Albert Heijn is the largest food retailer in the Netherlands, with a market share of about 30 %. They have six Winkels in Maastricht alone.
Yes, Winkel is a cute Dutch word for shop or store (reminiscent of the English words twinkle, sprinkle, wrinkle or crinkle), so it’s no wonder I always enjoy shopping a lot more as soon as I have crossed the border into the Netherlands. Obviously it’s more fun to go shopping in a Winkel than in some grungy old supermarket or Lebensmittelgeschäft in one of the neighboring countries.
The Albert Heijn Winkel in the photo is the one on Plein 1992, just across from the public library. It is large, clean, bright and cheery and it has a huge selection of attractive products. And it is air-conditioned, which is a blessing if you happen to be in Maastricht during a blistering heat wave as I was.
Although Albert Heijn has a reputation for being up-market, I found the prices quite reasonable.
Of course there are always lots of bicycles parked out front, because that’s the way people go shopping in the Netherlands.
A general shopping tip :
Maastricht market days are wednesdays and fridays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
On thurdays shops stay open until 9 p.m.
And then there are the "koopzondagen" : on every first sunday of the month the shops in the city center are open.
What I liked most about the shops in the old city center is that many of them have still protected their old façades, which brings a lot of atmosphere here.
Situated in a shoppingmall outside the city center this shop has a tradition of chees selling, especially the well known and world famous Limburg cheese, of which the chees "Romedoe" is one example. The cheese smells, but is delicious.
What to buy: Romedoe cheese.
With the Maastricht guest card you recieve discounts at many shops in Maastricht. You can buy the card at the Maastricht tourist office (VVV) for about 7 euro. The card can be used for 16 days. There is also a Zuid Limburgse guest card but this one mainly gives discounts at restaurants and tourist attractions.
What to buy: Maastricht aajt (packet as a present) with a glass of the Gulpener beer. Grottenchees. Its chees coming from the caves of the village of Valkenberg (Joosten Fromages et Vins, Wijckerbrugstraat 43); and of course vlaaien (Patessery Royal, wyckerbrugstraat 13). at gall en gall you buy Els, a tasty iquor (Brusslse poort). During the season of Carnival you can buy "nonnevotten," sold at bakeries, this is a product of fritter, very sweet, originally from the town of Sittard. When you have been a on a daytrip to Valkenburg, having visited the mergel (marble) caves there, you can buy a marble stone tabled with something inscribed in it, you can wait for it when they make one for you. At pattisery Royal you can buy "mestreechter keukskes" these coockies are in the form of the Maastricht arm of coats. Typical finally are the sweet "bon bons" the chocolade called "limburgian marble blocks" these are in the shape of little marble blockes and the boxes are embellished with photo's from the marble caves. its white sweet soft chocolade.
There is a little shop on the big St Servaas Bridge. This is the best, and one of the few, places in Maastricht to buy souvenirs and postcards. It looks a lot nicer than all the regular shops and it's not that expensive.
Don't be put off by the fact that I don't know the name of this fabulous bookshop. Anyone in Maastricht will be able to tell you where to find it.
The shop is housed in a beautiful old stone church. It is a truly fabulous setting. Just outside you will find a great cafe/bar where you can enjoy a long cold beer in the outdoors.
What to buy: The kind of book really doesn't matter. It's the knowledge that you bought it in this great shop that will stay with you forever.
What to pay: Whatever books cost in the Netherlands
Moonbeams is a small long shops with piles and cabinets full of books and records.
A collectors heaven!
2010 Update: Member iforget let ne know the shop closed it doors :(
What to buy: Anything from your youth years.
This store has amazing clothing, shoes and accessories for women. Most of the items are one of a kind type of artsy, timeless designs that are appropriate for any age. The store itself is beautiful, conveying an exotic, sensuous setting for comfortable shopping. The staff is very open and gracious and I would highly recommend a visit to this store if you are looking for items out of the ordinary that you won't see on anyone else.
What to buy: Coats, bags, shoes, jewelry. They also carry a perfume line from France called Esteban that consists of exotic scents.
What to pay: This store is not tremendously expensive, but it is not cheap either. Coats ranged from 500-1200 Euros or thereabouts.
At the tourits office (VVV) you can buy some interesting books about the history of Maastricht. The blue “maastricht in beeld” is a great book on Maastricht with beautifull illustration and backgrounds. Also a lot of fiction has been written about Maastricht, that is taking place in the region. At this moment, “la Citoyenne” a historic roman about love and dispair in industrialization Maastricht is a beautifull one, as well as the witings of Hendrick Veldeke. As well the kiekoet (heggenstraat 2) has a lot of souvenirs. Also a nice souvenir is a “leesplenkske” with which you can learn Limburgian languahe or Maastricht language. The Panhuis (panhoes) at the marketsquare sells carnivalstuff as well as tourist stuff. Buy a typical carnivalmask, which you can hang up in your house on the wall. At some shops they sell artefacts which are a part of volksreligion, such as little china statues of maria and saints. Finally, Maastricht being the city in the counttry for fashion and elegance, you might buy some of the newest fashion here. Bona Venia is one of the chique fashion shops in the city centre.
Interesting produsts that are not so often bought are limburgse mosterd. You can buy this delicassy at Adriaan (Sint Pieterstraat 36). Maastricht ultimate shop for fresh coffee and coffee related products (chocolade and coffee liquors like mocca etc) is located at the Wolfstraat. It is a very popular shop amongst local coffee lovers its a very small shop with a coffeemill. At the stokstraat Kiki Niesten and in myck Max are famous fashion boutiques. Maastricht has recently also a Bijenkorf, located at the grote Staat. For art and antiques there are old furntiture, paintings and interesting artefacts to buy at galery Myrèse (Sint Pieterstaat 21). For old maps and old books you can go to Maaslands Antiquariaat (Stokstraat 20). The best bookshop in town is the Tribune (Kapoenstraat 8). Finally if you like limburgian music as a nice souvenir, go to Free Record store at the Wolfstraat. Ask for Frans Theuniz, de Potsvrouwe or Ut Mèrretkoerand you can get an impression.
At saturday there is an antique and flee-market in front of the station (stationstraat) which starts early morning and ends around 4 pm. On thursday there is a farmermarket with biological products and on friday there is a food-market at the Marketsquare. Special markets are also mentioned in the tourist office magazine.
Maastricht and the province of Limburg are known for pie - and for good reason. From apple hazelnut to cherry to pear, this is some of the best pie you'll ever have. I especially recommend the pie from this place below "Bisschopsmolen." More info on location is on the way..
The last few months many new stores have been opened in Maastricht.
Two huge new shopping malls were built over the last two years and I have to say: It's amazingly beautiful!
In March 2007 the final stages of building will be finished and there will be a grand opening of Mosae Forum. Entre Deux will be ready a little before that.
Check these two links to see what it will look like:
I can definitely recommend you all to go shopping in these two shopping centres... They're beautiful and the shops are GREAT!
What to pay: It totally depends on which shops you decide to shop in ;).
There are two H&Ms with low prices for cool clothes, but there also is a Zara and a Mango (with medium to high prices).
Since 1847 flowers were cultivated in a big innercity garden. The flower farm and shop changed 3 times around the garden, but stayed in the hands of the same family. Nowadays it's a wonderful shop at the Stokstraat.
What to buy: Flowers