Back again with my most recent adventure, Valkenburg!
This past weekend, my husband and I decided to venture out to the western part of Limburg to Valkenburg. This is a cute little town hidden in the hills, all around the city is farm land. I would highly suggest visiting this city during the week and not on the weekend (especially during Christmas season). We decided to only spend about a half a day here, just to see what the Christmas market was like really. We ended up going to the market and we went and explored some castle ruins.
Before we went anywhere we had to get something to eat (there are food establishments everywhere in this town). So we ended up at the place called Brasserie Royal. I got what is called “Pepito”, which is a sandwich with grilled beef with cheese, tomatoo, lettuce and garlic sauce. It was delicious! I highly suggest it. Quick note: the majority of the restaurants here don’t have host/hostess, you simply go in and pick your own seat and they will see you and serve you.
The main Christmas market opens at 10am everyday and it runs through the Velvet caves. A Christmas market through the caves, I mean come on that is awesome in of itself! They do have little markets throughout the city as well, that you don’t have to pay for. For the Christmas market through the caves it will cost you about 7 Euros per adult. We only waited about 20 minutes or so to get our tickets and get into the cave, so not too bad. Once we actually got into the cave, there were little stands everywhere and Christmas decorations galore. They have everything from clothing, to food, to little crafts. The atmosphere is great, but the crowds were everywhere in the cave.
The only thing we actually ended up buying was a stroopwafel- two thinned out waffles with what tastes like a caramel filling in between. Delicious!
After we left the caves we could see these castle ruins in the distance and were determined to see if there was a way we could explore them. After about 15 minutes of walking around we finally found the entrance and paid right a 6 Euros a piece to go walk around the ruins. This place was just what we needed after being around all the crowds, it was quiet and peaceful and very few other people up there with us. This is a must see if you are in the Valkenburg area.
The Castle of Valkenburg is the only castle in the Netherlands to ever be built on a hill, which gives you some gorgeous perspectives on the city. The castle itself was torn down and rebuilt several times through it’s existence. The original castle was built around 1100 and the foundations that still remain back date to that original structure. There were many different owners of the castle until it’s final day on December 10, 1672. It was destroyed because of the owner at that time was King and “Stadholder” William III. He blew up his own castle because he did not want the castle to fall into the hands of the Fench, which was his biggest fear.
So if you are venturing out to the south western part of the Netherlands, Valkenburg should be a stop on your list. If only to see the castle ruins. It is a good break from the hectic crowds that are all around the markets this time of year.
Would you go to Valkenburg? Are there any other places I need to see there? If so, please leave a comment and I will venture back out there.
Let’s keep traveling!
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