Venue and Travel
The venue for the conference is MECC Maastricht, Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre.
Maastricht Conference City
Maastricht is the ideal conference city in the heart of Europe. Quoting from Wikipedia: “The first permanent settlement was founded by the Celts about 500 BC. A Roman city was built around 0 AD, making Maastricht one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands”. The name Maastricht goes back to the Roman Empire name of the city “Mosa Trajectum”, meaning crossing of the Maas (Meuse) River.
With Belgium and Germany as its direct neighbours Maastricht is only a short trip away no matter which way to travel you use. With eight airports nearby, good international train connections and excellent highway system, the city is easily accessible. Maastricht has a state of the art conference and exhibition centre MECC, 5600 hotel rooms and, most important, the right community and experience to facilitate international conferences with outstanding personal service.
- The Netherlands’ most European city;
- Excellent accessibility;
- Internationally acknowledged institutes and scientists;
- Expertise in Health, Materials, Food & Nutrition and Smart Services;
- Fantastic conference facilities;
- Compact city with ideal possibilities for networking;
- Culinary capital with over 400 bars and restaurants;
For further information about Maastricht please see VisitMaastricht’ website www.visitmaastricht.com
- Sint Servaasbrug (St. Servatius Bridge) is an arched stone footbridge across the Maas (Meuse) River.
- Vrijthof is a large square in the centre of Maastricht, with heritage buildings, museums, hotels and restaurants.
Getting to Maastricht is easy. Maastricht is the centre of the so-called Euregion and therefore easily accessible from different directions.
Shuttle bus transport from BRU and DUS airports to Maastricht
There are flights from several destinations throughout the world to various airports in the area. If your flight arrives in Brussels (BRU) or Düsseldorf (DUS) you can take one of the shuttle buses we will arrange to continue your journey to Maastricht.
A free shuttle transport will be offered by the organisers on certain date and times (to be announced at a later date). It is not necessary to make a reservation for the shuttle transport. The shuttle bus will bring you from the airport to the Maastricht railway Central Station and afterwards to the MECC Parking P4 (main entrance).
The time schedule of shuttle buses as well as the bus departure pick-up points will be announced on this website at a later date.
If you prefer more privacy you can also reserve a private taxi to bring you to Maastricht at own cost. Details such as a weblink to order a taxi, will be provided here later. We will confirm here later whether the free cancellation of your taxi order is up to 24 hours before your pick-up time.
Travel by plane, train and car
Brussels Airport – BRU - www.brusselsairport.be/en : Brussels Airport is located at 120 kilometres west of Maastricht and has many direct international flight connections. In addition to free shuttle buses, there are FlixBuses from Brussels Airport to Maastricht. The travel time from Brussels to Maastricht is approximately 1.5 hour. To check the current information on FlixBus departures, please visit: www.checkmybus.co.uk/brussels-airport/maastricht. This site will provide the most up-to-date information and will give you the opportunity to buy single and roundtickets, even for traintickets.
Düsseldorf – DUS - www.dus.com/en : Düsseldorf Airport is located 115 kilometres north-east of Maastricht and has many direct international flight connections. In addition to free shuttle buses, there are FlixBuses from Düsseldorf Airport to Maastricht. The travel time from Düsseldorf to Maastricht is approximately 1.5 hour. To check the current information on FlixBus departures, please visit: www.checkmybus.co.uk/duesseldorf/maastricht This site will provide the most up-to-date information and will give you the opportunity to buy single and roundtickets, even for traintickets.
Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) – AMS – www.schiphol.nl/en : Schiphol Airport is located in Amsterdam at 220 kilometres north of Maastricht, offers many direct international flight connections.
The travel time from Schiphol Airport to Maastricht is almost 3 hours by train. In Schiphol four trains will departure every hour in the direction of Maastricht. Two of these trains will require a change of trains only in Utrecht, the other two trains require a change in Utrecht and Sittard. One-way fare costs approximately 45 euro First Class and 27 euro Second Class, as prices per April 2020. It is not possible to make a seat reservation. You will have to use an OV-chipcard (public transport chipcard) or a Single-use train ticket (disposable OV-chipcard). Please see below for further information regarding OV-chipcard in public transport.
Other airports nearby Maastricht are:
Eindhoven Airport – EIN - www.eindhovenairport.nl/en : Eindhoven Airport is located 100 kilometres north of Maastricht. This airport has less international destinations than the previous mentioned airports.
Maastricht Aachen Airport – MAA – www.maa.nl/en : Maastricht Aachen Airport is located 10 kilometres north of Maastricht. This airport has less international destinations than the previously mentioned airports.
There are three train stations in Maastricht: Maastricht CS, Maastricht-Noord and Maastricht-Randwyck. Maastricht-Noord is irrelevant. Train station ‘Maastricht CS’ is the central station of Maastricht and the nearest to the city centre. ‘Maastricht-Randwyck’ is a few minutes’ walk to MECC Maastricht. See below for more information about OV-chipcard, the payment method for public transport (train, bus, tram).
The A2 is the biggest motorway for Maastricht. The A2 runs from the Belgian border to the north, all the way to Amsterdam and is the most accessible way to reach Maastricht by car. More information concerning parking or renting a bike for the last kilometre(s), please visit: www.maastrichtbereikbaar.nl/en/info-for-travellers/car/
Public transport in Maastricht
Public transport in Maastricht consists of sizeable number of bus routes, operated by Arriva company. You can plan your journey on this website: http://9292.nl/en.
The bus stop for MECC Maastricht is called 'Forum / MECC'.
The bus stop at the city centre is either 'Wilhelminasingel' or 'Maastricht Central Station'.
There is a bus about every five minutes between the city centre (Wilhelminasingel), Maastricht Central Station and the conference venue MECC Maastricht (bus stop “Forum”).
OV-chipcard (public transport chipcard)
The OV-chipcard is now the most common system of paying for trams, buses and trains throughout the Netherlands.
What is the OV-Chipcard (OV-chipkaart in Dutch)
The OV-chipcard is becoming the standard payment method for the public transport system in the Netherlands. The smart card is the size of a bank card and contains an invisible chip. The OV-chipcard is a prepaid card which you can use to travel anywhere within the Netherlands by train, metro, bus and tram. You can also use it to purchase a travel product such as a one-way journey or a season ticket.
How to get an OV-chipcard?
It is recommended to buy an Anonymous OV-chipcard for € 7.50. An anonymous OV-chipcard can be purchased at the stations, in newsagents and at service counters. An anonymous card is valid for four to five years. You can keep the card to use it again. The credit will also remain valid. Or you can get the left-over credit back at a public transport company counter. You will pay € 1 in administration costs. If you wish to terminate the card, please request a form from the counter. Complete the form fully and post this along with the card to the address given on the form.
How to use my OV-chipcard?
Before you start travelling you need to load balance on your OV-chipcard. You need to check in and check out, when travelling, also when you have to change trains and/or buses. This only applies when you change the distributor of the public transport. In the south of the Netherlands the most common distributors are the Arriva company and the main Dutch railway company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). When you will plan your trip with www.9292.nl/en it will notify you when you will be using more than one distributor and where to check-out and check-in to change it on your OV-chipcard.
Checking in and out
With a positive balance on your OV-chipcard you can check in and out. Hold your OV-chipcard against the screen of a gate or single card reader. The gate will open; the card reader will give a confirmation signal. At the end of your journey you check out in the same way. Please note, if you change from transport company you have to check-out and check-in again.
For more information about OV-chipcard, please visit: www.ov-chipkaart.nl
Single-use train tickets (disposable OV-chip cards)
If you travel by train only (i.e. not in combination with bus and/or tram) then you can consider to make use of ‘Single-use train tickets’ instead of the OV-chipcard. You can find the information on http://www.amsterdamtips.com/tips/train-tickets-in-netherlands.php. For your convenience, we scanned for you from this link the following:
The link http://www.amsterdamtips.com/tips/train-tickets-in-netherlands.php also contains:
Should I buy an anonymous OV-chip card or stick to single-use tickets?
If you are here for a short visit and do not plan to use public transport very much then stick with the single-use disposable tickets. If you need to make a number of rail trips and use other forms of public transport it may be worth investing €7.50 for the anonymous card. Make an estimation of the credit you will use and load this onto the card when you purchase it. For the convenience factor alone it will save you time not having to queue up for tickets.