Car parking at Maastricht is well organized. In and around the old city center parking is not free.
Best look for a parking garage. At the major entrance roads to the city are display that indicates the free spots in the parking garages.
Besides the garages there are Park & Walk areas at 10 minutes walking from the town at:
- The Stadspark
- The Noorderbrug bridge
- The Cabergerweg
- The Bonnefanten (weekend only)
Also there is a Park & Ride area at Maastricht-North.
You can park here for free and travel by train to the Maastricht station or by P&R-bus ( € 1,-) to the Maastricht market.
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The bus station is next to the train station.
All local Veolia buses stop at the station and at the market square at the other side of the Maas river.
There are also buses to other towns (even Belgium ones) like bus 50 to Aachen Hbf in Germany.
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Maastricht can be easily reached by Intercity train.
There is a second local station to the South called Randwyck, next to the MECC conference center.
Real time Public Transportation info on the Maastricht map.
- Budget Travel
We came to Maastricht by bus from Aachen. We caught bus #50 from Theaterstrasse, just behind the theatre, but could also have boarded at the Hauptbahnhof. It was a Saturday so the bus ran every half hour (it is more frequent on a weekday). An all-day ticket cost €8.50 (May 2015 price), covering our return trip as well, and we could also have stopped off en route had we wanted to. You can buy your ticket from the driver as you board - no need to get one in advance.
The journey took a little bit over an hour (including a short stop to change driver in, I think, Gulpen) and took us through some pretty countryside and small towns. It wasn't at all obvious when we crossed the border into the Netherlands just a few miles from Aachen, until I started to notice that the language on the road and shop signs had changed. Gradually too the houses began to look more Dutch, gardens prettier and bicycles became more frequently seen.
The bus's terminus is at the main station in Maastricht from where it was about an eight minute walk to the centre, along a shopping street which on this Saturday had a flea market in progress.
We returned to Aachen by the same means, only waiting a short while for the bus back and this time alighting at the Hauptbahnhof.
As I have already mentioned in one of my Aachen reviews, there is no longer any direct train service between Maastricht (Netherlands) and Aachen (Germany), but these two cities are only thirty kilometers apart and are connected by the local Veolia bus line number 50, which runs four times an hour on weekdays, twice an hour on evenings and weekends.
It is a pleasant journey through a region of gently rolling hills, not flat like the rest of the Netherlands. The route is a two lane highway with bicycle paths on both sides, separated from the highway by a wide strip of grass – an arrangement that is more or less standard throughout the Netherlands.
The journey takes just about an hour, making all stops along the way. In 2012 I paid € 5.50 for the trip. As on any local bus, you just get on at a bus stop and pay the driver.
Update: in 2015 I bought a one-day “Euregioticket“ for € 18.00, to take the bus from Aachen to Maastricht and back on the same day. But in retrospect I think it would have been possible to buy one-way tickets for € 7.00 each way. (The “Euregioticket“ is a one-day pass for the entire region, not only there and back.)
In other parts of the Netherlands, the southern city of Maastricht does not have a reputation as a very good cycling city. Especially people from Groningen, in the far north of the country, are no doubt unimpressed when they come to Maastricht and find that the level of bicycle use is roughly half of what they are accustomed to.
But by any international standards, Maastricht is doing very well. Cycling in Maastricht has a modal share of almost 30% of all trips up to 7.5 km, which is really not bad at all. (For comparison, my home city of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, has just recently managed to get up to 15 % after a big push in recent years.)
Having recently been to Groningen, I can confirm that the cycling infrastructure up there is even better than in Maastricht – but Maastricht certainly has nothing to be ashamed of. It has two centrally located car-free bridges over the river and an extensive network of cycle lanes and paths.
My main photo on this tip is from 2015. The rest are from 2012.
Fifth photo: In addition to the many nodes of the new Knooppunt network of bicycle routes, there are still thousands of traditional bicycle route signs all over the Netherlands, so it is very easy to find your way.
The Maastricht Stadstram is a tourist sightseeing tram along the historical sites of the city.
Explanation during the 40 minutes ride either is in Dutch/German, Dutch/English, Dutch/French or a foreign language combination on request.
There are two trams in service.
Groups have priority.
Tu-Su: 13:00 – 14:00 – 15:00 – 16:00* (* only with enough passengers)
Ticket: Euro 6.00 (Adult)
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The train takes 2hr30 between Amsterdam and Maastricht you can catch the intercity and in 2015 it costs Euro25 one way 2nd class ticket which is rather expensive. You need to travel with an OV chipkaart which for single use is EURO1.
Website: http://www.ns.nl/en/travellers/homeAdd to your Trip Planner
Even though the Province of Limburg is out on a limb, as it were, Maastrich is still very easy to get to by train from anywhere else within the Netherlands. There are a couple of intercity trains per hour to and from the main railway junction at Utrecht, from where the whole Dutch railway system is accessible. These trains also stop at 's Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) and connect with the cross country line from Arnhem heading east to Vlissingen.
There are also two direct trains per day to Schiphol airport and an hourly international service to Brussels (direct on weekdays, via Liege at weekends).
In addition to the intercity services there are local stoptreinen to Roermond and Heerlen.
The station is located pretty much in the city centre on Spoorweglaan, about 5 minutes walk east of the St Servaas bridge.
This a quite a large station and has all the facilities you would expect including cafes, snack and convenience shops, ATM, cycle hire and left-luggage facilities.
For travel further afield the main bus station is immediately adjacent with local services and into Aachen in Germany from where you can join the German rail network.
- Budget Travel
When visiting Maastricht, the best option is to travel by train as parking is quick difficult and not to mention relative expensive (parking fees were increased on 01-01-2014, and now vary from 1.60 Euro up to 4 Euro's an hour, up to a maximum day fee).
Train regular daily intervals (holidays and early / late connections are different):
- Each 30 minutes an Intercity of the "Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)" will arrive from or depart into the directon of Amsterdam/Eindhoven. (standard platform no. 4)
- Each hour an international train will arrive from or depart into the direction Liege (Luik). (standard platform no. 5)
- Each 30 minutes an intercity of "Arriva" will arrive from or depart into the direction from the direction of Heerlen. (standard platform no. 6).
Further a variety of the so called "stoptrein" will arrive from or depart in all directions. These will stop on each small station between the main stations.
Since shortly Maastricht is provided with 3 trainstations:
- North (Arriva only)
- Main Station (Arriva, NS and Belgium railways)
- Randwijck (NS and Belgium railways)
Worth doing if you are staying a few days in Maastricht is to have a day out to the former capital city of the Holy Roman Empire, Aachen, where Charlemagne reigned and for 500 years the German Kings were crowned.
The #50 bus runs between the two cities every 15 minutes during the day and half-hourly in the evening with the journey taking about an hour each way. Although the bus from Maastricht, which leaves from the bus station next to the railway station, is signed Aachen HbF (railway station) it in fact loops into the city centre before returning by the route it arrived.
A day ticket, which is valid for buses only, not only allows you to visit Aachen but can also be used to stop-off en route at Vaals (for the mountain!) or/and Gulpen if you fancy a beer at the Gulpener brewery pub. At the time of writing (Dec 2012) this cost seven Euros and can be bought from the bus driver.
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- Beer Tasting
I travelled to Maastricht on a small local train (second photo) from the Belgian city of Liège, 26 km to the south. The journey took just over half an hour, with stops at several small stations along the way.
That was fine, but I was surprised to find that international train service to Maastricht is actually quite spotty.
From the north, that is from the rest of the Netherlands, there are two InterCity trains an hour, so that’s quite all right. But there are no longer any direct trains from Brussels or Antwerp (you have to change at Liège) or from Aachen (you’re better off taking the number 50 bus).
Location of Maastricht station on Google maps
When you leave the station and start walking or riding straight ahead, you first go along a wide street called Stationsstraat, but after three blocks it gets narrower and changes its name to Wycker Brugstraat.
Brugstraat means Bridge Street and Wyck is the name of this particular district of Maastricht, on the right bank of the Maas.
Location of Wycker Brugstraat on Google maps
One morning I was crossing The High Bridge when a ship called the River Navigator came through and docked at one of the landings.
I later looked it up and found that the MS River Navigator is one of several cruise ships belonging to a company called Vantage Deluxe World Travel. This is an American company, based in Boston, which describes itself as “a leader in luxury river cruising for Americans”.
They say their ships are “designed with the American traveler in mind” and have a “US plug in every stateroom”.
The River Navigator is 360 feet long.
Feet? Yes, this is for Americans, remember. 360 feet is about 110 meters. The ship carries 134 passengers and a crew of 36, which they point out is a passenger-to-staff ratio of better than 4 to 1.
The Maasvallei (=Meuse Valley) is one of five passenger ships run by the Stiphout company for excursions in and around Maastricht.
For instance, they offer a 50-minute cruise on the Maas/Meuse every hour for 7.75 Euros for adults and 4.65 Euros for children (prices as of 2012).
They also have longer trips (several hours) to Liège or Visé and back. And they offer various special excursions such as Brunch Cruise, a Pancake Cruise or a Saturday Night Cruise.
The same company has two “beautiful American school busses“ which they use for city tours.
I haven’t tried any of these offers, just snapped a photo of the Maasvallei as it was going towards the St. Servaas-Brug (Saint Servatius Bridge).
Phone: +31 (0)43 35 15 300