Maastricht

Maastricht lies just over the border from Belgium. In good weather you can even see Belgium from a distance! Although Maastricht is a very small town, there is a lot to do and experience. The city is one of the oldest in the Netherlands and you can see the beautiful buildings and colorful history clearly visible everywhere. Due to its location on the Maas, the city was seen as very strategic and they were regularly overrun by foreign invaders.
Besides the interesting history there are many shopping streets for the shopaholics among us. Maastricht is thus an ideal mix and there is something to do for everyone!



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The ramparts of Maastricht are still clearly visible.

The ramparts of Maastricht are still clearly visible.

  Average costs

Stay – The cheapest option in Maastricht is the Stayokay hostel. Per night you will pay in between 20 and 30 euros.
Nearby is the Botel. A houseboat that was converted into a hotel. For fifty euro per night you can spend the night here in a private room.
Double rooms start at fifty to sixty euros per night.
you can take a look here for an overview of accommodation in Maastricht.

Eat – For a cheap meal, you pay between ten and twelve euros per person. A soda costs two or three euros and a beer between three and five euros.
More average prices are between fifteen and eighteen euros. Unless you go for fast food.
The cheapest food I could find was the Hema. I ate a lasagna for only three euros.

Transportation – Maastricht is very small. You can simply walk everywhere. If you wish to travel to another city, you can always rely on the railway. They have an extensive network of trains and buses in the city. The price of a train or bus ticket depends on the distance you travel.
Bicycles are the most convenient way to explore the city. These can be rented anywhere.

The ramparts of Maastricht keep going on and on...

The ramparts of Maastricht keep going on and on…

  Saving money

Book in advance – Cities in Netherlands can’t always accommodate the huge numbers of tourists that pass by. In Maastricht this is less of a problem, but it could ruin your holiday plans if you don’t at least check it out. Book your accommodation and excursions a little in advance, so you make sure there still are rooms available. Moreover, you often get an early booking discount.

Wait for offers of the NS – Quite often the NS (Dutch Railways) offers cheaper tickets or some kind of action which makes travelling to or from Maastricht less expensive.

Eat lunch in the Hema – If you can’t cook at your place, the restaurant cost will be heavy for your wallet. Instead of cramming yourself full with unhealthy fast food you can go to the Hema. In the restaurant you will find all kinds of daily menus that cost between two and six euros. For dessert you can also eat a cake or pie.

View over the Sint-Janskerk in Maastricht.

View over the Sint-Janskerk in Maastricht.

Zeker doen

Limestone caves visit – One thing that must definitely be on your to-do list is a visit to the limestone caves of Maastricht.
Throughout history they played a very important role in the limestone industry of Maastricht, but also durig war they were (literally) of vital importance. The underground labyrinth stretches over 200 kilometers of underground hallways. During your underground walk, you’ll notice that there are loads of cave paintings from different centuries.
Book tickets to Maastricht Underground via their website.

Fort St. Peter – St. Peter’s Fort was built after Louis XIV had occupied for a long time. To never let this happen again, the virtually impregnable fort of St. Peter was built on the highest point of Maastricht. The fort was indeed not taken over one single time, but the city did fall eventually…
Take a look on top and inside the fort and marvel at the interesting history that took place here.
The limestone caves can be visited along with St. Peter’s Fort. Buy a combined ticket for a discount, and moreover; both are equally interesting!

Dominicans bookstore – If you walk around here at the center it’s a great idea to just go to the Dominicans bookstore. The large bookstore is located in a former church / monastery. Besides books, you can also find CDs, DVDs and at the back a fun bar with pastries and drinks.

Climbing St. John’s Church – you have to climb the St John’s Church for the best view of Maastricht. The tower of seventy meters gives you a beautiful view over the city. You can even see Belgium from here! The climb is anything but pleasant though… The spinning, uneven steps make you sweat for sure! Once you’ve climbed them all, you do get treated by the phenomenal view though. The entrance fee is two euros.

Vrijthof – The St. John’s Church can be found on this square. Here you’ll see a couple of nice buildings. Nice to dine or just take some pictures.

St. Servaas Bridge – This thirteenth century bridge shines over the Maas river and is still an important gateway to the city. It is especially nice for a photo moment.

Helpoort – Another photo hotspot is the Hellgate. This former gateway to Maastricht makes part of the city walls that you find through the historical center of Maastricht. You can also visit the Helpoort from inside. There you’ll find a small museum.

Guided tour in the underground area of the St. Peter's fort of Maastricht.

Guided tour in the underground area of the St. Peter’s fort of Maastricht.

Vermijden

Explore the caves on your own – it is strictly forbidden to go walking around in the caves of Maastricht by yourself. Several years ago, two tough guys went exploring the caves on their own. Because the constant temperature underground is only 12 °C, they were found dead from hypothermia only a few days later…

Cycle without lights when it gets dark – You rented a bike and want to go cycling at night? Don’t forget to turn on your lights. Cycling without lights is illegal and you can get a hefty fine!

The beautiful landscape of Maastricht.

The beautiful landscape of Maastricht.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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