City break: Maastricht

02 December 2022

Welcome to the Burgundian Maastricht! In this city, you'll really feel like you're a tourist in a different country.

But how could that be otherwise with Belgium and Germany as neighboring countries. The capital of beautiful South Limburg is all about enjoyment. And whether that is adventurous, culinary or cultural, you decide! In this blog we give you the best insights of Maastricht, in terms of food & drinks, shopping, cultural outings, enjoying nature and finally fun things to do with kids in Maastricht.

Eating out & drinks in Maastricht

Brandweerkantine (Fire brigade canteen)

No shortage of cafes, restaurants and brasseries, but where can you have a really good and cozy dinner in Maastricht?

If you think of burgundy coziness and good food, the Vrijthof in Maastricht must come to mind. A large square where markets can be found regularly, but which is especially known for its many welcoming restaurants. Such as Il bacaro. A bistro that locals praise for their delicious Italian food. You can have a drink there, but also enjoy it extensively in a Mediterranean ambiance. The menu consists of small traditional appetizers that have been available at an Italian wine bar (a Bacaro) near the bar for centuries. In addition, you can go to basically all the terraces on the Vrijthof for at least a nice special beer or glass of wine.

Until sometime in the mid-1990s, fire trucks still raced out of the station here daily to put out fires. Now the fire engine garage has been transformed into a tastefully decorated lunch and dinner spot, B*kantine. A must-see for people who like good food in a cool setting, as it is completely furnished with items from the time the barracks were built!


On the banks of the Maas, in the middle of lively Wyck, you'll find Cinq. A trendy French bistro where you can go all week for a healthy lunch, dinner, drinks, a hot cup of coffee or all kinds of delicious snacks. If the weather is nice, you can also enjoy the historic center of Maastricht from their sunny terrace on the river Meuse.

Just down the road, Peter Lemmens decided to start his own bakery over 40 years ago, and for most of that time he has been a household name in the Maastricht area. You can get the most delicious patisserie, breads, desserts and pastries there. However, what they are really known for is the delicacy of Limburg: the flan! Since 2010, the business has also expanded to include a chocolaterie. So if, like us, you also can't stay away from chocolate I would definitely stop in!

(Did you know that Limburgers are working hard to make the vlaai a gastronomic heritage? Just like Gouda cheese from Gouda and Parma ham from Parma!)

Lunch in the Jekerkwartier

A little further down the Koestraat you can almost imagine yourself in France. One of the liveliest streets in Maastricht. Old and cozy with hanging flags, busy terraces and lots of green. It gives you a real vacation feeling! Even though it is one of the shortest streets in Maastricht, there is more than enough to do. Cheese lovers can eat their fill at the Kaasbar, where unique cheeses are paired with sometimes unexpected foods. Spicy blue cheese topped with a chocolate chip cookie? Try it at Kaasbar, you'll be amazed! For sushi in Maastricht, visit Thai Ichi (the best sushi in town!). Or enjoy brunch/lunch at Clicheé.

Perhaps the coziest café in the Netherlands, at least the smallest, is Petit café Moriaan! A few minutes walk from the Vrijthof and the Koestraat, you can sit here cosily inside or on the terrace on one of Maastricht's most romantic squares, Op de Thermen. Enjoying special beers together, delicious coffees and good wines paired with the French-oriented menu is the focus here.

Shopping in Maastricht

Little shop in Wyck

Maastricht has something for everyone. For hip vintage items you have to be in Wyck, while the Stokstraat district is a lot fancier. Be amazed by unique stores in the old and industrial creative breeding ground the Sphinxkwartier, walk through the fairly new district Céramique with its special architecture or imagine yourself in France and get a real vacation feeling in the Jekerkwartier district. You can also discover the shopping centers Mosae Forum or Entre deux. To make things easier for you, we have listed the real shopping highlights below!

If a store's slogan is "Life is a party, dress like it!" you can't pass it up, right? At Odysse you won't regret it either! Odysse is a store where they sell the most beautiful dresses, so not something for an everyday outfit, but definitely worth checking out. Besides their nice selection, they have a beautiful view of the Maas River.

A fun store run by multiple sellers? At Your Market Stall you can rent your own stall and sell your second-hand, or of course new or homemade, products. So the offer is always different and there is something for everyone!

Fond of jewelry? At Joyeria they sell handmade jewelry and accessories from unique ateliers in Madrid and Barcelona. Or stop by My Jewellery, where you can score the trendiest jewelry, special fashion items and trendy accessories!

Dominicanen bookstore

For bookworms, Maastricht has a big surprise in store! Bookstore Dominicanen is a bookstore like you have never seen before, because it is located in an old church. People don't call this the most beautiful bookstore in the world for nothing! About two hundred years ago the church lost its function, since then it has had several special uses, including a bicycle shed, snake house and carnival temple (This one could hardly have been missing in South Limburg huh).

Besides the cozy shopping streets, the Vrijthof market is also a good starting point for a whole day of shopping!

Goods & Fabrics Market: Every Wednesday and Friday there are hundreds of market stalls at the market. The Wednesday market is more about food and culture, while the Friday Market presents a wide range of clothing, fabrics and related materials. Every Thursday you can buy local sustainable products at the organic farmers' market at the Ruiterij in Wyck. Every Saturday you can spend hours browsing among antique furniture or vintage frills in the Boschstraat. Then on Sunday, it's time for another Brocantemarkt on De Markt in the city center, where art, antiques and brocante come together. From the market, you can easily walk to one of our favourite shopping centers in Maastricht: the Mosae Forum.

Exploring culture

Marres during Museumnacht

Culturally, you won't get bored easily, but what are the real standouts for a cultural getaway in Maastricht? Below we list some of our favorites.

Challenging yourself and better understanding the world we live in and connecting society with the art world is the goal of the Bonnefanten museum. The collections have their own appeal, which is why a visit to the Bonnefanten is not just another museum visit. You will be amazed at all the hidden gems! At the Bonnefanten they try to give underexposed representatives of art history a place for the wider public, so you won't see too many well-known works here.

And the unique shape of the building also makes it a nice addition to the 'skyline' of Maastricht.


Do you prefer to take all the pictures during a trip? Then the photo museum at the Vrijthof may be for you! At this photo museum in Maastricht you will find a new exhibition with refreshing works twice a year.

More of a book fanatic? At the printing museum you will learn all about the history of book printing. The now indispensable invention of Johannes Gutenberg. In addition to historical printing, this museum is also a graphic workshop.

For lovers of architecture, design and urbanism, there is also plenty to do during your city break in Maastricht. At Bureau Europa, they organize lectures, exhibitions, projects and other activities in that area. They also organize various themed walks throughout the year.

Steambrewery Bosch (previously De Keyzer)

As we said: Maastricht is completely Burgundian. During your city trip to this city, you can't skip the local specialties. Although you probably won't be able to cover all the dozens of city breweries and culinary hotspots. Are you a real beer lover? Then our tip to you is: visit the steam beer brewery De Keyzer and follow the entire brewing process during a tour. And not unimportant, let yourself be surprised by the taste of their lovely special brews!

For a sensational museum experience, you really should visit Marres. Here you won't often find just paintings on the wall. There is plenty for young and old to discover here through physical and sensory experiences of contemporary culture. In addition, you can enjoy delicious Mediterranean food at Marres Kitchen, day and night. Weather permitting in the beautiful city garden, a green and calm place in the middle of Maastricht's busy city.

Fun with kids

On adventure with kids

Of course you can do all the other activities together with children, but we have also listed some things that will really make your kids' vacation unforgettable.

Would your child like to become the new Hans Klok? (A famous dutch magician!) At the Museum of Illusions you can be amazed by holograms, take a closer look at optical illusions and try to figure out exactly how things work. Can't figure it out? No worries! A scientific explanation is also available for each illusion.

What was swimming around in the Dutch Cretaceous Sea? That's a question that will be answered after a visit to the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht! Inside and outside there is plenty to do, regardless of the weather you can interact with nature! At the NHM, you can view several fossils from the chalk era, including some of the Mosasaurus. Which is also called the mesh lizard, how cool is that!

Lumiere is the place for movies in maastricht. The cinema is located in an old factory in the trendy Sphinx quarter, a unique place for an outing with the kids. Children's movies play during the day and the cafe has a fun play corner.


You won't find this in the rest of the Netherlands, but how cool is this. With or without kids! The marl caves are atmospherically lit so you can also admire the most beautiful marl and sand sculptures. MergelRijk is perhaps the most fun cave experience there is for kids. With an activity and quest booklet, they can find their way through the cave. Where along the way they can look for shark teeth and fossils and a marl cube to work on themselves. Maybe you will find another fossil! In short, there is plenty to do at the marl caves. Among other things, visit the mushroom farm (?!), the 18th-century hideaway chapel and see the life-size sculpture of the Night Watch!

At petting zoo Daalhoeve, in the Daalhof neighborhood, children can have hours of fun with the animals present. There are alpacas, chickens, rabbits, a pony and you name it! Come and see what animals there are to discover?

A brasserie with a petting zoo, cable car and a large outdoor playground? At de Dwaze herder (the foolish shepherd) you will find it all! On the terrace you can order tasty dishes from the menu for adults and children. And if it rains you can also all go inside, there is even an indoor playground!

Enjoying nature

Landscape of Limburg

With this landscape you would really think that you have actually arrived in France. But no, you are still walking on Dutch soil. One of the famous hills, the Sint-Pietersberg, is within walking distance of the city. Want to explore some more peaks? Then rent a Vespa entirely in style and discover the secrets of the South. Drive to one of the ancient castles nearby, or explore the banks of the Meuse River for hidden gems.

In Maastricht, you really can't ignore the Maas River! Take an impressive boat trip from the water along the historical highlights of the city. With their 5 passenger ships, Rederij Stiphout sails the Maas and Albert Canal daily to show you the most beautiful spots of the region! Prefer to stay with your feet on the mainland? Spot beautiful different boats from the shore or stroll along the Maaspromenade.

The city is surrounded by hilly landscapes where you'll spot the most magnificent castles. Rent a steed at the hostel and cycle through a veritable fairytale on a sunny day! If you follow the banks of the Meuse River you will pass castle De Hoogenweerth, among others. A very special castle, as it is located on a peninsula opposite the Sint-Pietersberg! And Château Neercanne, the only terraced castle in the Netherlands, where you can have lunch or dinner like a true prince(s)! Once here, you are one step across the border!

Can you also do a bit by car? Then castle Hoensbroek is definitely worth a visit! This castle is the only museum castle in Limburg and is completely furnished as it used to be.

Also sometimes described as the rough backyard of the Sphinx Quarter, in the middle of the city, is the Frontenpark. What makes this park special is its industrial appearance, to be admired from "the Krul. This is a vantage point on a remnant of an old exit from the Noorderbrug and it offers a unique view of the Sphinx Quarter and the Frontenpark.

Looking for the eagle owls in the Oehoevallei? You can do so from the renovated Kiekoet! The bird-watching spot on Sint-Pietersberg. Europe knows no greater owl species than the eagle owl, so bird lovers in Maastricht are lucky that they have been breeding in the Oehoe Valley since 1997. From the viewing hut, the Kiekoet, on the van Schaikweg you can try to spot some eagle owls! Or just enjoy the beautiful surroundings, of course.

Discover Maastricht

Ready to discover Maastricht for yourself? We've got you covered.Would you like to combine your visit to Maastricht with other Dutch cities? Go on a roadtrip through The Netherlands!