Maastricht, one of the most ancient cities in the country, is located in the southeast of the Netherlands near the border with Belgium (which is only 3 km away). The old town here is not great at all, in a couple of hours you can get around the entire historical center.
At the same time, Maastricht is an exceptionally beautiful city. Many find Holland a bit monotonous, but here you can see something truly fresh: a combination of Spanish and Roman ruins, cosmopolitan food, French and Belgian influences in architecture, and Dutch restraint. There is a noticeable difference in the landscape: in Maastricht there are hilly and mountainous places. Not surprisingly, many locals oppose the northerners; there is even a problem with self-determination – are the Dutch local or not?
According to cachedhealth, the city is located on the Meuse River and is distinguished by cozy cafes, cobbled streets, gourmet cuisine and an elegant atmosphere. Located between Belgium and Germany, this city is completely saturated with a European spirit: most of the inhabitants speak Dutch, English, French, as well as German or Flemish.
The city played a key moment in the history of the European Union. On December 10, 1991, 12 EU members signed an agreement on economic, monetary and political unions; it later became known as the “February Agreement”.
The Tourist Information Office (VVV) is located at Wycker Brugstraat 24, in the city centre. Here you can find maps and brochures, buy souvenirs, book tickets, find out about museum opening hours and even pick up a hotel.
How to get there
Maastricht International Airport receives a small number of flights from abroad. In particular, Ryanair flies to Alicante, Barcelona, Faro, Porto and Florence. Germanwings operates daily flights between Maastricht and Berlin.
The city is also well served by trains and has two stations: Maastricht, near the city center, and Maastricht Randwyck, in the south. Popular destinations: Eindhoven (travel time 1 hour, 9-14 EUR), Utrecht (1 hour 52 minutes, 14-21 EUR), Amsterdam (2 hours 24 minutes, 16-24 EUR), The Hague (2 hours 37 minutes, 17 -27 EUR, change in Eindhoven), Groningen (4 hours 14 minutes, 25-38 EUR, change in Utrecht). There are also international destinations: to Liege and Brussels (1.5 hours), where you can transfer to a train to Paris or London.
A ticket must be bought before boarding the train, as they are not sold on board and there is a chance of running into a conductor who will issue a fine of 35 EUR.
Bus 50 from Aachen leaves for Maastricht every half hour (travel time 1 hour 11 minutes). A one-way ticket costs 4-7 EUR. An all-day ticket for South Limburg, whose bus routes include cities like Heerlen, costs 16 EUR.
You can also take the bus to Belgium: Liege, Hasselt, Tongeren and Lanaken.
Stadsbus buses run in the city and its suburbs. Tickets can be bought on board or you can purchase the Strippenkaart at the post office and transport offices around the city. There are two types of travel cards – for 7.60 EUR and 22.50 EUR. The first includes 15 trips, the second – 45. Each separate Strippenkaart ticket costs 0.65 EUR, for one trip around the city you need to punch at least two coupons, the farther the distance, the more coupons. A simple bus ticket from the driver costs from 1.80 EUR. Stippenkaart operates on city buses, trams and metros throughout the Netherlands.
Maastricht has a design hotel, the Kruisheren, which is located inside an old church and monastery. A double room here costs from 190 EUR per night. Address: Kruisherengang 19-23 Tel.: +31 (0)43 329 20 20; website.
Entertainment and attractions of Maastricht
One of the main attractions of the city is the remains of the Van du Moulin defensive line (walls, bastions, underground galleries), as well as a labyrinth of 20,000 caves in Sint-Petersberg. The total length of the tunnels here exceeds 320 km. During the wars, the Maastrichts hid game, cattle, refugees and works of art in them.
No less interesting are the medieval burgher houses of the “old town”, narrow streets and bridges, the ancient city gates, the Town Hall and the symbol of the city – the Cathedral of Sint Servas (St. Servatius). The city has many museums – Bishop’s, art and antiquities, art museum Bonnefanten. As well as the beautiful Romanesque basilica of the Netherlands – the Onze-Live-Frauwe church.
It is worth seeing the ancient, thrown over the Meuse, the bridge of St. Service and Church of St. John with a 75-meter bell tower. In the Church of the Virgin Mary, despite countless reconstructions, a 1000-year-old crypt has survived.
The funniest bars are located on Platil-Slatil Street, and boutiques and shops of European brands are located in the suburban outlet Maasmechelen Village.
In Maastricht, they drink beer from “flauches” – cups with a volume of 0.18 liters. It is believed here that beer from small glasses tastes better: the glass empties faster, the temperature of the beer does not have time to rise, and the taste remains good. Only in the wrong Maastricht pubs will beer be poured into 0.5 glasses.