Located on the south east coast, Maastricht is one the major cities in the Netherlands and the capital city of its local province, Limburg. Traditionally an industrial city, Maastricht is now perhaps best known for the Maastricht Treaty, which made major contributions to the formation and development of the European Union.
As one of the cultural and economic centers of Western Europe, and the birthplace of the European Union, Maastricht is truly an international city. Its population of around 182,721 is made up of people from across Europe, including large French, German, Belgian, Italian, and British communities, in addition to its native Dutch inhabitants. This internationalism is reflected in its linguistic make up, too, with many people speaking French, German, and English as well as Dutch. The regional tonal dialect of Limburgish is also spoken, which is a combination of Dutch and Flemish, as a result of each country occupying the overlapping Limburg region.
Despite being located in the south of the country, Maastricht has a similar climate to most of the Netherlands. However, due to its location between two elevated areas of land, it has slightly warmer summers and cooler winters than the rest of the country. This means that expatriates moving to Maastricht will need to adjust to a moderate maritime or oceanic climate, which is characterized by relatively temperate, mild conditions throughout the year.
The summer, which runs from May to August, experiences temperatures between 18.3°C (64.9°F) and 23.0°C (73.4°F) on average, with it sometimes reaching up to 30.6°C (87.1°F). In the winter, expatriates living in Maastricht can expect temperatures between 2.7°C (36.9°F) and 6.4°C (43.5°F), with January as the coldest month.
As the Netherlands is a member of the European Union, EU/EEA citizens do not need an entry visa or a residence permit to move to Maastricht. However, they must register with their local municipality if they are moving to Maastricht for longer than four months. They will then be given a Citizen Service Number and are able to live in Maastricht as if they were a Dutch citizen.
Non-EU citizens, however, will need a residence permit, and depending on their country of origin, an entry visa. You should contact your local embassy in advance to see if you need a visa to enter the Netherlands.
Residence permits can be applied for before moving to Maastricht or within three days of entering the country at the Dutch Immigration Naturalization Service — your prospective employer will normally submit the application. Your residence permit will usually last for a year, after which time it can be renewed.
For more information on Dutch visas and residence permits, please refer to our article on Moving to the Netherlands.