You would almost miss them. Almost. Because as soon as you pass the entryway to the St. Servaas Basilica, you’ll figure out that it’s worth walking on. You’ll see for yourself that Maastricht doesn’t end at the Vrijthof. Sometimes you just have to take those few extra steps. That’s when Maastricht will surprise you with just how surprising the city centre really is.
The Vrijthof has a number of little streets leading into it from all directions. They include Brusselsestraat, Grote Gracht, and De Kommel. Unlike the more idyllic boulevards in most of the rest of the city, these streets evoke a feeling of the urban, the artistic, the unknown. Here, students and locals come and go: artists, designers, professionals. It’s an area that’s moving fast: new shops, start-ups, young businesses, surprising concepts. Yet at the same time, it’s bursting with historic buildings, and is still very much a place where locals want to live. In truth, you can’t really describe the streets around the Vrijthof in a few words. It’s where local, university, business, authentic, forward-looking, and surprising Maastricht all come together.