Maastricht with its Burgundian lifestyle, culture and friendly people is a city with many sights. An excellent city to explore and the perfect destination for a city trip.
A trip in our own small country is a perfect way to have a holiday with a small budget; we stayed in Maastricht for 4 days and since the weather was, let say real Dutch; some rain, a little sun and windy, we looked for some interesting places to check out. An excellent way to enjoy the city and try some of the amazing hotspots.
If you are already following us on Social Media you have seen parts of our journey, the last few days, in real-time. As Maastricht has so many interesting places we will divide our trip in different blogs. We will be posting the best hotspots for Maastricht, which we tested, next week. For now, we will give an overview of the city and what to do in this medium-sized city. We would like to take you on a trip to Burgundian Maastricht in the South of the Netherland.
Maastricht is a historical city in the South of the Netherlands near two national borders (Belgium, Germany) and located in the region of South Limburg. It is one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands and dates back to the Roman era. This part of the Netherlands is more Burgundian and relax then the North of the Netherlands and that shows in the number of restaurants and cafe’s that can be found here. Maastricht is the regional capital and a real student city. Shop till you drop, visit a museum or a food trip; Everything is possible.
The city centre is the main area where visitors would go and definitely worth to wander around. We also roamed around the city on our bikes, which we took with us to look for other nice spots.
What to do in Maastricht?
Vrijthof and the old Market
Let’s start with the two main squares in Maastricht; Vrijthof and the Market are the two main squares in the old city centre of Maastricht. Vrijthof is one of the most beautiful market squares in the Netherlands according to the citizens of Maastricht (Maastrichtenaren in Dutch). There are many cafe’s, lunchrooms and restaurants to sit back and relax. Just watch the people go by on one of the terraces or join one of the many events. From markets to classical music, Vrijthof has it all. Unfortunately, when we visited the city the Funfair was built on the Vrijthof square and we couldn’t shoot a good photo.
Wander around in the Wyck district, which is located close to the central station of Maastricht. It is actually a very old part of the city and connected to the city centre by a bridge. In the last few years, this neighbourhood is an upcoming area for new, hip and trendy spots. Picturesque streets combined with urban hotspots where students and locals would go for lunch or to meet each other. The area is not too big, so walk around a bit or relax at the river the Maas in the sunshine (if you can).
The Jeker district is one of the older areas in Maastricht next to the old centre nestled between the old city walls. The main Universities are located here and this neighboorhood has many monuments and sights to explore. The area is nice to just walk around and see the beautiful architecture. If you are looking for a place to eat or drink outside the main area this is the place to go to. Small vibrant restaurants, Jazz clubs and concept stores are all over the area. We also took our bikes for a ride in the city park next to the city walls and stopped for a beer at the local brewery.
Visit one of the Churches
A visit to one of the many churches that are in Maastricht is definitely worthwhile in this Catholic city. Many churches can be found in the old centre as Maastricht has been a place of pilgrimage from the middle ages. To name a few we visited; The ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwe’ church in the old city centre and the Sint Martinus Church in Wyck are two churches which can be visited for free. The Roman ‘Sint Servaas’ basilica on Vrijthof, which contains relics and treasures from Sint Servaas can be entered for a little fee. We especially like the Dominican Church near the shopping streets. This church is now an amazing book store including a coffee bar. A must see when visiting Maastricht.
The ‘Hells Poort’, also know as the Jekergate, is the only remaining entrance gate of the old fortress structure that Maastricht used to have. Inside this tower is a little museum which can be visited for a fee for your liking. We had an interesting chat which one of the volunteers who worked there about the history and remainings of Roman and Medieval Maastricht. Local people are always the best option to give you some history and detailed information as they are very passioned about their city. On Saturdays, they give tours underneath the city where there are a lot of tunnels and secret corridors that were used in the defence of the city in the old days. If we would have been there until the weekend this would definitely be a tour we would take. But unfortunately, we left before the weekend. Be sure to put it on your list.
A Walk on city walls
The city walls are connected with the park and are a great way to walk from the main centre to the Jeker district. These old city walls are part of the old fortress structure that surrounded Maastricht.
We would definitely visit Maastricht again. We love the trendy and creative eating places where the vibe is cool and relax and we had lots of options to choose from. The city has a nice vibrant atmosphere and combined with the friendly people it is an excellent city to come back to.
Next week we will show you the best places to eat and drink in Maastricht and we promise that this will not be disappointing.
Hope to see you next week and don’t forget to follow us on our Social Media for more pictures and sneak peeks from the best hotspots for Maastricht.
Lots of Love, Angelique and Carlo