It was the love at the first sight. It happened during Christmas as I visited Maastricht’s Christmas market. Imagine a fairy-tale where in a historic inner city you find an ice ring, glue wine, hot cocoa and cotton candy sparkling in the light of Christmas decorations. That was the reason I picked Maastricht University to study as I wanted to experience a fairy-tale life. Ok ok, great reputation of the university played a small role as well. 😀
Maastricht is based in Limburg and it’s one of the oldest multicultural cities in the Netherlands. It has borders with Germany, France and Belgium and you can feel different influences in this so called student city. I am so blessed to have lived here for 2.5years. You have probably heard about it from the Maastricht Treaty, which marked the European Union and Euro creation. It has 30 thousand students and 90% of them in Maasticht University are German due to the fact that you can study business in English.
People come to Maastricht from all over Europe to shop. It is a fantastic shopping location if you love shoes. You can find local boutiques on every corner. During sales season shops are absolutely packed, because they offer great sales deals.
One thing I love about Maastricht the most is that even on a casual day you will see someone wearing a costume and nobody will mind. You can be yourself and there’s no one judging you. In February there’s a carnival season, where for a week the whole city is closed down as it puts an emphasis on role-reversal and suspension of social norms. I have never seen costumes like that. During this festive period Maastricht doesn’t sleep and I promise you will feel like in a movie.
It’s a small city, you will never be able to leave the house without meeting friends on every corner. It really gives that close community vibe that I cherished so much. Even when I come to visit I always bump into some people that I know, it’s a really good feeling.
Spots To Eat
Tea Zone – this is my no.1 spot for cakes & tea. It is a beautiful family owned tea place with truly magical atmosphere. All the decor is Asian, which gives a very zen vibe. You will meet their friendly dog who is always there to keep you company. 😃 I highly recommend to reserve a spot in advance, especially if you want to try their magnificent high-tea.
Sap – a perfect brunch place where you can enjoy freshly squeezed juices and fresh bagels. They have great brunch options to share for a very reasonable price!
Dadawan – this is my new favourite place for dinner/lunch. Their menu is huge with so many tasty options! I wanted to try everything. They offer great prices for everything, from sushi to lobster! During the peak times you will find a queue outside, but it’s always moving fast and worth waiting. If you don’t have time, try their 2-go option next-door!
Cafe Zuid – beautiful cafe facing water. You have options to sit outside or inside. Love their swings. 🙂
Spots to Visit
Christmas Market – breathtaking magical experience that offers everything that you can imagine christmas market to offer. Located in Vrijthof in December.
Vrihthof – magical square with a lot of cozy cafes/ restaurants. There are plenty of events that happen, from car shows to Polo.
Markt –beautiful squere
Park – Onze-Lieve-Vrouwewal you will find fountains, animals and a beautiful place for a walk or a picnic.
Party street – Platielstraat must have experience, gets crowded around 22. You must end up in alla to experience the true student life.
Bridge- picturesque view.
Mount Saint Peter – the view from this hills is absolutely gorgeous ! I recommend to go for a jog here.
TEFAF– it’s a very prestigious art fair, definitely check it out!
13th-century Dominican church – it’s converted into a bookstore/café – worth a visit.
Peters Caves tour – get lost in the miles of limestone tunnels. Be ready to see a huge dome and a gothic hallway.
Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht– my vary favourite modern art museum !
Tips for visiting
- Bring money for shopping – you will need it 😀Especially for shoes. You will find a lot of cute boutiques.
- Visa card is often rejected
- Parking is extremely expensive
- Taxis are extremely expensive
- One day is enough for the visit
- Try Maas beer, it’s a must!
- Boat trips – lovely day experience
Tips for studying /living / Maastricht University
- Housing prices for the room vary from 300euros- x
- You will need around 800 euros a month to live
- Maastricht University has exams every 7 weeks and doesn’t offer a lot of holidays
- Education that you will get is very high quality and it’s wildly recognised
- Great exchange programmes around the world
- You can apply for student financing – subsidy if you work certain amount of hours a month
- A lot of student jobs, but pay depends on your age and It’s very low. Check out Hollister for an international crowd and good wages.
- Dutch people mostly belong to sororities and German people stick together and go home during the weekends. Hence, you will most likely create your social life at work or Mac gym.
- There are lots of bars, but no real clubs. People don’t really dress up.
- Get a used bike. Understand that people ‘share’ bikes in Maastricht – it will get stolen. Hence, don’t invest too much into it. Often locks cost more than bikes.
- Pick the most adventurous exchange programme – YOLO. The reason I lived in Asia for 2.5 years and planning to go back.
- Sign up for some extra curriculum activities : AISEC etc…
- The closes real club – Mondial. Check out their Sunday rnb nights
- Airport in Maas offers great prices for holiday destinations
- All cosmetics products are overpriced, try Germany.
- Make friends from the very beginning. The first groups of friends normally stick together throughout the years.