Named after its central town and the River Geul, Valkenburg aan de Geul is a sprawling municipality east of Maastricht. It has been the site of numerous battles and conquests connected to its centuries-old castle before becoming a popular holiday destination after the opening of the oldest surviving railway station in the Netherlands.
Things to do in Valkenburg Aan De Geul
In the heart of Valkenburg aan de Geul is Museum Land van Valkenburg, a regional history museum that houses exhibits dedicated to archaeology, mining and contemporary art. It occupies a marlstone building dating from 1900 that was designed in an Art Nouveau style by J.H.C. Kröner. A highlight of the museum is its impressive fossil collection from the Cretaceous Period.
Rising atop a hill in the south of Valkenburg aan de Geul are the ruins of a 14th-century castle, which was significantly damaged during the Eighty Years' War. It is the only hilltop castle in the Netherlands and offers elevated views across the town below. As you explore its defensive towers, dungeon and artillery room, you can learn about the castle’s links to Walram de Rosse and the Dukes of Brabant.
If you’re interested in the region’s mining past, pay a visit to the Steinkohlenzeche Valkenburg, a former coal mine that can be explored on underground tours. After watching a vintage film created by Dutch State Mines, you’ll learn about the hardships of the industry from knowledgeable local miners and see working machinery in action.
Getting around Valkenburg Aan De Geul
Valkenburg aan de Geul is around 15 minutes' drive from the centre of Maastricht and Maastricht Aachen Airport, which has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect to the Valkenburg railway station and the town is small enough to explore on foot.