Maastricht Netherlands might not have been on your top travel list for the Netherlands, but let’s see if we can convince you to visit with these 13 top things to see and do in Maastricht Netherlands. The picturesque cobblestoned city center, surrounded by historical city fort walls, is a must for those who want to enjoy something unique. Check out the full top things to see and do below!
Facts About Maastricht Netherlands
So to get you started, here are some interesting and fun facts about Maastricht that you probably didn’t know:
- This is the oldest city in the Netherlands
- The city center is full of curved roads, due to it once being a fort and straight roads would mean it would be easier to attack.
- Maastricht is the capital city of the province of Limburg
- Famous paintings was once hidden in the caves at Sint Pietersberg in 1940 from the German invasion – even the De Nachtwacht
- As extra, Belgium is easily within cycling 3 km / 1.8 miles distance!
13 Top Things To See And Do In Maastricht Netherlands
Here is our list of top things to see and do for your visit to Maastricht, whether that is for a day, for a few days to longer visits!
Enjoy A Picnic In A Local Park
Maastricht Netherlands has a number of beautiful parks to relax in, with a book, a coffee or even a spring/summer picnic. Many of them have benches, but you are also free to relax on the grass areas and enjoy the sunshine.
Some parks I can recommend for visiting are:
- Monseigneur Nolenspark
- Charles Eyck Park
Shop Till You Drop In Maastricht City Center
The center of Maastricht has all the main Dutch shops that you see in every city, which is great when you need something easy. Here you can think of the Hema, H&M, Zara, Only and Bijenkorf. However Maastricht Netherlands also has many boutiques, local treasures and smaller shops that sell some very cute, unique items. So if you are looking for something a little less mainstream, take some of the side streets in the city and discover these!
Alternatively, combine the city shopping with market day on Fridays, with the local market found at the same square as city hall. There is usually up to 400 stalls selling all types of goods, flowers and food (fish, cheese, herbs etc).
Fort Sint Pieter
The Fort Sint Pieter was constructed in 1702 and today makes a great place to visit to learn the history of Maastricht. Being a fort, it is of course built on a higher point of land from the river below. It after all was once used to defend the city and stay on look out for oncoming attackers.
From sea level, it is 171m high – making it now also a great viewpoint across the city of Maastricht. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the sunset, with part of the surrounding grass area free to visit for relaxing.
Walk The Old City Walls And See Hell’s Gate
Exploring the old city is perfect to do within a visit to Maastricht Netherlands. This old medieval city center is relatively small, and definitely explorable during at least 1 whole day in Maastricht. Most of the original city walls date back to the 13th century. Hell’s Gate is well worth walking past, being once the southern entrance to the city back in 15th century.
Rummage For 2nd Hand Vintage Goodies
There are many 2nd hand shops in Maastricht Netherlands that are well worth your visit if you love that sort of thing. I personally do, and have enjoyed checking them all out based on what they have to sell. Some are for clothing only, whereas others have more things like books and kitchenware. You can find many of these stores in the city center, dotted around between the normal shops.
One of the biggest places is the Kringloop Zuid in Maastricht. They sell a bit of everything, such as bikes, furniture, kitchen wear, collectibles, clothing and children’s toys.
If an old city isn’t really your thing, why not look out for the latest architecture spots in Maastricht Netherlands. Walking around the old city means you definitely won’t find much, but there are some cool buildings with some cool angles to shoot from, such as the one from below close to Maastricht Central Station. So it’s a matter of exploring by bike or foot for this!
Rent bikes To Explore
Renting a bike is easy with the blue bikes all across the city. These can be unlocked and used with an app called HelloBike – which can be downloaded and set up within 2 mins. Super efficient if you want to stay on the go. Renting these bikes are easy to go to places such as the Fort Sint Pieter (mentioned above) and the ENCI Quarry (mentioned below).
Below is a photo of the river near Brug van Vroenhoven, which is actually in Belgium and only 15mins cycling from Maastricht. Its a nice round route over one bridge, along the river and then back on the other bridge more south.
Eat The Best Limburgse Vlaai
Want to try some local Limburg cuisine? A Limburgse vlaai is just what you need to try – and then make sure to try the best. At the Bisschopsmolen bakery you can always find this treat. The vlaai is a pasty pie that is filled with some of the most delicious flavours such as plums, strawberries, apricots and cherries. They are usually 30cm wide and eaten during special occasions like for a birthday.
Relax By The Bisschopsmolen
So once you’ve bought a delicious vlaai from the bakery, head round the back of the building (via next street) to check out the water mill wheel. It’s a lovely little spot with a bench for relaxing, where many stop with a coffee to go. The back door to the bakery is also here, so it always smells delicious from the fresh baked goods every morning.
If you are lucky, you will see the water mill moving, which doesn’t happen often.
More of a nature explorer? Head over to Sint-Pietersberg near the ENCI Quarry, south of Maastricht. The area has some lovely nature hiking routes and mountain bike routes. In the area you can also spot lots of sheep, local wildlife like owls, rare butterflies and pretty spring flowers.
Stroll The City Night Lights
The city at night has a lovely atmosphere when the summer evenings are long and restaurants have their terraces open till late. Whereas in winter, its just as lovely with a brisk wintery walk through the city streets and winter dim of lights throughout the houses. No matter what season you are visiting Maastricht, Netherlands – an evening city walk is a must.
Walk At The ENCI Quarry
The ENCI Quarry is now a unique nature reservation for the local wildlife and open to the public for walks and adventure. The quarry
The nature reserve has some special areas to walk past/in such as the ‘Owl Valley’, the ‘Devils Cave’ and a national monument Tomb dating back to the 14th century. Add the viewing platform to your must-see in the area, as its a great (but high) viewpoint sticking out over the rock for the best quarry views.
Go Book Shopping In A Church
This old Dominican church is a Gothic monastery from the 13th century. Since 2006 this has been home to a pretty unique bookshop for Maastricht. This well-worth-visiting bookshop gets annually 700.000 visitors a year, with book choices for everyone, even an English section. As well as selling books (and gifts), they have music events, readings, workshops and interviews throughout the year. Even if you don’t want a book, check it out!
There are of course many more things to see and do in Maastricht, Netherlands based on your interests, but this was is a great overview of what some of the top things are on offer. If you are staying for longer, plan your visit well to try and combine all of these highlights!
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