One of the loveliest and most fun Christmas markets in the Netherlands is the Maastricht Christmas Market. Maastricht in itself is absolutely worth the visit but if you want to experience an amazing Christmas market, you should for sure go to Maastricht. Magical Maastricht (the way the Christmas village is called) will bring you in the perfect mood for the holidays. Unlike the most Christmas markets in Germany, which end before Christmas Day, the Christmas market in this Southern Dutch city is open until New Year’s Eve. This makes it a perfect destination for some winter fun during the winter break.Visit lovely Maastricht and experience the magic of the Christmas Market!Click To Tweet
Where is held the Maastricht Christmas market?
The Christmas market is held on the famous Vrijthof square – the perfect setting for any Christmas market with the lovely St. John’s Church and St. Servatius Basilica as a backdrop. Actually the full name of the Christmas market is Magical Maastricht on Vrijthof.
Magical Maastricht attractions
My favorite attraction on the market is the gigantic Ferris wheel. It is 45 m high and from the top there’s a breathtaking view over the Christmas village and the city. My advice is to go in the Ferris wheel when it starts getting dark. The Christmas lights are simply magical from above. A ticket for one ride on the Ferris wheel costs 6 EUR, kids (< 12 yoa) pay 5 EUR.
Another super fun thing to do at the Christmas market is skating. It doesn’t matter if you can skate or not. This is the moment to try it and have fun! You don’t need to bring skates with you, although you can. There are skates for rent at the rink. 3 hrs of skating cost 5 EUR (kids < 12 yoa – 2,50 EUR) and skates rental is also 5 EUR.
If you are visiting with kids, there’s also a gigantic slide. Well, the slide is not only for kids, though. The ticket cost 2,50 EUR per slide. Kids would also love the House of Santa. Kids pay 1,50 EUR for a ticket and adults – 2,50 EUR. There’s also a Christmas train and a merry-go-round for the kids (each 2,50 EUR) .
Most of the attractions, like the slide, the skating rink, the shopping paradise are covered. So if it is raining, which does quite often in winter in the Netherlands, you can still do some fun things without getting completely soaked.
Shopping at the Christmas market in Maastricht
The Maastricht Christmas Market is also the perfect place to buy Christmas decorations, ornaments and small presents for family and friends. There’s a covered market – Magic Christmas World, that’s just like the Christmas version of the Ali Baba’s cave.
Food and drinks at the Christmas market
When at the Christmas market you should try poffertjes – miniature pancakes served with butter and dusted with sugar. There’s a great variety of Belgian waffles freshly baked at place. The smell that comes from the Belgian waffles stall is simply irresistible!
Another Dutch treat that you have to try at the Chirstmas market is the oliebol. Oliebollen (plural for oliebol) are a type of deep fried dough balls and are typical for the holiday season. They are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve, but you can find them on the dedicated stalls throughout December all over Netherlands.
There’s lots of German influence on the Christmas in Maastricht. You can try the traditionally German bradworst (grilled sausage), reibekuchen (potato pancake) and baked champignons.
Friet (French fries) are also to be found everywhere on the market with the whole variety of Dutch toppings: curry ketchup, mayo, onions, peanut butter sauce…
The almighty mulled wine is also present, but people mostly tend to drink beer. You should try the Dutch hot chocolate with whipped cream (warme chocomel met slagrom)! It’s absolutely yam!
For those who love fish there are also lots of fish snacks, which is not quite popular for a Christmas market, but in Maastricht you can have the typical Dutch kibbeling (battered deep-fried chunks of fish) and even smoked salmon, which is being smoked at place.
How to get to Maastricht
Maastricht is easily accessible as it’s the biggest most southern city in the Netherlands. It has its own airport, but it’s used mostly for summer charters, so this won’t help for the winter. Other nearest airports are the low-cost hub Eindhoven (95 km), Schiphol near Amsterdam (210 km), Charleroi (115 km) in Belgium, and the Cologne airport (115 km) in Germany. Some distances:
- Amsterdam – Maastricht: 215 km
- Brussels – Maastricht: 120 km
- Cologne – Maastricht: 100 km
- Dusseldorf – Maastricht: 110 km
- Luxembourg City – Maastricht: 180 km
- Paris – Maastricht: 400 km
If you are travelling by public transport, there are good train connections with other big cities. For those who are arriving by car, the city center of Maastricht is car-free. You can park in one of the following parking places: Sphinxterrein (I personally use this one), Q-Park Bonnefantenmuseum, or Q-Park Hoogfrankrijk. It takes about 5-10 minutes to walk to Vrijthof Square.
Practicalities about the Christmas market
The Maastricht Christmas market Magical Maastricht on Vrijthof is held annually between the end of November and the end of December.
The dates for 2019 are 29 November – 31 December. The market is open daily:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – from 11:00 am to 24:00 pm
- Thursday, Sunday – from 10:00 am to 24:00 pm
- Friday, Saturday – from 10:00 am to 1:00 am
- 24/12 – 10:00 am – 18:00 pm
- 25/12 – 12:00 am – 18:00 pm
- 26/12 – 12:00 am – 22:00 pm
- 31/12 – 10:00 am – 18:00 pm
The food stands close daily at 23:00 pm, the non-food ones at 22:00 pm. The attraction are open till 23:00 pm.
There’s no entry fee for the Christmas Market, but you need to pay for the attractions.
Maastricht is such a lovely place! The whole city is festively decorated, which makes a perfect destination to get into the Christmas mood. Maastricht is also popular among the locals as a shopping destination and the Dutch love to go for the weekend to this beautiful southern city.
Tip: If you want to stay longer in Maastricht, there’s a lot to do around. Check out my post about the best day-trips from Maastricht.