Happy November, and happy early Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans! :^) My time abroad has flown by, and it still hasn’t hit me that I only have one month left. My last blog post was mainly travel-oriented, with a small mention of our Cafe Crawl that I wanted to pick up on for this month’s post.
I previously discovered that Maastricht has the highest café density in the Netherlands, with 1 café for every 350 inhabitants, compared to the 1-per-900 national average. Given a personal obsession with cafe/coffee culture, and mainly an aversion to and an inability to study in my room or at the library (if I am in UM’s library, you know I am in trouble), I have been exploring Maastricht’s cafe scene for alternative study spots.
Some things that I look for in a study spot include: 1) free wifi, 2) caffeinated beverages to keep me going throughout the day, and 3) an attention to aesthetic.
Alley Cat Bikes & Coffee
This cafe is a place I would describe as quintessentially Dutch. Not only do they serve coffee and act as a study space during the day, but they also provide bike repair services and sell bike equipment. As of now, this is the only cafe I have found that serves Matcha Lattes.
The Livin’ Room
After hearing positive opinions about this place from a floormate, some friends and I decided to check this place out. While their drinks are a little bit pricier than places like Coffeelovers, they have smoothie bowls, healthy wraps, an outdoor garden, and comfortable couches in the front if you are lucky enough to grab a spot. Every time I come here, I download Shazam (music listening app) because their entire playlist is amazing and features a lot of Elvis Presley.
Furniture & Cafe
This was a place that I discovered by accident, but this furniture store x cafe gives you a complementary mini-stroopwafel with each beverage that you buy. Their Tea Quiero tea line is delicious as well. While they don’t serve pastries, they have an eclectic mix of furniture styles all over the store.
During the warmer months, Teazone opens up its outdoor rooftop lounge, with plenty of comfortable couches and chairs. It also has a designated study room for students, as well as many delicious pastries. Inside, it combines both rustic elements with some quirky, hippie-culture inspired pieces which makes for a fun environment to study or to catch up with friends.
Koffie is one of the most popular places for UM students to study. It doubles both a concept/clothing store and as a coffeehouse. Its interior has a very modern, minimalist vibe—almost the opposite of Teazone’s. My friends are very partial to their pastries, and if you are craving more solid food, Koffie and Cato by Cato (a cheap, international deli across the street) supposedly have an agreement where you can bring food from Cato by Cato into Koffie.
Boekhandel Dominicanen is featured on a Buzzfeed article highlighting “bookstores that will literally change your life.” It is regarded as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, since it is located in a 700-year-old Gothic church. As one of Maastricht’s main tourist attractions, the Coffeelovers cafe inside the bookstore can get crowded, but it still makes for a solid study spot.
Located inside the Student Services Centre, this Coffeelovers is usually crowded. While it is not my favorite place for this reason, it is very convenient when going to and from class, since it is very close to the SBE.
During Maastricht University’s Welcome Week, they offered free Try-5 fitness passes to the UM Sports Gym. Although studying at the gym may not sound particularly appealing, they have study spaces on the second floor and a bar/cafe on the first floor which may help make cramming for tutorials go by more quickly.
While Deli Belge is more of a sandwich/food shop than a cafe, it provides free wifi and some window seating, and is located conveniently across from the SBE building.
Hopefully these cafés were a good starting point for anybody interested in exploring more of Maastricht (or for those who just need a break from the library)!
Until next time,
Caroline (Instagram: @oh.deeeng)