The old center of Maastricht is fairly compact, which makes a walking tour the best way to explore this beautiful city.
This walk starts from the east side of Sint Servaasbrug (Saint Servaasbridge). This location is about 500 metres walk from Maastricht train station. It’s about 2.5 hours on the train from Amsterdam or Rotterdam, or 1hr40 from Brussels.
Maastricht Walking Tour Map
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Tips for Maastricht Walking Tour
- Some shops are closed on Mondays, which makes the city quieter – a positive or negative depending on what you want!
- This walking tour lasts roughly half a day to a full day, depending on if you include the detours, how often you have refreshment breaks, and if you visit the Bonnefanten museum.
- Check out other walks and hikes on our Netherlands Hiking Page.
Top Sights in Maastricht
This self-guided walking tour will lead you through the nicest streets and to all the top attractions in Maastricht. Half a day to a full day is the perfect amount of time to spend in Maastricht. However, you could easily spend two days if you want to see everything and visit the museums and castle.
- Sint Servatius Bridge
- Market Square & Stadhuis
- Dominicanen Bookstore
- Vrijthof Square
- Sint Janskerk
- Sint Servatius
- Klein Grachtje Defensive Wall
- Maastricht City Park
- Helpoort and City Walls
- Onze Lieve Vrouwe Basilica
- Hoge Brug
- Bonnefanten Museum
- Wyck Area & Rechtstraat
Maastricht Walking Tour Route
This walking trail starts from the east side of Sint Servaasbrug (Saint Servaasbridge), about 500 metres walk from Maastricht train station.
1. Saint Servaasbridge
Saint Servaasbridge* is known as the oldest bridge in the Netherlands, though it was significantly reconstructed after the Second World War. A bridge was first built here by the Romans in 50AD, with the current bridge built much later, in the 13th century. The bridge is named after Saint Servatius, the first bishop of Maastricht. You’ll see his name on a few other monuments around town.
Directions: Cross over the bridge and continue into the pedestrian area. Turn right at the T-junction to reach the square.
2. Market Square
Markt Square* is the main market square of Maastricht. Here you can see the Town Hall (Stadhuis), a fine example of Gothic architecture, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city center. Lining the square are many more smart, historic buildings. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and sometimes a market on the square selling typical Dutch items such as cheese.
Detour: Sphinxpassage & Bassin, 1.9km
Walk up Boschstraat, then turn left to the Sphinx. Walk up and down the passageways, then leave the Sphinx and cross over Boschstraat. Turn left, then right to the Bassin area. Leave the Bassin along the passage into the residential area, then make your way back to Boschstraat.
The Boschstraat Quarter is a trendy and creative part of the city with art galleries, boutiques, and unique shops. This area is known for its artistic atmosphere and is a great place to discover local craftsmanship.
The Sphinxpassage* and surrounding area is a recently developed part of town and is now quite hipster, with several boutique shops, expensive coffee and organic supermarkets. The Sphinxpassage itself runs between two buildings and showcases the history of Sphinx (a famous Dutch ceramic maker). You can see tableware, old adverts, and even toilet bowls, all of which may give you a sense of nostalgia.
In the Bassin neighbourhood is a lovely, quiet area with a small marina. Restaurants border the water, while smart townhouses line the surrounding streets.
Directions: From Markt Square, leave via the far left corner, then turn right and right again.
3. Dominicanen Bookstore
Key Information: Open 9 am–6 pm Mon-Sat and 12-6pm Sun.
The Dominicanen Bookstore* is a unique bookstore located in a beautiful old church. The Dominican church was built in the 13th century, then deconsecrated roughly 200 years ago. The architecture is rather beautiful, with high vaulted ceilings and lovely old stonework. You’ll find a cafe at the back of the shop and English books at the top, from where there are great views of the interior.
Directions: After leaving the bookshop, head to the street in front and turn left to the large square.
4. Vrijthof Square
Vrijthof Square is a large paved square surrounded by historic buildings, once frequented by the wealthy of town. This square hosts many of the city’s large events, such as concerts by André Rieu (the famous violinist who was born and still lives in Maastricht).
Around the square, you can find a grand theatre, the old Hoofdwacht (Main Guardhouse), and the Museum aan het Vrijthof (a small art museum in a historic building). On the opposite side are the two next stops, Sint Janskerk (St. Johns Church) and the Basilica of Saint Servatius.
Directions: Head to the far corner of the square and up to the other side of the church with the red tower, where you’ll find the entrance.
5. Sint Janskerk / St. Johns Church
Key Information: Open Easter to mid-October, Mon-Sat 11am-4pm. Free entry to the interior, for the tower it’s €1.50/0.50 per adult/child.
St. John’s Church* is a Gothic church from the 13th century that features intricate stained glass windows, a unique pulpit and a distinctive red tower, 70 metres tall. On many Saturday mornings, free organ recitals are given here.
Directions: Leave the church and head right to the other side of the Basilica, where the entrance is.
6. Basilica of St. Servatius
Key Information: Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11.30am-5pm. Tickets to the Basilica are €7.50/5.0 per adult/child.
St. Servatius Basilica* is one of the oldest churches in the Netherlands. The basilica is known for its stunning Romanesque architecture and houses the shrine of Saint Servatius, the city’s patron saint. There’s also a beautiful cloister courtyard and a treasury, where you can see a collection of religious artifacts and treasures.
Directions: Leave the church and head back left the way you came. Continue onwards until a T-junction with a larger road, and head right. Take the next left down a quiet street, then look out for the narrow alleyway on your right. Head down here, across a small canal (Klein Grachtje), and turn left.
7. Klein Grachtje Defensive Wall
The Klein Grachtje Defensive Wall was part of the defensive city walls built in the 13th century. Older walls originally enclosed the city, but rapid growth meant they had to be expanded.
Directions: Keep walking along the small street by the wall and turn right at the larger road. Then continue along the smaller street, where you’ll see the walls again on your right. At the end of the street, turn right and you’ll see the park on your left.
Detour: Sint Pieter Fort & Maastricht Underground, 2.8 km
Turn right before the park along Sint Hubertuslaan. If you keep heading straight onwards, you’ll reach the fort. Even if you don’t pay to go inside, you can walk around the fort both inside and outside its walls. Return the way you came.
At Maastricht Underground (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) you can go on a guided tour of the caves (actually former quarries), which form an extended network under the castle above. Remember it’s always quite cold inside, so bring a jacket! The same people organise guided tours of Sint Pieter Fort*, and these tours are the only way you can see inside the castle. Tours last roughly 1 hour and cost €9.50.
8. Maastricht City Park
Maastricht City Park* is a small park between the historic city centre and the River Maas. You can find several historic monuments and water features here if you explore further afield.
Directions: Walk through this small section of the park and cross the stone bridge to reach the next stop.
9. Helpoort and City Walls
Helpoort* is the oldest surviving city gate in the Netherlands. The gate is part of the city’s medieval defensive walls and a remarkable piece of architecture.
The Vesting Museum (Fortress Museum) is a small museum next to the Helpoort where you can learn more about Maastricht’s history and defenses.
Directions: Walk through the gate and take the first right, up the steps and onto the walls. Follow these around the corner and continue until you reach the road. Turn left towards Onze Lieve Vrou Plein. Before visiting the church, head left down the street in the corner to visit the next stop.
Key Information: Open Tue-Sun, 08:30 to 17:00 (from 9 on Sundays).
The Bisschopsmolen*, or Bishops Mill, is a historic watermill and bakery. Inside, you can enjoy traditional Dutch treats like Limburgse vlaai (fruit tart) and learn about the mill’s history.
Directions: Return to the square and visit the church.
11. Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church
Key Information: Open every day, 08:30 to 17:00.
Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church* (the Basilica of Our Lady) is surrounded by a picturesque square lined with cafes and terraces. The church itself was built on the site of a previous church from the 5th century, potentially the oldest church in the Netherlands. There are many special works of art inside the church, including relics, sculptures and more.
Directions: Head to the far end of the square and walk up the street. The narrow streets here are part of the charming city centre, with more historic buildings and a mix of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take the first right, then the second right onto Stokstraat.
Stokstraat* is a cute street lined by some of the most expensive shops in Maastricht (many are closed on Mondays). You’ll recognise many famous designer names along with some more local luxury sellers.
Directions: At the end of the street, turn left and then take a right to walk through the park to the bridge.
13. Hoge Brug and the River Maas
Hoge Brug is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the River Maas. From here, you can enjoy beautiful views of the river and the city, making it a great spot for photos and a peaceful moment.
Directions: On the other side of the bridge, return to the waterfront. To get to the Bonnefanten Museum turn left and the museum is about 400 metres away. If you’re not visiting the museum, turn right to stop 15.
14. Bonnefanten Museum
Key Information: Open Tue-Sun, 11 am – 5 pm. Tickets are €17.50/€8.75/0 for adults/reductions/children.
The Bonnefanten* is the premier art museum of Limburg and presents remarkable permanent collections and temporary exhibitions with non-mainstream art and artists. This contemporary art museum is known for its unique architecture and diverse collection of artworks where you’ll find ancient and contemporary art alongside each other.
Directions: Return back to the Hoge Bridge. Walk along the riverfront for a short distance, then take a right to reach Rechtstraat. Turn left along here to get back to where you started, and the end of the Maastricht Walking Tour.
15. Wyck District & Rechtstraat
This side of the river is known as the Wyck District, and today it’s a trendy area known for its boutique shops, cafes, and stylish atmosphere. You’ll find tree-lined streets and some residential mansions in this neighbourhood. There are also many nice cafes and boutique restaurants nearby, making it a great place while away some time at the end of the tour.
Guidebooks to explore more of the Netherlands
FAQS – Maastricht Walking Tour
Maastricht is famous for it’s lovely inner city, churches, remaining medieval fortifications and it’s lovely location straddling the Maas River.
Maastricht is definitely worth visiting for a day or two since it’s very different from the other towns in the Netherlands. There’s plenty to see and do, and it’s well-connected by rail, making it easy to get to.
You could see most of Maastricht in just a few hours, though one day is recommended to fully see and experience the city.