Weekend in Maastricht, Amsterdam

Weekend in Maastricht, Amsterdam

Things to do, see and eat in Maastricht and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Tips for a short weekend visit, including Heineken Experience, canal tour and more.

In celebration of my 24th birthday, Ben and I took our first vacation together to Amsterdam.

In order to split up the four and a half hour drive from our town in Germany, we decided to drive halfway to Maastricht, stay overnight, and take the train from Maastricht to Amsterdam the following morning.

Maastricht

We stayed at B&B De Hofnar Maastricht, which is a quick five-minute stroll from the downtown area. We parked at the Cabergerweg parking lot — a cheap daily rate and a 10-minute walk from our B&B.

The small city of Maastricht sits along a river, and the area around the waterfront is made up of restaurants, stores, bars and a couple old cathedrals. It’s a cute place to wander around!

Bridge and buildings in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Erinn smiing in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
A secluded canal in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

After exploring, we took a seat at one of the several restaurants with outdoor seating under a warm heat lamp and ate hot stew to warm up (it was quite cold in November). We enjoyed a couple post-dinner drinks and returned to the B&B to get some sleep before our early morning train.

The train station was a 15-minute walk from our hotel. We got to see a pretty view of Maastricht as we walked across the river at sunrise for our 7 a.m. train to Amsterdam.

A view of Maastricht at sunrise.

The train from Maastricht to Amsterdam took roughly two hours. We went a little past Amsterdam to a city called Weesp where we stayed for the weekend. This was a last-minute, budget-friendly trip, so we decided to stay outside of the city to save money. We found a place on Airbnb for €40 per night that was perfect for us. After a quick meet and greet with the hosts, we set out for Amsterdam. Catching the train from Weesp was easy — it ran every 15-20 minutes and cost €9 each way.

Amsterdam

We set out in Amsterdam with no specific plan and enjoyed simply walking around the city and encountering things along the way. We found picturesque opportunities around every corner. Amsterdam is beautiful!

Ben and Erinn smiling in Amsterdam.
A night-time view of a canal in Amsterdam.

After a full day of sightseeing, eating, drinking and walking through the Red Light District, it was time for dinner. We ate at Dabka, a Lebanese restaurant so delicious we returned for lunch the next day.

After dinner, we met up with Ben’s friend who was also visiting Amsterdam. We bar-hopped as they caught up and it was a great evening.

The three of us set out the next day with a couple goals in mind: We wanted to see the “I amsterdam” sign and the Heineken Experience. We bought discounted Heineken tickets at one of the many ticket and tour offices scattered throughout the city.

Erinn and Ben sitting on the "I amsterdam" sign in Amsterdam.
Beers at the Heineken Experience tour.

The Heineken Experience was pretty cool. It’s one of those things where now that we’ve done it once, we don’t need to do it again — but we had to check it off the “things to do in Amsterdam” list!

The visit concluded with free beer and a 30-minute canal tour. I definitely recommend taking a canal tour in Amsterdam, whether it’s in addition to the Heineken Experience or separately with a different tour company — there are many to choose from.  

We enjoyed the rest of our time in Amsterdam visiting different bars, restaurants and clubs. It was a short but enjoyable trip. On our final day, we rode the train back to Maastricht to our car and drove back home to Kaiserslautern.

Erinn’s note: I visited Amsterdam several more times after this trip and compiled a short list of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam! Enjoy!

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