In the south of The Netherlands you can find a very nice city: Maastricht! It is located in the most southern part of the country. If you travel just a little more down south you will find yourself in a part of Belgium were people speak French! Maastricht is a city which has a lot to offer. Especially if you would like to explore a whole different city of The Netherlands than Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Maastricht has a southern athmosphere, a southern chiqueness and, another special feature of this part of The Netherlands are the hills! While our little country mostly is so flat that you can see the sea from miles away, it’s the contrary in the south! Ok, I must admit that in any case it woudn’t be possible to view the sea from Maastricht. However, I think I have made my point clear: the countryside which surrounds the city is really beautiful and makes that we can say that the city Maastricht lies in a valley!
Visiting the city
When visiting the city center of Maastricht you will find yourself in a historical city centre almost no other Dutch city still has. Parts of this city have their origin in ancient times when the Romans were still in charge. A lot of the old monasteries and cathedrals are from the 13th century or even older. For example the oldest parts of St. Servaas church are from the 6th century! You can find this church on the Vrijthof square in the middle of the city centre next to the St. Jan church: a very special churchbuilding with a red tower. Don’t be afraid you will miss it. Just ask for the ‘red church’ and people will show you the way. Or just take a good look at the photo below to prepare yourself:
Through the centuries a lot of renovations have taken place. Fun fact is that during the time I studied and lived in this city, back in 2003, the square Vrijthof was partly open because of the renovation of the parking place underneath it! A very beautiful also more recent renovation in the city centre is the shopping mall Entre Deux. In this shopping mall they have combined old walls with new architecture in a way it looks very beautiful.
Maastricht is a city were going to a restaurant for dinner will never leave you dissappointed. Because the enourmous amount of cafes and restaurants in this city, and the love for good food this city has, the quality level is high in general. Of course there are differences between price and quality between the restaurants. If you are looking or the best of the best and want to spend some money on your dinner, go to Rozemarijn, Beluga, or to Toine Hermsen. In case you want to experience something really special you can also choose to go for dinner in a castle! Chateau Neercanne is located approx 5 minutes outside the city and offers a luxury environment in which you can enjoy an excellent dinner.
Maastricht is approx. 2,5 hours by train from Amsterdam. Also it has its own airport! Therefore you could also choose to fly to Maastricht-Aachen airport (then it is a 15 minutes by bus to the city center) or you could book a flight to Eindhoven airport. From there it is approx. 1 hour by train to Maastricht. Maastricht is very tourist friendly, there are a lot of hotels, and because the city is quite small compared to other cities, it is also safer compared to other cities. On the official tourist information website of Maastricht you will find all practical information, and also information about upcoming events.