0 In Europe/ Expat Life/ Maastricht/ Netherlands

1 Week In Maastricht: Living In The South

city reflection of Maastricht on a Spring day

After 1 week of living in Maastricht, located in Province Limburg, I couldn’t wait to already share with you my top sunshine photos and things I’ve noticed compared to living in locations such as Rotterdam and Eindhoven. This beautiful cobblestoned city has so much to offer and surrounded by beautiful nature spots for relaxation.

1 Week In Maastricht: My New Living Location!

So I wanted to share many things I’ve noticed that are different to when I lived in Rotterdam and also lived in Eindhoven. But first, how did I pick Maastricht and why?

Why Maastricht?

Maastricht has always been a bit of a mystery to me, so far south in the Netherlands. I’d never been before but had seen many pretty photos via social media. Since my work is 100% work-from-home since the virus, it was no longer needed to be living close to Amsterdam where my office is.

I was ready to explore more of the Netherlands, which was still allowed. So why Maastricht? well why not!? Not only is it a little bit less flat than the rest (yay hills), the area is so close to Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg for when we can travel again. It is also still the Netherlands, allowing me to still work-from-home in my country and still keep Dutch health insurance and know how things work in Dutch.

A bridge in Maastricht with a cyclist and old street light

Main Differences

It’s clean….

In general I find that every city in the Netherlands is clean and tidy. If you’ve walked around a city super early, you will know that there are some amazing hard working people who help clean the city. For Maastricht, we have seen the street cleaners around 7am in our location, making sure all looks clean for the day ahead. Other cities seem to clean in the evenings too, such as in Rotterdam where they clean at 9 or 10pm around the Markthal and after market day.

…and there are special garbage bags for the locals

Our first week we noticed lots of red and white garbage bags on the street in the city center. Unlike the typical black bags. Well we of course looked into it, as we would also need these in the end. The red and white residual waste bags are for the city to collect on a weekly basis (for our location) for your residual waste only. So no glass or paper. Whereas our paper will be collected once a month, but we have already made use of recycling the paper (and our glass) at some of the local waste locations.

The Language

Maastricht definitely has a different style and accent for their Dutch language. Having been living in Rotterdam for 9 years, I have picked up the language and now fluent (except for writing). But listening to the locals in Maastricht is a bit of a challenge!! I need to pick up some of these local sounds and sayings.

I think the locals also dont understand me either haha – like they understand me when I speak Dutch for a coffee or for some takeaway, but I definitely see them thinking a little extra making sure they understand me back.

There are hills!

Yay for hills! Since travelling all over Europe, I’m always surprised to come back and see how flat the Netherlands truly is. Even though I have lived in the country for more than 9 years, landing at an airport like Schiphol and being able to see everything for ages is crazy flat.

No Picnic Online Supermarket

As a big user of the online supermarket Picnic in Rotterdam and Eindhoven, I was a little sad to see they do not have a location in Maastricht. So since living here, I have made use of the Albert Heijn and Co Op supermarkets in my area. But do plan to use also Lidl and Aldi too. Let’s hope Picnic opens a location here too soon!

House Styles

I love walking around the city so far and discovering all the different shaped houses and shops in the city center. Many are very old with the original roof style as well as being pretty skinny. Else, if they look a bit normal shaped, they usually have a nice colour or pretty window decorations instead. Everyone seems to take pride of how their houses look from the outside too, such as with plants on the window ledges.

Arriva bikes instead of NS

We wanted to use some local bikes for a quick cycle around, and we are used to the NS bikes that you can borrow with your NS Card. But here we have discovered the Arriva bikes, an easy app to unlock a blue bike and you pay per hour. Once done, you simply check your bike in with the app that shows your GPS location and to lock it. Easy and simple!

Old stylish cars

Maybe this is an interesting one, but from my first week in Maastricht I have seen so so many old but stylish cars driving around. For example some old Maserati’s, Ferarri’s and Porsche cars have been driving past our house. It’s been good weather, so maybe everyone has been dusting off their old cars for a Spring sunshine drive!

Historical Points Of Interest

There are a number of walking routes I’ve seen advertised for some city walks as well as around and outside of the city walls. Every day we’re enjoying a walk at lunch or after work hours to explore a new street or area, so we’ve already seen a good amount. But we are looking forward to exploring more!

Summary 1 Week In Maastricht

After 1 week I can truly say that I love living here so far. Compared to Rotterdam and Eindhoven, there is a completely different vibe (as well as all the above differences!). Its a beautiful place to live and walk around. I am living in the city center, but also close to the local park, everything I need and other countries once we can travel again.

For my first week, it was very nice and sunny – but just as I finalise this post its raining. But i don’t mind as it’s just as pretty!

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Thank you for reading my 1 Week In Maastricht post! Any questions or tips, let me know in the comments!

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