In a little over 3 months we’ll be getting ready to explore the Christmas Markets in Europe during my first ‘annual’ reader trip! I’m starting to get a tad bit excited…it’s going to be amazing! We’ll have 8 days of exploring, stopping in 7 different ports and immersing ourselves in everything Christmas! From now until the end of November, I’ll be sending out a few emails each month letting you all know about where we’ll be stopping, what we’ll be doing and a few other options you might have while we’re there.

The first stop of our Christmas Market River Cruise is Amsterdam – where we’ll be boarding our ship and starting our journey.

If you’re like me, you might think about coming a day or two early and doing a little exploring on your own. A quick look at Viator (because I always check them out for possible tour ideas) offers a lot of suggestions.

  • Anne Frank walking tour
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Private Walking Tours
  • Chocolate Tours
  • Fiat Chocolate Tours…

and of course…the Christmas Markets! With this being our first stop – of course we have to explore the Christmas markets!

Here’s a few things I bet you didn’t know about the Amsterdam Christmas Markets:

  • a 20 meter high tree is placed in the DAM square and is lit with over 40,000 LED lights.
  • the streets and canals will be decorated with lights during the Amsterdam light festival
  • they have a Christmas Palace that is decorated 365 days of the year
  • you can go ice skating and enjoy dumplings, waffles and sausages in the Winter Plaza

I’ve created a Pinterest Board for our first stop…there are some great links in here.

Now, before you plan anything, I wanted you to know what we have planned with our group!

The night before we leave, there is a welcome reception. The following day (once we are on board) they have tours already planned for us. When you filled in your Trip Personalizer, you were also able to select your first excursion. What did you pick? The options were a guided walking tour, a canal cruise or a trip to Volendam and Edam where they have raised homes and a wooden church.

For those with mobility issues, Amsterdam has a flat city centre, with many accessible attractions, restaurants and walkways, all linked by accessible tram and bus systems. Most of the canal cruises are wheelchair assessible as well!

I’ll be exploring Voldenham and Edam – I can’t wait to take photos of the old fishing village! I’d love for you to join me!


I am starting to get excited…anyone else? We’ll head to Amsterdam a few days early and I plan on dragging taking my husband and daughters with me to Bruges, Belgium where I took my first solo-trip and discovered a small town with over 50 chocolate shops! I’ve heard their Christmas market is amazing and I really want to see it!

Next up: Cologne, Germany