The three most charming Christmas markets around Rotterdam
It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and in this part of the world, that means Christmas markets! I’m the first to admit that I spend eleven months of the year waiting for the festive twinkly lights and Starbucks Christmas cups to come out. But as wonderful as this time of the year is, it comes at a price and on a student budget; it can be difficult to handle. Christmas markets can be a great place to grab interesting gifts for your loved ones (or yourself) without breaking the bank! Unfortunately, Rotterdam doesn’t have any big upcoming markets. But this is a great excuse to get out of town. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Getting to another city is expensive! But it doesn’t have to be. For your Christmas shopping inspiration, the following is a ranked list of 5 Christmas markets, from the cheapest to travel to, to the more expensive- but definitely still worth seeing.
1. Den Haag Royal Christmas Fair (€4.90 by train, €4.43 by bus
The Royal Christmas market takes place in the centre of The Hague and has over 80 different stalls. If you’re more interested in oliebollen and gl̈uhwein and would rather get your gifts from an actual store, this is the market for you.
With reusable gl̈uhwein glasses and a market that takes place within walking distance of tons of stores, the royal Christmas market is a great place to take in the colorful lights or treat yourself at one of the food trucks. You may even see Santa himself!
2. Antwerp Christmas Market (€6.99 by bus)
If you’re looking to explore further than surrounding cities on a budget, look no further than the Antwerp Christmas Market. Antwerp is often overlooked due to the popularity of the famous Brussels Christmas market, but this market is just as special (and much closer). The Antwerp market has over a hundred different stalls, featuring the most original gifts you can find, with many stalls set up by up and coming designers.
The market takes place in Groenplaats, Grote Markt or Steenplein (at the foot of the Antwerp Steen castle). If you’re in the mood to see something different and interesting and you’re willing to swap your oliebollen for Belgian waffles, you should consider attending this market.
3. Leiden Floating Christmas Market (€7.40 by train)
The Leiden Christmas market offers the most original and festive experience to anyone who is simply present, this is because this market floats on water. The market takes place on the Niewe Rijn canal and contains over 75 stalls.
The whole scene is smothered with lights which twinkle in the waters of the canal by night. This is definitely the place to go to get that festive feeling or to take a few good photos for Instagram.