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JOWJ Insider Guide To: Netherlands

Introducing the third instalment of a new series in which I virtually sit down with my friends who are currently living/grew up in different countries. I thought it would be a great way to get their insights in to what they would recommend for tourists. From untouched gems to food hot spots to so much more. Keep reading to hear what Jessie has to say about her home country of the Netherlands.


Sint-Servaasbasiliek, an 11th century church

Tell us a little bit about your hometown of Maastricht.


"Maastricht is located in the southeast of the Netherlands and is the capital of the province Limburg. The city was built at a point where it was easy to cross the river ‘Maas’, from which the city derives its (Roman) name: Maastricht = Mosa Trajectum = passage through the Maas.


The city developed from a Roman settlement to a medieval religious centre. In the 16th century it became a garrison town and in the 19th century an early industrial city.


Today, the city is a thriving cultural and regional hub. It became well known for the Maastricht Treaty and as the birthplace of the Euro."


Het Vrijthof, located in the centre of old town Maastricht

What are some non-touristy things to do in this city?


"Maastricht has a very good shopping centre!"


Most people head to Amsterdam, where would you say in the Netherlands equally deserves attention?


"Some other nice cities to visit in NL are Utrecht, Rotterdam, Leiden, Nijmegen, ’s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch in short), Delft and Valkenburg. The best theme park would be De Efteling."


Utrecht Unsplash©
Valkenburg Unsplash©
Delft, Unsplash©

Show us your favourite picture you've taken in the Netherlands.


View of the old bridge in Maastricht


Friet met zuurvlees

What is your favourite dish? And where should we try it for the first time?


"‘Friet met frikandel.’ These are chips, usually served in a paper cone covered with mayo, ketchup or curry and onions, and a traditional dutch sausage snack called frikandel. The best place to try this is at Reitz, a chip shop located on the ‘Markt’ in the city centre. "


"In Maastricht however, chips are often served with ‘zuurvlees’ (sour meat), rather than a dutch frikandel. You’d be able to eat ‘friet met zuurvlees’ in pretty much any normal restaurant in the city. "



Great we know what food we'll be trying! Teach us a few words or phrases that could come in handy!


"An important thing to know is that people from the province ‘Limburg’ speak ‘Limburgs’ alongside Dutch. Depending on the city or village you go to, this Limburgs dialect changes a lot.


In Maastricht people speak ‘Mestreechs, which is rather influenced by the French language, whilst some other dialects are more influenced by the German language. So don’t be surprised to hear people speak rather different from Dutch!"


"However, Limburgers all speak Dutch as well so a few Dutch words and phrases that could come in handy are:"


- Hallo or hoi (Hello)

- Goedemiddag (Good afternoon)

- Tot ziens (Goodbye)

- Hoe gaat het? (How are you?)

- Alstublieft (Please)

- Dankjewel (Thank you.)

- Sorry (I’m sorry.)

- Ja / Nee (Yes / No)


Windmill in Haarlem Unsplash©




What would you say the Netherlands is famous for?


"The typical things the Netherlands are famous for are cheese, wooden shoes, windmills, tulips, innovative water-management and bikes. You won’t find most of these stereotypes in Maastricht, however. This southern city is culturally quite different from the north of the country. "









What is a must visit store located in Maastricht?


"A must-visit store is Boekhandel Dominicanen. This old church, called the Dominicanenkerk, is a national monument which had been converted into a bookstore in 2007."




It's a holiday weekend, what would you get up to?


"On a holiday weekend I would go shopping in the city centre, or I would go for a walk in ‘het Heuvelland.’ The Netherlands are known for being flat, but the southern province Limburg is pretty hilly!"


Finally, I know you're a composer so tell us a little bit about that and where potential clients can get in contact!


"My name is Jessie van den Boorn and I’m a film composer located in Bristol (UK). For contact or examples of my work, please visit my website:" www.jessievandenboorn.com


This has been great thank you for such in depth answers!


Botanical gardens at Mondo Verde
Mosaic tile flooring inside Sint-Servaasbasiliek
Mondo Verde in Landgraaf, a zoo and botanical garden

If you've enjoyed this post and are looking forward to where the next insider is located or would like to be an insider reach out here or join the mailing list to be the first to know when that post goes live!

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