Earlier this year, my friends and I took our first ‘squad trip’ to Amsterdam where I fell in love with the place (you can read all about that here!). The city, the community: the overall relaxed vibe of Amsterdam was something that I just couldn’t help myself from loving. Riding a bike across the Dutch streets early Sunday morning in Spring sunlight. Feeling the wind whipping on my face and seeing person after person enjoying Amsterdam in the exact same way that I was too (fun fact: but there’s actually more bikes than people in Amsterdam. Like, that’s a legitimate fact!) – the place is just so infectious.
When we flew home we were determined to return to the city later this year: and as luck turned out, we booked flights for the first weekend in December! A yearly tradition of mine has always been visiting Christmas Markets in England. Getting the chance to swap Manchester for Amsterdam, I couldn’t have been more excited to see what European Christmas Markets would be like instead of the European-inspired ones we have in Manchester!
Something I found really interesting about Amsterdam’s markets in particular, was that instead of having one traditional market: they spread their markets across the entire month of December and rotated the location and theme of the markets each week. On the weekend that we attended, the markets were set up in a small town called Amstelveen, which was a 30 minute tram ride (according to Google this was the fastest way to get there, but I’m not so sure) from Centraal Station!
The first thing that struck me when we arrived at the markets was how utterly quaint the place was. The whole market was situated around an ice rink, where children and parents were skating and laughing. There must’ve been around 60-70 stalls, and almost all of them were selling food! It was such a lovely atmosphere, and it got me feeling festive in an instant.
The community of Amsterdam are so welcoming, so being able to walk the markets bundled up in coat and knitted scarf made me feel like winter goals.
Next year, I’d love to see the Christmas Markets from another country in Europe. Perhaps Germany, but I’d also love to see the ones held on the Champs Elysees in Paris!
Do you attend Christmas Markets where you live? Or are they even a thing? And if you could pick any country in particular to visit the markets, which would you choose?
Thank-you so much for reading,
I hope you’re having a lovely December and enjoying the build up to Christmas,