Nestled in the southern part of the Netherlands, Maastricht is a city that seamlessly blends rich history, cultural diversity, and modern vibrancy. This charming city is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, scenic landscapes, and cultural gems. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply someone seeking a unique travel experience, Maastricht has something to offer. In this guide, we’ll delve into the top 10 tourist attractions in Maastricht, providing you with insights into the city’s captivating allure.
1. Maastricht Underground
Maastricht Underground is an extensive network of tunnels and caves located beneath the city of Maastricht, Netherlands. These underground passages were originally used for quarrying stone, but they have since been adapted for a variety of purposes, including storage, shelter, and even transportation. Today, Maastricht Underground is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the city’s hidden history.
The tunnels and caves of Maastricht Underground date back to the Roman era, when the city was known as Mosae Trajectum. The Romans used the underground quarries to extract the limestone that was used to build the city walls and other structures. After the Romans left, the quarries were continued to be used by the local population for storage and shelter.
In the 17th century, the tunnels were used as a hiding place for Catholics during the Dutch Revolt. The city of Maastricht was under Protestant rule at the time, and Catholics were persecuted. The tunnels provided a safe haven for Catholics to practice their religion and avoid persecution.
In the 18th century, the tunnels were used as a smuggling route. Goods such as tobacco and alcohol were smuggled into the city through the tunnels to avoid paying taxes.
In the 19th century, the tunnels were used as a mushroom farm. The cool, dark, and humid conditions of the tunnels were ideal for growing mushrooms.
Today, Maastricht Underground is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour of the tunnels and caves, and learn about the history of Maastricht and the role that the underground passages have played in the city’s development. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who are passionate about the history of Maastricht and the underground passages.
Maastricht Underground is a fascinating and unique place to visit. It is a reminder of the rich history of Maastricht and the important role that the underground passages have played in the city’s development. We highly recommend visiting Maastricht Underground if you have the opportunity.
Here are some of the things you can expect to see on a tour of Maastricht Underground:
- The quarries where the limestone was extracted
- The hiding places used by Catholics during the Dutch Revolt
- The smuggling routes used to bring goods into the city
- The mushroom farm
- The underground river
2. Boekhandel Dominicanen
Boekhandel Dominicanen is a bookstore located in the Dominican Church in Maastricht, Netherlands. The church was built in the 13th century and is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. The bookstore opened in 2006 and is now considered to be one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
The bookstore is spread over three floors and has a wide selection of books, including fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, and foreign language books. The shelves are made of dark wood and the ceilings are high, giving the bookstore a sense of grandeur.
One of the most striking features of the bookstore is the 14th-century fresco that depicts scenes from the life of Thomas Aquinas. The fresco is located on the upper floor of the bookstore and is well worth a visit.
Boekhandel Dominicanen is a popular tourist destination and is a great place to spend an afternoon browsing for books or simply enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Here are some of the highlights of Boekhandel Dominicanen:
- The bookstore is located in a 13th-century church, giving it a unique and historic atmosphere.
- The bookstore has a wide selection of books, including fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, and foreign language books.
- The shelves are made of dark wood and the ceilings are high, giving the bookstore a sense of grandeur.
- The 14th-century fresco that depicts scenes from the life of Thomas Aquinas is a must-see.
3. Fort Sint Pieter
Fort Sint Pieter is an 18th-century fortification located atop the Sint-Pietersberg hill in Maastricht, Netherlands. It was constructed during the Austrian Netherlands period between 1702 and 1715, and served as an important military garrison until the early 19th century. The fort has since been converted into a museum, and is now a popular tourist destination offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
The fort’s strategic position atop the hill made it a formidable defensive structure. It was surrounded by a network of underground passages and tunnels, which were used for storage, communication, and troop movement. The fort’s main entrance is a large gatehouse, which is flanked by two bastions. The interior of the fort includes a parade ground, barracks, and a chapel.
Fort Sint Pieter played a significant role in several historical events. It was briefly besieged by French forces in 1748 during the War of the Austrian Succession, and was again besieged by French forces in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. In both cases, the fort successfully repelled the attacks.
After the Napoleonic Wars, Fort Sint Pieter was no longer deemed strategically important, and it was gradually decommissioned as a military base. In the early 20th century, the fort was converted into a museum, and it has since become a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the fort’s underground passages, climb the ramparts, and enjoy the panoramic views of the city.
Here are some additional details about Fort Sint Pieter:
- Location: Sint-Pietersberg hill, Maastricht, Netherlands
- Construction period: 1702-1715
- Purpose: Military fortification
- Current status: Museum
- Opening hours: Daily from 10:00 to 17:00
- Admission fee: €9.50 for adults, €6.50 for children aged 6-12, and free for children under 6
4. Onze Lieve Vrouw Sterre der Zee Basiliek
The Onze Lieve Vrouw Sterre der Zee Basiliek (Our Lady, Star of the Sea Basilica) is a Romanesque church in the center of Maastricht, Netherlands. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is a popular tourist destination.
The basilica was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest buildings in Maastricht. It has a simple, yet elegant design, with a long nave and a choir at the end. The church is made of sandstone and has a square tower at each end.
The interior of the basilica is dark and atmospheric. The walls are lined with stained glass windows and the ceiling is supported by massive pillars. The main attraction of the basilica is the statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea. This 15th-century statue is a popular pilgrimage destination and is believed to have miraculous powers.
The basilica is open to the public for tours and prayer. It is a beautiful and historic building that is worth a visit.
Here are some additional details about the basilica:
- The basilica is located on the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, a large square in the center of Maastricht.
- The church is 120 meters long and 30 meters wide.
- The tower at the west end of the church is 52 meters high.
- The statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, is made of wood and is about 1.5 meters tall.
The basilica is a significant cultural and religious landmark in Maastricht. It is a reminder of the city’s rich history and its importance as a center of Christianity.
The Vrijthof is a large square in the center of Maastricht, Netherlands. It is the largest square in the city and is surrounded by many historic buildings, including the Basilica of Saint Servatius, the Sint Janskerk, and the Hoofdwacht.
The Vrijthof has been a place of importance for centuries. It was originally a Roman cemetery and was later used as a market square. In the 19th century, it was redesigned as a public park and became a popular gathering place for locals and tourists.
Today, the Vrijthof is a vibrant and lively square. It is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, and is a popular spot for events such as concerts, festivals, and markets.
Here are some of the things you can do at the Vrijthof:
- Visit the Basilica of Saint Servatius, one of the oldest churches in the Netherlands.
- See the Sint Janskerk, a Gothic church that was built in the 13th century.
- Take a walk through the Hoofdwacht, a former guardhouse that is now a museum.
- Enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants on the square.
- Attend a concert or festival that is being held on the square.
6. Basilica of St. Servatius
The Basilica of St. Servatius is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Maastricht, Netherlands. It is one of the oldest churches in the Netherlands, and is dedicated to Saint Servatius, the first bishop of Tongeren and Maastricht. The church was built in the 6th century, and has been rebuilt and expanded several times over the centuries. The most recent renovation was completed in 2006.
The Basilica of St. Servatius is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Maastricht. The church is known for its Romanesque architecture, its stained glass windows, and its treasury, which houses a collection of religious artifacts.
Here are some of the most notable features of the Basilica of St. Servatius:
- The Romanesque crypt, which dates back to the 6th century
- The Gothic choir, which was added in the 13th century.
- The stained glass windows, which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
- The treasury, which houses a collection of religious artifacts, including the reliquary of Saint Servatius.
If you are ever in Maastricht, We highly recommend visiting the Basilica of St. Servatius. It is a truly beautiful and historic church, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Here are some tips for visiting the Basilica of St. Servatius:
- The church is open to the public from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Sundays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
- Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of €2.50.
- There is a guided tour of the church available in English and Dutch every day at 2:00 pm. The tour lasts approximately one hour.
- The church is accessible to people with disabilities. There is a lift that takes visitors to the upper levels of the church.
- There is a parking garage located near the church.
7. De Bisschopsmolen
De Bisschopsmolen is a watermill in Maastricht, Netherlands. It is located on the east bank of the river Meuse, at the foot of the Sint-Pietersberg hill. The mill was built in 1225 and is one of the oldest surviving windmills in the Netherlands.
The mill was originally used to grind grain, but it has also been used to saw wood and pump water. The mill was damaged several times in its history, but it was always rebuilt. In the 19th century, the mill was converted to a steam mill, but it was returned to its original wind-powered operation in the 20th century.
Today, De Bisschopsmolen is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can take a tour of the mill and learn about its history. The mill is also a working mill, and it produces flour that is sold locally.
De Bisschopsmolen is a beautiful and historic landmark, and it is a must-see for any visitor to Maastricht.
Here are some tips for visiting De Bisschopsmolen:
- The mill is open for tours from 10:00 to 17:00, Wednesday through Sunday.
- The mill is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Admission to the mill is free.
- There is a parking lot located near the mill.
- The mill is accessible by public transportation.
8. Helpoort – Vesting Museum Maastricht
Helpoort, also known as the Hell Gate, is a 13th-century city gate in Maastricht, Netherlands. It is one of the two remaining city gates in Maastricht, the other being the Sint Servaaspoort. Helpoort was originally built as part of the city’s fortifications, and it was used to defend the city from attackers. The gate was also used as a prison, and it is said that many prisoners died in its cells.
In the 18th century, Helpoort was no longer needed for its defensive purposes, and it was converted into a museum. The museum tells the story of Maastricht’s fortifications, and it also exhibits a collection of medieval weapons and armor. Helpoort is a popular tourist destination, and it is a great place to learn about the history of Maastricht.
Here are some of the things you can see and do at Helpoort – Vesting Museum Maastricht:
- Explore the gate’s towers and chambers.
- Learn about the history of Maastricht’s fortifications.
- See a collection of medieval weapons and armor.
- Enjoy the panoramic views of Maastricht from the gate’s towers.
If you are interested in history, then Helpoort – Vesting Museum Maastricht is a must-see. It is a great place to learn about the history of Maastricht and its fortifications.
Here are some tips for visiting Helpoort – Vesting Museum Maastricht:
- The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00.
- Tickets cost €9 for adults, €7.50 for seniors, and €5 for children.
- There is a free guided tour of the museum available every Saturday and Sunday at 14:00.
- The museum is located at Sint Bernardusstraat 1, 6221 KK Maastricht.
9. Market Square
The Market Square is located in the heart of Maastricht, Netherlands. It is one of the largest and most popular squares in the city, and it is a great place to people-watch, shop, and enjoy a meal. The square is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as a number of historical landmarks, including the St. Janskerk church and the Provincial Government building.
The Market Square is also a popular venue for events, and it is often used for concerts, festivals, and markets.
Here are some tips for visiting Market Square:
- Be sure to try the local food. Maastricht is known for its Limburgse vlaai, a sweet pie with a variety of fillings
- If you are visiting during the summer months, be sure to check out the open-air cinema.
- Do some shopping. There are a variety of shops in the square, selling everything from souvenirs to local crafts.
- Enjoy the atmosphere. The Market Square is a great place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of Maastricht.
10. Saint Servaas Bridge
The Saint Servaas Bridge is the oldest bridge in the Netherlands and one of the most iconic landmarks in Maastricht. It was built in the 13th century and connects the city center to the Wyck district. The bridge is named after Saint Servatius, the patron saint of Maastricht.
The bridge is made of limestone and has nine arches. It was originally a drawbridge, but this feature was removed in the 17th century. The bridge is decorated with a number of statues, including a statue of Saint Servatius himself.
The bridge has been damaged or destroyed several times throughout its history. It was first destroyed in 1242 during a siege of the city. It was rebuilt in the 13th century, but it was destroyed again in 1673 during another siege. The bridge was rebuilt again in the 18th century, and it has stood ever since.
The Saint Servaas Bridge is a popular tourist destination and it is also used by locals on a daily basis. It is a beautiful and historic bridge that is well worth a visit.
In conclusion, Maastricht, with its rich tapestry of history, art, and modern flair, offers a captivating journey for every type of traveler. From the medieval wonders of Heliport to the contemporary vibes of Wick, the city seamlessly weaves together the old and the new. Whether you’re drawn to religious landmarks, artistic masterpieces, or underground adventures, Maastricht invites you to explore its diverse attractions and create lasting memories in this enchanting corner of the Netherlands.
Cheap Hotels & Cheap Flights to Maastricht
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There is one airport in Maastricht, Netherlands:
- Maastricht Aachen Airport (MST)
Maastricht Aachen Airport (MST) is an international airport serving Maastricht, Netherlands, and Aachen, Germany. It is located 10 kilometers (6 miles) northeast of Maastricht and 25 kilometers (16 miles) west of Aachen, making it convenient for travelers to both cities. The airport is the main gateway to the Limburg region of the Netherlands and the Euregio Meuse-Rhine region of Germany and Belgium.
MST is a small airport with one runway and a single terminal. It serves over 1.5 million passengers annually and is operated by Maastricht Aachen Airport NV. The airport offers a variety of services and amenities, including shops, restaurants, a business lounge, and free Wi-Fi.
MST is a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers. It is well-connected to major cities in Europe, and offers a variety of direct flights to popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
Here are some additional facts about Maastricht Aachen Airport:
- IATA code: MST
- ICAO code: EHBK
- Elevation: 106 meters (348 feet)
- Owner: Public
- Operator: Maastricht Aachen Airport NV
- Runways: 1
- Terminals: 1
- Passenger traffic: 1.6 million (2022)
MST is a modern and efficient airport that offers a convenient and comfortable travel experience for passengers.
Here are some of the airlines that operate at Maastricht Aachen Airport:
- Corendon Dutch Airlines
- TUI fly
MST offers a variety of direct flights to destinations in Europe, including:
MST is a great option for travelers who are looking for a convenient and affordable way to get to the Limburg region of the Netherlands, the Euregio Meuse-Rhine region, and the surrounding areas in Germany and Belgium.