This trip will be postponed to a later date when travel to the Netherlands is possible again.
“A place where north and south meet, the crossroads of the three countries that together make up the Euregion Meuse-Rhine, the place where it’s hard to believe you’re still on Dutch soil, it must be another country. This is the place where you’ll find Maastricht…” The Maastricht tourist office could not have said it better. With its many churches, city walls, monumental merchant houses, big squares and one of the best shopping centres of the country, this place simply must appear on our calendar. After two super other trips, we are now ready for a third visit to this lovely town.
Expat Club loves welcoming young expats, too! If you want to bring your child(ren) up until 18 years, please first add the regular adult ticket(s) to the cart and then go to the cart page. On the cart page, there is a child ticket available for €50.
As with any Expat Club trip, our schedule today is carefully designed so you can enjoy all places and have enough time for lunch, a coffee and some free time. Still, all times below are tentative and depend on external circumstances, such as weather and traffic conditions. Together with the bus driver, guide and welcoming destinations we will do our best to give you the most optimal experience. FYI, Expat Club loves being on time and we are very often spot on when it comes to keeping track of the schedule.
08h15 – Departure from Place Schuman
10h00 – Guided tour St Pieter Hill caves
11h00 – End guided tour and transfer to city
11h30 – Start guided Old Town tour
13h00 – Lunch (optional)
14h15 – End lunch & free time (other visits are suggested)
17h00 – Socialising in local bar
18h30 – Departure to Brussels
20h00 – Arrival in Brussels
Mount St Pieter Caves
The caves of the Sint Pietersberg (Saint Peter’s Hill, or Mount Saint Peter) are one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Netherlands. Many decades ago people flocked here to see the spectacular cave drawings with their own eyes. For that reason we first visit these caves when we arrive in Maastricht.
The Sint Pieter’s Hill, which is also called the Caestert Plateau, is located South of Maastricht on the westbank of the Meuse river. On top of it you will find the Fort Sint Pieter from the early 18th century. Unfortunately we don’t have time to visit it, but we can see it a bit from the outside.
The limestone composition of the hill made it possible to cut out a gigantic network of mining tunnels, which one day had 20.000 corridors with a total length of 230km. That’s more than the distance from Maastricht to Amsterdam! Much of that disappeared due to open mining operations or collapsed, although about 80km still exists.
Luckily for us we don’t have to find our way through this maze ourselves, because a professional guide will show us around. No worries that we lost. Needless to say that these caves have played a very important role throughout history, but especially during war times. In the Second World War for instance, many national treasures were hidden inside these case, not only to prevent theft by the Germans occupiers, but also to protect them from damages as a result of bombings. One of these paintings concerned the Nightwatch by Rembrandt van Rijn, arguably Holland’s most valuable art treasure.
Situated on the Meuse River close to the Belgian border, Maastricht is by far the oldest city in the Netherlands. It has been continually inhabited since about 500 B.C. It still has many traces of its Roman period, but strangely enough it never received Roman city rights. The naam Maas-stricht comes from Mosae Trajectum, which means ‘crossing at the Meuse’ (indeed the same river as Liège, Namur and Dinant).
Maastricht is undoubtedly also one of the most beautiful cities of the Netherlands, and for many the most beautiful one. For Europeans, and Brussels expats in general, the city is especially known for the famous 1992 Maastricht Treaty that formed the European Union and the single European currency, and possibly also for the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol).
During our guided tour we will discover the picturesque streets of the Stokstraat quarter, the charming Onze Lieve Vrouweplein square, and the famous Vrijthof square. This is where the world famous violinist André Rieu from Maastricht always performs a magnificent show in July. We will also see the city’s ramparts, the Helpoort, and the Jeker quarter. The official guides will tell us the fascinating stories and amusing anecdotes while teaching us about’s Maastricht’s history and its progression from Roman settlement to important garrison city and early industrial powerhouse. S/he will also tell us Maastricht’s typical way of life, which is known as the ‘Mestreechter Geis’ (the Spirit of Maastricht).
After lunch you have free time until our departure around 18h30. You can go shopping. As said, Maastricht has an attractive shopping district with many lovely shops and boutiques. You can also visit one of the many museums, including the famous Bonnefantenmuseum with old, modern and contemporary art. Of course we finish our day again on the Vrijthof square for a nice drink and late afternoon snack (or light early dinner) before returning to Brussels around 19h00 with arrival around 20h30.
Our guided tour ends at the Vrijthof, Maastricht’s main market square. The perfect place to have lunch in the nice brasserie restaurant D’n Ingel. In 2015 and 2016 we also went here and since everybody was happy, we of course go back there again. The following options are on the menu, and during checkout you can indicate your choice. To make it easy for you, and also because such lunches are a great way to get to know the people in the group a bit better, we already included the price of the lunch in the trip fee.
Steak of Angus beef, served with a soft pepper-cognac sauce or Cod fish with a lobster sauce or Fresh tagliatelle with 3 type of mushroom, garlic, white wine sauce and fresh herbs
~ ~ ~
Warm apple pie served with vanilla sauce, cinnamon ice cream or Chocolate Delight: Mousse, brownie & chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce
~ ~ ~
1 drink + coffee / tea
We start our day as usual at Place Schuman and travel by luxury 4* coach to Maastricht. The bus has an on-board toilet, AC, and reclinable comfort chairs with extra leg space. We will bring a bottle of water for you to enjoy.