WHY I WENT
I’d met a guy from Maastricht at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport the previous year who’d said I could stay at his place if I went
WHY YOU SHOULD GO
It has the largest number of pubs per square kilometre in the Netherlands. At least that’s what my host said. It certainly looked that way to me.
It was the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, which led to the formation of the European Union.
As you can very well guess, the treaty gets its name from the city where it was signed. The city gets its name from the Maas river that runs through it. So, if we look at it that way, the treaty is actually named after the river. And now I am just writing nonsense.
From the railway station, you walk towards the river, cross the huge space beside the public library where the Maastricht Treaty was signed (you have the Euro and 1992 engraved on the stones here) and take a beautiful bridge across the Maas river.
It is here to you meet the beautiful Dutch town where the old and the new mix effortlessly.
Part of the old city’s wall survives. You walk ahead and the roads are cobbled (Yay for old-world charm, boo for smooth cycling), the houses look older but not ramshackle. There’s a beautiful church you cross and the place where there used to the mayor’s office that years ago housed a guillotine.
You head to the town’s biggest square by the Saint Servatius Basilica. And while you’re on your way there, you realise how the pub fact I mentioned earlier might actually be true. There are rows and rows of pubs one after another all along the way. There are literally hundreds of them and I simple cannot think of a better place for a pub crawl!
The biggest square by the beautiful church will impress you. With the lights on in the evening, it looks even better.
If you are in the city on either a Wednesday or a Friday, be sure to check out the market that is set up on the square called the Markt. The Wednesday market is relatively smaller but on Fridays, you get everything from fruits, vegetables, fish to clothes and cosmetics. The market is open between 9am and 4pm.
Right next to the Markt Square is the city hall that was built in 1662 and don’t miss the statue with the burning flame next to it. I have no clue who that is but it’s really cool.
You will find plenty of narrow and tall buildings in Maastricht. The reason for this is because, in the old days you had to pay tax based on the area your house covered on the ground.
Maastricht is a wonderful city to explore on foot. I got lost numerous times but at the end of my three days there, I knew all the roads and alleys in town.
You might have noticed I haven’t shared any pub pictures. That’s because what’s the fun if you see everything before getting somewhere new? Just go (and thank me later for the idea)!