It was my second visit to the Netherlands. The first time, I visited Amsterdam with my boyfriend (who is my husband now) back in 2011. Returning to western Europe in 2018 gave us a great reason to come back to the Lowlands and explore Maastricht. As we found out, Maastricht is the oldest town in Holland, surrounded by gorgeous architecture and covered in bikes. To be honest, I need to explore the Netherlands when it is warmer because both trips were when it was gray and depressing. Nevertheless, it was a lovely trip that I enjoyed very much.
Things you visit and do when you visit Maastricht:
- visit the coolest bookshop Boekhandel Dominicanen that sells thousands of different books, magazines, and souvenirs. You may ask why it is the coolest? Well, because in the book store you will find a historical church that blows your mind as explore the entire store. Pay attention to the ceiling, it is quite fascinating.
- walk around Vrijhof square where you will find a flea market, shops, a cafe, and if you get lucky, maybe even catch a concert. We were there when there was some kind of carnival going on and people were dressed up crazily.
- light a candle at Basilica of Our Lady. We usually visit churches and cathedrals when we travel because we admire the historical sight of religions and it is always a great break in a peaceful or mystical atmosphere. Also, don't forget to visit the Basilica of St. Servatius, which charges a small fee to access a museum.
- discover an underground world of Maastricht in the North Caves (Grotten Noord) near Sunt Pieter Fort. We didn't have time to explore Sunt Pieter Fort, but if you have extra time, I would definitely advise you to visit. As for the North Caves, it was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had. It was definitely the highlight of our trip. You get to learn very informative facts and the history of the underground world, which was also quite spooky. Be prepared for darkness and don't get separated from the tour group. This activity is a 100% must-do in Maastricht.
- go shopping. I always look for vintage stores. I like to compare the prices, and of course, find something unique that the mass market can't offer. I would advise you to check Magnolia Thrift Shop, We-ar Vintage & Design.
- eat as much as you could. Traveling without trying local food is like never being there. There are also plenty of healthy options as well if you are not keen on gluten or heavy meats. Here are a few cafes that you can check: EetCafe Ceramique, Livin Room Maastricht, Vers.
Basilica of Our Lady
Basilica of St. Servatius
Sunt Pieter Fort
Eat and Drink in Maastricht