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Castles & Gardens

Delve into the fascinating history of the Dutch Golden Age by exploring the ancient castles that were once the homes of wealthy merchants. Many of the castles and exquisitely manicured gardens are open to the public. Find out which ones to see, what's in the area and how to plan your trip from Amsterdam. 

Travel back in time at historic castles

Castles and majestic country estates are dotted through the countryside in the Amsterdam Area - some are even within cycling distance of Amsterdam. Take a guided tour of a castle, attend an exhibition or just sail along the River Amstel or River Vecht dreaming of an aristocratic life by the water. 

Reasons to visit Castles and Gardens:

  • Just 30 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station
  • A land of fairy tale castles and charming gardens

  • Highlights: Muiderslot, Fortress Island Pampus

Castles and gardens destinations


Breukelen castle, CC BY 2.5 Loki2003 via
With its nature areas, large mansions and spectacular castle, Breukelen offers visitors a wealth of historic sights and experiences.

Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

Ouderkerk aan de Amstel
Take a short bike ride from Amsterdam and discover a scenic refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Step back in time in Weesp, a historic city brimming with spectacular forts and windmills, and buildings that date back hundreds of years.


Dating back to the 10th century, Muiden's peaceful streets, small cafés, historic landmarks and picturesque harbour make for a perfect day trip out of Amsterdam.


One of the best preserved fortified towns in Europe, Naarden's remarkable ‘star fort’ grid layout and cafés, shops and attractions make it simply unmissable.

Amstel River Countryside

Ouderkerk aan de Amstel
Hire a boat or a bike and explore this green oasis right on Amsterdam's doorstep.


Laren town centre
Though small, Laren has a lot to offer visitors, including charming streets, abundant nature and fascinating museums.

Leisure Lakes

Geert Snoeijer
For a beautiful day beside or on the water, you don't need the seaside. Instead, enjoy the many Leisure Lakes near Amsterdam.

Activities, excursions, hotels and more

Naarden boat, Geert Snoeijer
Explore what to do and where to stay, eat and drink while visiting the Amsterdam region's superlative Castles & Gardens.

Visitor information centres

De Haar Castle Ryan Beck flickr cc via 2.0
Whether you’re looking for excursions, accommodation, restaurants or information on getting around, find out how the Visitor Information Centres can help.

Castles & Gardens: Get inspired!

Castles & Gardens itineraries

Whether you have a full day to spend or just half, here's a selection of suggested itineraries for taking in the best sights and experiences of Castle...

Leisure Lakes

For a beautiful day beside or on the water, you needn’t simply take to the seaside: head inland and enjoy the many Leisure Lakes near Amsterdam.

Amstel River Countryside

Amsterdam has a green oasis right on its doorstep, meaning everyone can easily enjoy the natural diversity of the Amstel River Countryside.

Amsterdam 360

Take a look around and experience the Amsterdam Area in 360 degrees – these virtual reality videos get you up close to everything...

Where next?

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Old Holland

With its countless windmills, churches and old-fashioned farmhouses, stepping out into Old Holland can feel like being in a Golden Age painting.

Amsterdam Beach

When the temperatures soar in Amsterdam, sun-seekers flock to the Dutch coast and the beaches at Bloemendaal and Zandvoort to bask on the sands and so...