A guide to 11 breathtaking castles and palaces in the Netherlands

When it comes to destinations with historic castles, the Netherlands might not immediately spring to mind. However, the Dutch have some pretty breathtaking castles that you shouldn’t miss out on!

So, here is a quick guide to 11 of the most beautiful castles the Netherlands has to offer.

1. De Haar Castle, Utrecht

De Haar Castle in Utrecht is considered the most luxurious castle in the Netherlands. Dating all the way back to 1391, the castle grounds cover more than 135 acres. Even though many of the original gardens were destroyed during World War II, they’ve now been restored back to their former glory.

You can find multiple beautiful lakes and charming bridges scattered across the castle’s grounds. The highlight of the garden, however, is a remarkable maze.

The castle also functions as a venue for multiple festivals and events. The most exciting (and dorky) one is the Elf Fantasy Fair, where participants dress up as magical creatures and party all night long. 🧚‍♀️

📍 Location: Kasteellaan 1, 3455 RR Utrecht
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €18 for adults, €12.50 for children between the ages of 4 to 12, and free entry for children under the age of 4

2. Muiderslot Castle, Muiden

No wonder Muiderslot is on UNESCO’s list. Just look at this! Image: Depositphotos

The Muiderslot Castle in Muiden is a medieval castle built in 1370. It’s located close to Amsterdam, so it’s perfect for a quick visit if you happen to be in town. The castle is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and has featured in many movies and TV shows set in the Middle Ages (sadly, not Game of Thrones).

READ MORE | Muiderslot: Amsterdam’s castle that refused to die

Today, Muiderslot operates as a national museum and is open for tours to the general public. To make the visit even more exciting, the castle has been restored to look as it would have during the 17th century.

📍 Location: Herengracht 1, 1398 AA Muiden
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €16.50 for adults, €10 for children between the ages of 4 to 11, and free entry for children under the age of 3

3. Doorwerth Castle, Arnhem

The window shutters give away its Dutchness. Image: Henk Monster/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

The Doorwerth Castle near Arnhem is located along the river Rhine and is now home to three separate museums. It has a wealth of beautiful forests and meadows, and fields are located just behind the castle, where visitors are allowed to cycle or hike.

Unfortunately, the castle suffered great damage during World War II, bur the interior has been restored back to its 18th-century glory.

Doorwerth is also rumoured to be haunted! 👻 The TV show “Most Haunted” featured it on an episode in 2004, in an attempt to find paranormal activity.

Today, the castle operates as a hotel and a restaurant. So, if you’re looking for a bit of a thrill, and maybe want to see a ghost, this is your chance!

📍 Location: Fonteinallee 2 B, 6865 ND Doorwerth
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €12 for adults, €5 for children between the ages of 4 to 18, and free entry for children under the age of 4

4. The Royal Palace, Amsterdam

It does look undeniably royal. Image: MARELBU/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

The Royal Palace is the largest and most distinguished building from the Golden Age, located right in the heart of Amsterdam. It’s one of the most cherished monuments in the Netherlands, and has set the stage for many of the country’s greatest events — like King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima‘s wedding reception.

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When it’s not used for extravagant royal events, the palace opens its doors to visitors. You can listen to an audio guide as you wander the historic corridors, staring in awe at the imposing architecture.

📍 Location: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €12.50 for adults, €9 for students, and free to those under 18

5. Duurstede Castle, Wijk bij Duurstede

Straight out of a movie. Image: Depositphotos

The one thing that really makes Duurstede Castle stand out, is its tower (which looks like it should be housing Rapunzel). This 13th-century medieval castle is located in Wijk bij Duustede, in the Utrecht province.

Originally built as a defensive structure, the castle operates as a catering firm today. The castle is still surrounded by a moat, so the only way you can access it is via the drawbridge (or by swimming, of course!🤷‍♀️). Even though the castle is not open to the general public, it’s still good for a quick picture if you happen to be in the area.

The castle is temporarily closed until April 1, 2023

6. Duivenvoorde Castle, Voorschoten

Duivenvoorde Castle is a showstopper. Image: Depositphotos

When your Instagram account needs a little spice, head to the Duivenvoorde Castel. This beauty and the surrounding grounds make for a picture-perfect backdrop. It’s one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands, dating all the way back to 1226.

Several noble families have lived here, but for the first five years of its existence, it was owned by just one family — the Van Duivenvoordes. If you visit, an audio tour will inform you of the castle’s long and rich history. Be sure to spend some time in lovely gardens as well.

📍 Location: Laan van Duivenvoorde 4, 2252 AK Voorschoten
Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday, 11:30 AM to 4 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €13.50 for adults, €6.50 for children between the ages of 5 to 17, and free entry for children under the age of 4

7. Slot Loevestein, Zaltbommel

It’s even nice on a typically Dutch (i.e.: cloudy) day. Image: Davidh820/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

Slot Loevestein roughly translates to “Loef’s stone house”. Historians believe the castle was constructed between 1357 and 1397, but there’s no official documentation to prove it. Slot Loevestein’s initial function was to collect tolls from trading ships passing through the river. However, with time the construction grew bigger until it became a full-grown castle.

READ MORE | Dutch history hacked: 2500 years of Dutch life in 7 minutes (VIDEO INSIDE)

The castle’s museum features three important eras in the structure’s history: the Middle Ages, the State Prison period, and the Dutch Waterline period. The castle houses multiple events throughout the year, the most popular being the Winterfeest celebration during the holiday season.

It also has a famous history with Hugo de Groot, so you might want to read up on that story. 👀

📍 Location: Loevestein 1, 5307 TG Poederoijen
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €14.50 for adults, €10 for children between the ages of 4 to 12, and free entry for children under the age of 3

8. Rosendael Castle, Arnhem

Rosendael was a bit camera shy that day. Image: Michielverbeek/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Just outside Arnhem and the Veluwe National Park, the Rosendael Castle is a beautiful place to visit for a good and heavy dose of both history and nature. Built by the Duke of Guelders more than seven centuries ago, this impressive castle is chock-full of extravagant surprises.

READ MORE | The 8 greatest forests in the Netherlands for a nature escape

The castle fell into disrepair after being struck by a bomb during WWII. Fortunately, it’s since been through a full restoration and is now open to the public. You can learn all about this (and more) during a guided audio tour, as you browse the impressive display of silver, porcelain, and furniture.

📍 Location: 6891 DA Rozendaal
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11 AM to 4 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €12 for adults, €5 for children between the ages of 4 to 18, and free entry for children under the age of 4

9. Huis Bergh, Heerenberg

The Dutch do love their moats. Image: Depositphotos

We don’t know much about the history of Huis Bergh (but we do love a bit of mystery). But what we do know is that the castle dates back to the 13th century and is among the biggest castles in the Netherlands. It’s also surrounded by a moat, which defended the castle in the Middle Ages.

Currently, Huis Bergh is home to a large collection of early Italian paintings, and extraordinary medieval handwritings. The castle also hosts weddings, so it’s perfect if you want your special day to be like a fairy tale.

📍 Location: Hof van Bergh 8, 7041 AC ‘s-Heerenberg
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €13.50 for adults, €8.50 for children between the ages of 4 to 12, and free entry for children under the age of 4

10. Zuylen Slot, Utrecht

“Moat” mind if we pay Zuylen Castle a visit. Image: Gil.cavalcanti/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Just north of Utrecht, in the village of Oud-Zuilen, you’ll find this dreamy 13th-century castle. The lush garden is perfect for a stroll, and the castle itself will wow you with its rich history of feminism, literature, weaponry, and robbery.

Zulyen Slot’s biggest claim to fame, however, is probably the fine tapestry it holds. It was made by the prestigious Dutch carpet weaver, Maximiliaan van der Gught. He was one of the best in Europe, supplying tapestries to the royal houses of Poland and Sweden, among others.

📍 Location: Tournooiveld 1, 3611 AS Oud Zuilen
Opening hours: Friday to Sunday, 11:30 AM to 15:30 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €14 for adults, €11 for students, €7 for children between the ages of 4 to 15, and free entry for children under the age of 4

11. Paleis het Loo, Apeldoorn

Paleis het Loo was built between 1684 and 1686 for stadtholder-king at the time William of Orange and his wife Mary II of England.

The palace is today a state museum that is open to the general public at all times. Its interior displays original furniture, as well as objects and paintings of the House of Orange-Nassau.

READ MORE | Why do the Netherlands love orange? The full explainer

Paleis het Loo is also home to a library devoted to the House of Orange-Nassau. It also houses the Museum of the Netherlands Orders of Knighthood’s Chancellery, displaying books and other pieces, such as decorations and medals.

The palace has been appointed national monument status, and is among the Top 100 Dutch Heritage Sites. The palace’s Dutch Baroque garden is often referred to as the “Versailles of Holland”, as it’s been constructed in perfect symmetry with fountains, basins, and statues scattered around its grounds. 😍

📍 Location: Koninklijk Park 16, 7315 JA Apeldoorn
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €19.50 for adults, €9.50 for children between the ages of 4 to 12, and free entry for children under the age of 4, €50 for a family ticket

Bonus Round: Valkenburg Castle, Valkenburg aan de Geul

Your eyes are not deceiving you…that is indeed a hill…in the Netherlands! Image: Depositphotos

Unfortunately, what remains of Valkenburg Castle is only ruins. It dates back to the 11th century, and is considered unique in the Netherlands, since it’s the only castle built on a hill.

Over the years, Valkenburg Castle was destroyed on multiple occasions during sieges, and its final destruction took place on December 10, 1672, at the hands of Stadtholder Willem III.

Today, the remains of the castle are open for tours, allowing visitors to walk through what used to be a proud fortress in the Geul Valley. It’s the perfect place for a day trip!

📍 Location: Daalhemerweg 27, 6301 BJ Valkenburg
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 AM to 4:30 PM
💰 Ticket prices: €15 for adults, €12 for children between the ages of 6 to 11, and free entry for children under the age of 6

There are some truly beautiful castles in the Netherlands! 😍🏰 Spanning tens of different centuries, each one has it’s own quirks and history; and we are truly enamoured.

What’s your favourite castle in the Netherlands? And which will you be visiting next? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2018, and was fully updated in December 2022 for your reading pleasure. 
Feature Image: Microtoerisme/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Veronika Licheva
Veronika Licheva
Living the short girl life in the land of giants. Veronika is a content creator who takes great interest in video, photography, and journalism. Her mission in The Netherlands is to build a vibrant and exciting career, while simultaneously petting as many dogs as possible.

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  1. kasteel Radboud in Medemblik was always a castle we visited when I was growing up, when we had visitors from overseas.

  2. Castle Montfort is also interesting. It was a ruin and in the 17th century a small castle was built on it’s remains. Than it became a ruin again and now it’s being restaurated with its gardens.

  3. I recommend kasteel Hoensbroek as well.
    Btw: the Royal Palace in Amsterdam of course is no palace or castle. It was build as the town hall of 17th century Amsterdam


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