Muiderslot or Muiden Castle is one of the most beautiful castles near Amsterdam. Even though its size is rather small, the beautiful symmetry and captivating history of Muiderslot Castle make it the perfect destination for a day trip from Amsterdam.
I first visited this castle while I was studying for my master’s degree in Amsterdam. It was a sunny day – one of those rare days in the Netherlands – and I was looking for new places to discover. Since I had already visited the city with no roads – Giethoorn and the beautiful Haarlem, I thought that Muiderslot Castle would be the perfect destination for one relaxing day outside of the city.
When I got to the castle, I was impressed by its architecture. Muiderslot was so picturesque that I felt like being part of a fairy tale. The tall walls, round towers and surrounding water added to its charm.
In this article, you will find all the information you need to know when planning a day trip to Muiden Castle.
1. Muiderslot Castle history
The history of Muiderslot begins when Count Floris V ordered the construction of a stone castle in 1280 at the mouth of the river Vecht. The Vecht River used to be the most important trade route to Utrecht. The castle only measured 32 by 35 meters and had thick brick walls (1.5 meters).
In 1296 Count Floris V was imprisoned at the castle by his own nobles and after an attempt to escape, he was killed by Gerard van Velsen. After his death, the castle was taken over by the Archbishop of Utrecht.
In 1297 the Muiderslot Castle was conquered by Willem van Mechelen and by the year 1300 it was demolished. After one hundred years, the castle was rebuilt in the same place, based on the original plan.
Muiderslot was strengthened in 1576 and shortly after PC Hooft moved in. He decorated the castle in the style of the Dutch Renaissance and expanded its gardens.
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PC Hooft was part of one of the most important families, his father being the Mayor of Amsterdam. While living in Amsterdam, PC Hooft was used to a thriving social life, being surrounded by many personalities. After he moved to Muiden, he began to feel lonely so he started inviting his friends to the castle.
Some of the most remarkable authors, poets, and scientists of the moment came to Muiderslot and the group became to be known as Muiderking.
Later on, in the 18th century, the castle was used as a prison. Nowadays, it serves as a museum and it can be visited. The furnished rooms and gardens reflect the Dutch Golden Age.
You’ll hear all about the castle’s history when visiting it because the entrance ticket includes an audio tour.
2. Muiderslot Castle facts
- The Muiderslot Castle is situated in a small town near Amsterdam, called Muiden
- The name Muiderslot is derived from the German word “mui” which means mouth. The castle got this name because it is situated at the mouth of river Vecht
- In 2018 the Muiden Castle celebrates its 140th year as a museum
- You can meet a falcon at the castle. For more details, click here
3. A day trip from Amsterdam to Muiden
Visiting Muiderslot as a day trip from Amsterdam is totally doable. If you have less time, you can even visit it in a few hours. You will only need around one and a half, two hours for visiting the castle but if you have time, you can explore Muiden a bit more. Choose one of the cute restaurants in Muiden and eat some Dutch food.
I loved wandering around the castle. Even though it’s quite small, the decorations, weapons, and armor displays made me feel like a part of the castle’s history.
Muiderslot is quite a popular tourist attraction so expect to see lots of tourists, especially during summer. If you want to avoid the crowds, make sure to be there early in the morning.
Muiderslot Castle entry tickets
The good news is that admissions include an audio tour in either Dutch or English. You’ll have the chance to learn many interesting things about the castle while admiring its architecture.
Tip: if you are planning to visit more museums in and near Amsterdam, it would be a good idea to buy an I Amsterdam city card. This card gets you free entrance to museums, free canal cruise, unlimited public transport, and other great discounts.
Muiderslot Castle opening hours
The Muiderslot Castle has different opening hours for the winter season and summer season. During the winter, it is open only on Saturday and Sunday (12 pm – 5 pm) with a few exceptions. During summer, the castle is opened all week.
For the full schedule and opening hours, click here.
4. How to get to Muiderslot Castle from Amsterdam
Getting to Muiderslot Castle is easy and there are several options for transportation to choose from. The castle is situated only 15 kilometers away from Amsterdam. I’ve listed below all the transport options available.
If you have a car or rented one, this is going to be the easiest and most comfortable way to get to Muiderslot. However, keep in mind that Muiden is a small city and there are not that many parking spaces available.
Also, the parking price is 2.4 euros per hour and 21.6 euros for the whole day.
Take the bike
If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one from Amsterdam and head to Muiderslot. The bike ride is going to take around one hour and the views along the way are beautiful. You will even pass by a small beach. If you’re visiting during the summer, don’t hesitate to bring your swimming suit with you!
Take the ferry to Muiderslot Castle
Another way to get to Muiderslot Castle is by ferry. Take the ferry from Amsterdam IJburg directly to the castle. To get to Amsterdam IJburg, take the tram 26 from Amsterdam Central Station.
I hope that you’ve found this Muiderslot Castle guide useful. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section below.
5. Where to stay in Amsterdam
Finding the perfect accommodation in Amsterdam can be challenging. I searched for the best hotels for each budget and these are my recommendations:
- Budget – Holy Dove Bed & Breakfast – clean rooms, friendly owners, included breakfast, quiet area
- Mid Budget – Citizen M Hotel – good location, modern and clean rooms, great amenities, city view
- Luxury – Hotel V Nesplein – excellent location, spacious and modern rooms, beautiful design, excellent amenities, great restaurant
I’m sure that you’ll enjoy your visit to Muiderslot Castle. If you’re tired of all the hustle and bustle from Amsterdam, take a half-day trip to this beautiful castle and relax.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below!
May the travel bug bite you!