Things to do, see and experience in Maastricht
One of the most popular and busy areas of Maastricht is Het Vrijthof, a large square in the city centre filled with cafés and historic buildings. Not one but two churches are found here: the impressive 11th-century Basilica of St. Servatius, built on the gravesite of the eponymous saint, and St John’s Church, which features a striking red tower. Each summer, famous Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu performs concerts in the square.
Caves of Mount St. Peter
At the south end of the city, an elaborate labyrinth lies beneath the ground at Mount St. Peter. Take a boat ride from the city centre along the Maas River to the Zonneberg Caves, where you can take a guided tour to discover graffiti and mementos from those who spent time underground, first by miners and then by WWII soldiers. Atop the North Caves is the 18th century St. Peter’s Fortress, which is open for tours.
The silver bullet-shaped tower of the Bonnefantenmuseum overlooks the Maas River on its eastern bank, and houses an impressive collection that includes Dutch, German and Italian medieval sculptures and altarpieces, as well as modern photography and contemporary installations.
The market in Maastricht is home to dozens of historic monuments dating from the 17th to 19th centuries, including the massive city hall. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the square is filled with market stalls offering fresh produce, food, flowers and household goods.
The last remaining original brewery in Maastricht, Bosch Brewery has been in operation since the 18th century. Tour the brewery to see the original equipment, the malt house and bottling plant, among other areas. The tour is topped off by a beer tasting at the end.
Family-friendly activities in Maastricht
The Natural History Museum offers a look into the ancient flora and fauna that existed thousands of years ago, as well as the creatures you’ll find roaming Limburg today. The museum offers special interactive activities and games for children. For some Harry Potter-esque book hunting, head to the elaborate Bookstore Dominicanen. Housed in a 13th-century church in the centre of the city, the recently transformed landmark features three levels of shelves lining the walls alongside stained glass windows. Bring the kids to the children’s section, and treat them to something sweet from the café in the former choir space. South of the city and directly on the river, Fun Valley Maastricht is an indoor and outdoor playground for children – but adults are more than welcome to play, too. Kids can go climbing, bounce around on a trampoline, or simply play in the sands while the adults relax.
Shopping in Maastricht
The streets surrounding Het Vrijthof, including Grote Staat, Leliestraat and Sporenstraat, are packed with unique boutiques. On the other side of the river, the Wyck neighbourhood – especially Rechstraat – boasts lots of little shops and cafés.
How to get to Maastricht
Direct trains generally run every half-hour from Amsterdam Central Station to Maastricht. From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, passengers must transfer in Utrecht.
Looking for more excursions outside the city? Check out these other day trips from Amsterdam.