I’m almost too late, but I finally visited the lovely floating Leiden Christmas Market along the canals this weekend. This charming Christmas market in Leiden has something for everyone, especially foodies. Keep reading about the annual Christmas market in Leiden!
Why visit the Leiden Christmas Market & other Christmas-related events in Leiden
Although there are so many lovely Christmas market in the Netherlands, Leiden definitely stands out as one of the most uniquely Dutch markets due to the water element. This floating Christmas market takes place in the middle of one of Leiden’s most lovely canals and you actually step down onto a floating platform as you enter the market. This element surprised me quite a bit and made the market extra special as you can admire the market from the bridges above for the perfect photo-op above the 80+ stands. This Christmas market won the best Christmas market in the Netherlands in 2016 although Valkenburg was the winner this year.
One of the best parts of the Leiden Christmas market was the lack of a gluhwein mafia. Compared to some other Christmas markets in the Netherlands, it was a lot closer to a food festival with numerous food and drink stands and fewer gift stands. This suited me well as it was nice to be at a market where I could eat something besides oliebollen, but I had eaten beforehand thinking there would only be snacks. Don’t make my mistake and come hungry.
There are several things to do in Leiden during the Christmas season, including a pop-up Scandinavian-style restaurant/bar near the Christmas market, ice skating, and other Christmas-y events around the city of Leiden. This year, they made the market more handicap accessible although some might have a bit of difficulty navigating the entrance.
Food and Drinks at the Leiden Floating Christmas Market
A lot of Christmas markets have the gluhwein mafia as Jacob calls them, e.g. prices are set and there’s only a handful of stands selling gluhwein at a mark-up. In Leiden, the free-market reigned for 2018. The gluhwein tasted stronger and better than some other markets. I also saw my Christmas favorite,
One of the best drink options is from Brouwerij Pronk. This local Leiden brewery had a stand complete with reusable cups (with a deposit) and several beers on tap. Although we both heard a lot about Pronk, it was great to finally taste it from the source!
At one of the previous food festivals in Leiden, I had tried takokyaki and Japanese pancakes at this one Japanese stand run by a passionate standowner from Osaka who shows up at most of the Hague/Leiden food festivals. They were at the Leiden Christmas market with a pin machine, which made me incredibly happy.
Beyond Japanese food, I also saw stands selling Syrian vegan falafels, burger, and lots of
Dates of the Leiden Floating Christmas Market
I’m writing this on the last days of the Leiden Christmas market for 2018. The dates for 2019 haven’t been announced yet, however the dates for 2018 were: 14 December up to and including Tuesday 25 December. I’ll be updating this for 2019!