Why visit Valkenburg?
Explore the Dutch capital of Christmas!
Valkenburg has been a popular tourist town since the 19th century, when wealthy Dutch chose this charming town as a base from which to explore the rolling hills of the Limburg province.
And Valkenburg is a joy to visit at any time of year. However, Christmas is when it really comes to life! The city is famous for its unique Christmas markets which take place in caves underneath the city.
The Municipal Cave is the largest of these and is famously home to the largest underground Christmas market in Europe.
The Velvet Cave lies directly underneath the ruins of Valkenburg Castle and is slightly smaller than the Municipal Cave. Here, you’ll find around 50 stalls with more unusual gifts. In addition, the Velvet Cave is also home to some historical charcoal drawings and other cave art.
And the Wilhelmina Cave is a lovely Christmas experience, with nativity scenes telling the Christmas story. After a visit here, you can take a cable car up to the top of the Wilhelminatorren, which will be specially lit up for Christmas and offers spectacular views across Valkenburg.
There is also a more traditional open-air Christmas market to explore, where you can enjoy some delicious festive treats!
Enjoy some delicious treats
Of course, one of the highlights of a Christmas markets school trip is the opportunity to try the local festive treats.
In Valkenburg, oliebollen are one of the locals’ favourites. These are traditional Dutch beignet, a little bit like a doughnut. Balls of dough, often containing dried fruit, are dropped into a deep fat fryer before being dusted in icing sugar.
And stroopwafels are also not to be missed! Stroopwafels are made of two thin waffle layers sandwiched together with a delicious caramel filling. The best way to eat these is to put one on top of a hot drink for a few moments in order to warm the waffle layers up and soften the caramel filling – delicious!
Discover fascinating history
Valkenburg, in the south eastern Dutch province of Limburg, is located in an area that’s famous for its spectacular scenery and historic towns and villages.
Limburg is on the border with Belgium and Germany, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the area saw much fighting. Valkenburg is famous for its castle, which is unique in the Netherlands in that it sits atop a hill. However, the castle is now a ruin, having been sieged over and over. A visit to the castle’s ruin is a great opportunity to explore the city’s history.
And if you are interested in Valkenburg’s history, you may also like to visit the MergelRijk cave, where you can find out about the town’s history of mining and the creation of the man-made caves which you will have explored while enjoying the Christmas markets!
Book with Halsbury
Take a look at our range of Valkenburg school trips below, and then get in touch with one of our tour advisers to discuss your requirements.