Maastricht Things To Do
Situated on the site of an ancient Roman town, Maastricht is one of the most popular destinations in the Netherlands. Head here for impressive churches, an active waterfront and a city with lots of history and a vibrant contemporary community. From the river to museums, to the mountains, this makes a fine place to explore in all directions.
On a hot or rainy day, head for the river. The Meuse winds through the city. River cruises range from a short visit through the canal locks to a much longer trip down the river to other cities such as Liege.
Dozens of churches line the city streets. One of the most famous is the Saint Servatius Basilica. Dating from 1039, the Basilica offers a magnificent Romanesque exterior. The Sint Janskerk or St. Jan’s church is another famous local church. Walk up the narrow stairs in the tower for a look at the entire city. The Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk or the Church of Our Lady also dates back nearly a thousand years. The ornate interior features brightly colored frescoes and gilded works of art.
Both ancient and contemporary history are on display at local museums. For a look at the natural history of the area, the Natural History Museum has botanical gardens and fossils for the kids to touch. The Spanish Government Museum has exhibits dating from the time when Maastricht was part of the Spanish Netherlands and ruled by the Habsburgs. There’s a Ceramics Center that demonstrates how this pottery was once a huge source of wealth for locals. The Museum De historische drukkerij or Museum of Printing, brings the history of printing to life. This was also a center for the new art and many books were created in this city.
Walk the Mountains
For a nice walk and a look at the surrounding countryside, head up the mountains. Next to the city lies one the highest parts of the entire country. Sint Pietersberg is a limestone hill covered in greenery with wonderful views. Right below it lie caves where the Dutch took refuge during WWII. Take a long and winding path through some of the most gloriously scenic areas in the country.
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