Maastricht is really far from the main Dutch cities/places on the scale of The Netherlands, but it is really close to Germany and Belgium. Travelling from here is quite easy, so that’s pretty much what people are doing here in their spare time.
First of all, here in Maastricht we get a lot of one-day trip options. Most popular destinations are in Belgium as you can get cheap youth tickets. NS trains are expensive, but with a group ticket you reach any city at up to 7,5 euro!
I’ve been extremely lucky to be visited by my friends from Russia several times now. Once I travelled to Rotterdam to meet a friend. And the other three times my friends came here to Maastricht. I must mention that all of them liked Maastricht a lot and even more than any other town or city they visited within their trip.
Back in the end of February I took a train to Rotterdam to see my friend from university who was sent there to work on a project for a week. We spent an amazing weekend and even visited Amsterdam.
Next time the same friends of mine came to Maastricht for 4 days. We walked around a lot. Got to explore the historical centre as well as the outskirts. We also Our favourite place was the Bassin. I personally find it really pretty with all the boats and cute buildings. We also enjoyed the experience of going to Markt on a Friday morning.
On a weekend my housemates from the Guesthouse joined us for a trip to Brussels. One day was absolutely enough to see the Mannekenpis (and even get disappointed as it is rally not that big of a landmark), the Atomium, taste Belgian beer and waffles, see the European Parliament and taste the burgers.
In March a group of my friends from high school came to visit. They flew to Cologne, went to Aachen and took a direct bus Limburgliner 350 to Maastricht. They enjoyed being here so much that even Amsterdam seemed overrated for them. We managed to make a short trip to Liege for one evening and it was totally worth it. The city centre is super pretty and is different from the capital.
The next week another friend of mine from the university came to visit just for one day. I showed him the university, the town, we skated and cycled the road to Belgium and the next day we travelled by bus to Aachen, which is a special place for us. At university, we are a group of friends who travel a lot together. And in our first trip abroad, Aachen was our first significant destination. So we felt a need to pay tribute by visiting this german city at the frontier and stop by our favourite burger place.
Other than trains and busses, from Maastricht you can get to a lot of airports that are quite nearby: Eindhoven, Cologne, Brussels, Maastricht-Aachen. From those you get a vast number of destinations. With my housemates we chose Copenhagen and Eindhoven Airport to spend the resit week (which is a week after the exam week for people to take resits in previous courses, all the others go travelling again). In 4 days we saw the centre of Copenhagen as well as its further areas, Christiania and even went to Malmö, Sweden for a day. Copenhagen is amazingly cute and colourful, really comfortable to live in. Malmö is a student city as Maastricht, but we found it rather boring, even though spending a day there still felt wonderful. If you don’t want to take the train, there’s an option of a Swedish bus that goes all the way to Oslo. We crossed Øresund on our way, which was amazing. After the amount of wind we saw in both cities we promised to never complain again about Dutch wind or any other wind, actually, it was blowing us away.
So I am really grateful for all these travelling opportunities and can’t appreciate this any more. I’m also highly thankful that my friends take all these efforts to come and visit. As you see, when you have friends over, Maastricht offers a lot to see but even more to go to. Everything is planned very easily and in no time! Now it’s time to get back on track with new courses and make new plans.