Maastricht in southern Holland is very different from the rest of the country, as it’s closer to neighbouring countries Belgium and Germany than the rest of the Netherlands. We love to visit the capital of Limburg for weekend trips and just keep coming back, as there are so many highlights and things to do in Maastricht. These are the 10 must-do highlights of Maastricht.
Best places to visit in Maastricht
#1 The caves
Website | Just outside the city are the famous Valkenburg caves. The Romans once started digging out the limestone soil on which Maastricht was built, creating an underground maze. The kilometer-long corridors later saved the citizens of Maastricht in times of need. During wars people hided into the endless corridors and the most important Dutch art found a shelter here. Rembrandt’s Night Watch, among others, went into hiding here during the Second World War! Take a guided tour through the corridors – it is really a maze, you will not be able to find out easily on your own – and visit this special underground spot!
A few February days a year, the part of our country below the rivers and in Limburg in particular changes. Do you want to experience the authentic Dutch carnaval? Then as far south as possible where the authentic Dutch carnaval is still celebrated. Maastricht will be turned upside down for a couple of days: everything is closed, the local people only speak in dialect and everyone is unrecognizable with an amazig outfit and smink. A unique party to experience!
#3 The squares and terraces
You don’t feel like joining the annual festivities in February? Then the summer is the best time to travel south. The squares and streets fill themselves with terraces where the people from Maastricht have a beer or wine. Find a table at the Vrijthof, the Onze Lieve Vrouwenplein or the terraces along the Maas and order a drink. Cheers!
Website | The highlight of Maastricht for art lovers is the Bonnefantenmuseum. The modern building with its rocket-shaped tower is a work of art itself. It houses an impressive collection of early European and contemporary art.
#5 The most beautiful bookstore in the country
Website | We have a soft spot for bookshops in beautiful buildings. The Maastricht bookstore Dominicanen houses an impressive collection of books in a 700-year-old church. The church has not been used as a religious place for 200 years and has even served as a bicycle parking in the meantine! As a bookstore, the magical atmosphere of the church is much better appreciated than as a parking. The Guardian was right to name this place “The fairest bookshop of the world, a bookshop made in heaven“.
#6 Strolling around Wyck
Between the historic city center and the central station lies the lively Wyck district, one of the nicest parts of Maastricht. Wander through the narrow streets and make sure to take a look at the beautiful houses. Do not forget to visit the trendy shops and delicious restaurants in this district!
#7 The Burgundian life
Are you craving for a Limburg vlaai (‘pie’)? Or do you prefer a Wieckse Witte, the famous beer from the Maastricht district Wyck? But Maastricht has a lot more to offer than cake and beer. Popular spots are Café Zondag, Coffee with Joost and Maartje, Kafethea, De Brandweer Kantine and Furniture & Cafe.
#8 The Bisschopsmolen
Maastricht has the oldest spelt bakery of the country! The Bisschopsmolen has been grinding this nowadays popular grain for centuries. After grinding it, it will be processed into the best bread and pastries in the bakery nextdoor. The accompanying gelagkamer (restaurant) where you can have breakfast and lunch is very popular. So if there is no table left for you there, you can always buy your vlaai or spet bread in the store.
#9 The Maas and Sint Servaasbridge
In our hometown Rotterdam we’ve already experienced a thousand times what a beautiful sights the Maas produces, but make sure to look at the river in Maastricht as well. From the north river bank, you have a beautiful view of the city with its church towers and old university. You will probably cross the Maas using the beautiful Sint Servaas bridge that connects Wyck with the old city center. The arch bridge is said to be one of the oldest bridges in the country and is a well-known icon of the city.
#10 Shop ’till you drop
Maastricht is all about history with its beautiful historic streets and ancient churches, but also has the coolest shops and concept stores! Our favourite addresses? Traders Pop, Conflict, Furniture & Cafe, Le Marais Deux and the Wonder.
Looking for a place to sleep? Do you want to know the best places for coffee, some food or shopping? Read our blog 30 hotspots in Maastricht!