Sightseeing in Maastricht

History of Maastricht

Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Originally an ancient Roman city, today it is the home of some 120.000 inhabitants in the south of The Netherlands. It has a beautiful medieval inner-city and is widely known for its history, culture, art, good restaurants, luxury shopping and high-level interdisciplinary education. Generally known as the venue of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 and as “the balcony of Europe”, it has a distinctly international orientation. The center of Maastricht is very compact. Large parts of the center are for pedestrians only and most of the sights are within walking distance. In the early 19th century Maastricht became one of the largest industrial towns of the country. Recently many old factory buildings are renovated and adapted to new purposes.

Should you like a tour around the city, the tourist office offers “City walks with a local” for those wanting all the insider knowledge of the city. Click here to find out more. We have also included three of those tours in the Social Program.

Historical sites

  • Bonnefanten Museum houses a mix of classical and contemporary art including large collection of works of the Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish painting. -
  • Natural History Museum of Maastricht is tucked away in the history centre of the city and houses an array of specimens from across the EUregion, including the Mosasaurs excavated from right here in Maastricht. -
  • Boekhandel Dominicanen is a bookshop located in a 700 year old church, regularly rating amongst the most beautiful bookshops on the world. Drop in to browse the stack or grab a coffee and marvel at the architecture. -
  • Onze Lieve Vrouwplein and Basilica are two must see sights right in the centre of the city. The Plein that surrounds “The Basilica of our Lady” has been voted one of the most gezellig squares in the whole of the Netherlands and offers a variety of dining options. The church dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries and houses stunning panelling of stained glass windows.
  • Sint Pietersberg is the Maastricht’s mountain located on the south edge of the city, providing the best opportunity for looking to escape the city of a moment and stretch their legs. -
  • For those wanting to dig a little deeper you can plan a visit to the Caves with Maastricht Underground.
  • Sphinx passage shows the history of the Sphinx factory. It shows family portraits, factory builings and old toiletpots, tableware and other ceramic products. Of special interest are the large glass tubes produced by the Sphinx for 19th century town gas supply. You can visit the passage for free every day from 8.00 till 22.00. The passage is near the Student Hotel and the Pathé cinema.
  • The Sint Janskerk is one of the many churches of Maastricht. This historical church with an iconic red tower. During the summer months you can visit the church and climb the tower which give a beautiful view of the Vrijthof and Maastricht.
  • Museum at the Vrijthof is one of the museums of Maastricht. This museum is known for its temporary exhibitions. At the moment they have an exhibition of Jan Stel called Manmade / No Human.