Maastricht Top-10: The Favorite Tourist Attractions in Maastricht, The Netherlands

November 10, 2017

As the oldest city of the Netherlands, located within a walking distance from the borders of both Belgium and Germany, Maastricht has so much to offer!. If you’re a history, culture, arts enthusiast, you’ll absolutely love this beautiful city.

With a long history – tracing back to the Roman era, spectacular monuments, magnificent cathedrals, and beautiful old houses/streets, Maastricht is full of surprises and is perfect for a weekend trip.  Here's all you need to know.


HOW TO REACH?
  • By Road: We drove. It’s about 2 hours’ drive from our home /Amsterdam. 
  • By Flight: If you come flying, Eindhoven airport could be the nearest (approx. 1.5 hours drive); From Schiphol, it’s 2 hours distance and the same travel time if you land in Belgium/Brussel too.
  • By Train: Maastricht is well connected with train, you can reach the city center from almost everywhere in the Netherlands, Brussels(Belgium) or from Dusseldorf (Germany).
WHERE TO STAY?:
There are plenty of options for accommodation in the Maastricht., ranging from student hostels, motels to 5-star luxury villas. But, we stayed at Lanaken – a nearby town in Belgium. It is less than 10 minutes’ drive (6.5 Kms) from Lanaken to Maastricht city center and it is very cost-effective! we got a 4-star hotel double bedroom with breakfast for just 60 EUR /night.

HOW TO GET AROUND :
Walk: Yes, we parked our car in the city center and walked all over. Probably, walking is the best way to Maastricht (perhaps, true for any city in Europe!). If you are a little immobile or has less time, you can choose to go by bike or a city tour bus.

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TOP -10 ATTRACTIONS THAT WE COVERED

#1: MAASTRICHT UNDERGROUND:  


No light, no noise, no smell, no radiation, no pollution, no reach with your phone, no time since ... inside the caves. It was really one of the lifetime experiences. There is absolutely something so captivating in these hidden caves, you can feel the symbols of love, perseverance, courage – and on the contrast: war and suffering! 

➤ For more details, please read my other post “Maastricht Underground: Taste theAdventure with an impressive History


#2: BOEKHANDEL DOMINICANEN

You might have seen many mind-blowing bookstores and libraries, but this one is certainly unique!
Here in Maastricht, a 700+ years old glorious Gothic cathedral is now transformed into a full-fledged beautiful bookstore. Hence this is truly a “temple of books” and probably the Dutch’s way of saying, "a good library is equal to (if not better than) a Church, Temple or a Mosque!”.

➤ For more details, please read my other post “Boekhandel Dominicanen - AnAuthentic Church which changed into a Modern Bookstore


#3: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM:

Though tucked in a sleepy street, the Natural History Museum (NHM) is an interesting place and attracts quite a lot of visitors (both local as well foreigners) all through the year. This place is almost in every Maastricht tourists’ itinerary. It not a large natural history museum, but certainly it does provide an exceptionally interesting insight into the prehistoric period, especially to the south Limburg region and there's so much to learn. If you have a couple of hours, it’s worth to see.

➤ Please read my other post “Why you should visit the NaturalHistory Museum of Maastricht".


#4: DE BISSCHOPSMOLEN

De Bisschopsmolen (The bishop's mill) is the oldest, a 7th-century water mill in the Netherlands and still actively grinding different grains to provide flour for the tasty breads and pastries!. The bakery is located at the center of the Maastricht city. You don’t need your google maps to navigate to the location; If you walk past the Basilica of Our Lady (Basiliek van Onze Lieve Vrouwe), the delicious smell of freshly-baked breads and pie/tart will take you to the bakery, it’s hard to me missed😜.

➤ Please read “De Bisschopsmolen - Bakery that uses the oldest Watermill of the Netherlands".


#4: BASILICA OF SAINT SERVATIUS & TREASURES
This 6th century Roman Catholic church was built on top of the shrine of Maastricht’s first Bishop. It’s so beautiful with its magnificent architecture, fine blocks and 1000+ years old paintings. The main attraction of this church is its treasury, which is now serving as a museum. The Treasury is filled with gold & silver art wonders from the medieval period.

You may start with the tomb where Saint Servaas was buried and continue enthralling the beauty of rest interior in the church. The tall white ceilings and large stained-glass windows give the interior a light and expansive look, just enjoy this beauty of Romanesque architecture.


➤  Location: Keizer Karelplein 3, 6211 TC Maastricht
➤  Opening Hours: Mon-Sat (10:00 AM - 5:00 PM); Sunday (12:30 PM - 5:00 PM)
➤  Tickets / Price: Entrance to the Church is free; to visit the treasury you need to pay € 4.50 per person


#5. BASILIEK VAN ONZE-LIEVE-VROUW (The Basilica of Our Lady)
This is another 1000+ years old beautiful candle-filled church πŸ˜œ. There are several bus stops nearby and the basilica is a short walk from the city center.

Just stroll through the wide dark corridors of the Our Lady Basilica and admire the art and murals dating from the Middle Ages. Probably, the main thing here is the “Sterre-der-Zeekapel (Star of the Sea)” – the wooden statue of Holy Maria, dates back to the 15th century. For centuries pilgrims from all over Europe travel to this statue and claim to be cured of many sufferings. I don’t know how true it is., but the statue as well the whole church looks so beautiful and mesmerizing to watch.


➤  Address: Onze Lieve Vrouweplein 7, 6211 HD Maastricht
➤  The building is open daily and is free of charge.
➤  More details: http://www.sterre-der-zee.nl/


#6: HELPOORT (Hell’s Gate😑)
The Helpoort is the oldest preserved city gate in the country and the only one in Maastricht. The impressive stone structure dates from 1229 when Maastricht acquired its city rights. The gate has been in service for about two centuries as part of the city wall. Since then, it has been used as a weapon room, herbal house and artist studio. Thanks to extensive restoration work in the 20th century, you can now enjoy the gate as it should have looked in the Middle Ages.

You can climb the tower for a great view of the city and take a walk around the old city walls. If you walk further, you’ll reach a beautiful Stad(city)park. Sit down to the waterfront and enjoy a picnic or take a nap in the sun (if you have time!)


➤  Address: Sint Bernardusstraat 24b, 6211 HH Maastricht
➤  Timings:  Opens all day, but only in the afternoons (1–4:30PM)
➤  Entrance is free


#7: BONNEFANTEN MUSEUM  

We couldn’t visit this important attraction, so can’t comment much about it!
This graceful, dome-shaped building, is located on Avenue CΓ©ramique on the banks of the river "Maas", also famously called as Meuse ( I think, it's French?).

It is a 15-minute walk from the city center and a regular bus service runs here. You can also park here for a fee. The museum is closed on Mondays, excluding national holidays. An entrance fee is required.


#8: VRIJTHOF & CITY CENTER
The Vrijthof is a picturesque square, paved with pebbles and surrounded by neatly carved old trees. The original function of the square was less scary; it was first used as a cemetery and later as a venue for executions😜.. But now, this is the main square in the city center and regularly many events are organized at the Vrijthof.

The most important event is the Carnival in Maastricht, happens each year at the beginning of the fasting time, celebrated in this square.  If you are visiting Maastricht in the summer months, you can attend one of the classic outdoor concerts. You visit any day, you’ll always can see/participate in a concert/event here!.

#9: ST. SERVAASBRUG
The Sint Servaasbrug is probably the oldest still existing bridge in the Netherlands and was built in the late 13th century.  This magnificent bridge is now being depicted on new euro coins as well! 

If you have not walked over this bridge, you have not been to Maastricht πŸ˜œ.. This beautiful bridge holds an interesting architecture, also inevitable part of Maastricht’s history. Maastricht has several bridges, but when some local/historian refers "The bridge", it’s always means the St. Servaasbrug!.


#10: MAASTRICHT CRUISE
A common thing to almost all the touristic cities of Europe – Boat tour!. 

The surroundings of Maastricht are beautiful from the water. Get on board one of the cruises of Rederij Stiphout (is the company provides boat tour here) and enjoy the beautiful landscape of the whole Limburg region; these tours take you all through the Maastricht attractions and upto the Belgium border.

➤  Address: Maaspromenade 58, 6211 HS Maastricht
➤  Ticket price varies time-to-time and depends on packages.
➤  Refer the website  www.stiphout.nl for more details.

✌ Hope this information helps you. Have a nice time in the Masstricht! 

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