How to get to Maastricht
Maastricht is so close to Belgium that some of its suburbs actually cross the border. Germany is just down the road, so really it’s very easy to get there! Here are a few suggestions.
On foot: The obvious way if you live in or near Maastricht, BUT… the conference location is directly opposite Maastricht railway station, which is also where the international bus services stop.
By train: this is the obvious choice for people arriving from within the Netherlands; no parking charges and so close to the conference location. There are two direct trains an hour from Amsterdam Centraal and two trains an hour from Schiphol Airport with a change at Utrecht (journey time under 2½ hours, single fares about €27 second class).
You cannot reserve seats on Dutch trains, and it makes no difference in price to buy in advance (except on some international trains). Timetables (in English) can be found on the Dutch Railways website. Tickets can also be purchased from ticket machines in the baggage reclaim area at Schiphol Airport. There is also a staffed ticket office in the main concourse inside the airport and at Amsterdam Centraal. There is usually a small surcharge for using a credit card. Tickets can be booked online, and the site accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express credit cards.
Remember to keep your train ticket on you as you leave or enter a station! It has to be scanned at the turnstiles, and it may be checked on the train itself.
By car: Maastricht is located on the A2 (E25) Amsterdam-Maastricht-Liège motorway and close to the A76 (E314) Antwerp-Aachen motorway. The conference hotel has its own private car park, and charges €19.50 per car per night. Please click here for more information about other places to park in Maastricht.
By air: Maastricht has its own airport (which it shares with Aachen) but it’s basically only holiday flights that operate from there. There is however a greater choice of international airports, all of which are within a couple of hours from Maastricht:
|Intercontinental airports||International airports|
(mostly European flights operated by low cost carriers)
By high-speed train: The Thalys and Eurostar high-speed trains from Paris and London will take you as far as Brussels, and from there you can take a connecting train to Maastricht, changing at Liège. ICE trains from operate from Basel (CH), Frankfurt and Cologne, where you can take the train to Maastricht, changing at Aachen.
Fares for high-speed trains vary, reservation is required, and the earlier you book the cheaper it will usually be.
By ferry from UK ports: The only overnight ferry which is reasonably convenient for Maastricht is the Hull to Zeebrugge service from P&O. Other services, such as Newcastle to IJmuiden (for Amsterdam) with DFDS, and Harwich to Hoek van Holland with Stena Line are fine if you plan to visit other parts of the Netherlands, but will involve a longer drive. Don’t consider cross-Channel routes to Calais and Dunkerque unless you are travelling by car, because there are no good public transport links to Maastricht. By car from Calais or Dunkerque, it is almost a 4 hour drive to the conference location (via Gent and Antwerp), depending on traffic.
By coach: There are services from many European cities operated by Eurolines, FlixBus, Terravision and Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) to Maastricht. They arrive at the new international coach terminal just opposite the conference location (due to open early 2020). Fares are cheap, but timetables are not always convenient and reports about the services vary. If you are flying with KLM into Amsterdam Airport, they offer a FREE coach service to and from Maastricht.
Transport information: Door-to-door English-language information on public transport to and around the Netherlands (not including flights and ferry routes) is available through www.9292.nl. It also contains information about any disruptions to travel. 9292 has apps for Apple or Android. The Dutch National Railways NS JourneyPlanner is also available in English with apps for Apple and Android.
Public transport smart card: If you are staying longer in the Netherlands, it is worth buying a public transport smart card, called an OV-chipkaart, which you can top up and use on all public transport throughout the country. Locals and long-term visitors can purchase a personal OV-chipkaart, valid for public transport and bike rental. If you are just travelling to the conference and back, buying a ticket at the airport or station is the easiest option. You can buy single tickets on most buses but increasingly you cannot pay in cash, only with a debit or credit card – and it’s more expensive.
Fares and other information were correct at time of publication.
SENSE cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes.