National History Museum
The museum is only a 10-minute walk from the city center, so it’s a great place to start your day! It’s very interactive and organized in chronological order, which helps children better understand its exhibits. It focuses on things like the evolution of the Earth, dinosaurs, fossils, and skeletons. If you’ve got a child who’s interested in all things dinosaurs, this is the museum for you!
A few things to note: you can’t use a credit card to pay for admission; you must use either cash or Maestro card. Also, while you don’t technically need to pre-book a ticket online, Travel mat Kanner recommends you do so you ensure you get in and so you can plan your day around a specific time.
Tickets are €7.20 for adults, €6.20 for students, €5.20 for seniors (ages 65+), €4.60 for children ages 5-11, and free for children ages 0-4. It’s closed on Mondays and holidays. During the week (Tuesdays through Fridays), it’s open from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), it’s open from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM.
You can expect to spend anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half in the museum. If you want to spend more time in the area, TravelmatKanner recommends the nearby animal park! To get there, leave the museum and turn right, then keep walking straight. There, you’ll find some beautiful canals and green fields, which are perfect for sitting and relaxing! You can also see some of the local wildlife, including ducks, geese, and deer. Just be careful not to disturb them!
The second spot on the itinerary is a bookstore located in an old Dominican church! The church itself is beautiful, and the bookstore is a great way to get a bit of a break from traditional sight-seeing. Travel mat Kanner called the church a “must-see”, especially because of the way it has been transformed to accommodate the bookstore! The cafeteria in the bookstore also has some delicious coffee, other drinks, and snacks. The bookstore is open on Mondays from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM, and on Sundays from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM. Also, keep in mind that the bathrooms in the building are closed!
You may have some time to stroll through some of Maastricht’s shopping streets, depending on what time you want to get to the next museum. There are a lot of great local and souvenir shops in the area, and this is a great way to support small businesses!
Museum of Illusions Maastricht
This one is sure to be a hit with the kids! It uses things like illusions to teach children (and parents!) about physics and other scientific fields. There are also lots of opportunities to take some funny and strange photos. It’ll be fun for the whole family! You can expect to spend at least an hour in the museum, possibly longer if your kids (or you) want to play some games. The staff are also extremely friendly and will answer any questions you may have! Plus, they’ve got some great ideas for photos.
Opening hours can vary due to group visits and special events, so it’s a good idea to check the website beforehand to make sure you can actually visit during your intended time. It’s also a good idea to pre-book tickets to make sure you can get in when you want to! Tickets are €16.50 for adults, €13.50 for children ages 5-15, and €13.50 for students and seniors. You can also get a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for €49.50! The museum is open every day from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, although on Mondays and Tuesdays, this time tends to be reserved for groups and school functions.
The last stop on the list is a quick 7-minute walk from the Museum of Illusions! It’s a delicious restaurant that specializes in local cuisine, which makes it a great way to try some new food. Their lunch menu contains things like black pudding, a chicken ragout patty, bugers, and “E Gevuld Buukske”, a soup served with eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, and cheese! The kids’ menu has ribs, stew, and pizza, as well as a “pirate plate” option that gives them an extra plate so they can steal from your meal. If you’re there for dinner, you can choose from various meat dishes (including ribs, pickled rabbit, steak, and a typical Maastricht beef stew), fish, pasta, and salad, or you can enjoy a 3-course meal! They have some delicious desert options as well.
Then, it’s just a 2-hour drive back to Luxembourg! Maastricht is the perfect spot to enjoy a day out with the kids without needing to travel too far.
Let us know what you think of Maastricht in the comments below! Do you have any suggestions for other activities in the city to do? We’ll add them to the list!