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Christmas at the quay 2021

Featured photo was taken in Nyhavn by Daniel Villadsen

The Danish Christmas market at the Coolhaven is visited annually by many Danish and Dutch people to experience the cozy Danish Christmas atmosphere. In the Netherlands, the Danish church is located on the water in Coolhaven, a special and atmospheric place in the heart of Rotterdam with a view of passing inland vessels. As a result, Christmas is literally celebrated on the quay.

Danish deli and design

Everything for a traditional Danish Christmas can be found at the Christmas market. Of course you can buy the newest, hippest Christmas decorations, but also more traditional items that come back every year. Think real candles for your tree, advent candles that count down to Christmas Eve, napkins, cute Christmas gnomes and more. But also Danish design by well-known brands such as Georg Jensen can be found.

Furthermore, the emphasis is on the food. The Danish food market has been expanded with special Christmas treats. Think Christmas beer and schnapps, ‘gløgg’ (gluhwein), ‘æbleskiver’ (the Danish version of oliebollen), Christmas cookies, rice pudding with cherry sauce, Danish pork roast, herrings, chocolate and much more.

And if you can’t wait to sample the delicacies, there’s a Danish café where you can quietly enjoy coffee and cake or Christmas beer with traditional smørrebrød (sandwiches) and hot dogs.

A little bit ‘hygge‘ 

The Christmas market has since grown considerably and is now also well visited by other nationalities who also love to celebrate Christmas and are curious about the Danish ‘hygge’ that has become so internationally known  in recent years.

The essence of hygge is creating a nice warm atmosphere, enjoying the good things in life with nice people around you. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge, just like friends and family. And don’t forget good food and drinks. Preferably sit down for hours at a table and talk about the big and small things in life. Perhaps the Danish idea of hygge explains why Danes are often called the happiest people in the world!

And at Christmas, the ‘hygge’ is a little more special, due to the dark times and the delicious food that belongs to Christmas.

The Danish Sailor’s Church

“Sømandskirken” is a Danish church that holds services in Danish and performs baptisms, confirmations, funerals and blessings of married couples. The Reverend Kristine Nordentoft Gustav and the assistants of the church daily visit ships sailing under the Danish flag and calling at the port of Rotterdam. Sømandskirken is at the same time a meeting place for Danes and for everyone regardless of religion or nationality in the Netherlands. The church is a meeting place for socializing in a homely environment, with activities for all ages.

The Danish Zeemanskerk Rotterdam was founded in 1954 and has had an address since 1970 in a beautiful building at Coolhaven 1, overlooking the river Nieuwe Maas.

Christmas at the quay 2021

When can you visit the Danish Christmas market in Rotterdam? On 19, 20, 21, 27 and 28 November.

Location: Coolhaven 1, 3015 GC Rotterdam

Entrance: free