Travel

5 Reasons to Love Maastricht, Netherlands

Whether you have heard of it, or not Maastricht, Netherlands is a must see for anyone who loves quant towns. I ADORED this place, and really wanted to stay longer than we did. But, the first part of the trip came to an end and the next city of Europe we went. So here are 5 things I loved about Maastricht, because I am feeling nostalgic.

Maastricht, Netherlands Blanche Dael

Blanche Dael

I haven’t seen all too many tea shops where I am from, and I usually prefer tea over coffee any day. So you can imagine my excitement when we reached this place. The walls are filled with different tea flavors, tea sets and other tea knick knacks. I bought one bag of tea from here, but really wish I would have bought more. I thought about an actual tea set, but this was just the beginning of our trip and trying not to break a tea set would be next to impossible.
Kruisherenhotel Maastricht and Studentenvereniging Amphitryon (that’s a mouth full)
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We visited two hotels (since it was a studying abroad trip for hospitality students) the first was built inside a church and the second one was a hotel ran by their students. The student ran one had all different style rooms and served very unique functions (one room had a bathroom with glass walls in the middle of the room).

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The Kruisherenhotel Maastricht has the original monastery Gothic church, with a contemporary design inside. Everything is built inside the church almost like a second building to preserve the church as much as possible.

The Food (although, be careful)

Maastricht, Netherlands
The good: We stopped in this one bar/restaurant for dinner one night (sat inside, because it’s cheaper) and oh my gosh. I had this cute little beef stew, which came with fries and it was so good. The sauce sort of reminded me of a creamier BBQ sauce (which I dipped my fries in) and the meat was nice and tender. Score.
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The Bad: So therefore, I see something sort of similar at a different restaurant on their menu. So I got really excited thinking it would be the same thing I had at the last cute little restaurant. I was wrong. So wrong. And not in a like, “oh okay I’ll just find something else on the menu in a few seconds” because naturally it was in a different language. What was translated unknown meat you ask? Horse. Which come to find out is a common meal over there! So, I stuck to my choice and figured I would never have it anywhere else, so might as well try it once.
Okay. So it wasn’t the WORST thing I’ve ever had. But I could not get over the stringy, course texture of the meat to even enjoy the flavor. I was so upset over the fact that I was eating my favorite animal that I couldn’t finish it. No thank you.
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The Beer: Any beer I tried there was great. Most of which was Belgium, but they’re close enough. I wasn’t much of a beer drinker, but cocktails are not cheap, so beer it was! (The beer wasn’t “cheap” either, but for the most part, less expensive than everything else)

Stay Okay

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(So I don’t have any pictures of the stay okay itself, but here’s a photo of this really cool lightning bolt I got during a storm, it was taken while I was in the room, that counts right?)
This is where we stayed during our first half of our trip, and it was fantastic (even if we got lost getting there – which I still don’t understand because we were with a large group). We were off to a really good start. But by the end of the trip we were traveling experts. Trains, finding (and following) directions, hotel bookings – all a breeze once the trip was over. Anyways, this place was so cute, it had a nice bar, really nice outdoor area, conference rooms (for our long classes), river view (at least our room did), the stay okay bikes (bright orange that scream “I am a tourist”) Oh! and the 6 AM breakfast (that we only attended a handful of times). Hostels opened my world to a whole new life to traveling on a budget.

Biking everywhere

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I loved the bike (after I got used to it), and seriously missed it when we were in Italy. It was tough to let go when we left, because I got so used to hopping on our bikes to go wherever, and not have to worry about getting hit by a car!
Everyone biked and the whole time in Europe I saw maybe one gas station (obviously there are a bunch on the outskirts of the city), but overall anywhere we went, you either took a train, walked or biked.

BONUS*
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Okay so this last one (I am not sure if this is specific to Maastricht). But when we were in Maastricht we frequently visited HEMA, the grocery store that was close by to where we were staying. Well they have these peppermint things that I was OBSESSED with. I haven’t been able to find them because the only picture I have of them the bag is rolled up so I can’t see the brand, all I can see is “HEMA” and “peppermint”. Listen, I’ve been on the hunt for them (and then gave up) because, they’re just peppermints. But ughhhh I love these.

There are many more reasons to love this city, and I could go on. But these are the top reasons why I loved my trip to Maastricht. 

-AB

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