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COMPACT & CONTACT You will feel right at home in Maastricht. You can get to know the very compact city centre very quickly, and you'll be greeted warmly everywhere you go. The highlights are all within walking distance, and it's hard to lose your way on the charming, mostly car-free, streets. But if you ever do, there's always someone willing to point you in the right direction. THE 'MESTREECHTER GEIS' Charm, playfulness, a healthy dose of humour, and a zest for life: these are the ingredients of the Maastricht local character. This character has been immortalized by the artist Mari Andriessen in the bronze statue Mestreechter Geis, on the square near Stokstraat. HISTORIC BUILDINGS AND CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE The whole of the Maastricht city centre has been declared a protected national monument. In the historic buildings and elegant houses, you will find a rich variety of architectural styles from different ages – from the early Roman period to the Maastricht Renaissance. Experience the seamless transition from stately, old façades to contemporary architecture and the historic buildings of the future. IT’S ALL IN THE MIX That intriguing blend of past and present is not only seen in the architecture, but definitely carries through into the city's cultural offerings as well. Colourful, traditional, and uniquely Maastricht, but also mysterious, undiscovered, challenging, and sophisticated. From underground cultural treasures and the city's signature bell towers to energetic and exciting festivals, exhibitions, and breathtaking performances – Maastricht is bursting with activities year-round, with a four-season event calendar featuring unique and distinct cultural happenings for every season. CITY OF FASHION AND SHOPPING Designer boutiques and major labels are found in abundance, punctuated by genuine one-of-a-kind shops with unique must-have fashion, lifestyle, and design items and accessories. All this only adds to the rich setting of the historic city centre. The heart of the city is rightly legendary among fashion-lovers and shopaholics, who can shop to their hearts' content here, seven days a week.
Céramique

Céramique

In the Céramique district, you still feel the industrial past, even though you’re standing in the newest and most modern part of the city. It’s the kind of place where you look up and keep looking, to take in the impressive architecture, even as the ground around you buzzes with culture and activity. Céramique arose in the early 1990s on the site of ‘Société Céramique,’ a ceramics factory that operated from 1850 to 1985, best known for its tableware. When the factory was offered for sale to the municipality in the late 1980s, the idea to redevelop the area as a quality residential and commercial district quickly emerged, and Government Architect Jo Coenen was engaged to develop a master plan. One of his fundamental premises was to bring something of a Mediterranean feel to this part of the city. To achieve this, he brought in a luminary architects from southern Europe for the design of the various residential and business complexes. The result is a total package of architectural high point after high point, like Mario Botta’s ‘La Fortezza,’ Alvaro Siza’s ‘Tower of Siza,’ and perhaps the crowning glory, Aldo Rossi’s Bonnefanten Museum. But despite all the forward-looking architecture, the connection to the past remains, in the street names, remnants of older buildings and tableware that turn up unexpectedly, and the exhibitions in the Bonnefanten Museum and Centre Céramique. Each and every one is a golden thread of history interwoven into the fabric of today.

The whole of the Maastricht city centre has been declared a protected national monument. In the historic buildings and elegant houses, you will find a rich variety of architectural styles from different ages – from the early Roman period to the Maastricht Renaissance. Experience the seamless transition from stately, old façades to contemporary architecture and the historic buildings of the future. One beautiful example is the architecture district Céramique, built on the former site of a prominent ceramics factory. Another is the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MAFAD) on Herdenkingsplein, designed by Limburg architect Wiel Arets, which UNESCO has named as one of the most beautiful buildings of the 20th century. That intriguing blend of past and present is not only seen in the architecture, but definitely carries through into the city's cultural offerings as well. Colourful, traditional, and uniquely Maastricht, but also mysterious, undiscovered, challenging, and sophisticated. From underground cultural treasures and the city's signature bell towers to energetic and exciting festivals, exhibitions, and breathtaking performances – Maastricht is bursting with activities year-round
No matter what you do, in Maastricht culture is always an experience. You are submerged in a blend of shapes and styles, colours and fragrances. The past and the present are intertwined in the countless imposing monuments and modern architecture. Its cultural palette gives Maastricht a unique character - mysterious and provocative with its underground cultural treasures and characteristic towers, and dynamic and extroverted with its lively festivals, expositions, and breathtaking performances. Whatever your taste, Maastricht is guaranteed to tickle your senses.
If you love food, you won't be bored in Maastricht, because you'll find at least one restaurant for just about every type of cuisine here. From Mediterranean classics, to Asian specialities, to the delights you'll only find here; and from Michelin-starred restaurants to wine bars to good old-fashioned pubs, Maastricht has it all. The countless restaurants offer hospitality and quality for every budget. You will find Maastricht's restaurateurs eager to showcase local products, not only in traditional local dishes, but in exciting and original 'world cuisine' combinations. And don't miss the chance to visit some of the many unique dining opportunities in castles, estates, vaulted cellars, warehouses, and churches. Culinary highlights abound throughout the city. Chef Hans van Wolde of Beluga Loves You has retained his two Michelin stars for another year, and the guide has also heralded Château Neercanne and Tout à Fait as ‘très bonne cuisine’ with one star each.
Maastricht has a lot to offer the restless or socially hungry traveller who wishes to explore the nightlife scene. A nice and quiet night at a pub with a thirst quenching beer, or a head spinning dance night? You choose!
CITY OF FASHION AND SHOPPING Designer boutiques and major labels are found in abundance, punctuated by genuine one-of-a-kind shops with unique must-have fashion, lifestyle, and design items and accessories. All this only adds to the rich setting of the historic city centre. The heart of the city is rightly legendary among fashion-lovers and shopaholics, who can shop to their hearts' content here, seven days a week. General opening hours Monday: 1:00 PM-6:00 PM Tuesday: 9:30 AM-6:00 PM Wednesday: 9:30 AM-6:00 PM Thursday: 9:30 AM-9:00 PM Friday: 9:30 AM-6:00 PM Saturday: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM/6:00 PM Sunday* open from 12:00 noon *Except New Year's Day, Carnival Sunday, Easter Sunday, Whit Sunday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. On the days of the Sacramental Procession (Easter Monday, 6 April) and the city procession (17 May), shops in the city centre open at 1:00 PM. READY, SET, GO: WYCK This is the place to be if you're looking for a unique outfit or an eye-catching decoration for your home. In Wyck’s trendy shops, galleries, cafés, eateries, and delicatessens, Maastricht's gourmets are regular customers. FOLLOW THE JEKER This characterful district is known for its authenticity, charming cafés, and its galleries and interior decor shops alternating with jewellers and delicatessens STOKSTRAAT QUARTER Discover the cream of the crop of haute couture in the Stokstraat quarter, Maastricht's most exclusive shopping district. ENTRE DEUX The Entre Deux shopping centre, situated between the Vrijthof square and the Markt square, is the kind of place where you can expect to be surprised and impressed. MOSAE FORUM Mosae Forum exemplifies everything you expect from shopping in Maastricht At Mosae Forum, you will find dozens of different fashion houses, general shops and speciality shops. VRIJTHOF SQUARE Are you looking for special lingerie, Dutch design, unique shoes, or a tailored suit? You'll find what you want in one of the shopping streets surrounding famous Vrijthof square. MARKT SQUARE In the historic vaulted cellars epicures can explore the many culinary shops. The side streets between Markt square and Grote Staat house many original shops selling trendy fashion, jewellery, baby clothes, and cooking utensils.
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