Tips on Living in Maastricht
December 2021 — by Merel Smit
In today’s blog, I will introduce you to some tips and tricks to keep in mind when moving to (and living in) Maastricht. These will come in handy during your daily life in this beautiful student city. Feel free to share these tips with your friends as well!
1. Get yourself a bike (and be sure to lock it)!
As you might be aware, the Dutch’ main means of transportation is by bike. We literally bike anywhere, through any weather condition, at any time. Thus, it would be handy for you to get a bike to go to university, your friends, etc. You can get a bike through a subscription at for example SwapFiets or find one yourself on marktplaats.nl or any other website where you can buy second handed bikes. The main tip: Be sure to lock your bike, otherwise it might get stolen. We will write a blog on buying a bike later!
2. Open a Dutch bank account, it will make your life a lot easier!
When it comes to shared drinks, dinners, and other expenses, a Dutch bank account will be useful to have. This will enable you to use the most Dutch app ever: Tikkie, an app made to send payment requests! You can open a bank account at for example ING, ABN-Amro, Rabobank, etc.
3. Get a Jumbo/Albert Heijn Bonuskaart for extra discounts
The Dutch love themselves a good discount. There are often sales and many supermarkets offer a weekly discount on specific products. Be sure to get a Jumbo and Albert Heijn Bonuskaart, so that you can get extra discounts on various products weekly. You can get a Bonuskaart for free at the supermarkets and scan it when you pay for your groceries.
4. Make sure to buy trash bags from the municipality
It is important to buy the correct municipality trash bags for the weekly trash pick-up. You can buy these trash bags at the info desks at Jumbo and Albert Heijn and you should use these to throw out your trash. For more information on what you can use these bags for, you can visit this website: https://www.gemeentemaastricht.nl/en/waste-and-environment/residual-waste-bag
5. Check if you are eligible for a discount on the BsGW fees (if included in your rent)
As you will move to Maastricht, you might be confronted with BsGW fees in your rent. These fees are for local taxes and you might be able to deduct these taxes from your expenses. You can check if you are eligible for exemption by contacting the BsGW. For more information, you can visit: https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/support/during-your-studies/money-matters/budgeting-your-studies/council-and-water-boards-tax
6. Familiarize yourself with the environment
This last tip might sound very straightforward, but it is the easiest way to get started. Try to google the area in advance and find out the nearest supermarket, drugstore, pharmacy, bars, etc to your home. Google Maps will probably become your best friend in the first week(s).
And last but not least, try to enjoy your time in Maastricht to the fullest! It will fly by faster than you can imagine. I hope this blog post can help you!