16 captivating things to do in Maastricht in 2024 (2024)

What lies at the very bottom of the Netherlands is an ancient and thriving cultural hub. Known famously as the birthplace of the iconic euro and a city packed with activities — it’s Maastricht!

Just a door knock away from Germany and Belgium, if you’re looking to escape the typical Dutch scenery and plunge yourself into centuries’ worth of history, you’ll find loads of gezellige things to do in Maastricht.

Prepare to enter an almost fairytale-like world filled with Dutch folklore, cultured cuisine, charming landscapes, and mysterious underground caves.

Need to make haste? Skip to an activity that interests you the most!

  • 1. 💀 Journey into the magical caves of Maastricht
  • 2. 🚶 Promenade through the lovely Vrijthof Square
  • 3. 📕 (Book) worm your way through Boekhandel Dominicanen
  • 4. 💸 Strike a good bargain at The Market Square
  • 5. ⛪ Marvel at the Basilica of Saint Servatius’s hybrid architecture
  • 6. 🌉 Take a selfie on the Sint Servatius bridge
  • 7. 🎭 Let your mind be blown at the Museum of Illusions
  • 8. 🦕Travel back in time at the Natural History Museum of Maastricht
  • 9. 🍰 Indulge in some vlaai at De Bisschopsmolen (Bishop’s Mill)
  • 10. 🏰 Eat fancy food with a pretty view at Château Neercanne
  • 11. 🌞 Hit up Fun Valley Park on a sunny day
  • 12. ⛩️ Enter Hell’s Gate in Maastricht, if you dare…
  • 13. 🔥 Visit the Vesting Museum in Hell’s Gate
  • 14. 🚲 Book a guided bike tour around the city
  • 15. 🌱 Have a picnic on the grass at the City Park
  • 16. 🖼 Get your art fix at Maastricht’s Bonnefanten Museum

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1. Journey into the magical caves of Maastricht

Ever wondered what it’s like to experience a city from below the surface? Then visiting Maastricht’s underground caves is a must.

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Here, mysterious charcoal drawings, inscriptions, and unique paintings on the wall await you!

With the help of a professional guide, you’re taken on a trip that brings you all the way back. The history to be found in these caves stretches from the Middle Ages to when the people of Maastricht used them as an underground shelter in the Second World War.

Beware, though, you’ll need to stay alert — these caves don’t come with any light, sound, or phone reception.

💰 Price: €9.50 for adults, €7.95 for children
⏰ Opening hours: 12:15 AM until 5:25 PM, Monday to Sunday
📍 Locations: Luikerweg 80, Maastricht, Bastion Waldeck, Slavante 1, Maastricht

2. Promenade through Maastricht’s lovely Vrijthof Square

At the heart of the city, you’ll find an idyllic ancient square made up of beautiful cobblestones dating back to the 19th century.

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Vrijthof Square is home to many historical buildings, fantastic terrasjes (special for the Dutch to indulge in), and restaurants — but the main origin behind its fame lies in its annual Christmas event, Magical Maastricht, where the entire plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland.

Hot tip: If you’re strolling along the Vrijthof square, make sure to check out the beautiful Roman church around the corner, Basiliek van Sint Servaas (Basilica of Saint Servatius).

💰 Price: Free of charge
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Vrijthof 100, 6211 NP Maastricht

3. (Book) worm your way through Boekhandel Dominicanen

If you eat, sleep, and breathe books, then you simply must visit Boekhandel Dominicanen, located in an ancient Dominican Church in Maastricht.

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Famed for being one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, Dominicanen’s range of books runs really deep and is suitable for all ages. Even if you’re not a voracious reader, the architecture alone is enough to wow you.

Tip: You can enjoy a gezellige cup of coffee in the bookstore’s café while you sit and imagine yourself in a scene from “Beauty and the Beast”.

💰 Price: Free entry
⏰ Opening hours: Monday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Sunday, 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
📍 Location: Dominicanerkerkstraat 3, 6211 CZ Maastricht

4. Strike a good bargain at The Market Square

Yet another leuk treat that comes with visiting the Netherlands is the many markets this tiny country boasts — and Maastricht comes with its very own.

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The Market Square is the go-to place if you’re looking for some unexpected sensory delights, organic goodies, and unique vintage finds. It’s also home to the stunning ancient city hall and a number of delectable cafés and restaurants.

You can stay and strike up a good conversation with the market locals — or you can cross the nearby border and join the Belgians on their shopping escapade.

💰 Price: Free entry
⏰ Opening hours: Wednesday and Friday from 09:00 AM to 03:00 PM
📍 Location: Maastricht, Markt 6211 CM Maastricht

5. Marvel at the Basilica of Saint Servatius’s hybrid architecture

The Basilica of Saint Servatius isn’t your ordinary Roman Catholic church. No. This beauty is a work of art, built with a unique blend of Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic architectural styles!

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The Basilica is situated next to Vrijthof Square, and its name actually stems from an Armenian missionary, Saint Servatius. He lived and died during pre-Julian times (we’re talking 384 BC) and now lays peacefully at rest in this very church.

READ MORE | Studying in Maastricht: ultimate guide to Maastricht University and more

Fan of treasure? Then make sure to visit the church’s archives! This is where all the ancient fancy-schmancy golden relics are kept, including the Noodkist (a shrine where Saint Servatius’s remains are encased).

💰 Price: €5 for adults, €3 for students and seniors
⏰ Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Sunday from 11:30 PM until 5:00 PM
📍 Location: Vrijthof 6211 TC Maastricht

6. Take a selfie on the Sint Servatius bridge

Every city has its own special attraction that makes it worth visiting. For Paris, it’s the Eiffel tower; for Rome, it’s the Colosseum — and for Maastricht? The Sint-Servaasbrug!

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Built in the 13th century, this beautiful stone-made arch bridge is not only one of the most iconic attractions in the city, but it’s also the oldest bridge to ever exist in the Netherlands. Well, at least according to Maastricht locals. 😉

READ MORE | Hiking trails in Maastricht: 7 top routes for a walk in the wild

If it’s your lucky day and the weather gods have brought some sun, then the Sint-Servaasbrug makes for an epic place to snap a picture for the ‘gram. It’s also a great spot to watch all the canal boats float down the Meuse River.

💰 Price: Only your love
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Sint Servaasbrug Maastricht

7. Let your mind be blown at the Museum of Illusions in Maastricht

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to add to your Maastricht itinerary, then the Museum of Illusions is the place to be.

Absolute scenes last week at the Museum of Illusions in Maastricht. pic.twitter.com/ZyNN6R7Cse

— Simon Fisher (@ProfSimonFisher) July 19, 2021

A rare find that’s totally bucket-list worthy, the museum offers a visual, sensory, and educational experience that’ll leave you questioning your entire existence. So trippy!

With illusions that make the room around you feel like it’s shrinking, to rooms where you’ll find yourself standing upside down, the museum is open for anyone who’s brave and curious enough to enter.

💰 Price: €16.50 for adults, €13.50 for children
⏰ Opening hours: 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM, Monday to Saturday
📍 Location: Mosae Forum 12-18, 6211 DS Maastricht

8. Travel back in time at the Natural History Museum of Maastricht

History buffs, young and old, will enjoy navigating their way through Maastricht’s Natural History Museum. It holds the richest source of information on the prehistoric landscape and wildlife of the Limburg province!

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While the museum is rather quaint, it’s huge when it comes to its extensive collections.

You’re sure to take a good trip through time with this one, featuring a smack load of dinosaur fossils dating back to the Carbonaceous period.

READ MORE | 17 unforgettable things to do in Leiden in 2024

Since the museum is located in the heart of Maastricht, it’s also just a stone’s throw from many cafés, restaurants, and shopping centres. So, you can take in all that the city centre has to offer while you’re there!

💰 Price: €6 for children (aged 5-11), €8 for students, €9 for adults, €7 for seniors (aged 65+)
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Saturday to Sunday, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
📍 Location: De Bosquetplein 7, 6211 KJ Maastricht

9. Indulge in some vlaai at De Bisschopsmolen (Bishop’s Mill)

Are you an out-of-the-box thinker when it comes to searching for beautiful places? Then you’ll have no trouble finding De Bisschopsmolen! Otherwise, Google Maps is your friend.

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What lies in one of Maastricht’s little alleyways is a best-kept secret — a charming working water mill that’s connected to a traditional Dutch bakery.

READ MORE | The ultimate guide to Zaanse Schans: visiting the windmills of Holland

You can take a tour around the mill and discover how this centuries-old attraction became what it is today — and the best part? Vlaai!

Treat your taste buds to a local Limburg pie at the bakery because… well, when dessert calls, you must answer.

💰 Price: Free of charge (unless you buy vlaai)
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM, Sunday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
📍 Location: Stenenbrug 3, 6211 HP Maastricht

10. Eat fancy food with a pretty view at Château Neercanne

The Netherlands holds some of the most beautiful castles and palaces in the world, but one in particular truly sets Maastricht apart from the rest — Château Neercanne!

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When we talk about the fairytale-like part of Maastricht, this is what we mean.

Built in the 17th century, Château Neercanne straddles the Belgian and Dutch borders and is the only castle in the Netherlands to have a massive terrace.

READ MORE | A guide to 11 breathtaking castles and palaces in the Netherlands

Of course, every terrace has to be accompanied by some sort of eatery. This castle has a top restaurant where you can indulge in French-inspired gourmet cuisine with a view that overlooks the bucolic Jeker Valley.

💰 Price: Restaurant prices range from €88 to €120, Overnight bookings vary per package
⏰ Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM, Monday to Tuesday, 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM
📍 Location: Von Dopfflaan 10, 6213 NG Maastricht

11. Hit up Fun Valley Park in Maastricht on a sunny day

Are you visiting Maastricht with a few lil’ beans by your side? Then you might want to consider going to Fun Valley! This recreational park makes for the perfect day getaway for families to enjoy their leisure time in the outdoors.

🏖 Fun Valley Maastricht

📍 Oosterweg 5, 6245 LC Eijsden, Netherlands

🗺 https://t.co/aWuBQk1lU0 pic.twitter.com/8flWaYWtFf

— BeachLover (@imbeachlover) November 2, 2022

Fun Valley is open all year round and offers all sorts of activities for your younguns to take part in, like paintballing, laser tag, escape rooms, and more.

There’s also a large indoor and outdoor playground and a kid-friendly beach to show off your paddle-boarding skills.

READ MORE | The guide to 10 thrilling theme parks in the Netherlands

It’s not just a kid’s paradise, though. If you’re an adult, you can hit up the Cuba Beachbar and spoil yourself with some lekker co*cktails while you lounge in a hammock.

In other words, it’s a real dream come true for parents and maybe one of the best things to do in Maastricht. 😉

💰 Price: Entrance costs €9.95, prices for activities and group entry options vary
⏰ Opening hours: 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
📍 Location: Oosterweg 5, 6245 LC Eijsden

12. Enter Hell’s Gate in Maastricht if you dare…

Ok, ok… so this isn’t actually a gate that leads you to the Underworld, where Hades is probably busy walking his hellhounds. De Helpoort, also known as Hell’s Gate, was Maastricht’s first ever stone fortification — and is now the only one left standing.

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It used to serve as one of the city’s main entrances but later evolved into a residence, workshop, and even storage space. It’s also the oldest city gate in the Netherlands, having been built in the 1200s and all.

De Helpoort is connected to a small isolated fortress, which has two separate gates and ten towers. So, don’t forget to climb up one of its many spiral staircases and get a good look at the city from above!

💰 Price: Entrance fee is €3
⏰ Opening hours: 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM, Tuesday to Sunday
📍 Location: Sint Bernardusstraat 24b, 6211 HL Maastricht

13. Visit the Vesting Museum in Hell’s Gate

Did Hell’s Gate capture your attention? We’re suspicious. Kidding! But seriously, you should consider taking a jaunt through the Vesting Museum.

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Here’s where you can learn all about the long history of Maastricht’s fortifications.

It’s located inside De Helpoort, so go on in during opening hours and don’t forget to bring your museumgoer persona with you.

💰 Price: Entrance fee is €3
⏰ Opening hours: 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM, Tuesday to Sunday
📍 Location: Sint Bernardusstraat 24b, 6211 HL Maastricht

14. Book a guided bike tour around the city

Want to get to know Maastricht the Dutch way? You’ll need a bike. Luckily, the city has no shortage of bike tour opportunities for you to seize.

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Get a good introduction to all the best spots in the city and cruise by the Dutch canals, busy streets, and iconic windmills either with your own bike, a rented one, or a bike provided by your hotel.

READ MORE | 7 scenic bike paths in the Netherlands

Each bike tour has its own guide to explain the important historical events of the city in English, Dutch, and German. The tours are available for those travelling in pairs or a large group of up to 15 people.

💰 Price: Prices can vary per tour
⏰ Opening hours: 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday
📍 Location: Depart at Stationsplein 26, 6221 BT Maastricht

15. Have a picnic on the grass at Maastricht’s City Park

After you’ve planned a whole day of things to do in Maastricht, perhaps a good break in nature is just what you need to recover from a long day’s worth of sightseeing.

Grab a blanket and some snacks from your nearest Albert Heijn — and head to the City Park!

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As you take a casual stroll through the park, you’ll find yourself surrounded not only by scenic views of the city but centuries’ worth of history too.

The park’s path carries many statues, each with a little story to tell, including the statue of D’Artagnan.

READ MORE | Get your cozy on: 5 gezellig spots in Maastricht

Believe it or not, the statue of D’Artagnan has nothing to do with Dustin’s short-lived pet from Stranger Things. 😢 In fact, it’s actually a special monument commemorating a piece of the park’s history.

💰 Price: Free of charge
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Stadspark 6211 JW Maastricht

16. Get your art fix at Maastricht’s Bonnefanten Museum

If you’re looking to spend your day in awe of unique and leuk art, then the Bonnefanten Museum is what you want to do in Maastricht.

With a wide range of art types and many different collections, you’ll definitely have a good time expanding your mind and amazing your eyes.

READ MORE | 29 awesome things to do in The Hague in 2024

Plus, you can even roll up your sleeves and join in with the creation of your own artistic design at the Brueghel Lab of the museum. ho*ra!

💰 Price: €17.50 for adults, €8.75 for students
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11 AM until 5 PM
📍 Location: Avenue Ceramique 250, 6221 KX Maastricht

Maastricht is booming with places to see, activities to do, and lekker coffee to drink. We’d bet our last dollar that you’ll never run out of things to do in Maastricht and never get bored of all that the city has to offer.

So, put your walking shoes on and grab your backpack, it’s sightseeing time.

Have you visited any of these attractions? If so, what was your favourite? Tell us in the comments below!👇

16 captivating things to do in Maastricht in 2024 (2024)

FAQs

What should I do in Maastricht? ›

Top Attractions in Maastricht
  • Maastricht Underground. 3,389. Caverns & Caves. ...
  • Boekhandel Dominicanen. 2,811. Historic Sites. ...
  • Fort Sint Pieter. 656. Historic Sites. ...
  • Onze Lieve Vrouw Sterre der Zee Basiliek. 967. ...
  • Vrijthof. 2,125. ...
  • Basilica of St. Servatius. ...
  • Helpoort - Vesting Museum Maastricht. 362. ...
  • De Bisschopsmolen. 587.

What food is Maastricht known for? ›

Don't miss these top foods to try while you're studying abroad in Maastricht:
  • VLAAI. If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss a slice of the famous local vlaai! ...
  • ZUURVLEES. This is also called zoervleisj. ...
  • LIMBURGSE GEHAKTBAL. Meatballs! ...
  • KNIEN IN 'T ZOER. ...
  • STROOPWAFEL.
Jun 20, 2023

Is Valkenburg worth visiting? ›

There is so much to do in Valkenburg, you should definitely take your time to explore all the tourist attractions. Especially if you are not from the area, it is worth spending several days there. Résidence Valkenburg is located in the beautiful Geul Valley and is 5 kilometers from the center of Valkenburg.

What is Maastricht best known for? ›

Today, the city is a thriving cultural and regional hub. It became well known through the Maastricht Treaty and as the birthplace of the euro. Maastricht has 1,677 national heritage buildings (rijksmonumenten), the second highest number in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam.

Is Maastricht a walkable city? ›

Walking through Maastricht is an experience in itself because of the beautiful history and Maas river that bisects the city. There are many hiking trails to choose from that will lead you through the historic city or even underground into the caves. These walking routes can also be followed as part of a group.

What is Valkenburg known for? ›

As the oldest tourist centre in the Netherlands, Valkenburg itself boasts many attractions. These include the famous castle, museums and marlstone caves. There is also a great collection of shops, street cafés and restaurants.

Is Enkhuizen worth a visit? ›

In every season there is always enough to see in one of the fascinating museums in Enkhuizen. The Bottle Ship Museum and the Zuiderzee Museum are definitely worth a visit! In the Interactive Museum Sow to Grow you will learn more about plant breeding and nutrition.

Why visit Alkmaar? ›

Discover Alkmaar like a local

It is a thriving hub of hospitality and the setting for the oldest and largest Cheese Market in the Netherlands. The spectacle of traditional cheese trading takes place here every Friday from the end of March to the end of September.

Is Maastricht worth visiting? ›

Maastricht is the number two cultural city of the Netherlands. It hosts numerous cultural events and is home to a wide range of cultural institutions. Many very popular and successful events are held here every year, such as the Dutch Dance Days, the TEFAF European art fair and the museum night.

Do people speak English in Maastricht? ›

The primary languages spoken are Dutch and the local Limburgish dialect, although most people do speak English. Although the weather is sometimes rainy and windy, the city has a variety of activities going on at all times!

How far is Maastricht from German border? ›

The distance between Maastricht and Germany is 669 km. The road distance is 671 km. How do I travel from Maastricht to Germany without a car? The best way to get from Maastricht to Germany without a car is to train which takes 6h 57m and costs $55 - $210.

Is Maastricht cheap or expensive? ›

Summary of cost of living in Maastricht, Netherlands: A family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,806.7$ (3,509.2€) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,125.8$ (1,037.8€) without rent. Maastricht is 32.8% less expensive than New York (without rent).

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