I don’t know if I’ve ever written about this before, but with recent chatter how the number of Sunday shopping days will not be increased with this new government, I thought it was a good time to revisit it. Coming from consumerism riddled America, I wasn’t prepared for the forethought you have to put into your shopping chores in the Netherlands. You can’t just shop whenever you like (well, maybe in Amsterdam) and if you don’t pick up that milk now, you might be out of luck later. Here’s what to watch for in Maastricht:
Grocery stores typically have normal hours on Mondays, but it’s quite common for other stores to simply be closed or not open until 1 pm. I never try to shop early on Mondays; it’s not worth the effort to find the one or two stores I need that might be open.
Stores are generally open from about 10 am to 5 or 6 pm. The grocery stores are a bit better; you can typically get into these until 7 or 8 pm depending on the location and time of year. Disappointingly, the Wednesday market closes early (by 3 pm).
Once a week in Maastricht, most shops stay open until 9 pm (with a couple closing slightly earlier or later) and they are usually packed with people since anyone who works have trouble making time on other days of the week. Thursdays are also the only day per week you can get a Pinkys wafel after dinner.
On Friday shops generally go back to the Tuesday/Wednesday schedule. Like the Wednesday market, the Friday fish market generally closes a couple hours before people actually get out of work.
Saturdays are also be shopping days, both because people have all day to go shopping and because of the one day drought coming up. Saturdays are good days for stocking up on grocery essentials since if you don’t get it now, you won’t be able to tomorrow.
In the Netherlands stores are only allowed to be open 12 Sundays a year (except apparently in Amsterdam where they stay open for the tourists). In Maastricht the first Sunday of each month sees many stores open for truncated hours (usually noonish to 5 pm or so). Fortunately restaurants are open on Sundays, so when we forget to grocery shop we can still eat.