Things to do in Maastricht
Maastricht is one of the most beautiful Dutch towns. With its fascinating history, one of the rare European churches with westwork and so many beautiful cultural sites, it’s definitely worth visiting.
Today, the city is a thriving cultural and regional hub. It became well known through the Maastricht Treaty and as the birthplace of the euro. Maastricht has 1677 national heritage buildings (rijksmonumenten), the second highest number in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam.
Settlements have been documented at Maastricht for thousands of years, and Neanderthal remains have even been found. Throughout history, different groups have entered the Limburg region including the Romans, Carolingian’s, and later the Dukes of Brabant. As an important city located on the Meuse river, Maastricht is a fantastic tourist destination and has a great deal to offer from historical buildings, to beautiful parks and some intriguing cave networks.
Maastricht has plenty to offer from a boat trip on the Meuse or a historical walk through the city. You can also go on a shopping spree or indulge your culinary interests. There is plenty to do and see and this city has a lot of time and space to offer to people of all ages. You can explore the city in your own way and at your own pace.
Here are some of the things you can do in Maastricht:
- Visit the Vrijthof: The Vrijthof is the main square in Maastricht and is home to many historic buildings, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to sit and people watch while enjoying a drink or a meal.
- Explore the St. Pietersberg Caves: These limestone caves are located on the outskirts of the city and offer a unique underground experience. Visitors can take a guided tour through the maze-like tunnels and see some fascinating rock formations.
- See the Basilica of Saint Servatius: This Romanesque basilica is one of the oldest churches in the Netherlands and is dedicated to Saint Servatius, the patron saint of Maastricht. The church features beautiful stained glass windows and a crypt where the remains of Saint Servatius are said to be buried.
- Walk along the Maas River: The Maas River runs through the heart of Maastricht and provides a scenic backdrop for a leisurely stroll. There are also several bars and restaurants along the riverbank where you can stop for a drink or a bite to eat.
- Visit the Bonnefantenmuseum: This modern art museum is housed in a unique building with a distinctive domed tower. The museum’s collection includes works by Dutch and international artists, as well as temporary exhibitions.
- Take a boat tour: A boat tour along the Maas River is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. There are several companies that offer guided tours, or you can rent a boat and explore on your own.
- Shop at the Markt: The Markt is Maastricht’s main shopping street and is lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to browse for souvenirs or pick up some local delicacies.
- Visit the Helpoort: The Helpoort is one of the oldest city gates in the Netherlands and dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can climb to the top of the gate for panoramic views of the city.
- Relax in the city parks: Maastricht has several beautiful parks, including the Stadspark and the Jekerpark. These green spaces are great for a picnic, a jog, or just a relaxing stroll.
- Enjoy the local cuisine: Maastricht is known for its culinary delights, including hearty stews, rich sauces, and sweet pastries. Be sure to try some local specialties, such as zoervleis, a sweet and sour beef stew, or vlaai, a fruit-filled pastry.