The Convivial South
The Convivial South of the Netherlands are the provinces Limburg and Noord-Brabant. Time seems to go a bit slower here as the people know how to live the Burgundian way of life. Between the hills of Limburg and the green forests and heath-lands of Noord-Brabant you can visit beautiful cities, like Maastricht and Den Bosch. There’s a wide range of culinary highlights and the medieval towns boast churches and museums.
Limburg and Maastricht
The south of the province is remarkable when compared to the rest of the country, as it is one of the few regions that has hills. The highest point in the Netherlands, the Vaalserberg, is situated in Limburg. This is also an important geographical point as it is the tripoint between Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The most important river is the Meuse, that passes through the entire length of the province from South to North.
Maastricht counts several well-known restaurants, including Michelin Star restaurants. If you rather dine in a more relaxed atmosphere there are plenty of options in Maastricht to enjoy a wonderful dinner or a beer on a terrace.
Saint Servatius was the first bishop of the Netherlands. His tomb, in the crypt at the Basilica of Saint Servatius is a favored place of pilgrimage. The Basilica is located on the famous Vrijthof Square which has many monument buildings and outdoor cafes. You should also visit the St. Pietersberg Caves which are the result of centuries of excavation of marlstone. Events of Maastricht are the Preuvenemint, a four-day culinary event on the Vrijthof square in the city of Maastricht, and TEFAF, the most important fine art fair in the world.
Noord-Brabant and Den Bosch
Like most of the Netherlands, Noord Brabant (North Brabant) is mostly flat. While most of the population lives in urban areas, much of the province is uninhabited even though most of the land is cultivated. Consistent with naturally raised areas, forests, heath-lands and dune areas can also be found. National Park Loonse en Drunense Duinen is also known as the Brabant Sahara. The province is bordered by the Meuse River in the north. Its delta flows through the Biesbosch area, also a national park.
Den Bosch (also known as 's-Hertogenbosch) is a maze of medieval alleys. It’s great to explore the area by foot, or marvel at picturesque bridges and perfectly preserved historic buildings on a canal tour. Other highlights of the city is the late-gothic Sint-Jan Cathedral, the city hall and the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center.
Dutch Carnival is most celebrated in Catholic regions, mostly the southern provinces Noord Brabant and Limburg. The most popular places where Carnival is held (although every city, town or village celebrates it) are Maastricht, Roermond, Venlo, 's-Hertogenbosch, Bergen op Zoom, Eindhoven and Breda. However, it is the most southern province of the Netherlands, Limburg, where many Dutch go to celebrate it. During the event, every town is one big party.