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 4.5-hour drive from our town in Germany, we decided to drive halfway to Maastricht, stay overnight, and take the train to Amsterdam the following morning. There’s no telling just how much life my 20-year-old hoopty has left in her, so we didn’t want to push it the entire journey. If you’re driving and parking in Amsterdam, check out the Park + Ride garages for extremely discounted parking! 


We stayed at B&B De Hofnar Maastricht, which is a quick 5-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!

After exploring, we took a break 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 nightcap and returned to the B&B to get some sleep before our early morning train.

In the morning, we enjoyed a pretty view of Maastricht as we walked across the river at sunrise for our 7 a.m. train to Amsterdam. 

Our 2-hour train journey took us a little past Amsterdam to Weesp, where we stayed for the weekend. This was a last-minute, budget-friendly trip, so we decided to stay outside of the city in an Airbnb for €40 per night. 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.


We began to explore Amsterdam with no plan and enjoyed simply walking around and encountering things along the way. We found picturesque opportunities around every corner. Amsterdam is beautiful!

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.

Following dinner, we met up for bar-hopping with a friend who was also in town. 

The next day, the three of us set out 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.

The Heineken Experience was pretty cool. Now that we’ve done it once, we don’t need to do it again — but we had to check it off the bucket list!

The visit concluded with free beer and a 30-minute canal tour. I recommend taking a canal tour, whether with the Heineken Experience or through one of the many other companies available. 

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 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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