Gouda at Christmas

The birthplace of one of the Netherlands‘ most famous cheeses, foodies have something of an affinity with Gouda. While the city’s impressive Gothic architecture, pretty streets and picturesque quarters also attract tourists of all interests. Gouda at Christmas is even more spectacular, playing host to a very special event in Mid-December – Gouda by Candlelight. Read on to find out more.  

Gouda by Candlelight: 14 December 2018

Gouda by Candlelight
Image by Ruben Holthuijsen

For one night only, the annual Gouda by Candlelight events sees thousands flock to the city – both from near and far. The event can be found in the central market square, placed in front of the idyllic, Gothic town hall.

On this night, all electronic lights and lampposts are switched off, and instead the evening is lit by candles placed in windows facing and around the square. The city’s Mayor will give a speech, while a towering Christmas tree (an annual gift from its Norwegian sister city, Kongsberg) is adorned with thousands of lights to create an even more magical experience.

History of Gouda by Candlelight

Gouda at Christmas

Also known as Candle Night (or Kaarsjesavond by locals) this tradition has lived on for decades. To add to the festive atmosphere, choirs often gather to sing Christmas carols, which you’re more than encouraged to join in on. Following the celebration, attendees are invited to visit nearby churches and museums, who also hold their own events to mark the night.

With such a renowned event, it’s little wonder that Gouda has since became known for producing quality candles – which often make for a welcome gift for those back home. These candles are made from a natural wax that burns steadily for hours and can often be purchased around the city.

Things to do in Gouda

Things to do in Gouda at Christmas

This winter event isn’t the only time that Gouda is surrounded by beauty. Picturesque canals, old churches, and signature Dutch architecture make a great setting whenever you go, especially for a winter escape. Better yet, the city is also known for its breweries, cheese and delectable stroopwafels. 

Ready to visit Gouda at Christmas? Book a ferry crossing from Hull to Rotterdam and start planning your festive break today!