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Winter Christmas Market Road Trip Through The Netherlands In December: The Best The Netherlands Winter Itinerary

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This Christmas markets winter road trip itinerary for The Netherlands will show you the most beautiful destinations to visit in December. And one of the best things to do and see in The Netherlands in December.

The Netherlands in winter is truly beautiful and one of the best ways to discover beautiful places and the best scenery in The Netherlands is by going on a road trip. This winter Christmas market road trip through The Netherlands will be the perfect self-drive itinerary for The Netherlands. If you’re looking for a weekend road trip through of from a base in The Netherlands, or a 7-day road trip then you can always decide to cut a part of this itinerary out.

There will be many scenic drives during this winter trip in The Netherlands. If you’re looking for a fun trip around Europe, or European road trip routes, then adding this The Netherlands winter road trip itinerary is great if you travel in Europe by car. But you could easily visit these places in The Netherlands by public transport as well. Let’s get going with this Christmas markets winter road trip in The Netherlands!

This article might contain affiliate links. Find my full disclaimer here.

One of the best things to do in The Netherlands in December: The best Netherlands winter road trip itinerary to the top Dutch Christmas markets

While I adore The Netherlands during winter, not everyone feels the same way nor gives winter in The Netherlands a chance. What I love about travelling to The Netherlands in December is the cosy feeling that you will get when you travel all over the country. After Sinterklaas leaves after the 5th of December people are starting to get ready for Christmas in The Netherlands.

The Christmas lights in many cities are already lit up by the end of November, but after Sinterklaas leaves the Christmas trees are coming your way. They give the typical Dutch ‘gezelligheid’ feeling. People are packed up in their cosy winter coats and when they enter any of the nearby cafes their noses are red from the wind and cold. As they sit down and get a cup of hot chocolate, with whipped cream, of course, they stare out the windows to be mesmerized by The Netherlands during winter. Winter lights everywhere, people cycling no matter what the weather report says, trees with barely any leaves left and a decorated Christmas tree that makes up for the loss of leaves.

Winter in The Netherlands is the low season for tourists to visit the country. But, while it can be chilly at times, you also get a lot in return. Cosy feelings, cities with fewer people and maybe, if you’re lucky, snow. As this road trip itinerary for The Netherlands will be about the Dutch Christmas markets, this Dutch road trip can only be done during December. There will be another winter road trip itinerary for The Netherlands written soon where you can travel a part of Europe by car and drive it whenever you want.

We are going to visit some of the best Dutch Christmas markets during this road trip. But we won’t visit Amsterdam during winter in this the article. If you’re looking for what things to do in Amsterdam in December or winter, I would recommend you to read this two day Amsterdam itinerary. The Christmas markets in The Netherlands are really fun to visit and it would be a shame if you’d only visit one. That’s why this winter Christmas market road trip through The Netherlands is perfect for my European Christmas market lovers.

You could always change this The Netherlands road trip itinerary. For instance, if you’re looking for a The Netherlands 7 day road trip, you can leave out any of the destinations, or change the route, depending on the airport or train station you’ll be arriving and departing from. I have dates in this The Netherlands itinerary, mainly because this way you will be arriving at every Dutch Christmas market right on time.

And yes, you could also do this winter road trip through The Netherlands by public transport if you want to, as public transportation is very easy in The Netherlands. You can follow the same winter Christmas market road trip itinerary for The Netherlands. The plus is that it is more environmentally friendly, you don’t have to drive (or pay for a rental car and gas) and you don’t have to search for parking spots.

Tips that will help you plan your winter trip to The Netherlands

The best winter coats for The Netherlands 

The best Dutch Christmas markets in The Netherlands (including dates and times)

Magical, fairytale Dutch castles you must visit

A great one-week itinerary for The Netherlands

What to do in Amsterdam when it rains, or when it’s cold

Renting a car during winter in The Netherlands

When you rent a car in The Netherlands winter tires are often not on the rental car as it’s not mandatory when driving in The Netherlands. However, I would recommend you to ask the rental agencies whether it is possible to get a car with winter tires, as it is safer. And as the weather is very unpredictable during winter. You could have any kind of weather that you can think of. From hail to the sun and from snow to thunder and heavy rain. It’s best to be prepared as the winter tires do have much better support.

Rush hour in The Netherlands is very, very, very crowded in and surrounding the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and any big city. I would recommend you to not drive from 06:30 – 08:30 in the morning and I would also recommend you to either reach your destination before or after 16:30 – 19:00.

This amount of traffic depends on which area of The Netherlands you are. The surroundings of Dordrecht, Maastricht, Leiden and Delft are very crowded during rush hour and much more than the other destinations I’ve included in this perfect 10-day winter itinerary for The Netherlands.

Within the cities in The Netherlands there are many oneway streets, so be careful with those. You will understand quickly why we love biking so much in The Netherlands.

Parking in The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, parking can be an issue. Especially when you’re headed to some of the more bigger cities. One tip that I have to give you straight away is that you have to buy a blue parking card at this Dutch shop called Hema. This will cost you a few euros. We have a lot of blue zones in cities where you can park during the time the traffic signs tell you. You can only park there during the time it’s allowed and if you place the blue parking card inside your car at the front window.

Also, within cities keep in mind that you have to watch out for scooters, cyclists, pedestrians, buses, trams, other cars, etc. at once. So, I would recommend you to park at your hotel, parking garage nearby or just on the outskirts of cities and not drive more through cities than is needed.

Parking in The Netherlands is not cheap at all. So be prepared to pay some bucks. Have coins and a card ready (some accept coins and a card, others only coins or only card). In the big cities, parking is expensive, in smaller cities, there are usually free parking spaces to find.

Day 1 in Dordrecht

The first day in The Netherlands is your travel day. It’s the 12th of December 2019. Whether you’re just arriving from any of the airports in The Netherlands, or a train station, it takes a bit of time to get settled. So take it easy on your first day. Walk around Dordrecht for a little, eat a nice meal and rest. The Christmas market of Dordrecht starts on the 13th of December, so you’re here on time.

Best hotels and B&B’s to stay in Dordrecht

Budget stays in Dordrecht

I am going to recommend you the cheapest hostel in Dordrecht, but it’s not exactly inside the city of Dordrecht. StayOkay Nationaal Park De Biesbosch is located at around 5 kilometres from Dordrecht, but at the edge of one of the National Parks of The Netherlands: De Biesbosch. And I can recommend you to visit this breathtaking Dutch national park.

Book your stay at StayOkay De Biesbosch now | Booking.com
Medium priced accommodation

Blom aan de Gracht is a great b&b in Dordrecht that can be found in the middle of the historical centre of Dordrecht. This Bed and Breakfast in Dordrecht is located in a beautiful, old building. Plus they offer a great breakfast, as well as a lovely and welcoming atmosphere.

Book your stay at Blom aan de Gracht now | Booking.com
Luxury hotels in Dordrecht

Villa Augustus is one of Dordrecht’s most spectacular buildings and houses one of the best restaurants in the city. It’s only a 15-minute walk to the city centre of Dordrecht and this hotel in Dordrecht has a garden and a kitchen garden that you can explore.

Book your stay at Villa Augustus now | Booking.com

What to do and see in Dordrecht in 24 hours

Dordrecht has many must-sees and dos when you visit this historic Dutch city for one day. As it is your first day and the Christmas market in Dordrecht hasn’t started yet, I will give you some tips on some of the best and top things to do in Dordrecht in 24 hours.

  • Visit De Biesbosch National Park: Depending on which accommodation you have chosen, I would recommend you to visit the National Park De Biesbosch near Dordrecht, The Netherlands. It is a magical area to explore, especially since it is famous for being the largest freshwater tidal zone in Europe. Explore the streams and willow swamps, the forests and the flora and fauna of this beautiful nature reserve in The Netherlands. Discover more about National Park De Biesbosch here!
  • Discover the history of Huis van Gijn: This museum in Dordrecht was the house of a banker and collector named Simon van Gijn. When he died in 1922, his wish was that the collections and his house were going to be made publicly accessible as a museum. His wishes came true. The house has been opened since 1925. It’s the perfect museum to visit in The Netherlands for interior junkies like myself as many of the interiors date back anywhere from the 17th until the 19th century. You can also discover a collection of arts, crafts, toys, prints and drawings. Find more information about Huis van Gijn here!
  • See a few of the courtyards in Dordrecht: You cannot leave Dordrecht without going on a self-guided and free walking tour along some of the courtyards that you can visit in Dordrecht. The courtyards you have to visit in Dordrecht are the following:
    • Regentenhof (opened 09:00 – 18:00)
    • Arme Vrouwenhof (opened during the day)

Go back in time in the Grote Kerk: The old church of Dordrecht, called Grote Kerk, is a building that is very rich in history and originates to the 11th century. It’s one of the monuments in Dordrecht you must visit. The opening times of the church depend on the season. Find the latest information about the Grote Kerk here.

Photo by Bert Beckers / Adobe Photo

Day 2 in Dordrecht

t’s the 13th of December, you’ve woken up after a great first night in Dordrecht and you’ve probably enjoyed a nice breakfast in Dordrecht as of now. Today is the start of the Christmas market of Dordrecht, which is something you will spend most of your second day in Dordrecht visiting. Get cosy, wear comfortable and warm clothing, and don’t forget to bring cash.

Information about the Christmas market in Dordrecht

The Christmas market of Dordrecht 2019 takes place on the 13th, 14th and 15th of December 2019. The first few days this Dutch Christmas market is opened from 10:00- 21:00. On the 15th this market in Dordrecht is opened from 11:00- 18:00.

The Christmas market of Dordrecht is the biggest Dutch Christmas market in The Netherlands. There are hundreds of stalls with beautiful decorations, food amongst plenty of other things that you can buy. There are choirs, cosy places to go for drinks and tons of more things to do in Dordrecht. Have fun, relax and walk the market at your own pace. If you’re earlier done with the market than you initially thought, have a look at the things I recommend you at your day 1 in Dordrecht.

Photo by frans_blok_3develop / Depositphotos

Day 3 in Deventer

It is the 14th of December. You’ve woken up in Dordrecht, got your breakfast in your belly and it’s time to head over to the incredible Hanseatic town of Deventer, which is located in the Eastern Netherlands and is one of the best Dutch cities to visit. To drive from Dordrecht to Deventer takes you around two hours. The areas where the most traffic jams are during rush hour are around Gorinchem, Tiel and Arnhem. But I would recommend you to drive via those cities and not through Utrecht. You can thank me later.

Let’s say that you will arrive in Deventer at around noon. The Christmas market of Deventer begins at 11:00 and it is always very crowded. You could also opt to drive from Dordrecht to Deventer in the evening of the 13th of December, to enter Deventer before the crowds. But it’s your call.

After you’ve arrived in Deventer you must be starving. One of the great lunch cafes and restaurants in Deventer is Fooddock. Fooddock is the first food hall in the Eastern part of The Netherlands. After eating your food it’s time to explore the Dickens Christmas market of Deventer.

Best hotels and B&B’s to stay in Deventer

Budget stays in Deventer

The Fletcher Hotel Gilde is located in a building that dates back to 1751. This hotel is located in the city centre of Deventer and its rooms are very unique thanks to the historical character of the building. Be mesmerized by the high ceilings and spacious courtyard in the hotel.

Book your stay at Fletcher Hotel Gilde now | Booking.com
Medium priced accommodation

Boutique B&B Huize De Worp is located on the other side of the river that Deventer is located on. But, this boutique hotel and B&B in Deventer is only 700 meters from the city centre of Deventer. There’s a small ferry that you can use to cross the river which is available until 23:00. But, it’s easily walkable as well. Plus, you will have a beautiful and calming river to clear your mind in the morning. That’s not all, you can also rent bikes here and you can park for free at this accommodation in Deventer.

Book your stay at Boutique B&B Huize De Worp now | Booking.com
Luxury hotels in Deventer

Grand Boutique Hotel Huis Vermeer is a great hotel that you can find in Deventer and they also offer big, family rooms (four people). The location is perfect and can be found in the city centre of Deventer. Plus the food they serve in the restaurant is great as well.

Book your stay at now | Booking.com

Information about the Christmas market in Deventer

The Christmas market in Deventer is called the Dickens Festijn. Here you will explore Deventer in the time of Charles Dickens and takes place in the most historic area of Deventer. As the Christmas market in Deventer starts on the 14th of December 2019, I am not going to recommend you to do anything other than visiting this winter festival in Deventer, The Netherlands. There is a lot to explore, stalls to discover and performances to watch. You should take it all in.

Tip: The entry to the Dickens Festijn is only possible if you go to the Keizerstraat. Via this street, you will be guided to the entrance of the festival in Deventer. But as it always gets very crowded (120.000 people visit in two days!) sometimes the waiting times can be 1,5 hour!

Dickens Festijn (fest): 14th & 15th of December 2019 from 11:00 – 17:00. Entry is free!

Photo by Julia700702 / Depositphotos

Day 4 in Deventer

On the second day in Deventer, the 15th of December 2019, you have several choices. Either you can explore the city beyond the Christmas market, visit the Christmas market again, a combination of the two and spend the night in Deventer or leave around midday to your next destination, which is an hour down south.

What to do and see in Deventer in 24 hours

Deventer is a great city to explore for a day or even a weekend. From some of the best museums to beautiful streets to discover. Deventer truly has everything you can wish for if you’re looking for an old, historic and typical Dutch city to visit in the eastern part of The Netherlands. I will guide you through some of the best things to do and see in Deventer in 24 hours below.

  • Find the best shops in Deventer: The shops in Deventer are opened on both Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th until 17:00.
  • Visit one of the best museums in Deventer: De Waag is one of the great museums that you can visit in the city of Deventer. It is located in De Waag: which is a building where they used to way goods in the Middle Ages. This Waag is the oldest of The Netherlands. The exhibitions in this museum in Deventer always change, so I would recommend you to have a look at De Waag Museum website here.

If you’re planning on discovering more of this Charles Dickens Christmas festival in The Netherlands on the 15th, then I would recommend you to do so. You’re there anyway, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Photo by Kloeg008 / Depositphotos

Day 5 in ‘s-Heerenberg

Another great day in The Netherlands has passed and it is now the 16th of December 2019. You are headed to the small town of ‘s-Heerenberg, but on your way to one of the most beautiful small towns of The Netherlands, you will pass by the Dutch Hansa town of Zutphen. Zutphen is a beautiful city in The Netherlands that is always worth a visit. So if you’re willing to explore another city for some hours, as ‘s-Heerenberg is pretty small, be my guest!

Incredible things to do in the Dutch city of Zutphen, The Netherlands

If you’ve visited Zutphen, or not, you’re now on your way to ‘s-Heerenberg. This small city houses one of the most beautiful and biggest Dutch castles in The Netherlands. During Christmas time, the area gets decorated with Christmas trees and beautiful lights. And exploring the castle, plus a walk through its wonderful gardens, are the highlight of visiting this town. But it gets better, as you can spend the night in this Dutch castle in The Netherlands.

Best hotels and B&B’s to stay in ‘s-Heerenberg

Budget stays in ‘s-Heerenberg

Unfortunately, there are no budget hotels available in this small town in The Netherlands. The reason for that is because it’s small and there is simply not enough competition to decrease the prices. The cheapest place to stay in ‘s-Heerenberg is Hotel Heitkamp. Breakfast is included in the price, which is fantastic. They offer private parking against a fee as well.

Book your stay at Hotel Heitkamp now | Booking.com
Medium priced accommodation

B&B Relax And More is another great place to stay in ‘s-Heerenberg. They offer free parking at this B&B in ‘s-Heerenberg and they even have a sauna and a hot tub that you can use. Of course, breakfast is included as well.

Book your stay at now | Booking.com
Luxury hotels in ‘s-Heerenberg

The best accommodation and hotel in ‘s-Heerenberg has to be Kasteel Huis Bergh. Yes, this is the famous Dutch castle of ‘s-Heerenberg and you can spend the night in one of their amazing rooms that are located in two of the towers of the castle. While it is a pricier option, staying in this Dutch castle in The Netherlands is a once in a lifetime thing. And so incredibly special. Breakfast is included in the price and free parking is also available.

Book your stay at Kasteel Huis Bergh now | Booking.com

What to do and see in ‘s-Heerenberg in 24 hours

The small city of ‘s-Heerenberg is a great place to visit and has quite a few things to offer. Whether you’re looking for relaxing activities in one of the smallest cities of The Netherlands, or must-sees or do’s, you can find the best things to do in one day in ‘s-Heerenberg below.

  • Visit Castle Huis Bergh: This castle dates back to the 12th century and is located in ‘s-Heerenberg. Of course, things is one of the things you must do in ‘s-Heerenberg when you are here for one day. You can discover the castle and its grounds with the help of an audio tour. Find the current opening times and more information on Castle Huis Bergh here.
  • Explore the gardens of Castle Huis Bergh: Just behind the most beautiful Dutch castle in the eastern part of The Netherlands, you will find stunning gardens in several styles. You will find oak trees that date back to the 17th century (can you imagine what these trees have seen in their time?!), see incredible views as you walk along the main avenues and be able to take a deep, long breath of fresh air while being mesmerized with the surroundings.
  • Find the only remaining working medieval tower mill in The Netherlands: There is a windmill in the town of Zeddam (around 4km from ‘s-Heerenberg) that belongs to the Castle Huis Bergh and you can visit the mill. It is one of the oldest brick mills in Western Europe and was first mentioned in 1451. This windmill still grinds grain and you can even buy products from its shop when it is opened. Have a look at the opening times of the Zeddam mill here.
  • Walk or cycle in the surroundings of ‘s-Heerenberg: The area of ‘s-Heerenberg is truly amazing and often describes as a ‘coulisse scenery’. Meaning, an ever-changing landscape. You will walk, or cycle, from one forest to an open field, into a small village and pass another castle, etc. The landscapes are one of the musts sees of the area of ‘s-Heerenberg and walking is a must-do when you visit this small town.

The castle Huis Bergh in the most beautiful village or small Dutch town of s-Heerenberg in Gelderland, The Netherlands

Day 6 in Valkenburg aan de Geul

It’s the 17th of December and after a great night in ‘s-Heerenberg, The Netherlands, you will have to make your way down south once again. But this time it will take you a little longer as you will be driving from the province of Overijssel to Limburg. And Limburg is the most southern province in The Netherlands. But as The Netherlands is only a small country, the drive will be approximately two hours from ‘s-Heerenberg to the amazing city of Valkenburg.

Valkenburg is well-known within The Netherlands for hosting one of the most special Dutch Christmas markets in the country. The reason for that is the fact that this Christmas market in The Netherlands is located in caves. While the items that you can buy there aren’t that special, the whole atmosphere and celebrating Christmas in a cave makes visiting this Dutch Christmas market in December more than worth it.

Best hotels and B&B’s to stay in Valkenburg

Budget stays in Valkenburg

Hotel Atlanta is one of the quite a few cheap hotels and accommodation that you can find in Valkenburg aan de Geul, also known as Valkenburg. In Hotel Atlanta pets are allowed and it has a special parking area for guests. The train station of Valkenburg is located at 15-minutes walking from the hotel and this hotel in Valkenburg is located in the green and quiet area of the centre of Valkenburg aan de Geul.

Book your stay at Hotel Atlanta now | Booking.com
Medium priced accommodation

Castle View 2 is also located within the city of Valkenburg and has its patio, which is a huge plus. This bed & breakfast in Valkenburg aan de Geul is located in one of the best areas of this historic city in Limburg. It is located on the corner of one of the most popular streets of Valkenburg, Grotestraat. And the famous caves, where the Christmas market of Valkenburg takes place, and the Roman Catacombs are only at a walking distance from this B&B in Valkenburg.

Book your stay at Castle View 2 now | Booking.com
Luxury hotels in Valkenburg

Villa Voorenburg is a great place to stay in Valkenburg. They offer free bicycles to use during your stay, there is a garden that you can relax in and it is located in the centre of Valkenburg. The caves of Valkenburg are only located at 800 meters distance. Another plus of this hotel in Valkenburg is that they offer free parking and pets are allowed.

Book your stay at Villa Voorenburg now | Booking.com

Thermae 2000 is an amazing hotel that is located on the outskirts of Valkenburg, but the centre is only a 15-minute walk from this hotel. If you’re looking for a relaxing few days in Valkenburg and its beautiful landscape then staying the night in a four-star hotel in Valkenburg is a perfect choice.

The hotel is also a wellness resort and has several themes. So if you’re not a fan of entering a sauna, pools, or other parts of the wellness, completely naked, then Tuesday and every first weekend of the month are for you. Then you can wear your bathing suits. The castle of Valkenburg and the caves are only a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The downside is that the private parking space costs you 14 euros a day.

Book your stay at Thermae 2000 now | Booking.com

What to do and see in Valkenburg in 24 hours

Valkenburg aan de Geul is one of the more popular destinations to visit in the province of Limburg, The Netherlands. And there are quite some things to do and see in Valkenburg. Discover some of the great activities and must do’s when you have one day in Valkenburg below.

  • Visit the castle of Valkenburg: One of the highlights of Valkenburg is a visit to the ruins of the mighty castle in Valkenburg. This is the most famous attraction in Valkenburg, but an absolute must-see. It dates back to the 11th century and is located on the highest hill of Valkenburg. So yes, this is where you can see the best view of Valkenburg and its surroundings. It’s truly magical.

Information about the Christmas market in Valkenburg

Because you are visiting the Christmas market in Valkenburg for only one day I would recommend you to explore the caves after you’ve arrived at your hotel. A Dutch Christmas market in a cave is a very cool sight to see. And as it’s dark inside the caves, it doesn’t quite matter at what time you visit one of the best Dutch Christmas markets as the amazing atmosphere will be there.

Keep in mind that the Christmas market of Valkenburg is not freeHave a look at tickets and more information about the Christmas market in Valkenburg here.

Valkenburg Christmas market: The Christmas market in the caves is opened from the 15th of November 2019 until the 29th of December 2019. From the 15th of November until the 5th of January you can find Christmas related activities in the centre of Valkenburg.

Day 7 in Maastricht

Luckily for you, Maastricht is located very near to Valkenburg aan de Geul. So on the 18th of December, you will make your way from Valkenburg to Maastricht. Only a 15-minute ride and you’re entering one of the best cities to visit in the southern part of The Netherlands. And Maastricht is especially breathtaking at wintertime. From the Christmas market to discovering hidden alleyways. Maastricht has plenty of things to do and see in one day and even a weekend.

Best hotels and B&B’s to stay in Maastricht

Budget stays in Maastricht

Stayokay Hostel Maastricht is one of my favourite hostels to stay in Maastricht. Not only can you find Stayokay hostels throughout The Netherlands, and they are all great, but this hostel is just a 5-minute walk from the city centre of Maastricht. And it’s located on the banks of the Maas (Meuse) river. Whether you’re looking for a private room or a dorm in Maastricht, Stayokay is your perfect budget accommodation in Maastricht.

Book your stay at Stayokay Maastricht now | Booking.com
Medium priced accommodation

B&B Het Achterhuis is one of the many B&B’s that you can stay in Maastricht and only 1 km from the central square in Maastricht: Het Vrijthof. It is located in the Staten area of Maastricht where you can find a great atmosphere and perfect if you’re looking for private accommodation in Maastricht.

Book your stay at B&B Het Achterhuis now | Booking.com
Luxury hotels in Maastricht

Suite “Mon Rêve” is another great accommodation in Maastricht that is located near the Meuse river. This suit in Maastricht is located at 350 meters from the Maas river and one of the nice parks in Maastricht can be found at 10 minutes walking. This hotel in Maastricht also has a restaurant, bar and a terrace so you can relax and check out the view.

Book your stay at Suite “Mon Rêve” now | Booking.com

What to do and see in Maastricht in 24 hours

Maastricht is one of my favourite cities in The Netherlands. The warmth of the people, the hilly surroundings and the beautiful city are a magical combination. Discover the best things to do in Maastricht in one day here.

  • Watch the sunset in Maastricht: Maastricht is one of the best places in The Netherlands to watch a sunset. Just imagine the following situation. You’re standing on the oldest bridge in The Netherlands (Sint Servaasbrug) and will slowly see the sun go down as the buildings turn beautifully orange. At the same time, Maastricht takes a step back, where the traffic decreases and the chatter of people slowly fade away as you get mesmerized by the beautiful city and wonder if this is the real-life? Is this just fantasy?
  • Visit one of The Netherlands most beautiful bookstores: Whether you’re a fan of books, beautiful buildings or the two of them, this church in Maastricht is a must-visit. The Dominicanenkerk in Maastricht is a church turned bookstore. Besides the church being a bookshop, you can also sip on a great cup of coffee in one of the best cafes in Maastricht.

The best things to do in Maastricht in one day

Information about the Christmas market in Maastricht

Maastricht Christmas Market: 29th of November until the 31st of December 2019. This Christmas market is not free to attend. Have a look at the Christmas market Maastricht information, including opening times, here.

Day 8 in Maastricht

It’s the 19th of December and you’ve just spent your first night in Maastricht. Onto your next day in Maastricht. For today you have several options: Either you’re going to explore the Christmas market in Maastricht if you haven’t seen much of it yesterday, or you’re going to explore the city or both. Anyway, there are plenty of fun things to do in Maastricht during winter and Christmas time. So you will have a great time here.

What to do and see in Maastricht in 24 hours

The city of Maastricht is one of the relatively bigger cities in The Netherlands and there are many things and activities that you can do here. Whether you’re looking for cool things to do in Maastricht or hidden gems to visit. Or maybe you are searching for the must-sees to visit when you have one day in Maastricht. Whatever it is, I’m sure that my tips for Maastricht will be great for you. They also include free and cheap things to do in Maastricht. So if you’re on a tighter budget you are perfectly able to do quite a few of the best things to do in Maastricht.

  • Walk along the Maas (Meuse) river: Maastricht is one of those cities that, no matter what season or month you visit, has this cosy and comfortable feeling. Maybe it’s the Burgundian touch that makes Maastricht different from other Dutch cities, maybe it’s one of the biggest rivers in Europe that divides the city. Or a combination of many factors. And one of the top and best things to do in Maastricht is to walk along the Maas river. Decide for yourself the length, which side of the river you prefer to walk back from and enjoy the majestic feeling of the Southern part in The Netherlands.
  • Visit the Sint Servaas basilica: This church is the oldest church in The Netherlands and one of the Unesco monuments of Maastricht. Some parts of the Sint Servaas basilica in Maastricht date back to the 10th century, while others date back to the 12th century. You can visit the church, the hallways and the chambers mostly every day (Mo- Sa 10-17 / Su 12:30-17). The admission fee is 4,50 for adults.
  • For more interesting and special things to do in Maastricht, I would recommend you to click the link below. In this article, you can explore other fun activities in Maastricht and receive tips for baking your own traditional ‘vlaai’ at a bakery in Maastricht!

The best things to do in Maastricht in one day

Photo by dutchscenery / Depositphotos

Day 9 in Delft

On the 20th of December, we will make quite a trip towards the western part of The Netherlands and will enter a completely different region. The drive from Maastricht to Delft will take you around 2 hours and 40 minutes. It’s best to arrive in Delft somewhere in the morning. This way you can explore quite a bit of Delft in a little less than a day. And Delft is worth a visit as there are plenty of things to do and see in one day.

Best hotels and B&B’s to stay in Delft

Budget stays in Delft

The best budget accommodation in Delft is called Hostel Delft. This is the only hostel that is available in Delft, The Netherlands. Located near the city centre of Delft, this accommodation is perfect for every budget traveller.

Book your stay at Hostel Delft now | Booking.com
Medium priced accommodation

Hotel Leeuwenbrug is located along one of the most beautiful canals of Delft. And if you think that this is everything this hotel in Delft has to offer, you couldn’t be more wrong. This hotel in Delft is located near the train station and has an incredible breakfast.

Book your stay at Hotel Leeuwenbrug in Delft now | Booking.com
Luxury hotels in Delft

One of the best luxurious hotels in Delft is the Hampshire Hotel. This hotel is located right in the centre of Delft and has great service and breakfast. Plus, they can speak five languages: German, English, Spanish, French and Dutch.

Book your stay at the Hampshire Hotel in Delft now | Booking.com

What to do and see in Delft in 24 hours

Delft is one of the most beautiful cities in the province of Zuid- (South) Holland and mainly known for its Delfts Blue. When you are planning on spending one day in Delft there are many fun and cool things to do. I will recommend you some great activities to do in Delft below.

  • Visit the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft and climb its tower: The Nieuwe Kerk, or new church, in Delft dates back to the 1300s. So not that new in your opinion maybe, but still new when you compare it to the Oud Kerk, old church, that dates back to around 1050. The Nieuwe Kerk houses royal tombs where almost every member of the Royal Family eventually will find its peace. Although you cannot enter them, and which members exactly lay in those graves is unknown to the public, this makes it an interesting mystery. The church tower of the Nieuwe Kerk exists out of 376 stairs, but it will be rewarded with a spectacular view. So it’s definitely worth a visit, and a climb, in my humble opinion.
  • Explore a great museum in Delft: Museum Prinsenhof is one of the best museums in Delft. Here you will find a beautiful collection of art and ‘Delfts Blauw’. But also learn interesting facts about the history of Delft and discover the bullet holes of the murder on Willem van Oranje. He was murdered in De Prinsenhof, which was his own house, on the 10th of July 1584. The body of the prince can be found in the Nieuwe Kerk, where he rests in the Royal grave chambers.
  • Be mesmerized by Delfts Blue: Discovering Delfts Blue cannot miss on your Delft itinerary, so I had to put it in here. De Porceleyne Fles is the only Delft blue pottery factory left. And it has been constantly in use since 1653. You can even go for a factory tour. At this Royal Delft pottery factory, and museum, you will get to know the history of the Delft blue pottery.

Find a full article on the best things to do in Delft in one day here

Day 10 in Leiden

It’s the 21st of December and you’ll be making your way from Leiden to Delft. It’s only a short ride from Leiden to Delft, so it won’t be an issue whether you’re leaving Delft early or a bit later on this day. But Leiden is home to the only floating Dutch Christmas market in The Netherlands, so definitely take your time to explore the market.

Best hotels and B&B’s to stay in Leiden

Budget stays in Leiden

Hotel De Doelen is one of those picture-perfect houses that you can find in Leiden. This hotel in Leiden is located next to one of the most beautiful canals of Leiden and the building dates back to 1638. This hotel in Leiden can be found in the centre and is near all the highlights of Leiden, which includes many museums and picturesque streets. But my absolute favourite part about this hotel is that it’s a small hotel, which feels a lot cosier than when you’re just a number in those big hotels.

Book your stay at Hotel De Doelen now | Booking.com
Medium priced accommodation

If you’re looking for a boutique hotel in Leiden then Boutique Hotel d’Oude Morsch is a fantastic place to stay. Not only is it 200 meters from one of the best museums of Leiden, but you can also rent bikes to explore the area of Leiden on a tour. This great hotel in Leiden also has a bar and a terrace to relax.

Book your stay at Boutique Hotel d’Oude Morsch now | Booking.com
Luxury hotels in Leiden

Villa Rameau is a beautiful place to stay in Leiden and has a spectacular view on the Pieterskerk of Leiden, as it’s attached to it. There’s a great terrace which overlooks a part of the city. Another great thing about this place is that it’s near many restaurants and cafes. And you can rent bikes here as well.

Book your stay at now | Booking.com

What to do and see in Leiden in 24 hours

Leiden, together with Delft, is one of my favourite cities in the Holland region. There are so many fun and cool things to do in Leiden and I have plenty of recommendations for you. But as you’re only spending one day in Leiden, I will tell you about the highlights. Discover the best things to do and see in Leiden in one day below.

  • Visit one of the great museums in Leiden: Leiden is a city that has many amazing museums to discover. Think of Museum Volkenkunde, or the National Museum of Ethnology and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, or National Museum of Antiquities.
  • Explore the ruins of the castle of Leiden: The castle of Leiden is one of the oldest castles in The Netherlands and is located in the middle of Leiden. It is built on top of a hill and gives you a beautiful view of the city of Leiden. So I would recommend you to walk the stairs up the hill and check out the view.

Information about the Christmas market in Leiden

Christmas market Leiden: From Friday the 13rd of December and closes at the 24th of December 2019. The Leiden Christmas market is free to visit.

Day 11 Your own choice

Whether you’ve rented a car from Amsterdam and you have to return it here, or if you still have time to spare. This is your call. You could try and explore the beautiful and modern Dutch city of Rotterdam, for instance. Or the fortified city of Naarden. Anyhow, there are endless things you can do in The Netherlands during December and the winter season. Do this Christmas markets road trip through The Netherlands at your own pace. If you want to stay somewhere longer, stay. If you’ve seen it all, leave earlier. It’s your trip, and only yours. So you will decide.

HELP OTHERS DISCOVER THESE BEAUTIFUL PLACES! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS!

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This Christmas markets winter road trip itinerary for The Netherlands will bring you to some of the best places to visit in The Netherlands in winter. Discover nature and beautiful sceneries in The Netherlands while you’re driving through Europe and find great things to do in The Netherlands in December.

If you don’t have enough time to spend this 10-day road trip itinerary in The Netherlands, then, of course, you can also cut the number of places. Maybe you’re looking for the best day trips from Amsterdam in winter, then Delft and Leiden are a must as Leiden is home to a great winter festival. The Netherlands in December is sometimes seen as boring, cold and dark, but I hope that this The Netherlands winter itinerary shows you that the Dutch winter isn’t that bad as many people think.

I hope that you will enjoy one of the best ways for your Europe as touring Europe by car is great. But remember that taking trains or other forms of public transport is also very easy and accessible. Enjoy The Netherlands during the winter holidays on your road trip through Europe. This winter road trip itinerary for The Netherlands will show you some of the best destinations to visit during winter in my country. And I hope that you will like them as much as I do. Share this post!!

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Manon

Founder of Visiting The Dutch Countryside at Visiting The Dutch Countryside
Hey there! My name is Manon and I'm the founder of Visiting The Dutch Countryside, a local travel blog about The Netherlands. I also wrote the article you just read. I'm a Dutch, born and raised, travel blogger. I decided that it's time that tourists explore The Netherlands beyond the crowds and not just Amsterdam. Have fun exploring The Netherlands!
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