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Festivities in Maastricht

Get festive in Maastricht, the Netherlands' best-kept secret


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Best-kept secret

Just a frîtes-throw from the Belgian border, Maastricht deserves more attention than it typically receives. Steeped in history, the city is littered with Roman ruins, medieval churches and classic gabled canal houses.

 

However, thanks to its acclaimed University, which draws students from across the world, Maastricht is no historical relic but a lively, energetic city. 

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Magical light Route

From the Vrijthof, visitors will be able to follow the "Magical Light Route", a series of light installations in key spots around Maastricht.   As you stroll through the picturesque city, you'll be mesmerised by glittering chandeliers on the Plein 1992 square, catch the reflections of the magically-lit St Servaas bridge in the Maas river, and enjoy a romantic moment beneath the 200 mistletoe-shaped lamps adorning the trees on Onze Lieve Vrouweplein square.

 

The Magical Culture Festival will run through to 3 January 2016; a series of recitals held in intimate venues and outside, given by children's and adult choirs, brass bands, percussion groups and church bell ringers to ensure true immersion in the festive spirit. 

 

Magical Light Route Maastricht
Maastricht's Christmas Festivities

One of the joys of Maastricht is its diminutive size: you can walk from one end of the city to the other in 30 minutes. Vrijthof square is the main hub, overlooked by the impressive Sint-Servaas Basilica and flanked by atmospheric cafés. The medieval square will become the centre of Maastricht's legendary Christmas festivities on Saturday evening 28 November, when the Mirakels Castle covered market opens amid great fanfare, selling handmade ceramics, toys, lanterns and gifts.

 

The Vrijthof itself will be transformed into a classic winter's scene, with locals sitting on heated café terraces enjoying traditional festive treats like ‘oliebollen’ (deep-fried doughnut balls) around a large outdoor skating rink, big wheel and carousel. 

 

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Hip Places

Packed with hip places to stay, eat and drink, it boasts arthouse cinemas, artisan shops, galleries and great markets.

 

The city’s hottest café / bar / occasional nightclub is housed within the striking retro rocket ship designed Bonnefanten museum, together with masterpieces by Brueghel and Rubens 

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Read more about all the best dutch highlights for your next trip to The Netherlands.

 

   

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