The Netherlands has many impressive castles that give a glimpse into the eventful history of the Netherlands. Nowadays a lot of attention is given to preserving and restoring the cultural heritage. Some castles are now a museum and open their doors to visitors. In this article I show you the most beautiful castles in the Netherlands that you can visit.
The entrance tickets of the castles cost on average between 10 and 15 euros for adults. In most cases this includes a guided tour or audio tour. In some cases you can visit the castle garden separately from the castle. For specific price information and opening times I refer to the websites as linked below.
The most famous of all castles in the Netherlands is the Muiderslot (which means Muiden castle), located in Muiden near Amsterdam. The building is in excellent condition and looks exactly like a castle should look like in knight stories. The castle was built at the end of the 13th century, but most of the furnishings date from the 17th century. Count Floris V built it, but he was later killed on the castle grounds. Another famous resident of the castle was the poet P.C. Hooft. What I also want to mention is the impressive location of the Muiderslot. The fortress was part of the Dutch defense line.
The Muiderslot is an interesting and interactive museum and offers an educational free audio tour. Don’t forget to view the nostalgic herb garden and the show of a FalconerThe museum can be reached in 25 minutes by car from Amsterdam. If you travel by public transport you can take the train to Weesp and then with bus 110 towards Muiden.
Another fairytale castle is the Haar castle. This building was built in the 14th century, but then completely destroyed and then rebuilt in the late 19th century in neo-Gothic style. You can visit the castle with a guided tour, but you can also choose to just visit the castle park with beautiful gardens in English landscape style.
This impressive castle is located just outside Utrecht, to be precise in the village of Haarzuilens. It is a 30 minutes drive from Amsterdam by car. If you don’t have a car you can go in 40 minutes by bike from Utrecht Central station, or by train to Vleuten station and then with bus 111.
Related article: The best things to do in Utrecht – Tips from a local
Amerongen Castle is not very well known among foreign tourists, but it is very nice to visit. I would call it a hidden gem. It is located in the picturesque Amerongen, and I highly recommend to make a nice hike in the area.
What is special about this castle is that it has been preserved rather than renovated. For example, you can still see traces of use of the residents and that makes the house come alive. During a tour you will hear the stories of the former residents. Unfortunately the tours are only in Dutch, but an English translation is available.
In addition to a visit to the castle, a walk through the beautiful castle garden is a must and a nice drink in the atmospheric restaurant where the former function as a stable is still clearly visible.
The castle can be reached by car in 30 minutes from Utrecht, or by public transport with bus 50.
Doorwerth Castle is also a castle in such a beautiful setting near Arnhem. The castle is sandwiched between the river Rhine in the south and wooded hills in the north. Doorwerth castle was probably built in the 13th century, then it decayed several times and then rebuilt and expanded. It now has a 15th century medieval appearance. During the second world war there was a lot of fighting in the surroundings of the castle, so ammunition is still occasionally found.
Related article: Traces of WWII in the Netherlands
If you are going to visit Doorwerth Castle, I also recommend a nice hike along the Rhine towards the small village of Heveadorp. A tasty apple pie in the castle restaurant is also very worthwhile!
From Utrecht you can reach the castle in 45 minutes by car. It is difficult to reach by public transport unless you travel to Arnhem and rent a bike there.
Het Loo Palace
Unfortunately, Palace Het Loo cannot be visited in 2020 due to major renovation, but I still want to include it in my list. This palace is a tourist attraction that you should not miss. I have been here so many times and there is so much to see, it never gets boring.
Het Loo is a former royal palace where the royal family lived until 1975. It gives an interesting and educational view into many generations of the Dutch royals. Stadtholder Willem III had the palace built in the 17th century in neo-classical style and lived here with his wife Mary Stuart.
The Palace is gigantic and part of a large terrain with several buildings and a large forest. The forest is still used by the royal family for hunting. You should take a whole day to see everything. The Palace will re-open in mid-2021, but the stables and palace gardens can already be visited.
This palace is located on the outskirts of the beautiful city of Apeldoorn. You can get to Apeldoorn by train. If you travel by car you drive in 1 hour and 10 minutes to Apeldoorn from Amsterdam, but from Utrecht the journey takes 50 minutes.
Cannenburgh Castle is built on the remains of an earlier castle from the 14th century. You can still see traces of this former fortified house in the basement of the current castle. In the 16th century, Marshal Maarten van Rossum bought the ruin. He had the ruin rebuilt to a beautiful castle in Reinaissance style. Throughout the year, events are organized around the castle, such as fairs, children’s tours and historical theme days.
This beautiful castle with surrounding gardens is located in the pleasant village of Vaassen in the province of Gelderland. The castle is 1 hour and 15 minutes by car from Amsterdam and 55 minutes from Utrecht. It is also accessible by public transport. For this you travel by train to Apeldoorn and then take bus 220 to Vaassen.
Do you know that Maarten van Rossum has his own long distance hiking path named after him? You can read all about it in this article: Long Distance Hiking Trails in The Netherlands
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