city, municipality and capital of province Limburg, the Netherlands

By many considered to be the most beautiful city of the country, Maastricht is the southernmost city in the Netherlands. It's the capital of the province of Limburg and famous for what the Dutch call the "Burgundian" way of life. Dutch and international visitors alike flock in to enjoy this "joie de vivre" and indulge in the many fine dining, arts, culture and shopping opportunities in town. The river Maas runs through the city, offering some scenic views, and the lovely cobblestoned centre is full of historic buildings and impressive cathedrals. Whether you're here for sightseeing or just to shop till you drop, this is a great place to spend some time.

Streets of Maastricht

Understand Edit

Situated within walking distance of Belgium and cycling distance of Germany, Maastricht claims to be the oldest city in the Netherlands (a claim it shares with Nijmegen). It is an especially popular tourist destination in the Netherlands because of its historical old centre and broad shopping possibilities. The city is home to approximately 122,000 people (2019). The University of Maastricht attracts many national and foreign students to the city. Geographically, the city is split in half by a major river (the Maas), with the majority of commercial activity being concentrated on the Western bank of the river, and the train station and the Bonnefanten Museum on the Eastern side.

The VVV is a branch office of the Dutch national tourist agency. The office offers maps, souvenirs, and local, regional, and national travel suggestions. It is at Kleine Staat 1, in the city center. For information about all cultural events in Maastricht, try to find a copy of the Week in Week uit. They are distributed all around the city.

Talk Edit

Due to its location close to the border, large and internationally oriented events and of course the many foreign students and visitors, you'll find that plenty of Maastricht's inhabitants speak languages besides their own. Don't worry if you don't speak Dutch, as you'll be well able to get by with English, German or sometimes even French. Locals amongst each other typically speak the city dialect Maastrichtian, a variant of Limburgish, which is widely spoken in the region. Even for Dutch natives from the north, this tonal dialect is not necessarily intelligible. Although Maastrichtian seems to be losing words and grammar as younger generations use it, it is still widely used and locals tend to be proud of it; street signs in the city are often dual language, showing both the Dutch and the Maastrichtian name.

Get in Edit

Maastricht Aachen Airport

By plane Edit

  • 1 Maastricht-Aachen Airport (MST IATA). The small airport sees a limited number of flights from selected cities in southern Europe. Most flights are seasonal and all are operated by discount carriers.    

Maastricht-Aachen Airport can be reached by bus[dead link] with Veolia route 59, Maastricht-Sittard and vice versa, and stops at Maastricht train station. A ticket from the Maastricht train station to the airport costs €4.50.

Centrally located in the Euregion, major airports in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany can be convenient from travellers to Maastricht.

  • Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS IATA) is the country's main airport with a wide array of international connections to all parts of the world. It is over 2½ hours from Maastricht by train, requiring a change in either Amsterdam, Utrecht or Sittard along the way.
  • Brussels Airport (BRU IATA) the main airport of neighbouring Belgium is a good alternative as it also serves a long list of international destinations. It's about a 2-hr drive, but a train trip to Maastricht requires transfers in Brussels North and Liège. Private taxi and minibus transfers are available.
  • Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS IATA) is only a 70 min drive, but the train trip takes about 2½ hr. There is however a bus run by DB that does the trip from Düsseldorf Central Bus Station to Maastricht in 1½ hr.

A number of other, smaller airport with low cost carrier connections are within easy reach of Maastricht. Eindhoven Airport (90 min), Rotterdam The Hague Airport (2½ hr), Brussels South Charleroi Airport, Weeze Airport (NRN) in Germany and Cologne-Bonn Airport[dead link] (also in Germany) are all worth checking out for common discount carrier destinations.

By train Edit

Maastricht is well served by train, with train stations (2 Maastricht , near the centre of the city, and 3 Randwyck, in the south). There are two trains departing from Maastricht Station to the northern destinations every hour. Some popular destinations include:

City Duration Price Transfer
Sittard 0:14 €4.20 Direct
Roermond 0:41 €7.80 Direct
Eindhoven 1:03 €15.20 Direct
Den Bosch 1:25 €19.40 Direct
Utrecht 1:56 €24.90 Direct
Amsterdam 2:26 €28.70 Direct
Nijmegen 1:45 €19.40 Roermond
The Hague 2:44 €29.90 Eindhoven
Groningen 4:18 €37.80 Utrecht

Prices in this table are one-way and non-reduced fare. For more information check the NS English language website[dead link]. Local trains will take you to Valkenburg, Heerlen & Kerkrade, four times every hour.

There is an extensive rail system in the Netherlands. Travelling by train is generally a good experience in the Netherlands, although Dutch people will often complain that the trains are late and full. National train services are run by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), and an elaborate timetable system including price information is available on their website. Prices for trips are determined by distance, with longer distances costing less per km than shorter ones. Tickets can be bought at the ticket office in the train station's main hall, but you can save yourself an extra service fee by buying your train ticket from a yellow-and-blue electronic ticketing machine (note that some machines only accept European pin passes/debit cards and only older machines accept coins). Wherever you plan to buy your ticket, make sure you buy it before boarding the train, as it is not possible to buy a ticket on-board and you'll risk a €35 fine (in addition to the ticket price). Tickets can be bought as either one way tickets, or as a same-day or same weekend return. If you plan to return in the course of a couple of days, you should simply buy two separate one way tickets.

Visitors who intend to travel a lot by train in the Netherlands may consider purchasing a Voordeelurenabonnement (Off Peak Discount Pass), which will set you back €55 but entitles you and three fellow passengers to reduced-fare tickets (40% off the price). Reduced-fare tickets can be bought from the same ticket-vending machines. The card can be purchased from any NS Ticketing Office, although an address, phone number, and passport photo is required (you are initially issued a temporary paper card, which will be replaced by a plastic card about 3 months later).

International trains Edit

An hourly service connects Maastricht with Liège, Belgium. Although there is no longer a direct, high-speed connection between Maastricht and Brussels, Belgium, you can catch an express train in Liège and take it to Brussels. From there you can switch trains to Paris and London.

An hourly service also connects Maastricht with Aachen, which is linked to the rest of Germany by ICE trains.

For further information on international train journeys, check timetables and train fares at the Belgian Railways, the French Railways , or German Railways websites.

By car Edit

There a two motorways from and to Maastricht: A2 (Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Sittard, Belgium and France - "Route du Soleil") and A79 (Heerlen, Aachen).

By bus Edit

  • Bus 50 from Aachen serves Maastricht on a half-hourly basis all days. Generally, travellers pay €5.50 for a one-way ticket (Veolia Combikaart Zuid-Limburg). An all-day ticket that allows travel on South Limburg bus routes, including those to local cities such as Heerlen, is €7. Travel time is approximately one hour from Aachen. See for timetables.
  • Belgian busses come and go to Hasselt, Tongeren, Lanaken and Liège.
  • Eurolines Netherlands has a bus stop at the Central train station in Maastricht. In Liège is the Belgian Eurolines stop, which serves different routes to the Maastricht stop.
  • Semi tours travels on Tuesday ("Utorak") to/from Bosnia via Belgium, passing Maastricht, to Amsterdam. Return trip around €150, reservation by phone at the Belgian office. Bus stops at the central station.
  • Flixbus serves Maastricht.

Get around Edit

City gate 'Helpoort' (1229)

By foot Edit

This is by far the most attractive option as it allows travellers to see the beautiful winding streets in the centre of the city, as well as experience the cultural melting pot that Maastricht's location allows. A particularly nice walk outside of the centre is along the river, from St Servaas Brug (The Stone Bridge near the entrance to the city) down to the JFK Bridge (near the bottom), which goes through Maastricht's largest park. Visitors can then cross the JFK bridge and go to Maastricht's modern art museum - the Bonnefanten (see below).

Maastricht Running Tours offers guided city jogging tours in Maastricht or their green surroundings. During tours you get to see more and you do your work out at the same time. The Highlight tours is about 6 km (1½ hours). During several stops on the tour you get to hear the interesting stories behind the most interesting sights of the old historical center. The pace is very easy and adapted to the group. If that is still too much exercise you can pick up a City Walking Tour Guide (€1.60) from the VVV Tourist Office at Kleine Staat 1 and tour the town at your own pace.

By bike Edit

There are thousands of bicycles in Maastricht, often the young gents giving their girlfriends a lift on the parcel carrier at the back, with the girls sitting "side saddle". A charming sight, and you can join in the bicycle culture very easily, there are several bicycle hire shops in Maastricht. You can explore the flat country of South Limburg. Dutch traffic law is heavily biased towards the cyclist, so you might find cars slowing down to let you pass when they are pulling in to a side street which you are about to cross - no sane car driver is going to cut you off since in the case of an accident the cyclist is always presumed innocent unless grossly negligent. Also while there are many one-way streets in Maastricht, almost all (if not all) of them have a cycle lane going the other way up the street.

Maastricht Gulpen Cycle Route (53 km). Exploring the river valleys of South Limburg.

Maastricht Pietersberg Cycle Route (21 km). Ancient quarries and forts along the River Meuse.

Maastricht-Biking[dead link] offers 2 hour guided city tours off the beaten track.

By bus Edit

The city has a bus system called the Stadsbus ("City Bus") that travels over most of the city and to surrounding areas. Tickets can be bought on the bus, or you can buy an OV-chipkaart. It is a magnetic card which you can recharge with chosen amount of money (minimum €5). This card costs €7.50 and can be bought at the train station, also at the vending machine at the station or in the Veolia Transport service point (Veolia is Maastricht's bus transport company). When you enter the bus, you have to put the card close to the yellow card reader which will 'check you in' at the beginning stop. When you go out from the bus, you have to do it again to 'check out'. The amount of money for the trip will be taken from your card. It is much cheaper than buying a ticket from the bus driver. 'Strippenkaart' is no longer valid in Maastricht.

By car Edit

Travelling by car can be painful in Maastricht, largely because most of the city centre is pedestrian-only, constant roadworks and closed roads, and also due to the horrendous (€2.60 an hour, max 2 hours per ticket placement) parking rates. It is often easier to park your car outside the town centre and either walk or bus into the city.

If you need to park for the day, try one of the parking areas on the edge of the centre such as:

  • the free (for 48 hours) P+R Maastricht Nord[dead link], which is right at a bus station with a 10 minute ride to the city centre, a day ticket with return costing €2 p.p for 2 or €5 for 3-5 people
  • the Spinx, which costs €2.30 an hour but with a maximum day charge of €9
  • the Stadtpark parking under the west side of the Kennedybrug (bridge), which costs €1.40 an hour, €6 for day ticket

Machines take coins and local EC cards.

By train Edit

Trains run four times per hour between Maastricht Centraal Station, and Maastricht Randwyck station (at the South of the City), at a cost of €2.20.

See Edit

City Centre Edit

The Vrijthof and Basilica of St. Servatius

Perhaps one of the best (free) sights of Maastricht is simply to admire the two town squares in the centre of the city and the many old buildings around the street near the university and town wall:

  • 1 Vrijthof. This famous square is considered by many to be the beating heart of the old city. It features the massive St Servaas Church and St Jan's Cathedral and hosts a range of large festivals throughout the year. The Carnival before Lent is an amazing occasion where (it seems) the whole city dresses up in costume and parties until the early hours. It really has to be seen to be believed, this is a North European Mardi Gras, hence colder and darker than its American cousin.    
  • 2 St Servaas (Servatius) Basilica. This basilica is believed to be built on top of the grave of Saint Servatius. The first known bishop of the Netherlands, he is said to have died here in the 4th century. The current grand, Romanesque structure in the shape of a cross was first built around the year 1000, and substantially expanded over the centuries. Pope John Paul II made the church a basilica after his visit here in 1985. Today, this enormous structure can only be viewed by paying a €5 entrance fee, which includes the cloister and a small museum of religious treasures. Enter from the Keizer Karelplein, NW of the Vrijthof.
Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek
  • 3 Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek (Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption). Commonly known as the Star of the Sea, after an old title for the Virgin Mary, this Romanesque church was largely built in the 11th and 12th century. Although no archaeological research has been carried out, historians believe earlier churches stood on the same spot before. Large parts of the church treasures were lost when the city became part of the First French Republic. The church was then used as a blacksmith workshop by the military, and the cloister area served as stables. The basilica's two narrow towers, topped with marlstone turrets, make it an important landmark for Maastricht and the charming little chapel is a popular place with both locals and tourists to light a candle. Inside, the miraculous statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea is perhaps the main attraction.    
The Town Hall of Maastricht
  • 4 Market & Town Hall. The fairly large market square has been the stage for markets for centuries, and still houses goods markets on Wednesdays and Fridays. It's a lively square, surrounded by cafés, shops and eateries, but also home to the 17th century Town Hall. It was designed by Pieter Post and is an excellent example of Dutch Baroque architecture.
  • 5 Town wall. south of the town centre, the wall includes the Helpoort (Hell's Gate), the oldest city gate in the Netherlands.
River Maas and Saint Servatius Bridge from the Hoeg Brogk

Civic buildings Edit

  • 6 City Library (Centre Ceramique), Plein 1992.
  • 7 University Maastricht Library (centre), Grote Looierstraat 17.
  • 8 University Maastricht Library (Randwyck), Universiteitssingel 50.
  • 9 Stadhuis (Town Hall) (in the Markt).

Museums Edit

  • 10 Bonnefantenmuseum, Avenue Céramique 250, +31 43 329 01 90, fax: +31 43 329 01 99, . Tu-Su 11:00-17:00; M closed, except on public holidays. The museum is the foremost museum of Old Masters and contemporary art in the province of Limburg. The contemporary art collection contains works by an international group of artists, including Sol LeWitt. In addition to contemporary paintings, the collection also includes projections and gallery-sized installations. The collection of Old Masters emphasises 16th- and 17th-century Flemish paintings, including major works by Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens. In addition, the collection comprises magnificent medieval sculptures by Jan van Steffenswert, early Italian paintings and a presentation of Maastricht silver. Adult €7.50; child 13-18 €3.50; child under 13 free.    
Centre Ceramique on the Plein
  • 11 Centre Céramique, Avenue Céramique 50, +31 43 350 56 00, fax: +31 43 350 55 99, . Tu Th 10:30-20:30; W F Su 10:30-17:00. This is the city library and an exhibition space for archaeological finds and Maastricht pottery.
  • 12 Derlon Museum Cellar, Plankstraat 21, +31 43 325 21 21. Su 12:00-16:00. The museum is not wheelchair accessible. Before the restoration of the Derlon Hotel started, Maastricht's city archeologists undertook an extensive survey of the site. The Roman finds, from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th century, are considered that important that it was decided to conserve them and exhibit these to interested parties. The following can be seen in the cellar of Derlon Hotel: part of a 2nd and 3rd century sanctuary (including a Jupiter column), a 3rd century well, part of a pre- Roman cobblestone road and sections of a wall and a gate dating from the 4th century. Free entry.
  • 13 Natuurhistorisch Museum, De Bosquetplein 7, +31 43 350 54 90, fax: +31 43 350 54 75, . M-F 10:00 - 17:00; Sa Su 14:00 - 17:00. The museum outlines the natural history of southern Limburg. Modern displays offer an insight into both the recent and distant past. Among the museum's highlights are the remains of enormous Mosasauriers and Giant Turtles found in limestone at the St Pietersberg caverns. Fossils of all shapes and sizes show how South Limburg has changed in the course of the last 300 million years. Adult: €4.50; child 4-11: €3.00; child under 4: free entry.
  • 14 Museum aan het Vrijthof (formerly Spaans Gouvernement), Vrijthof 18, +31 43 321 13 27, . Tu-Su 10:00-17:30. Museum aan het Vrijthof is a young museum located at the heart of the city in one of the oldest buildings in Maastricht: the former retreat of Charles V. This private museum organises a temporary exhibition three to four times each year. They look for surprising combinations and unconventional collaborations. The museum also has a freely accessible museum café, located at the covered courtyard. Adult: €8, children <6 free, children 7-12 €2, children 13-18 €4, students €4, groups >15 €6.50 pp.    

Tourist attractions Edit

  • 15 Saint Pietersberg Caves (Grotten Sint-Pietersberg), Buitengoed Slavante, Slavante 1, +31 43 325 21 21. Local marlstone mine with over 20,000 passages dug out over centuries, used as shelter during sieges and bombings. Tours essential; check website for details (English and Dutch times differ). Boats run from the city centre with commentary pointing out interesting landmarks along the way.
  • Kazematten, Tongerseplein, +31 43 325 21 21. A network of bunkers on the west side of Maastricht from which soldiers fired at invaders; again, tours are essential.

Do Edit

Carnival Edit

Maastricht's carnaval is known for its costumes, which might be the most colourful ones in the country

Few Dutch cities take their carnival celebrations as seriously as Maastricht and when the weather is nice, the omnipresent music, laughter, costumes and parades might even make you think of Rio. It's a major happening and the highlight of the year for many of the locals. For a day or three, virtually all of regular life comes to a standstill as the mayor symbolically hands over the key of the city to Prince Carnaval, who is always accompanied by his jester and "council of eleven" advisors. Shops, museums and other institutions close their doors and people from all over the country flock to Maastricht to join in the merry celebrations that go on from late in the morning till the early hours of the next.

Start of the season Edit

The whole thing -locals call it Vasteloavend rather than carnival- starts as early as November. As eleven is the fool's number, the carnival season is opened at the 11th of the 11th, at 11:11. The Vrijthof is the stage for the first events and the first appearances of Maastricht's zate hermenikes, or drunken bands. They are small music bands, often in costume, often deliberately performing in a slightly amateurish way. A "blue ship" travellers the streets, a tradition going back to the 12th century and linked to the theme of Hieronymus Bosch's painting: The ship of fools. For outsiders, things may seem quiet after that, until the actual spring celebrations, but in reality numerous parties are organized behind closed doors during those months, typically involving a satiric sort of stand-up comedy in local dialect.

Main events Edit

For outsiders, the spring celebrations are most interesting. Dates vary as they are related to Easter, but the main events take places on Saturday to Tuesday.

  • On Saturday the new prince takes over town, parading (usually at 13:11) from the central station to the market square, where the mock-transition of power takes place.
  • Sunday sees the main parade, full of colourful carts, individual acts and thousands of spectators in costume. It leaves around 13:55 from Wijck and travellers towards the city centre. Princes (some city districts or clubs have their own, and some from neighbouring towns join the parade) throw candy on the crowds.
  • Monday is family-day, with a children's parade pulling through the centre, towards the Vrijthof.
  • The Zate hermenikesconcours on Tuesday has all the little bands roaming the streets, competing to impress a jury on the Vrijthof. Be warned that the music is only part of the competition, and it's a funny show rather than a concert. On Wednesday, the day after, cafés all over town serve raw herring or head cheese with rye bread to their guests.

Green, yellow and red are the official carnival colours and alaaf! is heard everywhere as a greeting. Dressing up is not obliged, but you don't want to be and outsider, pick up at least a few carnival gadgets (widely available in the days before).

Saturday Flea Market in Maastricht

Buy Edit

Shops are generally open between 09:00 and 17:00 but many are closed on Monday morning. Thursday some shop are open until 21:00. Also Sunday opening between 12:00 and 18:00.

  • Visit the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) This art fair is among the world's leading art fairs with buyers from all over the world.
  • 'Regular' shopping centre, known for its exclusivity. The main shopping area is between the Vrijthof and the river south of the Markt; should however also check out the more specialist shop over the other the side of the Sint Servaasbrug.
  • 1 Boekhandel Dominikanen, Dominikanerkerkstraat1, +31 43 4100 010, . M 10:00-18:00, Tu-Sa 09:00-18:00, Su 12:00-18:00. Even if you are not looking to buy a book this store is well worth a visit as it is housed in a deconsecrated church. A two-floor high central spine both increases the number of books on display and gives you the chance to admire the architecture of the ceiling close up. There is also a small coffee bar.

Eat Edit

There are many excellent places to eat in the town. Key areas to peruse are around Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, Vrijthof, Maaspromenade and Wycker Brugstraat. Also around Tongersestraat, close to the Economics and Law faculties of the Universiteit Maastricht.

Eating out in Maastricht is not always cheap, with most restaurants catering more to a posh older crowd rather than the student population. On weekdays there are a number of good and relatively low-priced sandwich outlets, as well as the usual fries based take-aways.

Budget Edit

  • 1 Cato by cato, Stenenbrug 9A (from Vrijthof, follow Bredestraat and Hondstraat for about 300 m), 0651098619, . M - Sa, 12:00–18:30 (17:00 Sa). Serving quick and filling international cuisine, this place is very popular with students. €6–8.
  • 2 Friterie Tuutsje vaan Teunsje, Wijcker Brugstraat 41, +31 43 87 95 373. Great fries and local take-away specialities
  • 3 Deli Belge, Tongersestraat 44a, +31 43 326 0902.
  • 4 Délifrance, Grote Staat 57, +31 43 321 3026. Good place in the centre to get a reasonable priced baguette and hot drink.
  • 5 Friture Reitz, Markt 75, +31 43 321 5706. Great fries with selections of sources on the menu. Take-away and seating.
  • 6 Somethin'good, Tongersestraat 36, +31 43 601 5138. Good and relatively low-priced sandwiches
  • 7 Wok to go, Markt 59. Asian take away with seating inside and outside on the Market place.

Mid-range Edit

  • 8 Brasserie Bonhomme, Maaspromenade 78, +31 43 351 0518. Well situated with views of the river from internal and outside seating. Menu for varied tastes, reasonable quality. Service can be a little slow.
  • 9 Café Charlemagne, Onze Lieve Vrouweplein 24, +31 43 321 9373. Excellent food. Good seating in the square in the summer.
  • 10 Eetcafé De Preuverij, Kakeberg 6, +31 43 325 09 03. M-F 10:00-22:00; Sa Su 12:00-22:00. If you are really hungry, but don't want luxury food then visit this place. Try the Vesserslatien sandwich (cock-and-bull story sandwich). At night it is a popular drinking venue with students of Maastricht University. Three-course meal: €12.50.
  • 11 Grand Café D'n Ingel, Vrijthof 13, +31 43 321 7226. Excellent meat dishes. Good service. Tables outside as well as indoor.
  • 12 Restaurant Fameuse, Vrijthof 14, +31 43 321 9044. Good Italian with seating adjacent to the Vrijthof.
  • 13 Bisschopsmolen, Stenenbrug 1-3, +31 43-3270613. Bakery selling bread and pies made from flour from their own water wheel mill.
  • 14 Steakhouse Carnal, Wyckerbrugstraat 35, +31 43-3213099. Good steaks as well as other dishes.
  • 15 Tasty Thai, Rechtstraat 29, +31 43 852 4962. Not the cheapest semi-self-service Thai, but good spicy tasting and good sized portions.
  • 16 In Den Ouden Vogelstruys, Vrijthof 15, +31 43 321 4888. Small characterful interior, also with outside seating. Make a great stew (Stoofpötjes) and fries.
  • 17 The India House, Bredestraat 45. Good Indian food with friendly efficient service.
  • 18 Brasserie Monopole B.V., Vrijthof 3, +31 43 321 4090. Reasonable place for breakfast

Splurge Edit

  • 19 Beluga, Centre Ceramique Plein 1992, +31 43 321 33 64. Beluga's chef has gained celebrity status in the Netherlands, and this two Michelin star restaurant is well known throughout the country and beyond. Dining here is considered a splurge indeed, but prices are friendly for a Dutch 2-star restaurants. As a result however, reservations are an absolute must and best made well in advance. From €45.
  • 20 Harry's, Wycker Brugstraat 2, +31 43 325 44 33. Superb food, excellent service.

Drink Edit

Maastricht has many bars, restaurants, pubs and dance clubs, located on Vrijthof and Market Squares, and in the centre of downtown it's nearly impossible to walk around and not see anything to do.

  • Maastricht is great for a night out (Maastricht is home to both a University & Institute). therefore, lots of students, also lots of foreign companies are based here so a mixture of international pubs & clubs can be found here.

Bars Edit

  • Be sure to check out these places to go drink and have a good time: The Highlander, Falstaff, Twee Heeren, Metamorfoos, C'est La Vie, Take5, De Allabonneur, and especially the make!-bar. They all are very welcoming and have great music to dance to.
  • 1 Take One, Rechtstraat 28, +31 43 321 64 23. Th-M 16:00-02:00. Stocks over 150 Belgian and Dutch beers; owner Peet can find something to suit every taste (if you can brave his sense of humour). Small, atmospheric and sometimes lively bar - peanut shells on the floor please!
  • 2 Cafe 't Pothuiske (Pothuiske), Het Bat 1 (Just east of the main square, near the River Maas), +31 433 21 60 02. Great place to grab a beer. Their weekly specials often have some pretty rare Belgian and Dutch brews. The outdoor seating's atmosphere is great and allows a view of the River Maas.

Non alcoholic Edit

  • 3 Coffeelovers Dominicanen, Dominicanerkerkstraat 1, +31 43 3561944. Cafe attached to bookshop inside an old church. Worth looking round the book shop just for the architecture.
  • 4 Bij Us, Markt 67, +31 43 310 1045. Bakery with seating inside and out. Baguettes and cakes with a tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
  • 5 Café de Zwaan, Markt 68, +31 43 321 5421. Good for just a coffee or for small meals.

"Coffeeshops" Edit

In the Netherlands, the policy regarding soft drugs (such as weed, hash and magic mushrooms) is lenient. Therefore, there are several coffee- and headshops where you can buy these products. You can buy up to 5 grams of marijuana. Make sure you bring your identification card or driver's licence with you, because the shops are very strict about age and they will check it no matter how old you look. You have to be at least 18 years old to enter a coffee- or headshop. As of May 1, 2012, only those with a Dutch passport and clubpass are being allowed entry.[1]

The coffeeshops in Maastricht have a lot (2.2 million annually!) of foreign customers, so they are able to understand Dutch, English, French and German. The Mississippi boat is the most popular with coffeeshop visitors from abroad. It is a coffee shop built in a large boat which lays in the Maas river and is certainly worth visiting. However it is regarded as having overpriced products and lower quality by locals and connoisseurs. Recommended are; Black Widow, a small coffeeshop located outside of the city centre that has reasonable prices and good quality, Easy Going for its centrality and Heaven 69 for the open roof diner. Club 69, just around the corner of the Cool Running, is the oldest, smallest but most laid back one in town. For tourists other than Dutch, German or Belgian, there is a coffeeshop at Koestraat near the Beluga restaurant that is outside of the "union" and will serve you.

Sleep Edit

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under €50
Mid-range €50 to €150
Splurge Over €150

Budget Edit

  • 1 Botel Maastricht, Maasboulevard 95, +31 43 321 90 23, fax: +31 43 325 79 98. Check-in: before 19:00. This hostel is on a boat on the river Maas, next to the city center. Breakfast is optional during weekdays and obligatory on weekends. €20-33 per person, depending on room size and breakfast inclusion.
  • 2 Stayokay Maastricht, Maasboulevard 101, +31 43 750 17 90, fax: +31 43 350 01 47, . This hostel opened its doors in 2007 and offers 38 rooms. It has a deck looking over the Maas river and is a delightful place to have a beer in the evening. The hostel is clean, but as with many chain hostels, it does not have a kitchen and may lack atmosphere for those looking to meet other travellers. Prices start at €21 (breakfast included) for an overnight stay in a dormitory.

Mid-range Edit

  • 3 Bastion Deluxe Hotel Maastricht, Boschstraat 27, +31 43 321 22 22, fax: +31 43 321 34 32. Part of a Dutch chain of four star hotels at sub-four star prices. If you are used to the full four-star service this will be a disappointment, but it is only a five-minute walk into the city centre and provides free wireless internet service.
  • 4 Design Hotel Eden, Stationsstraat 40, +31 43 328 25 25, fax: +31 43 328 25 26, . If you're bored with identi-kit hotel rooms, Design Hotel Eden will be a breath of fresh air. All the rooms are comfortably furnished in a variety of modern styles. You'll appreciate a philosophy that doesn't put a desk in your room.
  • 5 [formerly dead link] Hotel De Pauwenhof, Boschstraat 70, +31 43 350 33 33, fax: +31 43 350 33 39, . Small hotel with a family-run feel. In 2016, it was refurbished with air conditioning in all 15 rooms.
  • 6 Hotel Iban, Hertogsingel 28, +31 433261316, fax: +31 433217922, . Hotel Iban is a small hip 'boutique hotel' with 7 rooms. Every room has its own warm character and the atmosphere is very warm and personal.
  • 7 Hotel MABI, Kleine Gracht 24, +31 43 351 44 44, fax: +31 43 351 44 55, . Just off the market place, must be owned by a group of dentists. Little jars of sweets are everywhere in the public spaces.
  • 8 NH Hotel Maastricht, Forum 110, +31 43 383 82 81, fax: +31 43 361 58 62, . About a 25 minutes' walk from the city center, but very convenient if you are attending a conference or fair in the Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Centre next door. The hotel is comfortable enough; however, only the "deluxe" rooms really come up to the standards of other NH hotels. The standard rooms look tired by comparison, and some of them are quite noisy.
  • 9 Au Lion d'Or, Hoogbrugstraat 16, +31 6 46 13 40 51, . Traditional 18th-century building is full of old details, carefully restored, and comprises a front and a back house. Between them is a city garden where an extensive breakfast is served in the summer. In cooler weather, an open fire and traditional cooking range warmly welcome you to breakfast in the family kitchen in the back house. Two double guest rooms are on the second floor of the front house (up a set of steep Dutch stairs). Each non-smoking guest room has comfortable boxspring beds, its own private bathroom and WC, free wireless internet, and its own unique atmosphere. €115.
  • Hotel Trash Deluxe, Boschstraat 55, +31 43 852 5500, . A trash-themed boutique hotel with 8 rooms, each with a unique theme such as glass, metal and rubber.

Splurge Edit

Talk Edit

Maastricht is a very multilingual city, and it is not uncommon to regularly hear people speaking Dutch, English, French and German. In addition, many locals speak in the widespread local dialect Maastrichts, which is a variety of Limburgish. Street names tend to be written in both Dutch and Maastrichts, which has a French influence. Consequently, there are many languages to learn in Maastricht, both in the city or through lessons.

Stay safe Edit

As with much of the Netherlands, Maastricht is a safe city if you are not looking for trouble. Pickpocketing and muggings have been known to occur in less tourist-friendly parts of the city, but tourists are rarely targeted.

Cope Edit

Religious services Edit

Holy mass in Catholic churches in Maastricht:

  • Sint Servaas Basilica, Keizer Karelplein. Sa 18:00; Su 10:00, 11:30; M-Sa 09:00 (Sint Servaas chapel)
  • Onze Lieve Vrouwe Basilica, Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. Sa 17:00 (crypt), 18:30; Su 09:00, 10:00, 11:30; M-Sa 09:30
  • Sint Matthiaskerk, Boschstraat 99. Sa 17:30; Su 11:15; Tu-F 08:30
  • Sint Petrus Banden, Oude Kerkstraat 10 (Maastricht Heer). Sa 19:15; Su 08:30, 09:45; M-F 19:00
  • Basiliek van het H. Sacrament[dead link], Markt, 6231 LR Meerssen. Su 11:00; M Tu 19:00; W F 08:00

See also English-language Church Services in the Netherlands.

Go next Edit

The terraced Chateau Neercanne is located just outside Maastricht, before the Belgian border
  • World War II Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial: take the   9.5 kilometers (6 miles) east of Maastricht. The cemetery is just west of the village of Margraten. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 09:00 to 17:00. The cemetery is the final resting place for 8,301 American military dead. A monument is inscribed with the names of 1,723 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. The site contains a chapel and museum with three engraved operations maps describing the European Campaign.
  • Caves in the Sint Pietersberg: Although the limestone caves are actually mines, it is nice to take a guided tour through the belly of the berg. In the Second World War, the Dutch stored their national arts collections in a vault in the hill, and a lot of engravings - some more old than the other - are to be admired. Entrances lie at several places on the mountain, and are well within walking distance of the town center. Plan in advance to make sure you can get in.
  • Fort Eben-Emael: A Belgian World War II fort no longer in use, but open to the public on certain weekends. Very close to Maastricht, just south across the Belgian border.
  • Valkenburg aan de Geul: This historic town was besieged many times and many traces remain to be seen, including Valkenburg castle. Along with tours of the old mines there is also a popular spa and a casino.
Routes through Maastricht
AmsterdamGeleen  N   S  → Belgium Border (6 km) →   Liège
ENDHeerlen  E   w  END
AachenVaals  E   w  → Belgium Border →   Sint-Truiden
PieterburenStrabeek  N   S  END

This city travel guide to Maastricht is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.