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Christmas Markets Across the Region

The holiday season is coming, which here in Europe means a plethora of excellent Christmas fairs and markets. For those of use in the Maastricht region, this is a great time of year because our central location makes it easy to reach some great markets before Sinterklaas and Christmas are upon us. Here are some markets to get you started.

Maastricht Winterland

Maastricht’s Winterland may not be one of the largest Christmas markets, but it does draw people from all over to explore its shops, eat holiday treats, and skate on the temporary ice-skating rink. There weren’t many handmade goods last year, but there are some good finds surrounded by the usual plastic Santas. A “Festival of Lights”, featuring a walk and art projects, starts November 13th. The rest of Maastricht’s holiday offering kicks off December 3rd.

Christmas Market at the Velvet Caves, Valkenburg

A large and entertaining visit, the Valkenburg market’s claim to fame is being underground in the marl caves that honeycomb the land beneath the town. For 4 euros, you can explore the cave at your leisure as you survey the various handmade and not-so-handmade products. There were some unique artists there last year when we visited. This Christmas market and the one in it’s sister cave (Gemeente cave) open November 19th.

Christmas Village, Liege
The “Village de Noel de Liege” is the largest holiday market of its kind in Belgium and is very popular; attracting 1 million visitors a year. Nestled in the heart of the city, you can visit the 170 holiday shops selling everything from handmade goods to decorations to traditional Christmas food and drink. Especially sought after are the traditional Walloon & Liegeois ornaments created by hand by a Liege-based couple, and there is even a sledding hill! This village opens its doors on November 26th.

Christmas City, Aachen

If you’re looking for a German Christmas Market, the Christmas City in Aachen is a great place to start. Boasting 1.5 million visitors a year, the Christmas City features many shops with a variety of goods, lots of holiday delicacies, and a carousel. Aachen’s market is the earliest, starting on November 19th and running until Christmas Eve.

Aachen market photo by Jaycross & used under Creative Commons-By Attribution.

This post was original published at Maastricht Region: To Live.

2 Responses to “Christmas Markets Across the Region”

  1. Dave Hampton says:

    Koln has a wonderful market, a half dozen venues scattered around the city with lots of little gift pavilions, excellent stollen, abundant gluhwein and eierpunsch (worth it just to collect the cups).
    Brussels also has a wonderful winding market through the heart of the city, with lights synchronized on the city hall to opera and Queen music. At the opposite end, it’s anchored with an ice rink, ferris wheel, and a very strange christmas monster.
    And any market is twice as good after dark, when the lights really sparkle.
    PS: I’ve heard people say that the Maastricht market is tacky, but I’m a big fan….their sausages and gluhwein are the best.

  2. Amanda says:

    Good suggestions. I’d forgotten about Koln. I had fun at the Maastricht market last year, even though I didn’t really care for a lot of the products. Gluhwein is great. :)