The urban horseshoe made up of Liège, Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen, Parkstad (an alliance of eight municipalities including Heerlen) and Aachen offers culture, creativity and communities. Inside the horseshoe is the Heuvelland: picturesque towns, rolling, breath-taking landscapes, recreation and magnificient views.
Urban living with a village feel are literally and figuratively intertwined in the Maastricht Region. The Notorious IBE (international breakdance event) and a traditional shooting festival, the European Fine Art Fair, a market with local produce, urban architecture, and half-timbered houses - they can all be found here. Little wonder, then, that there are five million overnight stays each year in hotels in the Maastricht Region, providing 20,000 jobs in tourism and recreation!
The Maastricht Region is home to several medium-sized towns and cities, located close to one another and with a pleasant, human feel. Together, they form a conglomeration with all the characteristics of a metropolis. It is this very combination of urban and park-city qualities that makes the Maastricht Region so unique.
The three cities of Heerlen/Parkstad, Maastricht and Sittard-Geleen each have their own specific characteristics. Heerlen/Parkstad is a dynamic area, brimming with extremes and featuring the largest indoor ski resort in Europe, the biggest residential boulevard in Europe and the oldest monastery in the Netherlands. Heerlen is a bustling city full of creative hubs, countless events, green spaces and many architectural monuments.
With its exquisite historic city centre, Maastricht, the provicinal capital of Limburg, offers top-quality dining, an exclusive shopping experience, international allure and a vibrant student culture.
Sittard-Geleen, one of the greenest cities in the Netherlands, has a delightful centre full of ancient heritage buildings and half-timbered houses. Sittard-Geleen is known especially for sports, including sports at an international level, and features the Sportzone Limburg, where athletes train in an international environment to compete in top-flight sports and develop their talents.
The Maastricht Region is an area with a unique character. Steep hillsides, interspersed with sunken roads and plateaus. The beauty of the Heuvelland, crowned with five stars, is often praised, but the literal translation, 'hill country,' is in fact incorrect. The landscape actually contains no hills at all, only valleys.
The Maastricht Region is a landscape with deeply entrenched valleys, rich in rivers and rocky gradients. The cultural and historical heritage is exceptional and varied, including half-timbered houses, chapels and roadside shrines. Thanks to flint and the fertile loess soil, the Maastricht Region is the part of the Netherlands that has been inhabited for the longest period of time.
Within the Maastricht Region, a number of areas stand out thanks to their own natural qualities: the nearly flat Grensmaasvallei in the northernmost region, the Heuvelland in the south that runs seamlessly into the Belgian Voer region and the northern Ardennes. Finally, there's Parkstad, the fastest-growing tourist destination in the Netherlands, located close to the German Eifel region and the High Fens (Hautes Fagnes).