Surrounding area, Maastricht
In Vaals, , about 30 km from Maastricht, you can visit the Drielandenpunt, this location is situated at the highest hill of the Netherlands, and is for that reason a tourist attraction. It has a huge labyrinth made of hedges, in which u can get yourself lost. In the middle of the labyrinth is a kind of platform, from which u have a view over the labyrinh, with all the people walking in it. To get here, take the "Interliner," to Aachen (Aken) a bus that departs from the busstation near the central railroadstation and get off the bus in Vaals.
Located about 10 miles from Maastricht. Although the city itself is not special at all, it offers several nice attractions:
* Europe's largest artificial outdoor ski track.
Currently they are also working on a large, indoor ski track with artificial snow.
* Strijthagen & Mondo Verde
Here you'll find some great routes for walking, running, horseback riding and bicycling. Currently they are working on the Castle Gardens that will surround the villas that are located there. Curretly they are building: several greenhouses with different climate types, ponds, bridges, parks, a clone of the Trevi fountain and a Roman villa.
* Drive-in cinema
The last drive-in cinema in the Netherlands.
The "Heuvelland" (Land of Hills) of Limburg is an unique scenery, that attracks many tourists who pass through it by train. Well, there is even a more interesting way to get an impression of the beaty of this place, namely by taking a tour on the "Miljoenenlijn-express" This is an original 19 th century locomotive, that could have come right from out a Dickens novel! The train has old fashioned cabins, furniture, diningrooms and it departs from a small town called "Schin op geul" In the summer there are three departures: 11.20, 14.20, 17.20; during the wintertime the train leaves at 11.10, 14.10, 17.30. You can take a stopping train to Schin op geul, and from there youre journey back in time starts! Prices depend on the miles you are making.
If you want to experience how it must have been, when soldiers were defending their country against the germans in world war 2 you must take look at this fort. This fort is situated in Belgium, nearby Maastricht and it has a fantastic construction of tunnels and blockhouses. There's a lot of original things that are still functioning, like an old elevator that goes down enormously fast; and you have a great view through the loop-holes, overloking the Albert-canal. Walking trough the tunnels and exploring each room in the complex you'll get a good impression on how it was for those many soldiers to be there. The fort is open for individuals from march untill november from 10 am to 16 pm on specific data, that you can acknowledged by contacting the phonenumber below
The Hoensbroek castle was build in the 13 th. Century, although many parts of the castle that date from this century have vanished. The eldest part of the caste is the round tower, which was build in the 14 th. Century. The castle has been the residence of many counts, that ruled over the regio of Hoensbroek. The castle is the main tourist attraction of the regio. At the courtyart tourists can participate in silly mediavel games such as walking on stilts and inside the castle there are three interesting spots. First: a beautiful room, whith a lot of decorations, called the Seal room; second: a secret tunnel and room that are hidden behind a closet (the room is called “Verbörgenis” – whch means hiding-place - and finally the dining room, that is interesting for its “Kotsgat” (puke hole), a hole that enables the dinner guests to puke in the castle’s ditch. Table manners must have been quite interesting in those days…to get to Hoensbroek you have to take the train to Heerlen; from heerlen there are busses to Hoensbroek.
In this museum you can find a complete Roman bathhouse. In the days of the Roman Empire it was called the bathhouse of Coriovallum, which is the Roman name for the town that is nowadays called Heerlen. This bathhouse was build in the second century and in those days it was the most important building in town. Coriovallum was an important trading place and all travellers, merchants, soldiers went to this place not only to take a bath but also to get a massage, visit a doctor, have a quick snack or play games. The museum has some interestings things that you must see. First: there’s an unique collection of Roman pottery. In some of the pieces, there is an inscription of the name of the potter (Lucius), so that we now know that one of the original inhabitants of Heerlen was called Lucius. Second: There’s a mediavel copy of a Roman map on which the erea of Limburg is depicted, including the cities of Maastricht (Trajectum ad mosam) and Heerlen. Third: there are some tombstones and a coin dating from the period of Hadrianus. I personally think, that when you have ever been in Rome, having seen lots of things – temples, coins, tools etc. – of the Romans, this museum is not really exciting. But if you have special interest in the way how the Romans used to live in the area of Heerlen, the museum will give you a good impression.
To get there: take the train to Heerlen. Train leaves two times an hour (approx. '05 and '25)
Valkenberg is a small town that is – in the summer – overcrowded by tourists, most of them dutch. I myself consider this town as Benidorm of the Netherlands, and that is not meant as a complement. The streets, pubs, sights and monuments loose their charm because of it, and it is as if there are more tourists than local inhabitants during the summer in this town. Yet, this small town has some interesting things to go for. There’s an old castle (10 th century) on a hill that overlooks the town and the surrounding hills. The castle itself remains as a ruin, but it is still a place that gives a very good impression on how the counts of Valkenberg must have lived. The castle is a unique one in the Netherlands, because nowhere in the rest of the country, you will find a castle on a hill. In the summer there are spectacular plays at the castle, in which tourists can take part. There’s a small entrance fee for it. Under the castle there is a labyrinth of tunnels called the “Fluweel” cave. This place is open to public, but you have to buy a special ticket for it. The town of Valkenberg has also the eldest railroad-station of the Netherlands. It was build in 1853 and has a remarkable look. Valkenberg is appreciated by tourists because it has a lot of facilities for relaxation. It has a casino (address: Cauberg 28), one can take a course of waters at the Thermae 2000 (address: Cauberg 27), you can visit an old coalmine; a “koempel” (“miner” in Limburgian dialect) will guide you, or you go with your family to the “Valkenier” a fun-fair.
Catch the 420 bus from Maastricht to Aachen.It runs every 30 minutes during the day.Aachen is only about a 20-30 minute ride away and Aachen is a cool place to visit.There are many old buildings and churches in Aachen and of course there are many bars and cafes to sample the beer and food.
Rederij Stiphout offers a wide range of boat tours on the river Maas. You can take a 50 minute cruise on the river and combine with a visit to the caves. You can also take the boat that goes to the Belgian city of Liege. There are several other trips available. On board you can order drinks and snacks.
A 50 minute cruise costs 5,90 Euros, a day trip to Belgium costs 18,40 euros.
This village is one of the most beautifull in the near of Maastricht. Its situated at the food of the Gulpener mountain (berg) which is a hill of 150 metres. The village has an old churchtower dating from the 12 th. century. At the Gulpen beerbrewery you can have the wellknown Gulpener Beer. The village has also a tropic swimmingpool.
Only 15 minutes by car from Maastricht, you will find Fort Eben-Emael, in Belgium.
This was allegedly the STRONGEST FORTRESS OF EUROPE in its time. Yet, it took the Germans only 15 MINUTES to take control over the fortress when the second world war started!
You will learn how this was possible when you visit the fort, which is opened to the public only one weekend per month. So check out the website and plan your visit in advance!
On open days, a guided tour will be given, which takes you through the endless tunnels of the fortress. This tour will give you a vivid idea of how the soldiers lived there and how terribly wrong things went on that May 10th 1940.
After the interesting tour, you can walk outside on the terrain and visit the bunkers and guns of the fortress.
Moreover, halfway the marked route (3 km), there is a fantastic panorama point over the valley of the river Maas.
Do not underestimate the size of the fortress, you can easily spend half a day here, museum, guided tour through the tunnels and walk outside included!
Rue du Fort 40
Noorbeek is a popular Limburgean village that is situated near Belgium and Germany.Its a must-see when you visit Maastricht. It takes one hour by bike when you follow the mainroad from Maastricht to Aachen and turn to the right at Margraten. Striking landmarks of Noorbeek are the 18 th century timber framing farms, and the "pley" (square) were you find the famous old St.Brigida church and Chapel, the Queen Wilhelmina Monument (by Gerrit frint dating from 1923).Noorbeek was the firts village liberated from the Nazies in 1944 and a monument at the square reminds us of that day. At the Onderstraat nr. 12 you can see the Maria-farm dating from the 18 th century. At the Kempestraat nr 5 and 6 you find authentic timberframing houses dating from the early 19 th century.The hillside and woods and weadows surrounding this lovely smallvillage are a good deal for long or short walks into the nature. There is a tourist office near the Pley.
Some of the most fun I have had in and around Maastricht is when I rent a bike.Bike rental is available right beside the train station.There is a 7 euro charge per day and a deposit of 50euro.It is a good idea to visit the VVV and purchase a map detailing all the bike routes in Limburg and some in Belgium as well.The areas to the west of Maastricht are flat for the most part and cycling is very easy.The countryside is very scenic and just a delight to visit.Going south or southeast of Maastricht will carry you into more hilly terrain but the countryside is breathtaking.I spent 4 days starting my ride in Maastricht and riding all day and ending up back in Maastricht before nightfall.I would advise carrying a small backpack with some water and something to eat and just make a day of riding around enjoying the rural areas around Limburg.
Allready at the north of the Maasdal (Maas Valley), in Stein, you can see it shing on the horizon: DSM. Yes, we are now most off the beaten as possible, since here Maastricht Surroundings stop since Maastricht tourist offices do not generally see places like Geleen and Sittard as immediate surrounding. For tourist info on these places check under the names of Sittard and so on. For the South Limburgian tourist district, there is a good co-opration with the tourist offices in Maastricht, Valken burg and Heerlen, they overlap eachother in proviving informations, reservations, in booking hotelrooms (yes, at crowded festivals like the Preuvenemint, it is all booked out as for hotels ot restaurants; so you might find yourself being in a hotel in Heerlen). Many of the regional off the beaten places mentioned in my Maastricht pages are located in this page, since they are yet too small, and therfor not large enough to build many usefull tips about, yet, they should in my eyes be mentioned since they are absolutely interested, especially in case you want to see soemthing new. My list of off the beaten path tips will not be complete without mentioning the DSM, at the border of Sittard-Geleen city. Geleen has grown out to an importat industrial centre. Once here the biggest coalmine of Europe was located. Now the surroundinmg is dominated by a petro-chemical industry DSM. (Dutch State Mines) after the closing of the mines in South-East Limbeurg, it developed as a artifial fertilizer company. Coming/going from Maastricht at the highway to the north you cant escape the look of this factory complex. Here it is clear that we are dealing with a future new monument. Lovers of indart (industrial art) love to have it as object for photografie or artfilms. Indeed, I must admit, already as a little kid I was impressed by the large (kilometres long) complex which in the evening dark is sort of magic by its lights, tubes and towers.
On the second day of our visit to Maastricht (19 June 2013) we made an early morning walk in the countryside, our point of departure was the village of Bemelen. Notice the characteristic hollow road, a rarity in the Netherlands.