Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with complex and lively cultural overtones added over centuries by the Romans, Germans and French. This rich cultural palette is the secret behind the city’s attractiveness, drawing visitors to the historic city centre and a wealth of museums and festivals – making each visit a fascinating new experience.
If you’re looking for culture, Maastricht is definitely the place to be – a city with a long and very rich cultural history. It should therefore come as no surprise that Maastricht is home to an impressive variety of historical museums and sites, ranging from artefacts from the Roman era in the underground museum beneath the Derlon hotel to the treasure chambers of Saint Servatius, from the Museum of Natural History to the Museum at the Vrijthof, located in the Spaans Gouvernement (Spanish Government) Museum.
The centre of Maastricht is compact and easy to explore on foot. Large areas are pedestrians- only and most sites are within walking distance. The old St. Servaas bridge links the old centre with the trendy Wyck district, and from the adjacent Céramique district you can cross back over the river via the designer suspension bridge, the ‘Hoeg Brögk’, and cut through the park back to the centre.
A completely new shopping centre now graces the banks of the Meuse, forming a link between the old and the new Maastricht. Mosae Forum hosts a wide range of nationally famous outlets, including The Sting, S. Oliver and Esprit – a major addition to an already rich palette of shopping opportunities.
The popular chains are located along the Wyckerstraat and Maastrichterbrugstraat which, together with the Grote Staat, form the main shopping boulevard from the railway station to the Vrijthof.
Maastricht enjoys a welldeserved reputation for culinary excellence. The taste and quality of the food and drink served in this gastronomic capital is basic to the city’s culture. Culinary traditions are deeply rooted in Maastricht, as attested by the no less than five restaurants sporting a total of six Michelin stars in front.
A visit to Maastricht can easily be combined with a day trip spent exploring the surrounding area. After all, Maastricht’s central location within the Euregion means that you never have far to go! The Belgian city of Liège, just over the border, has a deservedly famous Sunday market plus a lot more to offer. And the German city of Aachen, with its impressive cathedral and numerous sidewalk cafés, is also not far away. Of course, almost everyone knows Valkenburg, with its caves and many cosy cafés. Less well-known is the fact that Limburg is the only Dutch winegrowing province.