Maastricht Aachen Airport (MAA) is an airport shared not only between two cities, but two countries - Maastricht, the Netherlands and Aachen, Germany, both attractive destinations in themselves. The airport, however, is technically located in the municipality of Beek, some 8 miles (14 km) from the city of Maastricht. In 2013, nearly a half-million flyers landed at Maastricht Aachen, and that number continues to increase at a fast clip.
Some fly into the airport out of sheer economics, as the airport serves as a base for low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, Transavia, and Corendon. Others choose Maastricht Aachen as their destination with the intent to explore the southern Netherlands, with the possible inclusion of a day or weekend in Amsterdam; one of the airport's peak seasons coincides with TEFAF Maastricht, one of the continent's most eminent fine arts fairs, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Whether you are a low-cost flyer en route to the capital city or an arts lover in town for TEFAF, the transport options below will see you to Amsterdam.
(Note: While there are currently no direct transatlantic routes from North America to Maastricht Aachen Airport, American flyers can sometimes find substantially cheaper fares if they travel first to a major European air hub, then continue with a low-cost carrier to Maastricht.
Of course, the convenience of this option depends on one's travel itinerary; it's especially useful for travelers who would like to explore the southern Netherlands - such as TEFAF visitors - or will already be in the vicinity of a major air hub, such as Frankfurt am Main or Madrid-Barajas Airport, on their travels.)
Maastricht Aachen Airport to Amsterdam by Train
The most efficient mode of transport between Maastricht Aachen Airport and Amsterdam consists of a local bus to the city's central train station, and a Dutch Railways (NS) train to Amsterdam. Veolia bus line 59 (direction: Maastricht) picks up just outside the airport terminal, and stops at the railway stations of Maastricht and Sittard. Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver. Find the latest bus schedule on the Dutch travel advice site 9292, as well as custom transportation directions from the airport bus stop.
From Maastricht Station, there are direct trains to Amsterdam Central Station. The Intercity train from Maastricht (direction: Alkmaar) takes about two hours, 30 minutes to reach Amsterdam Central. For the latest train schedules and fare information, see the Dutch Railways (NS) web site.
Is There a Shuttle Bus?
No, there is currently no shuttle bus service between Maastricht Aachen Airport and Amsterdam. The only shuttle bus services from the airport are to the railway stations of Aachen and Köln in Germany; for more information on these services, see the Gilbacher airportXpress website.
To Amsterdam by Car
Only if visitors plan to use a rental car at other points on their trip does it make practical sense to drive from Maastricht Aachen to Amsterdam; otherwise, it is a less convenient and economical option than public transit.
Hertz, Sixt and Europcar all have counters at the arrivals terminal of Maastricht Aachen Airport; rental cars can be reserved in advance online or in person. See the Maastricht Aachen Airport web site for each company's contact information. Detailed directions on how to reach the airport can be found on the ViaMichelin web site, where motorists can choose their route of choice and calculate trip costs. The 200-mile (125 km) drive takes about two hours.
Maastricht is certainly one of the most picturesque cities in the Netherlands, with an atmosphere and, for that matter, a culture all of its own. Read more about Maastricht and special events in the city and its environs, such as the local Christmas fairs and the above-mentioned TEFAF arts and antiques fair held each March.