The Dutch have a well kept secret. And it goes by the name Maastricht.
Bordering Belgium, resting at the very bottom of Holland but utmost in the hearts of every Nederlander, this jewel of a city is unequivocally among the top must see destinations in the Netherlands. Maastricht proper boast a vibe that is different from Holland North . Eccentric in design yet whimsical by nature. The people too pride themselves on their unique lineage in this region known as Limburg due to its definitive Belgian influence. Even the dialect is a bit softer as my ear for the Dutch language was trained in Amsterdam. In a country so small it’s diversity is a wonderment perhaps even the dutch take for granted.
Maastricht stands alone in it’s glory. It does not attempt to compete with its larger more well know brethren cities to the north. It is complete and secure in its own identity and uniqueness, blending the cultures of Belgium and the Netherlands.
In Maastricht you are encouraged to stroll the old streets and delight in the delirium of authentic Dutch charm thought to have long ago abated.
The cleverly alined houses bunched together along the Maas river invites you to traverse the bridge and experience the coziness of a southern Dutch village the way it was meant to be. The center of the fanciful hamlet transforms fluidly into openness giving way to a peacefulness almost tranquilizing. A place of arresting beauty, resonating with ethereal charm, awash in the residuum of a bygone era. The bridge at the Mass river is said to be one of the oldest in Europe. The Romans began building it 2000 years ago. It was left there for all to cross. Now is the time to treat yourself to Maastricht.~ZT