The castles in the Netherlands are packed full of history and these are 25 of the best ones you should visit when there.
Most tourists to the Netherlands base themselves in Amsterdam and for good reason, as it’s one of the most beautiful and iconic old cities in Europe and it makes an excellent place to stay and plan trips to the castles in the Netherlands.
Some of the castles are very easy to get to from Amsterdam which I will mention in the article. Most of these can be visited although there is a small number that is privately owned and you can’t enter inside but can still see them from the outside.
This post is more personal to me as I lived in Amsterdam for 13 years and during that time I explored a lot of the castles in the Netherlands.
Quick note: the Dutch word for a castle is kasteel.
Important: Although it’s mentioned whether the castles are open for visitors or not this may temporarily change for any number of reasons, such as a special event held, restoration work, etc. Links under each castle section go to websites for the castles where you can check the current opening situations before you go.
The Netherlands castles are in no particular order except for the first one as it’s “close to my heart” in memories.
Muiderslot (Muiden Castle)
Muiderslot Castle, also known as Muiden Castle in English, is my favourite of the castles in The Netherlands.
I literally can’t count how many times I’ve visited this castle. It was only a 45 minutes bike ride from my apartment in Amsterdam and I cycled there often, either to just sit with a cold beer and enjoy the sight of the castle, go inside, or have a walk in the gardens there.
The original castle on the site dates to the 13th century when Count Floris V built a stone castle there which was destroyed in the early 14th century, but by the end of that century it was rebuilt but by the 19th century it was falling into ruin but was saved by the king of the rime and restored to what you see today.
It’s an iconic sight at the Vecht River going into the Ijmeer Lake.
They also have birds of prey at Muiderslot Castle that you can see. They won’t allow holding the large birds of prey so I had to settle for a small owl!
Tip: One of the best-fortified towns in Europe is nearby, called Naarden. It’s also worth a visit if you like historic places. Especially fortified ones!
Muiderslot Castle is easily one of the best castles in The Netherlands and has also been used in many shows set in medieval times.
You can get an advance ticket for Muiderslot Castle to make sure you get in. It’s open for visitors.
De Haar Castle
Another beautiful castle in The Netherlands is De Haar Castle which is located in the city of Utrecht, only 20 minutes from Amsterdam by train.
The original castle on the site dates to the late 14th-century but what you see today is largely a 19th-century restoration as the original castle had received numerous destructions over the centuries.
It has been in ownership by the Van Zuylen family since the 15th-century but in 2000 they passed the ownership to the Kasteel de Haar foundation.
De Haar is the largest of the castles in The Netherlands and also has numerous art objects inside to see.
As well as the castle itself it also has a beautiful garden area and parks to wander around.
Although I did cycle to Utrecht from Amsterdam a lot I only visited De Haar Castle once, but I enjoyed it there and recommend going, and it’s probably the most popular castle in The Netherlands to see along with Muiderslot.
It’s open for visits.
Fun fact: There is an Elf Fantasy Fair held at the castle every year
Loevestein Castle is a 14th-century castle located in Gelderland around 60km south of Utrecht. It was founded by Diederich Loef of Horne, a famed knight in medieval Holland. It was built in a very strategic area where two rivers come together.
Since the early 17th-century the castle was used as a prison, but don’t worry, these days it’s just a medieval museum.
A famous inmate of the prison was a scholar called Hugo Grotius who was sentenced to life imprisonment, but then made one of the most well-known escapes in Dutch history when he was smuggled out in a large chest by his wife pretending it was full of books.
It has been called “The most famous castle in The Netherlands” and is open for visiting.
Ammersoyen Castle (Kasteel Ammersoyen)
Ammersoyen Castle is a medieval castle built in the 14th century by the Van Herlaer family and is also located in Gelderland. A nearby river was used to flood the surroundings of the castle to make a moat, which adds to the castle theme.
It’s one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the Netherlands and inside you can see the Knight’s Hall and other things of interest, such as in the attic which is filled with old archaeological finds.
There’s a castle restaurant where you get a bite to eat and relax after exploring the castle. Open for visits.
Huis Bergh Castle (Kasteel Huis Bergh)
Huis Bergh Castle is one of the largest castles in The Netherlands and the origins of the castle go back to the 13th century, although the castle burned down in the early 18th-century and was restored in the early 20th-century only to burn down again.
More reconstruction was done and is what you see today.
It does have a great late-medieval art collection inside. Open for visits.
Doornenburg Castle is located near the border with Germany in Gelderland and dates to the 13th-century and makes a good example of a medieval motte and bailey castle.
Not much happened during the life of the castle as far as famous people or sieges go, but it’s a good castle to visit.
In 1941 it was bombed by the RAF after the Germans took it over and restoration was done and completed in 1966 and is what you see today.
It’s open for visits.
Doorwerth Castle is a medieval castle and its origins go back to the 12th-century making it one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands, although what you see today is largely from the 16-17th-centuries, although a lot of restoration was done following WWII due to damages.
It’s located by the Rhine River in Gelderland and is said to be one of the most haunted castles in the Netherlands. Open for visiting.
Duurstede Castle (the website is in Dutch) is a medieval castle in Utrecht province so ties in nicely with a visit to De Haar Castle.
The origins of the castle are medieval dating to the 13th-century but in the 15th-century, it was reconstructed by a bishop and used as his home. The castle fell into disrepair in the 16th-17th-centuries and was generally not used since.
You can still see today a good example of a medieval tower that dates to the 13th-century but a lot of the castle is in a general ruinous state.
It’s compulsory to book a ticket in advance for Duurstede Castle and it’s open for visits.
Radboud Castle is a medieval 13th-century castle constructed by count Floris V who built 5 castles, with Radboud being the only one still standing today.
It’s located in the north of Holland in West Frisia around 1-2 hours from Amsterdam (depending on what transport options you use).
There’s also a falconry show at the castle and a cafe where you can take a break and relax. Open for visits.
Heeswijk Castle is in North Brabant province around a one hour drive from Utrecht and is a motte and bailey castle originating back to the 11th-century as a fortress, although most of the building work as a castle wasn’t completed until the 15th-century, and renovations in the 19th-century are what you see today.
It’s a museum inside now showing what life was like in the 19th-century in the castle and is open for visitors.
You can get an advance ticket for Heeswijk Castle before going and it’s open for visits.
Ruurlo Castle is also a Dutch castle in Gelderland, like so many others here. It’s a 14th-century castle and has been owned by the Van Heeckeren family since the 15th-century.
Largely what you see today was built in the 16-17th centuries.
There are some good gardens to wander in around the castle and there are extensive art collections inside to see.
It’s open for visitors.
Slangenburg Castle is another castle in Gelderland province and is surrounded by forest making it a very picturesque place to go to.
It dates back to the late medieval period but what you see today is a 17th-century renovation.
These days it is a castle hotel in The Netherlands that you can stay at. It’s open for looking around.
Croy Castle dates back to the 15th-century but like many castles has been added to since then. The King of Holland purchased the castle in the early 19th-century!
It’s not open for visiting the inside of the castle but you can explore around the outside and enjoy a wander.
Hoensbroek Castle is a very old castle in origin dating to the mid-13th-century, but it later came into ruin in the 17th-century and then was rebuilt. Further reconstruction work in the 19th-century is what you see today.
It’s located in the Limburg region and is one of the largest castles in the Netherlands and you can climb up the 60 metres tall medieval fortified tower.
There are great exhibits inside including an excellent ballroom and there is a dungeon to visit.
It’s open to visitors.
Amerongen Castle dates from the 17th-century and has a beautiful garden area to wander around.
One of the more recent historical events the castle has been involved with is the German Kaiser at the end of WWI signed his abdication there.
It’s open for visitors.
Zuylen Castle dates back to the 16th-century but most of what you see today is from the 18th-century
It’s located just north of Utrecht which makes it easy to visit De Haar Castle and Zuylen if you want two castles in one day. Although De Haar is much more impressive.
There is a large display of art inside and massive gardens to explore outside.
It’s open for visitors.
Duivenvoorde Castle is one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands with the original castle dating to the 13th-century.
It’s located near The Hague and you can walk around the castle gardens year-round but can see inside the castle only between April and October.
Cannenburch Castle is a 16th-century castle in Gelderland built by Field Marshal Maarten van Rossum in the town of Vaassen.
It’s surrounded by splendid woodlands and inside the castle, it shows the life of the 18th-century.
There’s a restaurant in the old coach house where you can have a meal and the castle is open for visitors.
Huys Dever is a tiny castle in comparison to all the others here and dates to the 14th-century but additional were added to the roof in the 17th-century.
It fell into disuse and into a ruined state in the 19th-century before being restored in the 20th-century.
Today it is a tiny museum with some medieval artefacts from the area. It’s open to visitors.
Schaloen Castle dates way back to the 12th-century but most of what you see now is add-ons from later centuries, especially the 18th-century.
It’s located in Oud-Valkenburg in southern Limburg province.
The outdoor stable and other outside buildings are now a hotel you can stay at. The castle itself is not open for visits although you can still go by and have a look around outside.
It’s nearby Hoensbroek Castle so you can see them both.
You can book a room at Schaloen Castle here. Go on, treat yourself!
Wijchen Castle (Kasteel Wijchen)
Wijchen Castle is one of the more beautiful looking castles in the Netherlands and is located near the city of Nijmegen in eastern Gelderland.
It dates back to the 14th-century and as with many castles in the Netherlands, it has a well-maintained garden to wander around.
These days it’s the main regional museum for the area and is open for visitors.
Hernan Castle dates back to the 15th-century and is a fortified tower house from medieval times.
It’s located in Land van Maas en Waal and has been the home of many noble families.
The caste is open for visitors but closed in the winter.
Castle Sypesteyn is located in Loosdrecht not far from Utrecht and is a very modern castle in the Netherlands compared with others having been built in the 19th-century by Sir Henry van Sypesteyn, albeit on the ruins of an earlier castle destroyed by the French in the 17th-century,
It has gardens to wander and there is a prized collection of porcelain inside. There’s a cafe to have a drink and a bite to eat. The castle is open for visitors.
Zuylen Castle is close to Castle Sypesteyn so you could see both on the same day easily.
Rosendael Castle is definitely a more modern-looking structure and less of a castle than others, being more of a grand manor house, but it’s still worth going to.
The castle dates to the late Middle Ages around the 14th-century but nowadays is all modern reconstruction from the 18th-century. It used to be the home of the Dukes of Guelders.
It’s open for visitors and has a stunning garden area to wander and you can still see the original keep of the old castle.
Rechteren Castle is rather unique in that it sits on an island and is the only very old castle in existence in the Overijssel province.
The old castle dates to the 12th-century making it one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands, although it has been added to since, especially in the 18th-century.
It’s sometimes open for visits.
Castles In The Netherlands
So choose at least 1 of these castles in the Netherlands to see when there if you have any interest in castles.
My advice is if you want to see just 1 or 2 castles and are in Amsterdam then make it a good day trip out of the city to Muiderslot castle and De Haar Castle as they are close by and 2 of the best castles in the Netherlands.
If you are heading to Amsterdam you can search for a hotel in Amsterdam here.
Enjoy the Dutch castles!
I recommend using SafetyWing Travel Insurance for your trip, just in case, it’s best to be prepared.
For more on travel in the Netherlands have a read of my guides to the Netherlands.
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