De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair is known for being one of the most unique and magical Christmas markets as it’s held on the grounds of a stunning castle.
It’s also widely considered to be one of the best Christmas markets in the Netherlands, and even the whole Benelux region.
We first visited this Christmas market in 2018 and loved how magical it was to see Castle de Haar all dressed up in festive finery, as well as an incredible sound, light, water and fire show.
That’s not even mentioning how many options there were for food and drinks, as well as all the stalls selling charming gifts.
Looking to learn more about De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair, or perhaps need some guidance on planning your own trip there?
In this post, we’ll be covering…
- Practical Info for De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair
- A Brief History of De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair
- Why Visit De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair?
- Christmas Markets in De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair to Visit
- More Photos of De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair
We hope you find it helpful and interesting!
Christmas Market Packing Essentials:
Practical Info for De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair
Here are some quick must-knows for De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair this year:
- Dates: Nov 21 – 26, 2023
- Official website: Click here
In need of a place to stay? Here are some quick hotel recommendations:
- Budget: Check prices and availability
- Mid-Range: Check prices and availability
- Luxury: Check prices and availability
A Brief History of De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair
Castle de Haar was originally a private residence of the van Zuylen van Nijevelt family, but in 2000 they passed ownership to the foundation Kasteel de Haar – while still remaining the right to live in it one month a year!
It’s now a popular tourist attraction as a museum, while also hosting many events throughout the year, like the Elfia Fantasy Festival and the Country & Christmas Fair.
The Country & Christmas Fair has been held on the grounds of Castle de Haar even before it became a public attraction, and 2023 is its 26th year.
It has also grown over the years, with stalls and entertainment spreading from the gardens directly beside the castle out into the fields surrounding it and even inside the on-site chapel.
Today there are more than 240 different stands spread out around the castle and the fair runs from Tuesday until the last Sunday in November.
Be aware that you do need to buy a ticket to attend the fair, plus you will also need to pay for parking if you drive, and purchase toilet passes for while you’re on the grounds.
We also recommend you bring cash with you as the ATMs on the day always have huge lines and usually end up out of order pretty quickly!
Why Visit De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair?
Wondering whether De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair is worth a trip? Here are some reasons to visit:
It’s held in the grounds of one of the prettiest Dutch castles!
Castle de Haar is one of the most beautiful castles in the Netherlands, so it’s worth a visit at any time of year but is even more magical when decorated for Christmas.
You can explore the interior of the castle while you’re there, for an additional cost, or just enjoy seeing all the Christmas trees, lights, statues and other decorations.
There is lots of delightful entertainment
Along with the castle and the stalls, there are plenty of other things to do while you’re at the Country & Christmas Fair.
Buskers and Christmas carollers patrol the area bringing cheer to shoppers. There are multiple cafés and tents serving delicious food, from churros to hot soup. There’s even a ‘Moulin Rouge’ where you can sit down with a drink and watch live singers.
Varied stalls and products
Since it’s such a big market, it’s not surprising that there are a LOT of different things available for you to buy.
From chocolate to cheese, clothing, antiques and even Jacuzzis, it easily takes a few hours to see everything on offer.
There are some of the delightful, traditional wooden Christmas items you often see at Christmas markets, but you can also find items like jewelry, garden decór, records, tulip bulbs, and more.
Things to do at De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair
Wondering where to find Christmas market stalls in De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair? Here are the main locations of De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair:
Browse (and buy at) the many stalls
The whole grounds of Castle de Haar are basically one Christmas market, so the highlight is definitely seeing everything on offer and picking up some gifts.
Some stalls are outside, and some inside very large tents, so make sure you walk all the way around to see everything. Don’t miss out on going into the little Chapel to see extra stalls as well!
Eat delicious food and drinks
When we visited we didn’t really end up buying any gifts, we just enjoyed browsing, but we definitely partook in some of the treats on offer during our time exploring!
Some of the cafés featured tall tables to stand around while others were big enough for you to sit down in and have a full meal.
There’s also a really cool sort of ‘steampunk’ coffee machine that you’ll want to see in action, as well as multiple little carts selling Dutch poffertjes (tiny pacakes), churros or glühwein.
See the sound/water/light/fire show!
Another major highlight of the Country & Christmas Fair is the water, light, sound and fire show which is set up in one of the water-ways next to the castle.
Every half hour a show takes place, with narration , fountains and beautiful lights. This is even more stunning after dark, so try to make sure you can stay long enough for it to get dark!
More Photos of De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair
Looking for some more De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair eye candy? Here are some additional photos we captured during our visit:
We hope you enjoyed this De Haar Castle Country & Christmas Fair Guide!
Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions about your trip – we’re always happy to help.