Magical Maastricht Christmas Market

The Maastricht Christmas Market is without a doubt the loveliest and most fun Christmas market in the Netherlands. The city itself is also worth visiting but if you want to experience an amazing Christmas market, you should for sure visit Maastricht. 

Magical Maastricht, as it’s the name of the Christmas village will bring you in the perfect mood for the holidays. Unlike most Christmas markets in Germany, which end before Christmas Day, the Christmas market in this Southern Dutch city is open until the end of December. This makes it a perfect destination for some winter fun during the winter break.

Read more:
What to see and do in Maastricht if you are visiting for a day
5 affordable castle hotels near Maastricht

Maastricht Christmas Market 2020 dates

The 2020 edition of the Maastricht Christmas Market has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 measures.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, there might be some changes in the dates or the events. This post will be updated accordingly.

festively decorated buildings with lights and a round city clock on a pole

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. Click on the button bellow to check how to go from the place you are to Maastricht.

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, Frontenpark, Q-Park Bonnefantenmuseum (I prefer one of these three places), Q-Park Mosae Forum, or Q-Park Hoogfrankrijk. It takes about 5-10 minutes to walk to Vrijthof Square.

On the map below you can see the locations of the parking places, the train station and the square, where the Christmas market is held.

Where is the Maastricht Christmas market held?

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 (Magisch Maastricht op het Vrijthof). Vrijthof is perhaps the most iconic square in the city, lined up with the two beautiful churches on one side and lots of cafes and restaurants on the opposite side. It is the place to be when you visit Maastricht.

a view from above of a city at dusk with a Christmas market on a square and lots of lights and decorations, Vrijthof Square in Maastricht during Christmas market

Practical info 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 2020 are 27 November – 29 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

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 village, but you need to pay for the attractions.

a giant ferris wheel with a Christmas tree in front and some Christmas stall in-between at the Christmas Market in Maastricht

Magical Maastricht attractions

Ferris Wheel

The most famous attraction at the market is the gigantic, 45 m high, Ferris wheel. From the top of the Ferris wheel 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.

Skating rink

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.

people skating on a covered skating rink at the Christmas Christmas market with a Christmas tree in the middle

Winter slide

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.

Other attractions for kids

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.

lots of Christmas stalls and people walking around at the Maastricht Christmas market

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.

a stall with lots of colorful doughnuts and Belgian waffles at the Christmas market in Maastricht

There’s lots of German influence on the Christmas in Maastricht. You can try the traditionally German bratworst (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.

beuatifully decorated square for Christmas with a church at the background and lots of people sitting at a cafe outside having drinks, Maastricht

Final words

During the winter season, the whole city of Maastricht is festively decorated, which makes it the perfect destination to get into the Christmas mood. Besides for the Christmas Market, Maastricht is also popular among the locals as a shopping destination and the Dutch love to spend the weekend in this beautiful southern city.

About Daniela
Daniela has been living and travelling in the Netherlands since 2009. She has actually been to all the places she writes about. A linguist by education and a writer by profession, Daniela is on a mission to help you plan the perfect trip to her home country - the Netherlands.