Where to live and what to do in Maastricht, The Netherlands

Thinking of moving to Maastricht? Read about the quality of life, internationality and safety in Maastricht's top neighbourhoods.


6 minute read
Updated on 7 Mar 2024

As the largest city in the province of Limburg, Maastricht is a thriving cultural and regional hub in The Netherlands. Many expats and international students call Maastricht home because the city is strategically located, has an international vibe, and offers plenty of historical, cultural, and fun experiences.

So if you’re about to move to Maastricht, keep reading to find out where to live and what to do in the city.

Maastricht at a glance

Maastricht is a city of historical importance. In 1992, the city was chosen to sign the Maastricht Treaty, the foundation treaty of the European Union. This treaty paved the road for European citizenship and made Maastricht known as the birthplace of the Euro.

Today, Maastricht is a pedestrian and bike-friendly city. It's a city where you can enjoy the picturesque spots along the Maas river or take a stroll in the streets.

It's a city where you'll always have something to admire, be it historical or modern. The city has the second-highest number of Roman, medieval, and modern heritage buildings in the Netherlands after Amsterdam.

It's a city where you'll feel at the centre of Europe. Maastricht borders Belgium and is 30 minutes away from Germany. You'll also be a short train or bus ride away from other main European cities such as Frankfurt, Paris, or Antwerp.

As a city, Maastricht will make you feel youthful and at home. The big international student population contributes to making expats feel welcome. You'll also experience the city's free-spirited nature during the 3-day Carnival. It's a festival where people dress in costumes and take over the streets to party.

With so much to offer, Maastricht's charm is irresistible to many internationals.

A relaxed place to live

Maastricht has a relaxed and cosy appeal. It’s got the attractiveness of a big city, but it’s often also referred to as a “village".

The people from Maastricht are usually nicknamed Sjengen, a term that comes with a conservative and chauvinist connotation. However, you’ll feel welcomed in Maastricht because of its relaxed, good-time-loving and free-spirited culture. This characteristic comes from the fact that the city has always been at a crossroads, welcoming people from all over the world.

Maastricht is also lively from a cultural point of view. Several cultural organizations, including Landhuis, Landbouwbelang, Kunstfort, B32, OHP9, and the Mandril, have joined together to form the Cultural Freezone Collective.

Overall safety

Overall, The Netherlands is one of the safest countries in the world. When specifically looking at Maastricht, its crime index is 19.99, significantly lower than the one of Rotterdam (35.88) and Amsterdam (33.67).

The crimes that happen more often in Maastricht are related to people using or dealing drugs, vandalism and theft.


If you come to Maastricht as an international, you’ll not be the only one. Over 32% of the population is of international origin.

You’ll experience linguistic diversity at every corner of Maastricht. Apart from Dutch, which is the official language, you’ll likely hear conversations in other languages.

For instance, you'll definitely be able to use English in Maastricht. Maastricht University is considered to be the most international university in the Netherlands. 49% of the student population and 40% of its staff are international. Not surprisingly, many courses at Maastricht University and Hogeschool Zuyd are in English. Naturally, English is the lingua franca of the local international community.

French used to be the language of education, jurisdiction and culture in Maastricht. Nowadays, French is taught in school and some streets still bear French names. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear some elderly people speaking in the Maastricht dialect (Mestreechs), a variant of Limburgish with French influences.

Due to Maastricht's proximity to Germany, German is widely spoken and often included in secondary school curricula as well.

Where to live in Maastricht

Maastricht is small - it will take you approximately 30 minutes by bike to go from one side of the city to the other. This also means that all the neighbourhoods are close by and you’ll have a pleasant experience no matter where you’ll live.

Overall, Maastricht has 5 districts (stadsdelen) and 44 neighbourhoods (wijken). Before discovering all Maastricht's student housing options, explore what the best neighborhoods have to offer.

Maastricht Neighbourhood: Jekerkwartier

Jekerkwartier is one of the neighborhoods in the center of Maastricht. It’s home to historic buildings and remnants of the city walls. Most importantly, Jekerkwartier hosts several buildings of the Maastricht university, art schools, and the municipal park (Stadspark). Its western part, also called the Latin Quarter of Maastricht, boasts a bohemian atmosphere that attracts creatives and students.

Quality of life

Rental prices

In Jekerkwartier you’ll live in old buildings that have been renovated. You can expect to pay around €1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.


In Jekerkwartier you’ll live in the centre of the city. The hotspots of the city will be at walking distance: the lively Market Square (Markt) will be your go-to area both for drinks in the outdoor terraces, for the food markets on Wednesdays and Fridays, and a flea market on Saturdays. Vrijthof square is one of the hotspots of the city center, where you can enjoy a drink and even listen to open-air live music. And if you feel like doing some high-end shopping, Stokstraat quarter will be the place to be!

If you are going to attend Maastricht University, you’ll find several of its buildings in this neighborhood. You can also reach the train station in 9 minutes by bike.

Public transport

It’ll take you around 20 minutes to reach the train station by bus, because public transports have to take a long detour around the city center.

Maastricht Neighbourhood: Wyck

Wyck is also called Petit Paris because of its style and atmosphere. It’s not only one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Maastricht, but also one of the best located since the train station is here.

The neighboring district of Céramique has recently become a favorite of students and expats alike because of the renovations that have transformed it into a modern suburb. The art museum of Bonnefanten is also located here.

Quality of life

Rental prices

Wyck is very popular for its style and central location. You can expect to pay around €1,100 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.


Wyck is conveniently located between the train station and the river Maas. Everything is within walking distance: to get to the university area, you’ll just have to cross the river by a bridge.

Public transport

The train station is in Wyck, so you’ll easily be connected to the other Dutch cities and beyond. All the main urban bus lines also pass by here.

Maastricht Neighbourhood: Boschstraatkwartier

Boschstraatkwartier has changed a lot and is constantly evolving. Together with the surrounding neighborhoods of Bosscherveld, Lanakerveld, Front Quarter, Sphinx and Statenkwartier it has undergone large renovations in the past twenty years. The residential and commercial spaces are giving new life to abandoned buildings and former factories. Today, it’s very popular among internationals. The Student Hotel is also located here.

Quality of life

Rental prices Prices in Boschstraat Kwartier are slightly lower than in the more central neighborhoods. You can expect to pay around €850 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

Location Boschstraat Kwartier is located north of the city center. It’s built around the inner-city harbor of ‘t Bassin.

Public transport

Boschstraat Kwartier is connected to the train station by 6 bus lines. It’ll take you around 7 minutes to get there, or 6 minutes by bike. To reach Maastricht University, it’ll take you 10 minutes by walking or 6 minutes by bike.

Maastricht Neighbourhood: Wolder

Wolder and the other neighborhoods surrounding St. Petersberg Hill have a unique charm. They are close to nature, at a walking distance from the city center and the border with Belgium. On top of St. Petersberg Hill, you’ll find a fortress. You’ll be able to walk through an intricate maze of tunnels under the fortress: the Zonneberg Caves and the North Caves of Maastricht. Definitely an alternative way to spend an afternoon!

Quality of life

Rental prices

Wolder is considered to be quite posh. It isn’t surprising that it’s sought after by many because of its greenery yet proximity to the city. Also, houses here are usually bigger. You can expect to pay around €1,300 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.


Wolder is located to the south of the city center. It’s the last neighborhood before the border with Belgium.

Public transport

Despite being relatively far from the center, it’ll only take you 16 minutes by bike to reach the train station. There is also a convenient direct bus that’ll take you there in 22 minutes.

Where should I live in Maastricht?

If you are coming here to study or work, you’ll likely prefer living in or around the city center, to the east, north or south. The north has a more industrial feeling and will lack the quaint atmosphere of the other areas, while the west hosts mainly new buildings and social housing.

Now that you have a better understanding of the best areas to live in Maastricht prepare yourself with the Maastricht arrival checklist!

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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