All my life I have lived in The Netherlands and not once have I been to Maastricht. The only two things I knew about Maastricht were that its in the South of The Netherlands and that it was far away. My boyfriend and me were discussing whether to go to Maatricht or Groningen. Groningen is a city in the North which we will be very likely to visit too someday.
We booked a hotel for one day right in the center of the city. The name of the hotel is Le Virage which is French for The Curve. The name is not a coincidence, because the hotel is actually situated on a curve. Furthermore the neighborhood was very interesting. I saw a lot of historical structures and beautiful streets filled with great restaurants and cozy cafes. Le Virage has its own restaurant as well. A complete package!
Traveling with the train wasn’t as much as a pain as we expected. Luckily the trains in The Netherlands provide WIFI so we could do some work on the way. When we arrived some of the differences compared to the west of The Netherlands became noticeable. First of all the buildings in Maastricht are so intriguing and eye catching. There are beautiful buildings in The Hague, Delft and Amsterdam too, but Maastricht took it to another level for me. Secondly the accent of the Southerners is very different from the rest of The Netherlands. Not only their way of pronunciation, but also their usage of entirely different words. Not that I was unfamiliar with it, yet it still catches my attention when I hear them speak. Especially being there in Limburg (province of The Netherlands) and all. They really have a way stronger accent. Letting all those new incentives sink in we continued walking all the way from the station to our hotel.
The city was quite lively around noon or so. People were running their errands, shopping and drinking a cup of coffee in front of cozy little cafes. The tiles of the streets made the city center look like a movie set. I think I encountered three churches on the way. There was even a church across the street of our hotel. After a half hour walking we left our luggage in the hotel and continued discovering the beauty of Maastricht.
It was December and even though we were in the South the weather wasn’t any friendlier! Settling down in a nice cafe was the perfect moment to relax and warm ourselves up. A cup of tea did just the trick, combined with some discussions on where to eat dinner for later. I found out about a Thai restaurant not far away from the cafe we were at. Wonderful! Thai food is my favorite food and I couldn’t wait. But before indulging ourselves in sweet and spicy flavors we explored a bit more.
Maybe it is because I am a girl from the city side or something, but everything south or The Netherlands feels so foreign to me. In a good way! I love how there are more hills to were the west of The Netherlands is so flat. Also the people in the south seem way more friendly compared to the people of the west. Most of them generally look so grumpy. On the flip side I heard a lot of people saying how boring the South can be, although my experience so far certainly debunked that.
Once we entered the street were the Thai restaurant was located my love for this city just kept growing. By observing the gorgeous townhomes with their lovely windows I could tell that there are a lot of students living there. For me it would be so awesome to live right across a Thai restaurant, haha.
Unfortunately I did not take many pictures of the food we ate, because I was too hungry. But just to let you know, this place has become my favorite Thai restaurant I have ever been to. We entered without having reserved, asked a table for two and within a few minutes we were seated on a nice spot next to the window. The place was completely full and the smell of the food was amazing. The waiters and owner are so friendly that I could just recommend you because of that reason to go and dine there. The restaurant is called Pêt Thai. Take a look on their website for more information and their menu. To top it off, the food was super tasty!
When we finished up our plates we asked the receipt and left for our hotel for a good night rest. Curious as we were we took a look inside the church next to our hotel before we headed to bed, just to see what was going on. We found a room full of candles.
The hotel room was accommodated with a fridge, television, bath tube, second room, water boiler and more. We had brought our own breakfast so having a fridge in the room was great. After taking a hot bath we watched a movie and got ready for bed, because the next day would be full of exploring and shopping.
Fortunately for us we spotted a market place around a church. It was very busy and so much fun. Ladies and men selling all kinds of goods, costumers having a bite of whatever they were selling and children running around with they parents yelling at them to calm down. We strolled around, but did not stay for too long. Somewhere we entered a street with a lot of interesting shops, although some of them were closed. At some point an American school bus rushed by. Made me curious where it came from and where it was going.
Crossing some streets and taking some turns to the left eventually got us walking into an enormous bookstore. Funny enough this building used to be a church. The name still mentions it. Dominicanenkerk it is called. I haven’t researched about it yet, but was this church in anyway related to some people from the Dominican Republic? If so, let me know. As a person with Dominican blood, I’m quite curious. I definitely wanted to take a look inside and I’m glad I did so, because I bought myself a nice book.
After exiting the Dominicanenkerk our tummies began to rumble, it was time for some lunch. Having no idea where we actually were we continued walking through some streets feeling pretty adventurous. We kept looking around for a nice place to eat, but we got distracted by a big square with again, a church. This square was very colorful in a way. There were some statues that looked kind of scary to me. I started to wonder about the story behind it.
These are the weird statues I was talking about. If you know more about it, don’t forget to mention it in the comments. I would like to know. Don’t you think they look kind of strange?
My boyfriend and me took a very cheesy picture together on the square. But I think it came out cute, haha. We looked around for a bit and decided to head for the next best restaurant/cafe to fill our stomach up, because we started to get somewhat grumpy from the hunger. In front of the square there is a huge terrace place with people eating, drinking and having a chat. It is nice that they have heaters over there, because it would be definitely to cold to sit outside without it. Though Dutch people can handle some cold!
Don’t worry! We ate more than just the rice cake you see on the picture, but no pictures unfortunately! For the upcoming travel posts I will be sure to take some nice pictures of the food for all you foodies out there :). The Chai tea was very good and made my blood run warm again. Too bad the rice cake wasn’t that great. When we felt energized enough we headed back to the city center, did some more shopping and took the train back home. Within less than three hours we arrived home again.
I must say that I would love to come back to Maastricht and spend a long weekend. One day and a night is just too short. Overall it is a perfect place for a weekend getaway with either your loved one or a group of friends. Especially if they enjoy architecture, interesting little stores, shopping and food. But who wouldn’t enjoy that? I approve of this city!
Thanks for reading my long post about Maastricht.