Maastricht Mini Guide
An Introduction to Maastricht
Maastricht is the capital of the Netherlands province of Limburg and it lies in the south east of Holland. Maastricht is close to the Dutch and German borders making it a good place to rent a car if you are planning to do some inter-continental driving. One of the most vibrant cities in the Netherlands it has a medieval yet beautiful atmosphere. Renowned for its cobbled streets, fashion boutiques and excellent cuisine, Maastricht has a lot to offer all visitors.
What is its Story?
Maastricht had always been ruled by foreigners until the end of World War I. 'The Casemates of Maastricht' is a famous attraction which many find interesting. You can experience the tunnels that were used for approach by its enemies in the past.
Maastricht does have a very small airport, however is only served by a limited number of airlines. With few carriers and routes serving Maastricht Airport, the nearest major airport is Amsterdam
. Approximately 3 hours away from Maastricht by road, a rental car is a convenient way to access the city. Public transport is available with train and bus connections operating to and from Maastricht.
Attractions in the City
Maastricht is a medieval city and therefore is packed with many museums, one of them favoured by tourists is the 'Natural History Museum Maastricht'. An intriguing collection of history that display fossils from St Pietersberg Caves, skeletons of dinosaurs, and many more areas mainly dedicated to geology and paleontology. If you are visiting Maastricht for the first time, the museum is a must and somewhere to experience historical highlights of the city and the Netherlands.
Things to See and Do in the Surrounding Area
Just 10 miles east, Valkenburg is a medieval attraction that has always been a hot spot for tourists; a place where people go to visit historic mines and caves and view the wonderful landscapes. While in Valkenburg, your visit could also lead you to the popular family theme park 'Valkenier'. A hire car would definitely be beneficial to explore attractions beyond the city.
What to See and Do in the City
A visit to St Pietersberg Caves can include a beautiful cruise and tour of the caves. This trip is enjoyed by many tourists who are also entertained with tales about their history and enjoy experiencing the caves and their atmosphere.
Shops and Markets
Maastricht brings many tourists and residents to its town for its luxury shopping within its beautiful surroundings, ranging from fashion boutiques and big branded shops to its famous local markets stalls selling fish, farm produce and local delicacies.
Maastricht is famous for its numerous cafes and restaurants, some of the popular dishes include marinated rabbit, baked goats cheese, and robust meat stews. Popular Dutch or Belgian beers such as Amstel or Heineken are a great accompaniment to the traditional cuisine.
Celebrations and Special Events
The Maastricht Carnival takes place in February every year where massive crowds come together to watch an exceptional parade of decorated floats. It is one of the biggest celebrations, always entertaining for the crowds and creating an amazing atmosphere. If you are planning a visit to Maastricht in February, it is worth checking the dates for the carnival so you can enjoy the festivities. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and there will be events in the city to celebrate the landmark EU treaty.