A bunch of connections enables you to reach Maastricht city center easily from abroad. These include planes, trains, buses and cars.
The biggest airport in the Netherlands is, of course Schiphol, airport in Amsterdam. However, the airport closest to Maastricht is Maastricht Aachen airport, in Germany. There are plenty of airlines who fly there, catering to all budgets: British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Transavia and more.
The most commonly used transport method to/from Maastricht is the train. Maastricht has three train stations: Maastricht Centraal (biggest one), Maastricht Noord and Maastricht Randwyck.
You can very easily reach the city by car. If you are not familiar with the Dutch roads, just check Google Maps. If you’re concerned about traffic, roadworks or accidents on the road (and have a working level of Dutch), then check out ANWB or VanAnaarBeter for up-to-date information! Car rental in Tilburg is easy: Sixt, Herz, and Europcar offer a range of cheap options.
Obviously, it takes longer, but bus journeys can be a lot cheaper than its rivals. Check if there is a direct bus from your city to Tilburg, or visit some of these pages for more info: Flixbus, Goeuro, Eurolines, Ouibus and Comparabus.
Maastricht is a relatively small city, and you can easily walk or bike to most places. There is a large network of biking paths, so you can travel safely. You can even try to find a bike online before you move into your student accommodation in Maastricht.
The Dutch people use the OV-chipkaart for all of their public transportation needs. You can load the card with credits, which you can easily purchase from vending machines throughout the city, including in the metro stations.
Just remember that you must scan the card at the beginning and the end of each journey, so that your trip can be properly calculated. If you do not scan your card, you run the risk of receiving a fine.
There are two different types of OV-chipkaart. The anonymous (blue) version can be used by anyone. The personal (yellow) one can only be obtained by submitting an application with your personal information.
Having the card can score you an annual discount of 40% on train travel, as long as it is used during off-peak hours (9:00-16:00, 18:30-6:30 and on the weekends). Its cost is €50 annually, but you can also catch it on special for around €29. Purchase the personal OV-chipkaart with the discount from the NS website, and you won’t have to pay €7.50 for the card.
Arriva operates the bus system in Maastricht. You can pay the bus fare with an OV-chipkaart. Routes criss-cross throughout the city, and opting for the bus can be a great way to get around when it’s raining and you’ve left your bike at home.
Taxis are not commonly used due to their expense. If you have to take a taxi, try to keep the trip short and switch over to a bus or the metro as soon as you can.
The Netherlands sports a wonderful railway system and the NS is one of the busiest in all of Europe or even the world. Trains run 25 hours a day between the larger cities, and they are safe, on time, affordable and fast.
You may use your OV-chipkaart to board a train, or you can purchase a regular ticket. Keep in mind that both personal and anonymous cards are usable, but you must have €20 on the anonymous card and €10 on the personal one to access the station. Scan it at the start and the end of your trip.
Intercity Direct trains do not have stops, and they require a supplement of €2,40 at the station. You can use your OV-chipkaart or purchase a regular ticket.
You can plan out your journey with a handy online tool, which can tell you exactly what your trip will cost and how long it will take.