Are you ready to explore the city of Maastricht in three days? Consider yourself lucky to have three days to explore one of the oldest towns in the country. Maastricht is known for its rich culture, and it stands are one of the most important cities in the country today. I have put together a simple itinerary you can follow to make the most out of your 3-day trip to Maastricht!
Your first day in the city is all about exploring popular tourist attractions. Let’s start!
Explore the Bonnefanten Museum
The Bonnefanten Museum isn’t hard to miss because of its distinctive-looking architecture that will catch your eye. It houses a fine beautiful fine arts collection, like medieval sculptures and old Flemish, Italian and Dutch paintings. There are pieces and art installations from the Ecole de Paris and Art Povera movements here as well.
Don’t miss out on the popular exhibitions here, which are paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Peter Paul Rubens, with Limbiguish artworks.
Visit the Boekhandel Dominicanen
The Boekhandel Dominicanen is one of the most beautiful things you can ever see in the city, even in the whole of the Netherlands. It’s a bookstore set in a former 13th century Dominican Church. There are endless bookshelves here where you can find almost every book available in various languages.
Besides the vast collection of books, you can also simply enjoy the magnificent architecture, like the stained glass windows, arches, and its gothic style. There’s also a cafe here where you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.
Stop By at The De Bisschopsmolen
On your way to lunch or after lunch, check out the gorgeous waterwheel, the De Bisschopsmolen, a short walk away from the city center on the Jeker River. Today, it is now home to a popular bakery where you can grab some delicious pastries and coffee, too.
What makes it very special is that it is one of the oldest waterwheels in the country that is still fully operational. Pretty amazing, right?
Go to Fort Eben-Emael
Just across the border in Belgium, the Fort Eben-Emael was built before World War II. Back then, it was one of the biggest fortifications in the whole of Europe and it’s designed to defend the country against the Germans.
The fort is set over three levels and has 17 bunkers that you can explore. You can also tour around the barracks, artillery, cupolas, and underground tunnels. You can also find a museum here where you’ll be able to get the know more about the history of the fort.
End Your Day at Helpoort
End your first day at the Helpoort, the oldest city gate in the Netherlands that still stands today. It is also one of the only parts of the old city wall that still remain. Before, prisoners were locked up in the towers while they await their fate. Today, the towers are now a museum that contains beautoful exhibitions and displays where you will learn more about the city’s fortifications.
On your second day, take a break and relax on a cruise and visit a nearby village.
Go on a Cruise
Hop on a Maastricht cruise on your second day. Enjoy a cruise down the Meuse, sail past the city, some popular establishments before you reach the Belgian border.
You can get various tour packages; some packages come with a visit to a winery or bakery, brewery, or you can take a brunch or even go on a pancake cruise.
Additionally, you can combine the cruise with cultural activities, like a city walking tour. If you want to stay on-board, you can! You can have lunch and sail past various natural highlights in the Limburg landscape.
You can go on a full-day trip where the cruises include the Dutch town of Eijsden and the Belgian cities of Visé and Liège. Also, you can stay inside the boat, which means you can go on a cruise even if it’s gloomy or even raining outside.
Spend your second day in Maastricht by visiting one of the main tourist villages in the city, Valkenburg. The village is only 20 minutes from Maastricht and is famous for its world-renowned thermal space, theme parks, underground runs, and a toboggan run. There are also castle ruins here!
Before you head back to Maastricht, grab a drink at one of the bars here. You will certainly have a great time!
Your last day has come! Check out another nearby village, see the most beautiful churches in the country, and end your day in the square.
Since you’re already in Maastricht, take this opportunity to visit another nearby city, Thorn! Just 30 minutes away from the city, Thorn, also known as the white village, was home to nuns and noblewomen who lives at Abdijkerk Monastery. Aside from that, there are many beautiful white small houses and cute cobbled side streets here.
See the Churches
Also, check out the Basilica of our lady, one of the major religious buildings in the city. And finally, the Sint Janskerk, which is commonly known as the red church. You can also climb up the tower and take in the great views of Maastricht.
Spend the Remaining Hours at the Market Square
The Market Square is one of the second major squares in the city, close to Vrijthof. Cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating surround the area. There are also trendy shops in the Mosae Forum shopping center. With that, you can lounge around, grab a bite, and go shopping before heading home.
Do you want to know more about the cities and villages in the Netherlands? Browse our other topics here at Ask the Dutch Guy!