Wyck has often been described as the up-and-coming part of Maastricht. And although it’s still a dynamic area in development, it’s already seen a real transformation from ten years ago. Today, it’s hard to imagine that there was a time that this side of the Meuse was dismissed as ‘outside Maastricht,’ and the people of Wyck were considered bumpkins. But this history has also had a defining impact, and made Wyck into the unique urban borough that it is. The many contemporary and exclusive shops, hotels, restaurants, and creative enterprises that have come here in recent years are a perfect fit with the long-standing local boutiques, fine food shops, and the locals themselves. That’s what makes Wyck one of the best places in Maastricht to live, work, and shop. On weekdays Wyck is bustling with business from the train station to the river, and on weekends it is just as jumping, with the tourists and day visitors tarrying here to ‘warm up’ for a day out on the town. Today, it’s rightly said that you haven’t seen Maastricht until you’ve seen Wyck!
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.
It’s all here, whether you go for the big names or those cute little boutiques you find nowhere else. And whether you prefer an upmarket department store or a covered shopping centre for your whole new wardrobe, or enjoy running from shop to shop in search of that one perfect item. Here in the Maastricht city centre, there’s something for every shopaholic, young or old, boy or girl. Comb the Grote Staat and be dazzled by all the known and lesser-known chains you find here. Take a peek at the shopping centre Entre Deux, worth a visit for its architecture alone, and for the huge shops for famous labels you’ll find here. There are still a few surprises for you in store at the shopping centre Mosae Forum, just next to the Markt. And don’t overlook the basement floor, where you’ll find some hidden gems (of the edible kind!). But it’s not all fashion, beauty, and lifestyle; there’s also a special place for books, in the amazing bookshop in the medieval Dominican church, a highlight of the city centre not to be missed. Need a breather? When you’re ready to take a break from your shopping adventure, you’ll be pleased to find that the amazing array of shops is interspersed with pubs, cafés, and charming restaurants.
Those who live and work here say that you don’t really need to explain where the Jeker quarter is: Once you’re there, you’ll know. This is where the locals stroll the streets at their leisure, students read in the park, and you can spend a whole Sunday on a café terrace, a wisp of jazz music in the air in the background, and never get bored. The Jeker quarter is nestled between the old city walls and centuries-old houses, bordered by the green of the city park. Although people have lived here for centuries, no one has ever explored it all. Enterprise is deeply rooted in the genes of this community: A history full of crafts and trades has left its marks, and forged the unique, authentic, innovative and creative atmosphere you feel here today. And right through the middle of it, that impudent little river, the Jeker, flows brazenly on. The quaint streets, stately homes, and idyllic parks have everything to make history come alive, while the rich student life, mix of young and old, culinary highlights, and abundant art and culture pull you back to the present.
The collection of streets between the city centre and the Jeker quarter is known as the Stokstraat quarter. It’s that historic corner of the city between two statues, ‘De Mestreechter Geis’ and ‘Slevrouwe’. All of these streets ultimately lead to the ever-charming, intimate and romantic Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. In this part of the city, you can find the warmth and charm of a classic Maastricht pub on virtually every corner. The quarter takes its name from what may be the city’s most famous (or infamous) street. Today, Stokstraat is known as the place for the most exclusive and luxury shops in the Netherlands, but it was not always so. If there’s any street that has seen its fortunes turn over the years, it’s this one. In the Middle Ages, its reputation was dubious thanks to its many bathhouse-brothels; later, the street enjoyed a renaissance with many reputable merchants established in it, until, as the Industrial Revolution took hold and the city centre became overpopulated with wave after wave of migrants from the countryside, the street became synonymous with grinding poverty. Living conditions here became so dire that there was even talk of demolishing the entire street. The Stokstraat quarter of today is the result of a dramatic redevelopment between 1950 and 1973, which succeeded in preserving its historic character but transforming it into a fashionable address for living, shopping, and dining.
‘This is where the cultural, creative, and enterprising urban district Sphinx will arise.’ So reads the ambition behind the plans for the development of the Sphinx area. Plans focus on the place where Maastricht’s industrial revolution began. It was here that Petrus Regout built his ‘Sphinx Factory,’ the start of what grew into an enormous industry, producing bathroom fixtures, tiles, and the products that made Maastricht great. The factory operated until 2006, and since then efforts have been under way to redevelop this area as a district that fits in with the city, but as something Maastricht does not already have. That’s why this district is being designed to attract creative types, young residents, national and international students, and expatriates. It will be internationally oriented, with room for flexible space and temporary functions. Where this area is going is becoming clearer and clearer, in things like the arrival of the pop music stage in a former sawmill, and the newly opened Brandweer(kantine), with workspaces and meeting places for creative entrepreneurs. But not everything in this part of the city is new and different. The historic and picturesque river harbour ‘t Bassin, adjacent to the Sphinx area, makes a perfect buffer for the transition from the more familiar and better known Maastricht to this new part of town.
You would almost miss them. Almost. Because as soon as you pass the entryway to the St. Servaas Basilica, you’ll figure out that it’s worth walking on. You’ll see for yourself that Maastricht doesn’t end at the Vrijthof. Sometimes you just have to take those few extra steps. That’s when Maastricht will surprise you with just how surprising the city centre really is. The Vrijthof has a number of little streets leading into it from all directions. They include Brusselsestraat, Grote Gracht, and De Kommel. Unlike the more idyllic boulevards in most of the rest of the city, these streets evoke a feeling of the urban, the artistic, the unknown. Here, students and locals come and go: artists, designers, professionals. It’s an area that’s moving fast: new shops, start-ups, young businesses, surprising concepts. Yet at the same time, it’s bursting with historic buildings, and is still very much a place where locals want to live. In truth, you can’t really describe the streets around the Vrijthof in a few words. It’s where local, university, business, authentic, forward-looking, and surprising Maastricht all come together.
You’ll feel like you’ve crossed the border, but you’re not quite there yet. Of course, you’re aware that Maastricht’s central location in the Euregio means you can be in Belgium very quickly. But you don’t really feel it until you see how the city, and the countryside around it, is layered with a unique mix of foreign influences. With the Sint Pietersberg hill, the historic caves, the vineyards, Fort Sint Pieter, and Château Neercanne as backdrop, this part of the city has everything you need to capture that holiday feeling. Sint Pieter was its own municipality until 1920. This part of the city was always outside the city walls (and so had it the toughest in times of war). Then, it was mainly farmers who lived here; now, it’s mostly families, epicureans, and a few descendants of the inhabitants of that old Sint Pieter. Today, Sint Pieter is Maastricht’s most popular residential district, not just for its beautiful houses but because of its ideal location between city and green. And it still feels like its own town, with its own social life, and charm, even though it’s just a stone’s throw away from the city park. In fact, it has the best of both worlds: village and city. Nature and culture.
The Markt square is the heart of Maastricht, boasting the contemporary architecture of the municipal offices and crowned by the beautiful seventeenth-century city hall. The Markt’s character suits the centre of a city, with the bustle of businesspeople and a noisy weekly market.
The collection of streets between the city centre and the Jeker quarter is known as the Stokstraat quarter. It’s that historic corner of the city between two statues, ‘De Mestreechter Geis’ and ‘Slevrouwe’. All of these streets ultimately lead to the ever-charming, intimate and romantic Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. In this part of the city, you can find the warmth and charm of a classic Maastricht pub on virtually every corner.
It’s been called the most beautiful square in the country. Maybe it’s because when you stand in the middle of the Vrijthof and look around, you could almost forget you’re in the Netherlands. But perhaps it’s also because it’s the cultural heart of the city. The place where the theater is framed by intriguing museums and spectacular churches. But it’s also the place that undergoes a metamorphosis almost weekly, smoothly transitioning from each cultural season and event to the next.
Memorable stories, exciting anecdotes and interesting trivia you might never have been able to uncover yourself. Why not discover the real Maastricht? Experience the tales of the city with a local guide who would be happy to show you our true highlights. Don’t miss the chance to take a walking tour of the city with a professional VVV guide.
A boat trip is a great way to discover and experience the city and relax at the same time. You won’t even have to lift a finger… Floating along the Meuse, with the contours of the city as your backdrop, on board with a cup of coffee and a delicious piece of sweet tart... Simply delightful. As soon as you board one of the tour boats, you will feel that holiday feeling taking hold, and you can relax and enjoy learning even more about this beautiful city.
Do you dare go underground? Not afraid of the dark? Go exploring in the caves below the St. Pietersberg hill. No light, no sound, no smell, no radiation, no pollution, no mobile phone signal, no idea of time…Over the centuries, the mining of marl in the caves has created a labyrinth of more than 20,000 tunnels. 'Block breakers' and artists alike have left their marks here. The caves also served as a refuge for the people of Maastricht during the many sieges of the city, including during the Second World War.
Step back in time and experience history on a tour of Fort St. Pieter. Your enthusiastic guide will take you to the well, the embrasures, and the cannon gallery while entertaining you with wonderful stories, anecdotes, and facts. The tour ends atop the Fort with a spectacular view of the city, the Meuse, and the surrounding countryside.
Between 1575 and 1825, a network of underground passageways or mine galleries was created on the western side of Maastricht. In times of siege, these tunnels were used to surprise the enemy from underground. During the Second World War, the people of Maastricht spent many anxious hours here sheltering from the bombardments. Visit the vaulted chambers, powder rooms, and imposing bombproof shelters, and learn more about this unique monument of military engineering. You can also see the above-ground and underground fortifications in a single tour. The Fortifications Maastricht Foundation has developed two different tours to show you them: the Du Moulin Line tour and the Long Kazematten Walk.
Old Masters & Modern Art. This iconic building, designed by Italian architect Aldo Rossi, is home to an always exciting programme of temporary exhibits, museum tours, lectures, and children’s activities. The Bonnefanten Museum is also the place to find unusual art gifts (online too!), and to have lunch, at the famous Museumcafé Ipanema.
A trip through time. Everything about the wild animals of the Limburg landscape, from the Mosasaurus that lived here in the Cretaceous sea to the fish you’ll find living in Limburg’s streams today and the bees in the beehive. The story of how humans and nature interact. Plus: exhibits, garden, and shop.
FLO Maastricht is the trendy ‘little sister’ of the world-famous Parisian establishments Julien, La Coupole, and FLO. Aficionados of French cuisine will delight in FLO. In addition to the Fruit de Mer menu, we have an extensive seasonal menu and the popular FLO à la carte menu.
Your day out in Maastricht should start right here, tucked away between the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein square and the river. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the atmosphere is always welcoming. The highlight is always the afternoon aperitif on the sunny terrace or at the comfortable bar.
Just 200 metres from Vrijthof square and Onze Lieve Vrouweplein square, it’s one of the Jeker quarter’s best-kept secrets. Petit Bonheur is a little piece of France, serving extended dinners in the interior courtyard all year long. The kitchen serves Italian and French dishes based on fresh, seasonal products.
Inside, there is a nice ambiance because of the cozy seating, relaxing music and cuisine. Outside, the large terrace is the ideal place to enjoy a good beer on a summer day or to eat one of the popular salads. Besides the many dishes, there are also delicious snacks with drinks available in the evening.
Although the name might suggest otherwise, Café Sjiek (Chic) is a casual restaurant where you can enjoy 'posh' food and wine in the Maastricht sense. The menu includes dishes from the region, such as "zoer vleis', 'bloedworst' and sauerkraut. It is also a classy wine bar with fine wines per bottle or glass.
Voted best café in the Netherlands 2012. The famously good service, unique menu with both regional and house specialities, and the four house secret recipe cocktails add up to make a visit to Sjinkerij de Bóbbel a true experience. The house drinks are also available to take home or as a gift.
Café Falstaff is located alongside the romantic St. Amorsplein square in the heart of Maastricht. This cosy pub is famous for its extensive selection of beers, including no less than 70 specialty beers. Café Falstaff also has a separate upper floor for serving drinks and buffets or à la carte dinners. We can accommodate groups of up to 25 people for meals and up to 100 for drinks. During the summer, you are also welcome to sit outside in the company of the statue of St. Amor which graces the square.
Fashion size 42 and up. An institution famous in Maastricht and beyond. Come by and discover for yourself that plus sizes don’t have to mean dressing out of style. Fashion consultants can offer honest, sound advice. Just give it a try, because if you change your mind they do take returns.
The Netherlands can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
The best way to get around Maastricht city centre is on foot, but there are buses and taxis available. Car parking is scarce in the centre. Bus timetables are displayed at all bus stops, and information is available from the Public Transport Travel Information operator. From the train station you can get to the centre of Maastricht easily by bus. You can catch any of the buses numbered 1 to 11 leaving from platform B (at the bus station in front of the train station).
Pharmacies are generally open from 8AM or 9AM-5:30PM or 6PM weekdays, with Saturday and Sunday openings on a rota basis. Rotas are displayed at each pharmacy. Telephone 112 (local number) in the event of a medical emergency. Pharmacy Maastricht UMC+ Address: P. Debyelaan 25, 6229 HX Maastricht Opening hour: 24 hours, seven days a week Phone: +31 43 387 6543