Maastricht City Guide


Maastricht may be described as the most “un-Dutch” city of The Netherlands, being the melting pot of all sorts of people and cultures from its neighboring countries and the whole world in general. It is the largest city in the south and has about 120,000 inhabitants. People may not notice it at first glance, but as they take time to get to know more about this capital of the Dutch province Limburg, they would realize why this is one of the most treasured, historic places in the country. The Maastricht University holds the interest of students worldwide and is the second most international city in The Netherlands next to Amsterdam. If you are up to some cultural exchanges, then this is the place to go. Aside from being an international city, it is also known for the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 creating the European Union. This was done in the provincial government headquarters called in their native tongue as the “Provinciehuis.” History This city is enchanting and historical. It got its name from the River Maas where Julius Caesar’s legions built an outpost. They called it “Mosae Trajectum”, meaning the site where the River Mass could be crossed. With its roots dating back to the Roman Empire, it is surely known for many Catholic Church structures. One of the most famous ones is the church of St. Servatius which has managed to withstand all the tests of wars, weather, strife, and humankind. This city is also famous for being associated with renowned characters like Charlemagne, who heard mass at St. Servatius; St. Bernard of Clairvaux who preached the Second Crusade in 1145; and the place of demise of The Three Musketeer’s, d’Argtagnan. Atmosphere Undoubtedly, some of the country’s best dining happen in Maastricht. It is home to many restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, night spots, and theaters. It is famous for its five Michelin-starred restaurants; four of them are within walking distance from each other. Now, whose stomach will not want that? There are also a lot of beautiful buildings and monuments to explore here (at least 1,400 listed buildings) including one of the finest and Romanesque churches in the country, Onze Lieve Vrouwe (Our Beloved Lady). Although even without getting into any structure yet, walking along the winding streets and intimate squares of the city is already a treat due to their breathtaking 18th century facades. And if you follow the track downstream of Maas River, you’ll find one of the city’s greatest treasures, St. Petersberg’s old fortress. Here you may tell yourself that at least you have been somewhere Napoleon once was. The countryside in the vicinity with its rolling hills and half-timbered houses are quite unique too from the landscape of the rest of the country. It is ideal for picnics and hiking trips. A boat trip on the Maas is also possible to go around the city or visit Liege. Travel Although the city itself offers tons of activities and places to go to, it is also an excellent starting point for exploring other parts of the Netherlands and Europe. There is a regular inter-city train services to Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. There are also convenient rail connections from Maastricht to Cologne, Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris. The Maastricht-Aachen Airport, 10 kilometers outside the city, offers several direct flights to Amsterdam as well as to London every day.

OTHER NETHERLANDS CITY GUIDES

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Amsterdam
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Zandvoort
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Scheveningen