If you’re looking for a place to visit beautiful castles and palaces, the Netherlands has over 300 throughout the country. There is certainly a rich history to unearth, with the oldest castles in the Netherlands dating back to the 12th century.
Castles in the Netherlands are full of stories embedded in the ancient walls to discover when you visit. These grand and luxurious palaces and castles will amaze you with stunning decor and lavish gardens.
Read on to learn about some of the most beautiful Dutch palaces and castles that you will find throughout the Netherlands.
Most Famous Castle In The Netherlands
With so many awe-inspiring castles to choose from, De Haar tops the list as the biggest castle in the Netherlands. With the record of the first building dating back to the year 1391, the impressive castle grounds span around 135 acres.
De Haar Castle – The Largest of the Castles in the Netherlands
Located about a half-hour outside of Amsterdam, De Haar castle’s expansive grounds are filled with gardens, ponds, and a spectacular maze.
The land was given to the De Haar family by Hendrik Van Woerden in 1391, and they occupied it until the last family heir died, childless in 1440. Shortly after, the Van Zuylen family acquired the castle, and in 1482, it burned to the ground.
The castle has since been rebuilt by the Van Zuylen family, with some of the original parts included in the architecture. The castle contains nearly 200 rooms and an incredible 30 bathrooms.
De Haar Castle is the perfect medieval example of the Netherland’s Castles. Complete with drawbridges and a moat, De Haar looks straight out of a storybook. This is also one of the most famous landmarks in the Netherlands.
The castle still houses the Van Zuylen family for one month out of the year and boasts a list of well-known guests, including Coco Chanel and Yves St. Laurent.
You will find plenty of things to do while visiting most castles in the Netherlands, and De Haar is no exception. There are tours, events, exhibitions, and even a theater on the grounds. You can get your ticket online to save time when visiting.
Amsterdam, Netherlands Castles
Although De Haar is the largest of the Netherlands Castles, there are undoubtedly many more equally, if not more stunning castles to see.
Read on to learn about the most beautiful Amsterdam castles, located near the capital of the Netherlands.
A well-known among Amsterdam castles, Muiderslot castle is a medieval-style fortress built in 1280. Located at the mouth of the Vecht river, Muiderslot castle is one of the more famous castles in the Netherlands. It is also one of the popular things to do in Amsterdam.
Count Floris V built the original stone structure in the location where the castle now sits in 1280, along with one of the most popular trade routes on the Vecht river. After his kidnap and murder by Gerard Van Velsen, the castle was conquered by the Archbishop of Utrecht and demolished in 1300.
The rebuilt castle now stands on a UNESCO World Heritage site and was turned into a museum that you can visit with a ticket. Muiderslot castle has been featured in several movies and tv shows set in the middle ages.
Constructed in the 17th century, Groeveld castle is another splendid example of beautiful castles in the Netherlands. Surrounded by the Ultrechtse Heuvelreg nature preserve, Groenveld castle is a country estate located outside of Amsterdam.
Marcus Mamuchet built Groenveld castle in 1703 to escape from busy city life. Later, Lucas Van Dussen acquired it after Mamuchet’s death and added the rounded wings on either end.
The castle features rotating art exhibits, pristine English gardens, and a classical music concert schedule. You can explore several hiking and biking trails around the grounds with the assistance of a forest ranger.
Zuylen Castle was initially built in the 13th century by Lord van Suilen en Anholt. After being demolished in 1422, the castle that stands today was built on its ruins in 1520.
Further modifications were made to the castle in 1752, turning it into a country manor. When you cross over the surrounding mott, you will feel as if you’ve been transported to one of the 18th-century castles in the Netherlands.
For three centuries, the Van Tuyll van Serooskerken family occupied Zuylen Castle. The castle is filled with artifacts resembling the time spent there by the family, along with the famous writer Belle van Zuylen.
Zuylen Castle houses an extensive collection of paintings, tapestries, and furniture that are worth the visit alone. The beautiful grounds include a famous serpentine wall and an English-style garden.
The Zuylen Castle remains one of the Amsterdam castles worth a visit simply to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Gelderland, Netherlands Castles
There are many castles and estates throughout the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. While not all of them are open to the public, several Netherlands castles allow you to visit or reserve tickets.
Doornenburg Castle is one of the Netherlands’ oldest and well-preserved castles. Consisting of a small castle connected to a larger castle via a bridge, Doornenburg Castle is quite large.
Originally built as a manor in the 9th century, it wasn’t until the 13th century that the estate was turned into a castle. Over time the castle was expanded, and later, in the 15th century, the front castle was built.
For many years the castle sat unoccupied and fell to ruin until the late 1930s when a historical group restored it. Unfortunately, during WWII, the castle was hit by a British bomb and almost destroyed.
Since then, the castle has been completely rebuilt and maintained. Today, Doornenburg is one of the castles in the Netherlands that requires a reservation to visit.
Guests can rent the grounds for events such as weddings, work functions, and festivals. The property also features an inn for guests to book a room and stay the night.
Ammersoyen Castle was built around 1350 by the Van Herlaer family, which they intended to be a fortress. The castle was built on the edge of the river, which eventually redirected, surrounding the structure with a secondary moat.
The builders of the castle constructed the structure to be resilient against intruders. The towers are separate from the castle’s main building, creating a way to see any unwelcome guests approaching.
When Ammersoyen Castle was restored in the 20th century, many glass, ceramic, silver, and bronze artifacts were discovered in the moat. When you visit the castle today, you can see all the artifacts firsthand.
You can take guided tours of Ammersoyen Castle and self-guided tours around the property. Children can try on suits of armor and open treasure chests revealing replicas of stunning artifacts from the past.
This beautiful structure is one of the Netherlands castles worth visiting for its vast history and breathtaking views.
Rosendael Castle is another of the castles in the Netherlands constructed in the medieval style. Built by the count of Gelre in the Middle Ages, the castle is now part of a protected historic estate.
The donjon or keep tower located in the castle is the largest of its kind in the Netherlands. This part of the building is also the only remaining structure from the original castle today.
In 1722, a house was built around the tower, resembling an Amsterdam canal house. The castle is surrounded by a sizable 19th-century garden with beautiful fountains and landscaping.
Today you can visit and experience the collections of furniture, paintings, portraits, and silver. In addition, take a stroll around the gardens and enjoy the lovely views all around the Rosendael Castle.
North Holland, Netherlands Castles
Visiting the province of North Holland in the northwest part of the Netherlands will give you a chance to see some of the country’s most beautiful castles.
Surrounded by the North Sea, North Holland is home to a number of the Netherlands’ castles.
Radboud Castle is one of the largest castles in North Holland. Commissioned by count Floris V, the castle was completed around 1287. The castle was used as a fortress in 1517 when a band of pirates raided the nearby town.
During the Eighty Years’ War, the castle was surrendered to Diedrik Sonoy, a leader of the Geuzen confederacy. Later pieces of the castle were used to build walls around the nearby city, lessening the strength of the castle.
The castle was restored in 1889 by the state and then used as a district court of justice until the year 1934. Further restoration was done in the mid-1960s to bring the castle back to its original historical structure.
Today, as one of the historic Netherlands castles, you can visit the museum and learn more about the history of Radboud Castle. The castle hosts special events and has space for parties as well as weddings.
This castle located in the town of Heemskerk was built in the late 15th century. Assumburg is a castle in the Netherlands built to look like a defensive stronghold, though it is anything but.
The walls of the castle were built to appear strong like those of a castle, but in fact, they would not withstand a siege. It was not unusual for homes in the late 15th century to be built weaker, but to resemble a castle.
It is believed that in 1487, the son of the Lord of Assumburg traveled to France to study. While there he was unable to pay for his lodgings at the inn and was forced to marry the daughter of the innkeeper.
When he returned home with his wife, the Lord was so ashamed of his very ordinary wife that he kept her in a separate home on the property. Eventually, his shame grew so much that he killed his wife along with her servants.
In 1911, this castle in the Netherlands was sold to the state and became a youth hostel. The castle was also used by Germans during WWII for shelter.
The castle remains a youth hostel to this day, but you can visit the grounds and experience the beautiful Netherlands Castle from the outside.
Brederode Castle is another castle in the Netherlands known for its haunting beauty. Today, all that stands left are the ruins of Brederode Castle, but they are well preserved and worth a visit.
The Dutch castle was founded in the second part of the 13th century by William van Brederode, a distant relative to the counts of Holland. The castle started as a tower but was later replaced with a full castle that did not include the original tower.
After the siege of 1351, the Brederode family surrendered the castle to the count of Holland, leading to it being badly damaged and eventually demolished. The castle was eventually rebuilt in 1354, only to be partially destroyed 100 years later.
The Brederode Castle ruins have been the property of the state since the 1600s. Today they are known as the first national monument of the Netherlands. The ruins can be visited to further experience the historical site where so much important history occurred.
North Brabant, Netherlands Castles
North Brabant is a province located in the south where you will find plenty of Netherlands castles. Like in the rest of the country, there are many beautiful and stunning castles to explore when you visit North Braband, also known as Brabant.
Stapelen Castle was a monastery and headquarters for the Dutch Assumptionists, a congregation of Catholic priests. The castle is no longer in use by the Assumptionists, but they still have ownership over it.
Stapelen Castle is believed to have been built in the 13th century, by the Randerode family. Since then, the castle has been passed amongst several families throughout history, eventually belonging to the Assumptioists in 1915.
The castle was renovated in the 19th century in a neo-gothic style and looks unlike other castles in the Netherlands. Stapelen Castle more closely resembles a church than a typical Dutch castle.
Parts of the castle are still original, but most features were added to the castle over time. The towers and stone walls were built in the 16th century and still stand today.
Visiting the castle is possible, but there are no tours available of the inside of the buildings. Still, if you are interested in seeing a unique castle, it is worth the trip to admire the interesting architecture and snap some photos.
If you are impressed by large fortresses, Breda Castle will pique your interest. Like many castles in the Netherlands, Breda Castle was built as a fortress and was once used as military barracks.
Breda Castle was built in the 12th century and turned into a palace in 1536 by Henry III Nassau-Breda. After his death, his son Rene of Chalon went on to finish the castle and expand it with a chapel.
After the death of Rene Chalon, the castle fell into the hands of William I of Orange and was used in the Dutch Revolt. The family of William I continued to add to the castle, creating additional wings to the sides.
The castle has a large courtyard in the center of its structure. Breda Castle is amongst the first known Renaissance architectures and castles in the Netherlands. It has since been updated with various influences such as French and Italian.
Breda Castle is now a police academy and closed to the public, so getting inside the castle is impossible. However, if you are near the town of Breda, pay a visit to the castle to enjoy its stunning architecture and rich history.
Another medieval castle surrounded by a moat, Helmond Castle, is located in the center of the city of Helmond. This castle was built around 1325, replacing a structure that had previously stood close by.
In 1549 a fire damaged the roofs of the building and the west wing. This Netherlands castle was not destroyed but instead seems to have been reconstructed after the fire.
The castle was turned over to the municipality of Helmond in 1921 after having gone through the ownership of several families throughout history. It was agreed that the structure would only be held for public use and soon after became the town hall.
Helmond Castle is the largest moated defensive of the castles in the Netherlands. Historically, there were two moats, but only one remains today.
Four round towers on each corner of the square castle were constructed for better protection against intruders, making Helmond Castle a formidable opponent. The only entrance to the castle was a single bridge, adding an extra layer of protection.
Now, Helmond Castle is part of the Museum Helmond, where visitors can come and learn the history of the town and the castle. If you need a wedding venue, Helmond Castle is available for anyone ready to say “I do.”
Other Famous Castles In The Netherlands
Although we’ve highlighted many of the beautiful castles in the Netherlands, there are a few more notable ones worth mentioning.
Valkenburg Castle is a unique castle on this list since it is mostly in ruins and is the only of the castles in the Netherlands that sits on a hill. Believed to have been built in 1115, Valkenburg Castle was originally made of all wood.
The original structure was destroyed under siege by Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Although the Valkenburg Castle was rebuilt later, it was destroyed a second time by John III, the Duke of Brabant.
Repeated sieges upon the castle throughout wars and takeovers left the structure in total disrepair. The castle was rebuilt in the 14th century and the ruins stand to this day.
Secret underground passages have been discovered underneath the ruins, likely built for an escape during an attack. The passages were discovered to lead to an underground hideout that was used during WWII combat with the Germans.
Today, Valkenburg Castle is open to the public for tours through the ruins. Experiencing the Netherlands’ only elevated ruins is a must-do when visiting the country.
The original Doorwerty Castle was built sometime before 1260 out of wood and is one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands. The first record of the castle is of it being completely destroyed by fire around 1260 and rebuilt from stone.
The castle then underwent severe damage during WWII and had to undergo restorations spanning almost 40 years. Today, it includes three museums on the grounds, telling the story of the castle’s past and that of the Netherlands.
Today’s castle is a beautiful building surrounded by century-old trees such as the Robinia tree, the oldest known tree in the Netherlands, dating back to 1600. Doorwerth Castle is located on the banks of the Rhine River in a picturesque setting.
Visiting this beautiful castle in the Netherlands will give you plenty of things to see and learn about. You will also find a restaurant to keep you satiated during your visit to the grounds.
Perhaps one of the most stunning castles in the Netherlands, Duivenvoorde Castle is a welcome sight for professional and amateur photographers alike.
Unlike most Netherlands castles, this one has never left the same family’s ownership. Owned by the van Duivenvoordes for the first five centuries of its existence, the castle has been passed along through its inheritance line.
The castle was never built to be used as a fortress, which is evident in its appearance. It features a residential tower and a moat surrounding the lavish building.
Duivenvoorde Castle was refinished in the 17th century and has been open to the public as a museum since the 1960s. When you visit you will find an extensive collection of silvers, pottery, and porcelain.
The castle is restored to its original state, and a guided tour will show you the ornately decorated rooms and Empire-style library. If you don’t even go inside this castle, the exterior provides an impressive sight to all who visit.
Also known as Cannenburg Castle, this piece of history is known as a water castle, one of few castles in the Netherlands entirely surrounded by water. Initially, the castle was only accessed by a drawbridge, but now a permanent stone arch bridge gives way to the entrance.
Cannenbruch Castle was built in 1543 by Maarten van Rossum, the leader of the Gelderland army. Van Rossum never saw the completion of the construction, as he died before it was done.
The castle moved through several families until being confiscated by the Dutch government after WWII. In 1975, Canneburch Castle was restored and opened to the public.
The museum that the castle houses today shows many original artifacts from the many years of the castle’s existence. Family portraits from the 17th and 18th centuries are displayed within the museum.
The building, once occupied by the castle’s staff, still stands on the grounds, which you can explore during your tour, along with the horse stables.
This large and impressive castle is considered one of the most important castles in the Netherlands. Once used as a defensive fortress in medieval times, the Huis-Bergh Castle has changed in appearance throughout history.
The main castle was built during the 13th century, with more construction in the 14th, 15th, and 17th centuries. Damage was done to the structure during the Dutch Revolt, and in 1735, the castle burned down.
Jan Herman Van Heek, a patron of arts and history, restored the castle and all its belongings in 1912. Due to another fire in 1939, the castle underwent another renovation that was then completed in 1941.
A major draw to the Huis-Bergh Castle is its large collection of paintings, manuscripts, and sculptures. When you visit the castle you can see weapons from the Middle Ages and experience the decor as it was when it was lived in.
Huis-Bergh’s original towers have been converted into luxurious hotel suites which can be reserved. If you want to spend the night in a castle, you can have a chance to do so here unlike other Netherlands castles!
The castle offers tours of the interior and you will be pleased to wander the grounds and enjoy the incredible views of this amazing castle.
Dutch Palaces In The Netherlands
In addition to the many castles found in the Netherlands, there are many historic Dutch palaces. A palace is the former or current residence of an archbishop, sovereign, or anyone of exalted rank.
Continue reading to discover some of the most beautiful palaces worth a visit in the Netherlands.
The Royal Palace, Amsterdam
First on the list of Dutch palaces to visit resides in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The Royal Palace is one of three residences used by the current king of the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander.
Originally the Royal Palace was built as a city hall during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century. The palace was opened on July 29th, 1655, by Cornelis de Graeff, the mayor of Amsterdam. The building was constructed to face the wharves by which ships came and went into the city.
After the patriot revolution of 1806, Louis Napoleon, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became King of Holland. King Louis promptly converted the city hall into a palace and took up residence.
The Royal Palace is used today for receptions, inductions, and ceremonies. It is one of the Dutch palaces open to the public for visits and tours unless there is a Royal Event going on.
The palace is a sight to see with its grand stature, high ceilings, and large rooms. The collection of paintings and art throughout the palace’s many rooms is an impressive look into the history of Amsterdam. You can get your ticket in advance to save time when visiting.
Palais het Loo, Apeldoorn
The Palais Het Loo was built in 1684 for William of Orange and his wife, Mary II of England. Its symmetrical appearance is typical in the architecture of Dutch palaces and can be seen in the Royal Palace as well.
The palace was used for many years by William and Mary and other royal family members as a summer residence. In 1948, after the end of WWII, Queen Wilhelmina spent the remaining days of her life at Palais Het Loo.
In 1984, the palace was converted into a museum and opened to the public. The museum is devoted to the history of the Dutch royal family and houses a collection of artwork and antique cars.
When you visit Palais Het Loo, you experience the original furniture and paintings of the House of Orange- Nassau. In addition to the museum, the palace also houses an extensive library strictly devoted to the House of Orange-Nassau.
Noordeinde Palace, South Holland
The Noordeinde Palace is another one of the three Dutch palaces used by the royal family. Located in South Holland, the Noordeinde Palace is currently used as the workplace for King Willem-Alexander.
The palace began as a farmhouse and was converted into a larger residence in 1533. The original cellars can still be viewed upon visiting the Noordeinde Palace.
Used primarily as a summer and winter home for the royal family over time, a fire in 1948 forced restorations to the palace. In 1984, the palace became the primary workplace for all Dutch political and state affairs.
The palace’s interior is not open to the public, but the grounds have a stunning garden that is worth visiting. You can also tour the horse stables and see the coaches used by the royal family.
Soestdijk Palace, Utrecht
Soestdiijk Palace is one of the Dutch palaces once belonging to the royal family. The palace is named for the nearby village Soestdijk.
This Dutch palace was once home to Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard for over six decades, until 2004. Built initially for Cornelis de Graeff, the mayor of Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age, it was sold in 1674 and turned into a hunting lodge.
In 1795 during the French invasion of Holland, the palace was used as a place for French troops to take lodging. From 1816 to 1821, expansions and renovations were done to the palace, including two new wings.
Soestdijk Palace was eventually turned over for use by the royal family in the 1930s. The palace remained as a residence for the royal family until 2004.
You can visit the grand Soestdijk Palace to tour the building and the gardens. The palace features Baroque architecture typical of other Dutch palaces.
Discovering Famous Castles in the Netherlands
It may be impossible to visit the expansive list of castles in the Netherlands, but it is possible to check a bunch off your list with a bit of planning. With so much rich history and lore, the many castles of the Netherlands offer something for everyone.
For fans of architecture and photography, visiting Netherlands castles is a great way to learn more about the past and get some fantastic photographs for your albums.