Magical Maastricht on the Vrijthof

The upcoming edition of Magical Maastricht on the Vrijthof has many new surprises in store for visitors.

The skating rink will be covered with a transparent roof, the Christmas market will be expanded with a market for regional products and a crafts market, the big wheel is 50 metres high, and there will also be a traditional Dutch spiegeltent (mirror tent). The main attraction is the Home of Santa Claus which is an annex of his Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland. Here, Santa and his elves will welcome children and parents to his magical winter wonderland. Magical Maastricht is taking place on the Vrijthof from Friday 30 November until 31 December 2018.

The Christmas market

The Christmas market on the Vrijthof will once again be a major attraction, offering the public a wide range of Christmas articles and unique Christmas gifts. The market will be spread out more extensively over the beautiful Vrijthof square this year and will be adorned with even more beautiful Christmas décor than ever before. This year, all the Christmas cottages will have classic red roofs and festive garlands to create a truly traditional Christmas village.

The Dickens Village

The Dickens Village is a new to addition to Magical Maastricht this year. This is a market with crafts and regional products that showcases products from the Euregion that are prepared on-site while traditional craftsmen such as candle makers and carpenters make unique Christmas gifts. You can even participate in the workshops and create your own Christmas gift!

Step into the magical world of Charles Dickens and experience, taste, and enjoy the spirit of Christmas.

Ice rink

The 900 m² covered ice rink is the central décor of the winter village. The roof saves energy and ensures that, even in bad weather, the quality of the ice remains perfect. A special children’s ice rink has been created for the little ones where they can earn their ice-skating diploma.

Big wheel

The big wheel, named ‘Jewel’ which stands an amazing 50 metres high, is covered in sparkling LED lights which can be seen from far away and serves as an emblem of the event with the famous Star of Maastricht proudly displayed in the centre.

Christmas tree of wishes

The Vrijthof will be transformed into a winter wonderland with numerous beautifully decorated Christmas trees and garlands adorning the square.

The towering Knoevelboom (Christmas tree of wishes) stands in the centre of the square where visitors can make their own Christmas wish by hanging a unique Christmas bauble. Together with Maastricht-based foundation De Knoevel, some of these wishes will come true at the end of December.

Winter café and Winter lounge

At the cosy Winter café you can warm up with a delicious warm beverage and indulge in a slice of traditional Limburg vlaai (sweet tart) while you gaze over the ice rink and enjoy the Christmas spirit that is all around.
The Winter lounge has a warm and cosy interior where you can meet with family and friends. Here you can enjoy a delicious craft beer or a magical local speciality with the festive hustle and bustle charmingly warming your spirit.
The square will also provide space to many other delicious and festive indulgences, including a traditional Dutch poffertjes (tiny Dutch pancakes) stall, an oliebollen (deep-fried doughnut balls) and waffle stall, a candy stand and nut stand, a stall for crêpes and reibekuchen (German-style rösti or potato pancakes) and the traditional grill will, of course, also be there. This year, you can once again take delight in the Christmas train and the Grande Carousel. There is something for everyone at Magical Maastricht, so be sure to come to the Vrijthof this December!

Santa Claus is coming to Maastricht!

Be magically transported to a winter wonderland in the cosy home of Santa Claus. The design of the house has been inspired by the traditional Finnish houses of Lapland with wood logs and tall, pointed roofs. Actors inside the house will complete the setting as Santa Claus and his elves. Come and see how Santa Claus lives, sleeps, and works.

But there’s more! Visitors are invited to pick a Christmas present in the beautifully designed ‘Santa’s treasure room’ where only Christmas products are displayed.

Santa Claus official entry

On 8 December, Santa Claus will make his official entry into Maastricht and after this he will welcome visitors every day between 12:00 noon and 8:00 PM. Entry to Santa’s home is free. Loads of fun for young and old alike!


Culture is an important aspect of beautiful and historic Maastricht and a cultural stage in the centre of the square will highlight this. The astoundingly beautiful traditional spiegeltent (mirror tent) ‘Bon Vivant’ is the perfect place to take a quick break from all the Christmas festivities and enjoy an extensive programme that is unique every day. From wine tasting and Christmas choirs to a story-telling festival and art exhibitions; come and experience the joy of the festive season!

Travel wise

Be well informed about how to travel to Maastricht: click here for more info.


Kerst in Zuid-Limburg