What are the best options to get from Amsterdam to Maastricht? How far is Maastricht from Amsterdam? What is the fastest way? What are alternative modes of transportation? I’ve written this extensive post for you to answer these questions and more.
Why Travel To Maastricht
Are you planning a trip from Amsterdam to Maastricht? Then this how-to-get-to post is your guide. As a native, I have a special affection for Maastricht. As is the case, I think, for most people here. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands and an excellent destination for a day or weekend trip. Today we explore the best ways to get to this city.
Maastricht is just something different. It has a foreign feel to it in a good way. It feels more like France. This is where you find cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture, and great food. Maastricht has class and elegance. And they have the best pie in the country: Limburgse Vlaai, a must-try during your visit.
Read more about where to get the Best Vlaai in Maastricht in my post here.
Don’t miss the St. Servaas Bridge and the Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius.
For culture, visit the Bonnefantenmuseum or explore the Fort of St. Pieter. Vrijthof Square is the city’s most famous square. This is where André Rieu has his annual outdoor concerts.
Beyond Maastricht, the hills of Limburg invite you for an active day out or visit Valkenburg and its castle ruins. Maastricht is on the border with Belgium and Germany, so there is much to explore beyond the borders. A visit to the 3-country point is always fun!
Let’s explore Maastricht, the southern jewel of the Netherlands.
Here is my list of the 30 best things to do in Maastricht.
PS: if you want to stay in a castle once in your life, this area is excellent. Sign up for my newsletter and get my list of 20 unique places to stay in the Netherlands. This list includes three impressive castles around the city of Maastricht.
Table of Contents
How Far Is Maastricht, And How Long Does It Take?
The distance between Amsterdam and Maastricht is 220 km (140 miles).
The journey time varies a little depending on the mode of transport you choose, but they don’t vary greatly. Count on 2h 20m by train to three hours by bus. The drive by car from Amsterdam to Maastricht takes 2h 15m, if you’re lucky. But the journey time can vary due to traffic. When it’s terrible, the journey takes at least an hour extra.
What Is The Best Mode Of Transport?
There are different ways to get from Amsterdam to Maastricht. If you’ve read some of my other how-to-get-to posts, like from Amsterdam to Haarlem, Rotterdam, The Hague, or Utrecht, you know I always say the train is the best option. I say that again today, but the Bus can also be a good alternative on this route.
For most people, train travel will be the best and most convenient way to travel ✅. This is because traveling between these cities is slightly faster and more comfortable. It is more comfortable because you can walk around and opt for first class. They also always have free wifi and toilets. You can move to another compartment if you have an annoying passenger near you. In a bus, you’re stuck with whom you’re traveling with. Departures are also much more frequent, and you go from city center to city center. Most people want to travel in the Netherlands by train because of this.
You can also take a bus. These are also direct and have comfortable seats and free wifi aboard. The journey time is only slightly longer but not that much. There is, however, no difference in class of service. You’re more bound to your seat. You won’t be able to work comfortably on a laptop, for example, on a bus. But prices are a lot lower. Buses leave from the outskirts of Amsterdam, like Sloterdijk station or Bijlmer Arena station, and from Schiphol Airport. So if the departure location and departure times work for you, it can be a great option to save money.
When I go to Maastricht, I always go by train. I prefer first class on this long journey with lots of legroom and a wide leather seat. Often (but not always) First Class compartments have power outlets available. I also enjoy not being time bound by a specific reservation (you’re bound by a departure when you go by bus). And I can depart every 30 minutes by direct train. Buses go much less often.
How To Plan Your Journey From Amsterdam To Maastricht By Train?
You can use the travel planner in the app on your phone or the website to plan your journey and find the timetable. Both options are available in English. And either one is easy to use for finding travel information. It’s a great tool if you need to get around the country. Both planning tools can also show other modes of transport in addition to train services only. Handy if you want to plan door-to-door.
Another great option is to plan your journeys on Google Maps. It has a separate tab for directions by public transport. I also like using Google Maps to follow my progress on the journey.
How Much Does The Train Cost?
Ticket prices are updated regularly. It’s best to check current prices on the NS website. It’s intuitive to use and available in English. Just enter your departure station and arrival station and search. Prices are displayed on the next page. To give you an idea: expect to pay between €30 and €50 depending on the class of service. The Dutch railways also offer group discounts (only valid off-peak) and in standard class (2nd), but at a much-reduced price if you go with two people or more. It saves you 50% or more and is the cheapest way to get to Maastricht by rail.
How To Buy A Ticket For Your Journey From Amsterdam To Maastricht?
This is possible in a few different ways:
- From the service desk at the station (only major stations) +€1
- From the machine – you’ll need a credit card with a pin, a Dutch bank card, or a lot of coins +€1
- Direct with your contactless bank or credit card. Just tap in at the gate in Amsterdam to check-in and then tap at one of the check-out poles after arriving at Maastricht Train Station. (Only 2nd class), the correct price will then automatically be calculated. If you forget to check out, you have to file a claim.
- The NS App – Smartest option if you want to get a group discount (2nd class only) or use 1st class – no surcharge
- The NS Website – buy online via the website, but you’ll need a printer – no surcharge.
- You can NOT pay your fare onboard after departure. This will be seen as fare evasion, which will incur a fine on top of the regular price.
The easiest way to pay is just using your contactless bank or credit card. It’s quick and cheap. This is your best option if you are ok with Standard Class (2nd) and don’t need anything special.
If you want to use first-class like me or take this trip together with others, buying your ticket through the mobile app is best. You pay no surcharge, can pay by credit card, and do not need a printer and use paper. It will be available as a QR code in the app.
You can open the gates at the station with this QR code and show it to the conductor as proof of payment.
The one drawback is that you’re responsible for having a working phone. An empty battery is no excuse for being unable to show your ticket. If you want to avoid this, book online at the website and print it, or bring a battery pack.
If you book a ticket from a staffed desk or machine, you’ll pay a €1 surcharge for each.
Things To Know About Tickets In the Netherlands:
- They are not train-specific but day-specific. You can take any departure you like*.
- Seat reservations are not possible.
- Prices stay the same. They do not fluctuate per departure*.
- You can buy tickets in advance, but these are non-refundable. Only buy when you’re sure you’ll go.
- The return price is twice the cost of the one-way price. And only valid on the same day. There is not much benefit in getting one.
- You can buy up to the moment before you enter the platform.
- When purchased via the website, they must be printed. A digital PDF copy or screenshot is not valid. If you have no printer, always buy in the mobile app to avoid this requirement.
*Some restrictions may apply if you’ve purchased at a discounted rate. Most discounts, for example, won’t allow you to be on any rush-hour services. Please check the conditions before you go. You can go on any departure for regular prices purchased in the app.
Save Money When You’re Not Alone
For a group of 2 or more people, the least expensive ticket from Amsterdam to Maastricht is by the group discount. Already mentioned quickly before.
This is a discounted price for multiple people taking the same journey simultaneously. The price is fixed no matter the distance, making it very interesting for longer distances like this route.
There are a few restrictions. It’s valid in the standard 2nd class only. You can not buy this if you want to sit in first class. You can only be on a train during off-peak hours. Read the terms carefully on the website. You can also not use it on Kingsday (April 27th).
Off-peak hours are all day during weekends, public holidays (King’s Day excluded). During weekdays, peak hours are between 6:30 am and 9 am and 4 pm to 6:30 pm. You can not be on the train during these time blocks on weekdays.
How To Get From Amsterdam To Maastricht By Train
Taking a train from Amsterdam to the beautiful city of Maastricht is easy. There are many trains per day, and Amsterdam to Maastricht trains depart without a transfer every 30 minutes from 6 am till after 10 pm. There are no night trains or high-speed trains on this route.
Trains departing from Amsterdam Centraal Station are direct Intercity Maastricht trains. You’re able to make the trip from Amsterdam to Maastricht without transfers. It’s the fastest way to get to Maastricht.
The Dutch Railways (NS) is the primary passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. This carrier operates all trains to Maastricht from Amsterdam. You’ll most likely use a local carrier once you get to Maastricht and continue onwards.
The route from Amsterdam to Maastricht has a journey time of 2h 20m, which is the same as the journey time by car if there is no traffic. You lose no time compared to a journey by car, and being on a train allows you to sit leisurely and enjoy the countryside passing by, read a novel, catch up with your company, or work a little.
What Is The Cheapest Way Between Amsterdam and Maastricht?
A long-distance bus is usually the least expensive way between these two cities. Flixbus is Europe’s leading coach company, and Flixbus operates long-distance buses from Amsterdam to Maastricht. The journey can be very cheap, starting at only €9,99. But compare prices carefully because sometimes they can become more expensive than the train, especially if you use the group discount from the train.
Buses leave from Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena Station, Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station, and Schiphol Airport. The shortest travel time is from Bijlmer Arena station. After that, the bus stops only twice (in Eindhoven and Roermond). Note that neither bus station is in the city center of Amsterdam. Consider the extra time and costs you incur when departing from these locations compared to train tickets.
Buses leave a few times a day, much less frequently than trains. Remember that bus tickets are only valid for a specific departure. They’re not flexible, like a train ticket.
The bus could work if you have a low budget or stay near one of these departure locations when it would make less sense to go to Amsterdam Central Station first.
Do note that Flixbus, similar to Airlines, limit free baggage allowance. Ensure you comply before opting to go on one or more bus trips.
Travel From Amsterdam to Maastricht By Car
It’s easy to get from Amsterdam to Maastricht by car. Just take the A2 freeway south. Journey times vary depending on traffic. If you’re fortunate, you can arrive in 2 hours and 15 minutes. But it’s much more likely you’ll hit some traffic along the way.
Maastricht has paid parking in the city center, but you can park for free at the Maastricht Noord Station and take a train to the city center. The journey only takes a few minutes. It saves parking costs and the hassle of driving in an old city. You can pay for your train ticket by tapping in with a contactless bank or credit card. And you do the same after arrival in Maastricht. The price is then automatically deducted from your account.
For most people, the train is the best option to Maastricht. Still, there could be many reasons a car would be more convenient. For example, if you spend more time here and explore the beautiful surroundings of Maastricht. There is an excellent cross-border public transportation network, but moving around in some instances will still be more cumbersome.
Rentalcars.com is my favorite platform. I find they most often always have the best rates. Discover cars is an alternative. Check them both for the best comparison. Rental Cars is the company I use when renting a car anywhere in the world.
Frequently Asked Question
Can you fly from Amsterdam to Maastricht?
You can not fly between Schiphol Airport and Maastricht. If you fly KLM/Delta, you can take a free shuttle bus. If you fly another airline, you can take the Flixbus or travel by train. If you travel by train, you can depart every 30 minutes but must transfer trains at Utrecht.
Maastricht also has its own airport: Maastricht-Aachen Airport. However, this super small airport is mainly used for holiday flights. The most helpful flight from Maastricht Airport is with Ryanair to London Stansted Airport.
Is Maastricht close to Amsterdam?
Maastricht is the furthest city in the Netherlands from Amsterdam. However, Maastricht is less than 2 hours and 30 minutes away from the capital. The distance between the two cities is 220 km or 140 miles. The fastest way to travel there is by train or car (without traffic), making the train a better choice. A long-distance bus takes a little bit longer but is usually cheaper.
Find A Place To Stay In Maastricht
Which Amsterdam to Maastricht Transportation Option Is The Most Convenient For You?
I’d love to hear your thoughts: Do you plan to use the train, bus or rental car between Amsterdam to Maastricht? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s start a conversation 💬.
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