Top 12 Best Things to Do in Maastricht, Netherlands

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Maastricht

Maastricht City Hall

Maastricht Bucket List: 12 Best Places to Visit in Maastricht, Netherlands

When you think of the word “travel,” many European cities may spring to mind. However, I’m sure that many people have never heard of Maastricht! Maastricht is a charming city in the Netherlands that is one of the top tourist destinations in the country and even ranks among the top 10 cities in Europe. It offers visitors a place to experience nature, indulges in excellent food, and visit historical sites like castles and ancient museums.

Maastricht City Hall
Maastricht City Hall

The strategic location of Maastricht and its position along the River Maas makes it the best place to soak yourself in the abundant culture and tradition of the Netherlands. Moreover, the city of Maastricht has been through a lot in history given the numerous wars and sieges it faced through the years. The city was founded by the Romans in 50 BC so expect to feel the ancient ambiance while you’re touring around!

So, if you’re planning to visit one of the most important cities in Europe anytime soon, it’d be nice to know where and what are the best places to look forward to! Are you ready? Here are the 12 Best Things to do in Maastricht, Netherlands:

Explore the Maastricht Underground

One of the caves in Maastricht by Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed via Wikipedia CC
One of the caves in Maastricht By Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

The best way to start your adventure in Maastricht is by understanding more of its rich history. And there’s no other way to do that than by exploring the dark and mysterious caves, forts, and tunnels of Maastricht Underground.

The enormous cave system stretches for about 300 kilometers and has more than 23,000 passages! Aside from their intriguing beauty, the caves were also significant in human history as they played a huge role during World War II.

Visit the Boekhandel Dominicanen

Boekhandel Dominicanen by National Office for Cultural Heritage via Wikipedia CC
Boekhandel Dominicanen by National Office for Cultural Heritage via Wikipedia CC

Ah, if you’re a certified book lover, then this next destination will seem like heaven to you! That’s right, Boekhandel Dominicanen is considered to be one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Aside from the excellent collection of books displayed, what captures the hearts of many tourists is the exceptional gothic design of the structure!

High vaulted ceilings, wide window openings, and several art collections such as the 14th-century fresco of St. Thomas Aquinas are what make the Boekhandel Dominicanen so special.

Go on a Boat Tour on the Meuse River

Residential barge on the Meuse river by Marie H Ray via Unsplash
Residential barge on the Meuse river by Marie H Ray via Unsplash

You also shouldn’t miss the chance of going on a Boat Tour Across the Meuse River! Why? Well, the beautiful city of Maastricht was named after this very river, so you’d know for certain that it plays a significant role in the city’s reputation.

Moreover, you’ll also get the chance to see countless breathtaking sights during the boat tour so make sure to prepare your cameras for tons of Instagrammable photos during your trip!

Visit Thorn (The White Village)

The Daalstraat (daalstreet) in Thorn by Alupus via Wikipedia CC
The Daalstraat (daalstreet) in Thorn By Alupus – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 CC

Yes, another must-visit destination near Maastricht City is the ever-famous Thorn or better known as “The White Village”. This small town is known for its distinctively beautiful white houses and monumental buildings.

It said that the town was built for a monastery of noblewomen, then it was used by the poor people towards the end of the 18th century. One of the iconic spots in Thorn is the Abdijkerk Thorn, so make sure to drop by!

Enjoy the Sights at Sint Servaasbrug Bridge

St. Servatius Bridge by Dennis Jarvis via Flickr CC
St. Servatius Bridge by Dennis Jarvis via Flickr CC

The city of Maastricht is full of aesthetically pleasing old structures where you can enjoy breathtaking sights of nature, giving you the “old world” vibe that many people love.

One of those structures is the famous Sint Servaasbrug Bridge which is considered to be the oldest bridge in the Netherlands. The bridge is made up of limestone and across the majestic Meuse River!

Witness the Great Fort Sint Pieter

View of Maastricht from fortress Sint-Pieter by Kleon3 via Wikipedia CC
View of Maastricht from fortress Sint-Pieter By Kleon3 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Another favorite tourist attraction is a historically significant structure called Fort Sint Peter. This grand military structure was constructed in the 1700s and is perched above the majestic Meuse River.

It is also directly connected to the St. Pietersberg hill through a vast system of tunnels. Cool, huh? You can have a scenic view of Maastricht City, the majestic river Meuse, and lush greenery in the background!

Have a Romantic Trip to Valkenburg

Valkenburg Castle photo via Wikipedia CC
Valkenburg Castle photo By Attribution 3.0, CC BY 3.0, CC

Another favorite destination especially for lovebirds in Maastricht is none other than the only hilltop castle in the Netherlands, the Valkenburg.

It is also considered to be one of the most popular holiday resorts in the county thanks to its exceptional spas available. So, go on and spend that relaxing weekend you planned for your loved one because you deserve it!

Visit the Basilica of Our Lady

Basilica of Our Lady, Maastricht via Wikipedia CC
Basilica of Our Lady, Maastricht via Wikipedia CC

One of the most visited places in Maastricht especially by pilgrims is the Basilica of Our Lady or Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek. It is a Roman Catholic Basilica constructed during the 11th century.

Aside from the astonishing architecture and the majestic statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, many tourists flock to this Basilica because of recorded miracles after invoking the intercession of the Virgin Mary.

Wander Around the Vrijthof

Maastricht Vrijthof photo via Pixabay
Maastricht Vrijthof photo via Pixabay

Yes, one of the best things to do when visiting a beautiful city is just being loose and exploring the city aimlessly. The best place to do that in Maastricht is no other than the grand square of Vrijthof.

Here, you can meet beautiful people, come across talented performers, score souvenirs and delicacies from friendly vendors, and discover hidden gems like cafes, restaurants, and bars!

Go Shopping at the Market Square

That’s right, you should maximize your visit to Vrijthot by wandering around the famous Market Square! Score countless items, clothes, souvenirs, fresh produce, and yummy delicacies from over 400 stalls installed in this large market!

There are also huge events every week so make sure to catch them during your visit!

Discover the Archaic Artifacts at Bonnefanten Museum

Bonnefanten Museum by Trougnouf via Wikipedia CC
Bonnefanten Museum By Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer) – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

You definitely shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Bonnefanten Museum of Maastricht. This must-see destination features an intriguing structure resembling an old version of a rocket ship.

Inside, there are vast collections of medieval art during the 13th to 16th centuries which will make you admire the rich culture and history of Maastricht and the Netherlands for that matter.

Discover Netherlands’ Hell’s Gate

Finally, I saved this last tourist attraction because I know you’ll be intrigued by its iconic name, Hell’s Gate. It is actually one of the most impressive “old-world structures” in Maastricht which served an important purpose to the city since it was constructed in the year 1229.

It is located on St. Bernardusstraat and is considered to be the oldest town gate in the whole country of the Netherlands.

Maastricht Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Maastricht and nearby cities? Check out our list of affordable Maastricht hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist attractions in Maastricht, Netherlands, that you can add to your itinerary?

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