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The Best of Maastricht

The city of Maastricht has a pedestrian friendly zone where no cars are allowed, making for the perfect shopping and strolling experience.  This huge area has many wonderful streets to walk in and explore.  Shopping in Maastricht is wonderful, even if you’re only doing window-shopping.

Remember to book your flights in time:

Going to Maastricht, you’ll fly in to Maastricht International Airport (MST).

You can use the link here and add the promo code to your booking, to save on flight expences.

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If you go on your own...

Getting There

Just a short travel from Germany you will find the beautiful district of Maastricht in the Netherlands.  The ideal here is to have your own rental car as there is so much to see and you are so close to everything.

  • Cologne Germany 1 hr 20 min (115 km) via A4
  • Belgium 1 hr 19 min (123 km) via E42
  • Luxembourg 2 hrs (154 km) via E42 and E421
  • Amsterdam   2 hrs 8 min (210 km) via A2
  • Utrecht 1 hr 55 min (180 km) via A2
  • Rotterdam 2 hrs 6 min (198 km) via A2
 

First stop

The Tourist Information Centre is right in the middle of the pedestrian zone and this should be your first stop.  Get your free map and Maastricht guide books, info and tips on what is happening at that very moment in the area and create your own personal “flight-plan”.  The friendly service will definitely make you feel right at home.

Then you’re ready to take on the streets.

You now have a plan of where you would like to go and what you would like to see, but if you make the wrong turn, don’t stress.  Part of being an expert traveler, is to enjoy every surprise a new avenue has to offer and in Maastricht almost every corner has a new surprise.

Places and streets to include in your walk

Market Square & Vrijthof

Visit the “Markt” or Market Square in front of the city hall, on a Wednesday or Friday for a real outdoor market experience in the Netherlands.  On Fridays there are more stalls:  Selling anything from clothing and material to flowers and cheese.  This plaza is the biggest one in Maastricht and has a mix of the old and modern architecture.

At Vrijthof plaza you will find the Basilica of Saint Servatius and Saint Jan’s Church.  The Vrijthof plaza has beautiful outdoor restaurants and you can enjoy a perfect dinner here in the evening.  Taking in the ambience of the city and enjoying the local cuisine.  The area really comes to life at night.

Shopping cobblestone streets

Muntstraat

I think this is the best street to start your cobblestone-shopping-experience.  Follow this narrow cobblestone street and do some window-shopping.

Grote Staat (also called the “shopping avenue of Maastricht”)

This is one of the busiest streets with loads of shopping opportunities.  You will find that walking through the pedestrian zone, you can actually take any of the roads, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  You turn a corner and find a lovely restaurant, or a cozy bar, international clothing shops and beautiful outdoor seating areas.  The city is full of surprises and really nice to explore and walk around in.  You might get an instant surprise with a pretty little square like Sint Amorsplane or Platielstraat with its rows of romantic table settings on the side of the road:  all popular restaurants you can visit.

A stroll along Grote Staat and Kersenmarkt with more shops will lead you to the pretty square called ‘Onze Lieve Vrouweplein’.  This is the place to stop for something to drink and eat after all the shopping.  Then explore the ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwe Basiliek’ (Basilica of our Lady) that is situated also on this square. 

Visit Bisshopsmolen (Bishop’s Mill / Waterwheel) an active waterwheel grinding flour for the adjacent bakery.  The smell of freshly baked bread and pies will definitely draw you in.

Stokstraat

This is another cobblestone shopping street decorated with hanging flower baskets and adorned with upmarket shops.  You will find loads of clothing shops everywhere within the pedestrian zone.

Sight-Seeing

Walk amongst the ruins of Fort St Pieter dating back to the 18th century.  A visit to the museum and restaurant makes for a pleasant afternoon experience and is a big tourist attraction in the city.  From here you will have beautiful views across Maastricht.

The Stadspark (City Park) is a favorite place to spend time, for the locals.  Find a peaceful spot to feed the ducks and walk from there to the Neo-gothic Hellpoort:  which is the oldest fortified gate in the Netherlands.

Maastricht Helpoort
Hellpoort fortified gate
Maastricht City Hall
Maastricht City Hall
Maastricht Basilica
Maastricht Basilica
Maastricht shopping

Must See Places

Boekhandel Dominicanen (Dominican Bookstore): 

No this is no ordinary bookstore.

When in Maastricht you simply must stop at the most unusual bookstore in the country.  They converted the church into a huge bookstore with painted cathedral ceilings and stained glass windows. 

In my opinion an indoor coffee shop, bookstore and the spectacular venue, is a perfect combination and well worth a visit.

 

Must-do things

Go on a boat trip on the river, or travel to Belgium by boat.

A culinary must try is the Friterie “chip shop” – chips with mayonnaise – an unusual but awesome combination.

Maastricht Nederland sketch

The ultimate Maastricht experience

See and experience the “street-vibe” in Vrijthof, before a concert:

Where to stay in Maastricht Netherlands

Popular places to stay in Maastricht, with real guest rating.  Remember if you book during a time of year that hosts special events like the above, do book well in advance.