best places to celebrate Christmas in The Netherlands with this article and that you now know that The Netherlands is the best country to celebrate Christmas. Amsterdam is beautiful during Christmas, so are the other best Christmas vacation spots.
These interesting places are the best towns to visit in The Netherlands, so add them to your winter itinerary. And I can assure you that these are some of the most excellent places to visit in Europe during Christmas. Have fun in The Netherlands and Holland in some of the best cities to celebrate Christmas. Share this post!
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