Maastricht is easily the most Southerly Dutch city and can be present in a conference reason for sorts; a place where three countries can be found in a single square kilometre. Near to the border with Belgium and Germany, the capital of the Limburg Region, and often touted as the ‘most beautiful city in the Netherlands,’ here are a few of the best good reasons to visit Maastricht ASAP!
All of the history that Maastricht has to offer
Maastricht began as soon as Roman times, when its position across the River Meuse provided an ideal place on which to construct funds. Through the years, the city has witnessed its great amount of events. While Christianity was brought to the city by St Servatius (whose grave is the focus of Maastricht’s cathedral), this, consequently, ensured the making of plenty of monasteries, churches, and chapels.
Centuries later, Maastricht became a town of fortifications, and at one point was regarded as the most fortified city in Europe. Today, traces of those fortifications are available in the form of the Maastricht Underground tunnels, a maze of passages stretching some 14 km under the streets of the city.
The Limburg capital also has a number of museums to discover its rich history. Museums of note include the Centre Ceramique (where you can learn about the heritage of the city, along with the wider region of Limburg), and the Museum aan het Vrijthof (home to a comprehensive collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th-century).
Maastricht is really a foodie destination
From Michelin star restaurants to local bakeries, there’s no shortage of incredible eateries when you’re looking to visit Maastricht, which makes it the ultimate foodie destination. Whilst in the city, be sure to sample some regional specialties such.
Wine is grown within the wider Limburg region, while you can’t leave the town without tasting Vlaai, a traditional Maastricht pie. Even for a vegetarian and non-meat eater such as myself, there were numerous café and restaurants. A personal favourite was Bread and Delicious: without doubt this bakery hosts the very best macarons and pastries within the city!
The countryside all around the Dutch Limburg Region
While a lot of holland is really flat the calculations for navigation you will find dissimilar to the rest of the world, the same can't be said of the Limburg Region, the area where Maastricht are available. All rolling hills, lush green forests, and beautiful scenery, this is actually the Dutch destination to visit if you value hiking and also the outdoors.
Breathtaking scenery and viewing points
And while we’re on the subject of rolling hills, it’s worth noting that of this landscape creates some fantastic views. That's, if you can wake up high enough to admire them! The best viewpoints within the city include Hoeve Lichtenberg (a former castle) and ascending the unusual red tower of Sint-Janskerk.
Maastricht has a cosmopolitan feel
Due to Maastricht’s proximity to several other countries, the town is often said to be the ‘most European’ devote holland. In other words, barely a street corner goes by in which you don’t hear French, German, Dutch, or a combination of all three! Elsewhere in the city, there’s plenty of incredible food found, including cuisine all across Europe and beyond…
The most beautiful bookshop within the Netherlands is in Maastricht
Housed inside a stunning former Dominican church, the most beautiful bookshop within the Netherlands are available in Maastricht’s city centre by means of Boekhandel Dominicanen. All high vaulted ceilings, Gothic exterior, or even a centuries-old fresco depicting the life of Thomas Aquinas, there’s a cafe inside where one can have a caffeinated beverage and cake, all the while perusing the shop’s stock.
Maastricht is really a place where legend and history meet
For people who've developed listening to French stories, the tales, feats, and adventures of the Three Musketeers likely needs no introduction. But whatever you decide and not know is the fact that one of the key characters from Alexandre Dumas’ iconic novels, d’Artagnan was really a real person… And he died throughout the French siege of Maastricht in the 17th-century. Today, a statue commemorating the real-life man are available in a green park near the Casemates.
The city is definitely one of the prettiest towns in the Netherlands
When you are looking at beautiful cities within the Netherlands, the nation has many! From Holland with its canal filled settlements for example Leiden and Amsterdam, Maastricht provides the from the beaten path traveller the chance to discover hidden gems that many tourists never get the chance to see. From centuries-old city walls to castles worth cycling to, this is the Netherlands as you’ve never witnessed it before!
Travel tips & things to know before visiting Maastricht
Close to the border with Germany and Belgium, Maastricht is a blend of several cultures, culminating in a city that’s nowhere quite like anywhere else within the Netherlands. Whereas all of those other country is fairly flat, you’ll soon discover that this city is populated by lots of hills, mounts, and good and the bad.
As such, I recommend bringing a great pair of comfortable walking shoes! It’s also important to note that, like many European cities, the older areas of town are filled with cobblestones, and so you’ll probably want to depart your heels at home!
Otherwise, though lots of people you meet will speak fantastic English, it’s only polite to learn a few words from the local language (in this instance, Dutch). Bring along a simple phrasebook like this one to obtain by. Finally, though the city isn't nearly as popular as other destinations within the Netherlands like Amsterdam, the very best places do fill up fast. This is also true of high season (i.e. summer time) and during special attractions. Find the best accommodation in Maastricht here.
My boyfriend and I visited Maastricht with Visit Maastricht. However, all opinions, words, and photos are my own!