Despite being one of Holland’s oldest cities, Maastricht retains a different flavour from the rest of the Netherlands. It has wider streets, larger squares and its buildings are formed from a curious quilt of architectural styles. Maastricht prides itself on its international vibe, so if you’re looking to visit somewhere quintessentially Dutch, consider dropping by Utrecht or Haarlem instead. But with a past that spans 20 centuries, Maastricht is considered Holland’s premier melting pot and well worth a visit. Fans of history will love the city’s medieval relics and crumbling fortifications, while foodies will enjoy its cosmopolitan restaurant scene. Whatever you look for in a city break, you’re sure to find a long weekend’s worth of exciting things to in Maastricht.
With the bright winter sun rising over frozen canals, winter is one of the most beautiful seasons to see your favourite European cities. And while the long summer days of lazing at the best of the festivals may be over for this year, the colder months bring a whole host of exciting events with them. From awe-inspiring illuminations in Amsterdam to curious literary themed carnivals in France, there’s a full programme of activities to keep the whole family entertained throughout the iciest of seasons.
The thrill of the big wheel, the whoosh as the rollercoaster hurtles downhill and the almighty splash as the log flume hits the water; visiting a theme park is one of the most sensory, exciting activities you can do whatever age you are. And some of the best can be found not too far from home. From visiting famous landmarks in Mini-Europe to scaling lofty heights and stepping into storybook realms, here are some of the best theme parks in Europe.
Every year, cinephiles journey in their droves to film festivals across the globe. Although Hollywood is eternally popular as a producer of blockbusters, Europe may well be the true home of the art form. Attending a film festival gives you the chance to experience movies in their best possible iteration – on the big screen, surrounded by equally enthusiastic people. Whether you’re an expert on underground horror, a black comedy buff or a sucker for a political thriller, there’s an amazing film festival in Europe just for you.
While nowhere in the world celebrates Halloween with quite the same gusto as America, that’s not to say that Europe – with its ancient ruins, gory history and fascinating folklore – isn’t an amazing place to be on October 31st. If you want to scare yourself silly, some unforgettable celebrations can be found a short ferry ride away, in three of Europe’s most fright-filled cities.
If you’re visiting the European hub of futuristic art and cutting-edge design, take a romantic break from the thrill of the bright lights at one of these cosier destinations just a stone’s throw away. Rotterdam is home to Europe’s biggest port, making it the perfect base for a starry-eyed long weekend in South Holland. And with excellent connections to some of some of the most quixotic locations in the Netherlands, you’re just a ferry ride away from an unforgettably idyllic adventure. All of these suggestions are under and hour away from the city by train or car – making them ideal locations for a day trip, or even a long weekend if your schedule is more flexible. The only question is, where first?
With the senses filled with the scent of colourful tulips and the sight of towering windmills, food may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you turn your mind to the Netherlands. But much like France and Germany, the country is positively filled with delicious culinary delights just waiting to be tried. From the aptly named ‘Cheese Valley’ to the sweet treats of speculaas and stroopwafels, your mouth will be watering after reading our food lovers’ guide to the Netherlands.