Maastricht (map) is the capital and largest city of the province of Limburg. By many considered to be the most beautiful city of the country.
The river Maas runs through the city, offering some scenic views, and the lovely cobblestoned centre is full of historic buildings and impressive cathedrals. Maastricht has 1677 national heritage buildings (rijksmonumenten), the second highest number in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam.
Situated within walking distance of Belgium and cycling distance of Germany, Maastricht claims to be the oldest city in the Netherlands (a claim it shares with Nijmegen, map).
⇒ Also сheck оut мore info: All places of interest • Maastricht Map
Perhaps one of the best (free) sights of Maastricht is simply to admire the two town squares in the centre of the city and the many old buildings around the street near the university and town wall.
Vrijthof (map). This famous square is considered by many to be the beating heart of the old city. It features the massive St Servaas Church (map) and St Jan’s Cathedral (map) and hosts a range of large festivals throughout the year. The Carnival before Lent is an amazing occasion where (it seems) the whole city dresses up in costume and parties until the early hours. It really has to be seen to be believed, this is a North European Mardi Gras.
+ For information about all cultural events in Maastricht, try to find a copy of the Week in Week uit. They are distributed all around the city.
Market & Town Hall (map). The fairly large market square has been the stage for markets for centuries, and still houses goods markets on Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s a lively square, surrounded by cafés, shops and eateries, but also home to the 17th century Town Hall.
A particularly nice walk outside of the centre is along the river, from St Servaas Brug (map) down to the JFK Bridge (map), which goes through Maastricht’s largest park.
Saint Pietersberg Caves (Grotten Sint-Pietersberg, map). Local marlstone mine with over 20,000 passages dug out over centuries, used as shelter during sieges and bombings. Tours essential; check website for details (English and Dutch times differ). Boats runs from the city centre with commentary pointing out interesting landmarks along the way.