What to Do in Maastricht in the Netherlands: A Full Travel Guide
Wondering what to do in Maastricht? Recently, I was invited to come and discover this charming city to see what its Midweekend was all about. Maastricht is an incredibly fun city, and with Midweekend, I could immediately enjoy its charming, winding streets, beautiful sights, and hippest hotspots during the week! In this guide, I’ll share all my best tips for when you (like me) finally decided to go for a midweek weekend to Limburg’s capital!
Netherlands Travel Guide
- Most Beautiful Places in the Netherlands
- Best Budget Hotels in Amsterdam City Centre
- Castle de Haar: Visiting the prettiest castle in the Netherlands
What is the Maastricht Midweekend?
Do you have a day off? Or are you a freelancer with a flexible schedule? Why do not you go to Maastricht during a midweekend (Sunday to Thursday)? The city is a lot quieter than at the weekend, but all the bustling hotspots are just open. Moreover, if you stay one night from Sunday – Thursday at one of the affiliated hotels, you’ll get a Midweekend Pass! With it, you’ll enjoy all kinds of advantages like free yoga, discounts, special menus, a free bike rental, and more! I’ve been able to test some of the extras and share them with you.
What to Do in Maastricht
Places to Visit in Maastricht
The Vrijthof speaks for itself, it is one of the most famous squares in the Netherlands. In any case, the square already existed in 1223, and you will find, among other things, the Sint-Janskerk, the collegiate church of Sint-Servaas, and a large number of terraces.
Sint Janskerk & Sint-Servaas
While the Sint-Servaas is a Catholic church, the adjacent Gothic Sint-Janskerk is Protestant. Together they form a church twins, which for me are one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
I’ve started to develop a love for beautiful bookshops. But this is really chosen as the most beautiful bookstore in the world! It’s located in the ancient Dominican Church. How cool is it to wander through the racks of books while you still see the original details of the church in the background?
In the middle of the Markt, you will find the City Hall of Maastricht. The building is an example of Dutch Classicism. Construction began in 1659 and ended in 1684, although it had already opened its doors twenty years earlier.
Basilica of Our Lady
I am not religious at all, but I found it special to walk into the church and see dozens of waking candles. The church dates at least from the end of the 9th century, but it could even be older. The church that stood in the same place in the fifth century was probably the oldest Christian church in the Netherlands.
The beautiful Dinghuis is a 15th century courthouse. The building was in use for a long time as a prison. At the moment, it houses the local tourist office.
This is a former city gate from 1230. The gate is in the nice Jekerkwartier and was part of the city wall. It is the oldest still existing city gate in the Netherlands!
The City Park of Maastricht has existed for more than 175 years, and is the perfect place for a walk or a picnic in the summer.
The historic Sint Servaasbrug bridge immediately catches the eye when you walk towards the center from Wyck. The originally 13th century stone arch bridge runs over the River Maas, and gives you a good idea of what the view would have been like the Middle ages.
If you are not aware of the history of Maastricht, the Sphinx was as important to the city as Philips is for Eindhoven. The company has been out of Maastricht since 2010, but in the past century and a half it was an important source of income and employment in the city. On the old Sphinx site, you will now find, among other things, the Student Hotel and also the Sphinx passage, a passageway on the side of which is a tile gallery that tells the history of the city. Really super nice to see!
Where to Eat in Maastricht
This super nice resto-bar CINQ is located at Cörversplein, with a terrace overlooking the water. Because of its location on the banks of the Maas you are close to the old center, and the sunsets here are stunning. I had a pickled vegetable salad with hummus and crumbled rye bread, and that was so delicious and fresh. Combine that with the great fun design, and I’m a fan!
Next to the Student Hotel you will find the Commons, in the more urban-looking Sphinx quarter. Breakfast is also served here when you stay at the Student Hotel. I was especially a fan of the happy hour with super cocktails and the sweet potato fries were divine!
This brasserie serves all-day breakfast, and who says no to pancakes?
If you want to eat something nice in Maastricht, you must try the French cuisine. Here you can eat all the classics from steak tartare to crème brulée.
‘T Wycker Cabinet
This bistrot-bar serves French cuisine and the atmosphere is quite friendly. You can eat dishes that are made from local and seasonal products.
Taking something nice to take home? Head to the bakery, Bisschopsmolen. You can even still see the old mill behind the building!
Where to Get Drinks in Maastricht
From the outside this building might not look very inviting, but on a lovely summer day it is definitely worth going inside. Walk down the stairs, and then you’ll reach a room with an outdoor terrace on the water. I relaxed and read my book here!
In the middle of the center you will find this super cute little cafe, with cheerful flower letters on the wall. As the name suggests, they mainly serve coffee or tea with some goodies. It as the perfect stop after my yoga class at the Dinghuis.
Caffeine junkies can get their daily fix on this business, which has two branches close to each other. The famous Maastricht coffee from Blanche Dael seems to be a must!
This beautiful bar also serves food. The Coupe Cava seems to be famous in Maastricht.
Lumière Cinema Restaurant Café
After your movie house film, have a nice drink on the terrace? That is possible here, directly at the historic inner harbor ‘t Bassin.
Where to Shop in Maastricht
At this trendy boutique, you can find some beautiful Scandinavian basics, bags, and accessories. Definitely stop by if you’re looking to shop!
If you like fashion with a rebellious slant, then you are at the right place at Noir. The boutique sells various Dutch, French, and Scandinavian labels with an affordable price tag.
Always nice to see designers with their own boutique. Lena Berens clothing is stylish, elegant, and simple. Magnificent!
Yoga in the Dinghuis
Every Monday morning there’s be a yoga class at 09:30 in the Dinghuis. Everyone can attend this, but if you have a Midweekend pass, it’s free. Otherwise a lesson costs €10.
Cheese and wine tasting at Café Nouveau
Cheese and wine tasting? Ehm, yes please! Café Nouveau is the first cheese bar in the Benelux. They serve 35 different cheeses with matching wines and specialty beers. For a Midweekend special you only pay €12.50 with the pass!
A present at the VerwonderinG
This home and gift shop offers a €12 gift box when you spend €25 or more. How fun! This store is perfect for lovers of original and affordable items.
Free Brownie or banana bread at SAP
Near the station you will find SAP, a store with healthy juices smoothies and New York bagels. When purchasing a bagel + juice combo you get a free brownie or banana bread. Perfect snack if you go home by train!
There are more options, which you can see on their website.
Where to Stay in Maastricht: The Student Hotel
Maastricht is bursting with great hotels to spend the night. I stayed at the super fun Student Hotel in the Sphinx quarter. The hotel has everything: a rooftop bar to a piano, to ping pong tables to a slide (!). My room was very spacious, with a comfortable bed and a lovely shower. I thought the interior was really hip, and I really had to smile enormously about how their branding comes back. You can always find nice little expressions (Example: on their bedding is a label that says “our beds are bedder” ).
The Student Hotel is also part of the Midweekend program. If you stay in an L-suite room during the Midweekend (Sunday to Thursday) you will receive a welcome drink (with a TART !!!), free bike rental, a healthy breakfast, and a late checkout. Enjoy that big bed a little longer :-).
Other hotels in the Midweekend Program:
- Dormio Resort Maastricht
- Hotel Monastére Maastricht
- Hotel Van der Valk Maastricht
- Designhotel Maastricht
- Mabi City Center Hotel
- Kaboom Hotel
- Townhouse Designhotel Maastricht
- Chambre d’Hôtes Rekko
- Hotel Bigarré Center
- Stadsherberg de Poshoorn
- BE41 Bed Breakfast & More
- Apart Hotel Randwyck
- Amrâth Grand Hotel & Restaurant De l’Empereur
- Hotel Zenden Maastricht
- Luxury Guesthouse Haas on the Vrijthof
- In den Hoof
- Buitenplaats Vaeshartelt
- Le Theatre Hotel
- Hotel Dis
- Hotel Trash Deluxe
- Novotel Maastrict
- B&B le Rêve Maastricht
- Beaumont Hotel
- Beez Hotel & Cocktailbar
- Crowne Plaza Hotel
- The Dutch
- Castle de Hoogenweerth
- Derlon Hotel Maastricht
- Hotel St. Martenslane
- Teaching Hotel Chateau Bethlehem
What are your best Maastricht tips? Would you consider going on a midweekend?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe
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There is way more to do in Maastricht than I was expecting! Kafetheia looks so cute and a 10euro yoga lesson is amazing. I’ve never been outside of Amsterdam when visiting the Netherlands, this needs to change!
Jenny | localleo.co.uk