• February 21, 2024

What are the Best Christmas Markets in Amsterdam?

Wondering if Amsterdam holds any Christmas markets? You will be delighted to know that they do – and they are magnificent. Here is the gossip on where they will be in 2022, and what miraculous Christmas joy we can expect from them.

Here at Lilly Likes, we are on a constant mission to review and approve of all things Amsterdam based. One of the big things we encounter each year is an overwhelming urge to attend a Christmas market, so we thought why not add some spice this year and visit a Christmas market in Amsterdam, instead of in Leeds or Cardiff or Glasgow. 

To give you a good idea of Christmas market city breaks to Amsterdam, we have selected the finest markets for your perusal. Hop on board the Santa Express and let’s talk about where to buy your Christmas presents this coming holiday season.

The Best Christmas Markets in Amsterdam – Ranked!

Let’s dive right in and start with the longest running market, which happens to be one of the biggest.

ICE Amsterdam, Museumplein, Amsterdam

Situated in the museum quarter, you will find ICE Amsterdam in the park area. This market is run by the ICE Amsterdam Foundation. This team of volunteers raises funds to keep the market running every year. The focus of ICE? The Dutch tradition of skating.

You see, years ago before the weather warmed, the Dutch canals and rivers would flood in winter, then freeze solid. It was a common practice to don your skates and get out there and play on the ice. In memory of this fine Dutch tradition, you can now don your own ice skates (or rent some there) and enjoy a market with an ice rink at the centre of it.

This incredibly popular market has run since the year 2000. The foundation added the ice rink in 2013 and it was such a huge success that it has graced the park every year since… with the obvious exceptions, of course. We dare not speak the virus’s name in case it comes back for round 7. 

When is the ICE Amsterdam Christmas Market? 

In the coming holiday season, the ICE rink in Amsterdam will open on November 12th, 2022. It will set up in the square and run through until February 5th, 2023. The ICE Village, which is the Christmas Market, opens on December 14th. It runs until December 26th, which means its even open Christmas day.

What’s on at the ICE Amsterdam?

ICE Amsterdam has a permanent Bistro café. This is run by the foundation and feeds back into the profits used for the following year’s market. There are plenty of stalls and the team regularly run games out on the ice itself. Obviously, there is the skating, and you can rent or bring your own skates. If you want to skate, you may need to book a ticket in advance. The rink is always busy.

Events include the grand opening on opening night, then another opening-style event on the 14th of December when the ICE village opens. 

Don’t like exercise with your Christmas market magical experience? That’s OK. You’re not a buzzkill, honest. Let’s check out some other markets and see what’s up. Here they are in chronological order, so you know which to attend next.

The Heemskerk Christmas Fair – Sort of an Amsterdam Market

Located about a half an hour by car outside of the city, you can find Heemskerk. Known as the Castle Christmas Market, this spectacular event is as atmospheric as they come. Heemskerk has its very own castle, and they light it up beautifully for the Christmas season. The market features a Christmas village and, of course, another ice rink. This one is larger and attracts less of a crowd due to being removed from the city centre. Still, you should visit their website to book tickets. 

Since the last few years have been cancelled, the team that run the market have decided to honour all the tickets that went unused for 2020 and 2021. This year promises to be the biggest, brightest, most spectacular Castle Christmas Market there has ever been.

When does the Castle Christmas Fair in Amsterdam run?

The Castle Christmas Fair runs from the 19th of November through to the 1st of January. The market runs every day. If you can, try to visit during the snow. It’s truly amazing.

What’s on at the Castle Christmas Fair?

There will be over 90 stalls, each selling Dutch trinkets, handmade items, and culinary delights. The shopping experience is as beautiful as it is entertaining, with lots of live events promised throughout the duration. We can’t wait to get our skates on and get stuck in.

The Funky Xmas Market

The Funky Market is an extension of an existing market. If you have ever stumbled across the Sunday Market in the centre of Westerpark on one of your journeys to Amsterdam, then you already know about this existing market. It is held every week come hell or high water, and it features all the usual types of sellers you would expect.

When it comes to Christmas time, the Westerpark market becomes the Westerpark Christmas Market. They rebrand themselves as the Funky Xmas Market, and you can come along and shop from all your favourite A-dam suppliers. It’s a funky market with a cool Christmas feel. It’s real Amsterdam. The Dutch have always been traders and hidden gems like this one prove it. 

When does the Funky Xmas Market in Amsterdam run in 2022?

This is easy to remember. There is only one Sunday close enough to Christmas for them to run the Funky market. This year that day is the 18th of December 2022. Go along early to beat the worst of the crowds. It runs from 12pm to 6pm. 

What’s on at the Funky Christmas Market?

The Dutch love their food so there are multiple food trucks for this one. You can buy every type of hot meal or drink you can think of. Do try the hot chocolate. This is a local event, so you truly immerse yourself in Dutch culture when you come here. Don’t expect that all the stall holders will speak English. There are lots of handmade gifts at this market. It is a place for buying traditional wares.

The Pure Markt

Pure Markt is an ongoing market in Amsterdam. It is a travelling market, which is what makes it different from the others. This market has four separate locations, some of which they use five days a year and others they use every Sunday. You must check where it is going to be that day if you want to attend. Nothing better reflects the eclectic nature of the Dutch artistic movement.

This market is for people who mean business. It is for the environmentally conscious. Those who try to live a waste-free lifestyle will love this collection of stalls. They have everything you need for an eco-conscious Christmas.

When does the Pure Christmas Market Run in Amsterdam in 2022?

The Pure Christmas Market and the Funky Xmas market both start on the same day: the 18th of December. This year, the Christmas Pure Markt will take place in the Amstelpark. It ends on the 19th of December, so don’t miss out.

What’s on at the Pure Markt, Amsterdam?

This market sells exceptional artisanal gifts, international and Dutch produce, food, and creative items. This market say they sell local creativity, and that’s exactly what you need from a Christmas Market in Amsterdam. 

The Lelystadse Kerstmarkt Christmas Market in Amsterdam

The Lelystadse Christmas market has spent the last few years on hold, again, for obvious reasons. In 2022 it is set to return with a bang. Lelystadse town centre, located only a half hour away on the train from Amsterdam, throws a 60 stall plus strong market which transforms their town square. The market proved super successful in the pre-covid days. We sincerely hope they get back to full steam with this coming event.

This market has live music and a party atmosphere. It is beautifully lit and far quieter than the big markets of the town centre. It’s a good alternative for those who want the tranquillity of snow-filled landscapes, somewhere away from the beaten track.

When does De Lelystadse Kerstmarkt run in 2022?

This out-of-Amsterdam Christmas market runs for only two days. Catch it between the 16th and 17th of December 2022. It starts in the morning and may run through to evening.

What’s on at the Lelystadse Kerstmarkt?

You can expect stalls fully filled with Christmas goodies. Expect local food, cooked in front of your eyes. Enjoy European selections like German sausage, stollen, and even chocolate coated nuts. There are toys made of wood, traditional items to buy, and plenty of wandering around the stalls to do. There is live music and a local charity run entertainment. 

The Dam Square Christmas Tree

Although not technically a market, we can’t write a Christmas-in-Amsterdam article without talking about the gigantic, humongous, excessively massive tree that lights up the city from the silent recesses of Dam Square every year. The tree, which temporarily resides right in front of the Royal Palace, features a tree over 20-metres tall. They say this year’s will be 20m, though last year it was 22m tall. 

The tree has over 40,000 lights. And we here in Britain can’t even get a single firework. The Dutch are quick to point out that the bulbs are energy saving, so the rest of the world can sleep easy knowing there will still be electric left come Christmas morning. 

When Does the Dam Square Christmas Tree Go Up in Amsterdam?

The tree goes up at the beginning of December. This year the lighting ceremony will take place on the 11th of December. If you are interested in lighting ceremonies, you will like the Amsterdam Light Festival, which starts on December 2nd and runs to the 23rd of January. This highlights artwork created using light. 

What’s on at the Dam Square during Christmas?

Asides from the lighting ceremony for the tree, you can stop by the Palace just to gaze at the beauty of another many thousand lights. The Bijenkorf department store aims to throw some shine of its own, too, so keep an eye out if you are visiting the Dam Square. 

Where to Stay in Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets?

If our foolishly placed words are enough to convince you to the cause, then you will need somewhere to stay in Amsterdam during the Christmas markets. Don’t worry yourself in the slightest. We have loads of offers on city breaks in Amsterdam that you can choose from. We suggest the boathouse stay for the romantic young couple, the Hotel Not Hotel for the quirky, and the Penthouse suite for those with a taste for luxury. 

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