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Visit the historic and romantic city of Maastricht

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The city of Maastricht in the picturesque hills of the province Limburg is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the Netherlands with a wealth of historical sights. Being a center of cultural significance, the city will be competing for the nomination of Cultural Capital of Europe in the year 2018.

Strategically located on the River Maas, Maastricht suffered many attacks by foreign rulers, and over a period of seven centuries city walls, moats and forts were built to defend the city. Between 1575 and 1825 on the western edge of Maastricht a network of underground strategic passageways, or casemates (Kasematten), were built, which were used to surprise and attack the enemy. Also worth visiting are the fully restored Fort of St. Pieter as well as the extensive caves of St. Pieter, which were formed during centuries of mining for limestone, used for building houses, castles and churches. The caves also served as a refuge for residents when the city was under attack.

Besides various popular markets, Maastricht offers everything the most seasoned shopper could wish for. All the luxurious brands can be found in Maastricht, and you’ll find trendy boutiques, romantic shopping alleys, art galleries and local delicacies.  Once you’re tired from your shopping adventure, sit down for a coffee and try a piece of “vlaai”, a pie filled with various kinds of fruit or rice.

Visit the Vrijthof, the beautiful cobble-stoned square in the centre of Maastricht, with the adjacent St. Servatius Basilica, a Romanesque cathedral with crypts and treasures. The square has many nice outdoor cafes and gourmet restaurants, and it’s the location for various events that are organized throughout the year. A highlight of your trip would without a doubt be to attend one of the traditional open-air summer concerts by world-famous André Rieu on this square in his birth-town.

If you’re in the mood to go crazy, visit Maastricht during the three craziest days of the year when it celebrates Carnival in February with lots of singing, dancing, a parade, costumes, food and drink.