Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
What's on
See and do
Travel and stay
City Card and tickets
Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Image from

24 hours in Castles & Gardens: 19th and 20th-century art

Give yourself a couple of days to discover everything that the Castles & Gardens region has to offer. Admire some impressive modern art in Amstelveen and at the Singer Laren sculpture garden. Stay overnight in a floating lodge, then head to the historic town of Weesp to explore the municipal museum and porcelain collections.

Explore the remarkable star-shaped fortifications of Naarden

Image from toerisme gooi en vecht

From 10:00 to 12:00

Naarden is one of the best-preserved fortified towns in Europe, famous for its ‘star fort’ grid which resembles a giant snowflake from the air. The history of Naarden is explained at the fascinating Dutch Fortress Museum, which features canons, weapons, uniforms and an audiovisual presentation. Learn all about how the soldiers protected Amsterdam and its surroundings from enemies and explore the dark corners of the fortress, where the soldiers once fought, lived and slept.

Marvel at Naarden’s historic church

Image from created by for amsterdam&partners

From 12:00 to 13:00

Naarden has plenty of cafés, shops and attractions to explore, including the Grote Kerk, which is one of the oldest churches in the Netherlands. Step inside to admire the impressive architectural details of the church, including the famous barrel-vaulted ceiling above your head.

Check out the Singer Laren Sculpture Garden

People walking in Singer Laren museum sculpture garden with flowers
Image from Singer Laren

From 14:30 to 16:00

Situated in a former villa built in 1911, the Singer Laren Museum houses an impressive art collection of modernist gems. Outside, the sculpture garden offers a tranquil escape. Dotted through the grounds - designed by renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf — you’ll find pieces by contemporary and modern Dutch artists, including Guido Geelen, Maria Roosen and Famke van Wijk.

Enjoy dinner in a family-run cafe with jazz history

From 17:00 to 20:00

If you're a fan of bistro-style gastronomy, you'll love Nick Vollebregt in Laren. Named after the jazz musician who once owned this cafe, and now run by his family, Nick's is a friendly restaurant evoking the feeling of an old-fashioned Parisian brasserie. And if you get lucky, you might be able to hear some snazzy tunes, as well.

Rest your head in a floating lodge

Floating lodges, accommodation in Uitermeer
Image from Erik Speckmann

The Castles & Gardens region offers a variety of options for an overnight stay. From unique floating lodges to elegant villas and family-run hotels, you’ll be spoilt for choice with accommodation options. One unique option is a stay in a tiny waterfront lodge on the Uitermeer. Relax in the evening sun as you take in the day's discoveries and get ready for the best sleep in nature.

See how a wealthy family once lived

Image from

From 11:00 to 12:00

The next day, make a trip to this unique historical property. Henri van Sypesteyn (1857-1937) built this magnificent Castle-Museum to preserve his family’s 500-year lineage. Located in the middle of the Vecht region, Kasteel Museum Sypesteyn houses a fascinating art collection and exhibition on the family. Stroll through the stately period rooms before heading out into the beautiful garden for a tranquil stroll.

Enjoy lunch with views over Fort Uitermeer

From 12:00 to 13:00

When you're feeling peckish, head over to Fort Uitermeer, situated between Amsterdam and Gooi. It is best reachable with a car. Next to the fort, you’ll find a lovely restaurant, PorterHouse – the perfect stop for a refreshing drink or tasty meal. With lunch and dinner classics like burgers, salads and pasta, it’s a great place to refuel before your next stop.

Hop on a cruise of the River Vecht

Boats in the lake at Gooi Vecht
Image from Koen Dijkstra

From 13:40 to 17:05

The so-called Fietsboot (Bike Boat) will readily take you through the winding Vecht area. This unique cruise ferries cyclists throughout the region and has several drop-off points connected to good cycling paths. The boat runs twice a day, once with a departure at 10:00 and at 13:40, and you can hop off at any point, so consider renting a bike for this bit and making your way back at leisure.

Stroll through the historic centre of Weesp

From 17:30 to 19:00

Take time to explore the charming town of Weesp, which looks like a miniature version of Amsterdam with its many canals and waterside terraces. While in the city, you can admire more than 200 historical monuments, including two forts, three historical windmills and several buildings that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, including the town hall, which houses the lovely Museum Weesp. Here, you’ll find the municipal museum devoted to 18th-century porcelain crafts.

Dive into the region’s culinary scene

The Castles & Gardens region boasts a range of restaurant options, perfect for a hearty meal after a day of sightseeing. With its soft couches and wooden tables, the cosy De Eendracht in Weesp oozes a living room atmosphere. Meanwhile, A-Fusion in Naarden offers mouthwatering small dishes like sticky Korean chicken, Japanese lamp chops and miso butter oysters. Lastly, Aan de Poel in Amstelveen raises the culinary game with two Michelin-starred dining and an extensive wine list. 

Pressed for time? Check out these 6 and 12-hour guides to exploring the region.