Amsterdam steals all the limelight for Dutch city breaks – but it shouldn’t. There are other parts of the country that deserve similar respect. Maastricht is a quaint city nearly 2,000 years old, down in the southernmost province of Limburg. Replete with beautiful architecture and gorgeous sights hidden round every corner, the city is a great place to spend a weekend. |
Yet it is cosy enough to yield many of its most striking virtues in just 24 hours. And by organising an Amsterdam airport shuttle beforehand – a drive that takes a little over two hours – you’ll secure as much time as possible to enjoy Maastricht. This guide can help maximise that time as efficiently as possible, with most tours taking under two hours.
What is more quintessentially Dutch than an old mill? The Bisschopsmolen isn’t a windmill but a flour mill. Located in the south of Maastricht, there has been a mill in that spot since the 7th century, going through various hands and purposes down the centuries. A guided tour can illuminate what a staging post of history the Bisschopsmolen is – and give tips on how to pronounce that name.
Today bakers have been honing their craft here since a renovation in 2004 allowed the shop to reopen – and there is no better place in the city to feast on fresh bread and other sweet treats.
Explore another famous Dutch export, beer. The Brouwerij Bosch is the only remaining brewery in Maastricht, and dates back to the 19th century. And it is run very much by the old school. Visits are permitted on Saturdays and, if you walk from the tourist office on Kleine Staat 1, you can be accompanied by a guide.
Inside there are equipment demonstrations and talks from staff, foaming with passion for brewing. And of course, there is beer to drink as well – otherwise what is the point?
Saint Peter’s Fortress
Originally built in the 18th century to defend the people of Maastricht from French invasion, this crumbling old fort is now a part of the battle-scarred historical fabric of the city. Guided tours will take you over the ramparts, through the cannon gallery, down the subterranean tunnels, and back out to the top where the fortress’ position on top of Saint Peter’s Mount affords pretty views of the surrounding region.
However, the best way to see and experience Maastricht is to walk its streets and alleyways. Maastricht is comprised of the condensed medieval alleys and alcoves so brilliantly unique to northern Europe, where nowhere is very far from anywhere else.
There’s nothing purer than coming across central sights like the gorgeous Het Vrijthof square and the adjacent Basilica of St Servatius, from around a corner, unknowingly, unpredictably. Or blithely ambling over the Sint-Servaasburg Bridge, taking in those famous arches. Maps are available and a planned route should take, even at a genteel pace, around two hours.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol is barely an hour away from London airports, with many connections daily between the two cities. From there an Amsterdam airport shuttle is easily accessible through Shuttle Direct. The transport links from the UK to the Netherlands are part of what makes this such a tantalising trip.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Amsterdam airport shuttle Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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