Why Maastricht?

By Anouk Maas, Business Development Manager Medical Associations, Maastricht Convention Bureau


Many countries have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. How is Maastricht currently dealing with this crisis?

The Netherlands’ approach is aimed at keeping the virus under control as much as possible in order to protect vulnerable groups and make sure the healthcare system can cope. Thanks to people complying with the measures (such as 1,5 meter distance from other people, good hygiene, in case of symptoms get tested and stay at home), the numbers show a positive trend. People can travel to the The Netherlands without any restrictions. At this moment, we are almost back to normal: restaurants, cafés, outdoor seating areas, cultural institutions are open and we are organizing events with no maximum number of people again. Maastricht has immediately adapted to the COVID-19 outbreak, for example we implemented special COVID-19 protected pedestrian routes. Also, we have taken into account all required measures which makes sure you will get an outstanding experience and at the same time feel safe when visiting Maastricht.

The MICE industry is also struggling during these difficult times. How do you think this will change our industry, and what measures can be taken, in your opinion?

In response to the COVID-19, I think it is most important to adapt quickly to these changing times, focus on building trust and having the confidence that we can perfectly facilitate any (new) way of meeting. The Dutch government made it possible to meet again with no maximum number of people, but in a responsible and safe way. As for Maastricht we ensure that adapting to these changing times is our highest priority, as well as open communication and sharing knowledge with partners and clients to provide the best possible solution and rebuild trust in travelling.

Did you know, that…?

  • Many partners within Maastricht joined forces in order to find inventive solutions for online and/or hybrid events e.g. by developing a (tailor-made) congress portal and on-demand video sessions. For example the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Maastricht is postponed to 2021 but in order to facilitate this year’s edition our partners organized a great two-day webinar.
  • The Maastricht Region has the most international open innovation community of the Netherlands, where more than 24,000 entrepreneurs, researchers and students work on breakthroughs in the fields of sustainability, health and digitalization.
  • The Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Center (MECC) is currently upgrading and expanding and will open its doors again in February 2021; the capacity will increase from 3,000 to 5,000 participants.

Where to meet?

Where to stay?

With almost 6,000 hotel rooms available, Maastricht has a wide variety of stunning places. In keeping with the city’s historic and international character, the places to stay are a mix of historic boutique hotels, charming - romantic hotels and modern design hotels, on both sides of the Meuse river. Maastricht has about 307 5* hotel rooms, 3,332 4* hotel rooms, 1,759 3* hotel rooms and 202 2* hotel rooms. Below you will find an overview of a few unique locations:

How to get there?

As Maastricht is centrally located in Europe, there are eight international airports surrounding Maastricht (within one hour drive). Especially Brussels Airport and Dusseldorf Airport are well served with international connections and only a short drive from the city. The city is as well easily accessible by car from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany via the A2 and A79 highway. There’s also a well-connected public transport system (train station in the middle of the city center and a train station at two minutes walking distance from the venue MECC Maastricht).

Do you offer any special services/assistance for associations?

The Maastricht Convention Bureau is a neutral entity and we offer free of charge help with both the organizational and content-related aspects of a conference. Not only we provide an association with tailor-made advice on finding the perfect congress location, suitable hotels, social venues and other partners that may be involved, we also facilitate on behalf of the city of Maastricht with various complimentary services, such as shuttle services, discount on flights, PR and marketing support.

Personal recommendation/insider tips?

If you are familiar with Maastricht you probably know that we highly value our gastronomy. There is a reason why Maastricht is called the most Burgundy-like city of the Netherlands. Just like many locals, I really like our culinary scene. I love to start my day with having breakfast at restaurant Van Wijck, situated between quaint little streets, cool hotels and authentic shops. After breakfast relax and enjoy the international atmosphere of Maastricht at a terrace in a small and cosy street in the center of Maastricht: the ‘Koestraat’. End your day with having dinner at Brandson, located next to the Meuse River and the iconic St. Servatius bridge, for some shared dining and excellent wines. And finally, do not forget to grab a coffee at Coffeelovers located in the bookshop of the Dominican Church – also known as bookshop made in heaven!

Whom to contact?

For more information you can contact our Maastricht Convention Bureau team at office@maastrichtconventionbureau.com or +31 43 763 47 30 or feel free to contact Anouk directly at Anouk.maas@maastrichtconventionbureau.com or +31 6 52 62 56 88.