Well friends, it’s November, which means Christmas Markets are opening up! It’s one of the many Christmas traditions here that I love. We’ve only been to Trier’s market and Kaiserslautern’s, so we have some catching up to do for sure! We decided to spend Thanksgiving hitting up Christmas markets in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria!
First on the list was a unique market in the quaint little town of Valkenburg in the Netherlands. It’s a day trip for us since it is only about 2.5 hours away, so we left around 7:30 and had most of the day to explore the caves and the town. We chose Valkenburg in particular because its market is housed in two different caves. My seven year old is wild about geology, so we figured it would be a perfect. Prior to the trip we did hear mixed reviews about it, though, including one person calling it “Walmart in a cave” (ha!), so we were a bit skeptical, but anything for the kids, right?
First of all, the town of Valkenburg is adorable. The town center is filled with shops, cafes and restaurants line the road (complete with seating outside under heated patios and blankets on the chairs), and it’s all overlooked by the Valkenburg Castle ruins. I would recommend the trip just for the town alone!
Living in Europe I have learned that each town usually has something trendy or common about it. Whether it be the the bikes with flower baskets in Bruges, Belgium, or the beautiful murals in Bavaria, every place we’ve been has something specific about it that we find hiding throughout the town. Well, in Valkenburg it is bronze statues. And apparently in the summer they have a huge live statue contest where people paint themselves as statues throughout the town. I should’ve taken more photos of the bronze ones throughout the town, but I figured this one could sum them up: