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Muiderslot Castle (2024 Guide) – How to Visit Amsterdam Castle!

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Did you know that there is an old castle near Amsterdam? It’s called Muiderslot Castle and it’s a fortress that will transport you back in time to the medieval era.

You’ll climb up winding towers, visit the Knight’s Hall and discover the armoury of valiant knights. You can also learn all about the mysterious Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft and his “Muiderking” literary circle. 

Plus, you can stroll through beautifully planned gardens and take scenic walks along the River Vecht. It makes a great day trip in the Netherlands. 

It couldn’t be easier to visit this ancient fortress from Amsterdam and it’s even included in the I Amsterdam City Card.

In this complete guide to Amsterdam Castle, I’ll take you through the history, things to do and how to get there with some insider tips sprinkled in!

How to visit Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam

Muiderslot Castle history

Muiden Castle was originally constructed on the orders of Count Floris V in the 13th century. 

After he gained command of the See of Utrecht, he gained permission to build a line of defence to protect the ancient trade route.

Back in the medieval era, Utrecht was one of the most important cities in the Netherlands. 

Unfortunately, he was betrayed by Gerard van Velsen and his conspirators who kidnapped Floris and imprisoned him in the dungeons. After Floris tried to escape, he was murdered by Gerard.

A year later, the castle was conquered by Willem van Mechelen, the Archbishop of Utrecht, and then by 1300 the castle was demolished. 

In the 1380s, the castle was rebuilt on the same spot by Albert I, Duke of Bavaria, who was also Count of Holland and Zeeland.

Muiderstlot Castle Amsterdam

Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft

The most famous resident of Muiden Castle was Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft. He is seen as the Dutch version of Shakespeare and wrote many plays and poems in the Dutch Golden Age.

In 1609, he was appointed as a Bailiff and moved into the castle. He then lived here for 38 years until his death. 

During his residency, he established the “Muiderking”. This was his inner circle and literary society of like-minded artists, poets and scientists who would visit here to discuss ideas.

Muidercastle Muiderking Knight's Hall

He even put on several plays in the Knight’s Hall like his tragedy Isabella and Prince Maurits of Orange attended.

After Hooft’s passing, the castle was abandoned and fell into neglect. By the 19th century, there were plans to demolish it but this was stopped by King William I.

The Rijksmuseum then took ownership of the fortress and beautifully restored it to when Hooft lived here. It took 70 years to gather enough funds to make it happen. 

Muiden Amsterdam Castle

Amsterdam Castle today 

Today, Muiderslot Castle has been beautifully restored and now is a national museum that you can visit near Amsterdam.

It’s very easy to plan a day trip in the Netherlands and, as part of your visit, you can see the ancient fortress, fortification walls and 17th-century rooms.

The entire place will make you feel like you’ve returned to the era of valiant knights and dragons. 

Muiderslot Castle
Muiden Castle Netherlands

Things to do at Muiderslot Castle

Explore the central courtyard

After you cross the impressive drawbridge over the river, you’ll walk under the Portcullis and enter the quaint cobbled courtyard of the castle.

The central courtyard is where you can pick up a free audio guide and I would recommend doing so. 

It has lots of useful information about the rooms you’re seeing and famous residents like the mysterious Muiderking.

There’s also a gift shop, a cosy café that serves up coffee and light snacks, a locker room and toilets. 

Muiderslot Courtyard
Muiderslot Amsterdam

Climb up the towers

There are two routes that you can take to explore the castle, the first is the Tower Route and the second is the Knight’s Route.

I would recommend heading on the Tower Route first. As you ascend the spiral staircases you’ll eventually reach the castle ramparts. 

Muiderslot Castle

You can take a walk along the castle walls just like the knights on patrol used to and see some spectacular views of the gardens and river below.

Make sure to climb higher to the tower that overlooks the drawbridge and portcullis. It allows you to see directly below to where they would defend the castle from encroaching enemies!

They even had a fun game on a screen where you could throw things at unwanted guests. 

After, you’ll descend to the courtyard where you can start the Knight’s Route. 

Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam


Would it even be a castle without a creepy dungeon? I dread to think how prisoners would have been treated back in the day.

You can head down into the Muiden dungeons to see the chains that used to hold enemies, criminals and spies in the fortress.

I have to admit, I didn’t spend much time here as it was really cold and dreary! 

Muiderslot Dungeon


On the Knight’s Route, you’ll initially climb a tower of some 83 steep steps until you reach the very top.

When you do, you’ll see the inner workings of the castle turret and then make your way down to several rooms.

inside Muiderslot Castle towers

The first would be the Armoury. This had several pieces of authentic armour on display from when this castle used to be a fortress of defence in Count Floris’ day. 

I loved the fact that they had pieces you could try on and costumes, the kids were also loving it. I couldn’t believe how heavy the chainmail and plates were. 

The fact that soldiers used to have to wear that and wield a heavy sword at the same time blows my mind. 

Armoury Muiderslot
Muiderslot Castle Armoury

Knight’s Hall 

The heart of the castle has to be the Grand Knight’s Hall or Ridderzaal. This room was designed to create a grand impression as well as provide a warm ambience.

This room had many roles to play in castle life. It would be where the lord would meet his guests, give judgement on disputes and where servants slept. But, it would also be a place that held grand parties and feasts. 

In Hooft’s day, he would meet his Muiderking circle to discuss ideas, play music, read poetry and enjoy each other’s company. 

He even had plays performed here like his tragedy ‘Isabella’ where Prince Maurits was in attendance. 

Today, it’s been decorated as it would have looked in the 17th century with lots of paintings. Look out for the portrait of ‘Muiderking’. 

Although it looks like a painting from the Dutch Golden Age, it’s a 19th-century work of art from Jan Adam Kruseman and is on long-term loan from the Rijksmuseum. 

The Muiderking was a name for Hooft but also his ‘Muider circle’ who used to come here to discuss arts and science.

Muiderslot Knight's Hall Muiderking

Prince’s Room

Another 17th century reconstruction is the Prince’s Room and the name comes from the fact that Prince Maurits of Orange slept here on his visit.

You’ll see an authentic canopy bed which has beautifully carved wood. They are called ‘Coach Beds’ or Beddenkoets. 

 It looks very short but people didn’t sleep fully lying down back then. They would sleep sitting up. 

Muiderslot Princes' Room

You’ll notice that the bed is in the corner of the hall next to a grand fireplace for warmth. This area almost looks like a living space rather than a bedroom.

That’s because people used to entertain guests in these spaces and show off grand pieces of furniture like this as a sign of their wealth and status. 

Amsterdam Castle Prince's Room
Muiderslot Castle Prince's Room

Master bedroom

I loved visiting the master bedroom of the house, it was circular in design and quite small so that it could be easily warmed up.

Again, there is another coach bed and it is made of the finest oak wood and carved and decorated with rich fabric. 

Muiden Castle Master bedroom

As most of the oak forests had been felled in the Netherlands in the 17th century, oak was imported from Scandinavia and Germany and so it was very expensive.

I also loved the historic paintings and celestial globes you could find in this room. They made the space look grand. 

Muiderslot Master bedroom

Castle kitchens 

The castle kitchens would have been a hive of activity for the castle back in the day and where food was prepared. 

You’ll find a huge fireplace, herbs hanging from the ceiling, a larder and all sorts of meat roasting on the fire or hanging up.

The table has a platter of food already prepared, maybe this is for the master of the house? 

Muiderslot Kitchens

Walk around the Muiderslot garden

The gardens outside Muiderslot Castle are breathtaking and each season brings something new.

They were planned in the 17th century and today they still retain their original design albeit new plants have been added and garden features like sculptures and fencing.

Although they were designed for a decorative purpose, they used to have a kitchen garden and orchards which would provide fruit, vegetables and herbs to the castle.

As Muiden was far away from the markets at the time and relied on imports, having a source of food readily available was vital.

Muiderslot Gardens

My favourite part was the Beech Tree Alley or Berceau which was a gorgeous tunnel that looked like something from Alice in Wonderland!

You can also look forward to exploring the Warmoeshof vegetable garden, Kruidhof herb garden, and Prune orchard. 

It was raining on my visit but I loved the fact that each part of these gardens has a picture-perfect view of the castle in the backdrop. 

Muiderslot Gardens

Stroll around the castle moat 

After you’ve explored the Muiden garden, I would take an extended walk around the castle moat.

There’s a path that loops around the fortress and you can get some amazing perspectives from the old ramparts.

If you head towards the water, you’ll also be able to see lots of fancy boats and tall ships parked in the harbour.

Muiderslot Castle
Muiden Castle Amsterdam

On my visit, they had a rowing competition going on in Muiden! It was a boat race to see who could reach Forteiland Pampus the quickest.

Forteiland Pampus makes a fabulous addition to your day trip to Muiderslot if you have the time. It’s an artificial island built as a fort in the 19th century.

There are many boat trips from Amsterdam in season (April – September) that take you on a boat ride to visit both Muiden Castle and the island! 

Muiderslot Castle Moat
Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam Netherlands

Explore the quaint city of Muiden 

After you’ve explored Amsterdam Castle, I would highly recommend taking a scenic walk through the gorgeous city of Muiden.

Most of the shops, restaurants, bakeries and cafés are by the waterside on the River Vecht. 

After, take a stroll alongside the water to see lots of boats and tall ships anchored in the harbour.

Muiden Centrum
Muiden Centrum
Muiden Centrum
Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam 6

You can stop by the famous Graaf Floris V van Muiden restaurant and check out the Knight on a Horse outside. 

There are many more historic buildings in Muiden like the Muizenfort Museum and Parochie Van Levend Water church. 

Muiden Centrum
Muiden restaurant

How long does it take to tour Muiderslot castle?

It will take you around 2-3 hours to tour Muiderslot Castle as there are lots of towers to climb, staterooms, a cafe, a gift shop, formal gardens and a moat walk.

You could easily spend half a day to a whole day in the Muiden area as the city is very quaint with a river, cosy cafés, shops and restaurants.

Also, it’s good to remember that it will also take you around an hour to travel here from central Amsterdam as well. So, make sure to factor travel time into your itinerary.  

Muiden Castle Amsterdam
Muiderslot Castle

My top tips for visiting Muiderslot Castle

  • Visit early – if you want to visit when the castle is less busy, I would visit for opening time and during the week. 
  • Leave enough time – I would leave at least a couple of hours to explore the castle had Muiden area to get the most out of your visit. 
  • Wear sensible footwear – the castle has lots of cobbles and steps to climb. Make sure to wear ankle-supporting shoes for your visit.  
  • Bring a picnic – in the summer, there are lots of tables to have a picnic if you don’t want to purchase food. 
Muidersot Castle River Vecht

Is Muiderslot worth visiting?

Absolutely yes, it’s worth visiting if you’re taking a trip to Amsterdam or the Netherlands. This castle makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the medieval era. 

There is lots to do at the castle as well as some beautiful scenic walks you can take in the planned gardens and by the river.

Although it’s only 20 kilometres out of Amsterdam, it’s a great change of pace from the busier cities in the Netherlands.

I found Muiden such an enchanting place and it was so relaxing to take walks in nature by the water.

Don’t skip Amsterdam Castle on your visit to the Netherlands, you won’t regret visiting! 

Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam

How to visit Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot Castle is located in the quaint city of Muiden in the Netherlands and this is around 21 kilometres from central Amsterdam.

So, if you’re driving, you can arrive at the castle within around 20 minutes. You could even cycle and the journey will take you around an hour from the centre of the city. 

But, if you’re opting to use public transport to travel around the Netherlands this will take slightly longer. Here’s how to reach Amsterdam Castle without a car; 

Amsterdam Castle

By train/bus

You can travel to Muiderslot Castle all year by a mix of train and bus from Amsterdam and the journey will take you around 50-55 minutes. 

You can catch the City Sprinter train heading to Weesp from Amsterdam Centraal Station or Muiderspoort. 

Then, when you arrive in Weesp, you will need to exit the train station and catch the 110 bus service heading to the Muiden P& R which stops in Miuden Centrum.

From the Muiden bus stop, you can then walk to the castle in around 15-20 minutes. 

You can book your public transport via the NS app before your journey or at the ticket machines at the train station. Personally, I find the app easier.

If you prefer, you can also buy a regional transport ticket from I Amsterdam that can take you to places like Muiden, Haarlem, Zaanse Shans and Schipol Airport too. 

1 Day Regional Travel Card I Amsterdam

By ferry (seasonal) 

A relaxing way to journey to Muiderslot would be to take the ferry from Amsterdam Centraal to Muiden.

The Amsterdam Tourist Ferry runs on the weekends from April – September leaving at 10.45. 

You can then take a scenic 45-minute boat ride to Muiderslot Castle which has its own port.

Each boat has an outside and inside area with toilets, heating and a bar to buy refreshments. 

Muiden Castle Views

Muiderslot Castle ticket prices and opening times

Entrance fees for Amsterdam Castle are currently € 17.50 for an adult and €10 for a child tick (4-11). 

There are discounts for those with CJP, VIP, and Dutch Museum Cards. 

Muiderslot Castle is open all year on Tuesdays – Sundays and is typically closed on Mondays with the exception of a few recognised holidays. 

It’s a great place to visit all year as the planned gardens here always have something new to see with the change of the seasons. 

Muiderslot Knight's Hall

Why not purchase an I Amsterdam City Card?

Did you know that you can get into Muiderslot Castle for free using the I Amsterdam City Card?

It’s a great way to explore Amsterdam as it gets you free access to over 70 museums, a canal cruise, and bike rental. 

It also allows you to travel the city car-free as it includes city-wide public transport including buses, trains, trams, metro and ferries.

Is the I Amsterdam City Card Worth it review

You can buy 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120-hour cards depending on your holiday time and preferences. Then, you’re free to explore the city as you wish. 

Every time you visit a new city these days, there is always a city card or pass advertised and it can be hard to know whether buying one is worth the price tag.

So, I’ve written an honest review below where you can see if purchasing one is worth it. 

Read my review – Is the I Amsterdam City Card Worth it?

I Amsterdam City Card review

Amsterdam Castle FAQs

Who lived in Muiderslot castle? Count Floris V in the 13th century but the most famous resident was Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft and his “Muiderking” in the 17th century. He was the Dutch version of Shakespeare and wrote many plays and poems in the Dutch Golden Age. 

What is the old castle near Amsterdam? The Muiderslot, it’s easy to visit from the centre in under an hour! 

Why was Muiderslot Castle built? It was originally built as a line of defence for the See of Utrecht, an old medieval trade route. It was constructed by the order of Count Floris V in the 13th century. 

Amsterdam Castle

Read more of my Netherlands guides

25+ Hidden Gems and Secrets Spots in Amsterdam

Discover the secret Cuypers Library in Rijksmuseum 

25+ Things to do in Haarlem that make it worth visiting

How to visit the magical Amsterdam City Archive

How to visit Zevenlandenhuizen (Seven Country Houses)

Save how to visit Muiderslot Castle for later! 

How to visit Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam

With thanks to Amsterdam&Partners for gifting me my iAmsterdam City Card in exchange for this honest review. Although I was a guest all opinions are my own.