Exploring Muiden, The Netherlands

Muiden is a city in The Netherlands about 30 minutes east of the capital Amsterdam (post HERE), known for its castle, fortresses and charming streets. The city dates back to the 10th Century, and was a key link in the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a 135 km-long fortification that once protected the city from invaders. If you’re in Amsterdam, or exploring The Netherlands then visiting Muiden is well worth it.

We visited on an overcast winter’s day, but in typically European weather style, by mid afternoon it was bright sunshine requiring sunglasses, early evening it was raining and by the end of the day I needed a hat and scarf to keep warm. Because of it, my photos look like they are from all the seasons (but really just one day!)

Things to do in Muiden

1. Muiderslot (Muiden Castle)

Without doubt the key attraction in Muiden is its incredible castle. Dating back to 1280, the castle was built by Floris V to enforce tolls on the traders using the river between Utrecht and Amsterdam. Floris was later kidnapped and murdered and by 1300 the original castle was destroyed. In 1400 the castle was rebuilt, used as a defence, a private home, and a prison before becoming a museum in the late 1800s.

Visiting the castle today is a fun experience – it’s set in a beautiful moat with some lovely gardens. You can take two tours around the castle using an audioguide, one in to the towers and one inside the castle itself. There is also a nice little gift shop and cafe on site, as well as an outdoor theatre which is used for productions in the summer. Overall, it’s worth spending a couple of hours at Muiderslot.

Moated beauty

2. Muiden town

Muiden is full of quaint houses, more canals (of course) and cosy cafes to eat, drink and watch the world go by in. We enjoyed strolling along the waterfront, watching the bridges open for the boats, taking in the harbour and architecture and then sitting down to a delicious traditional Dutch lunch (meatballs).

3. Pampus Fort

After the castle and a late lunch, we boarded a ferry to the Pampus Fort. The Fort was commissioned in 1895 as a defence and had space for 200 men. It only achieved this during WW1, and in WW2 the Nazis occupied the site. Once the Nazis had left, the Fort was used to detonate unexploded grenades and other military items.

Now you can explore the partly desolate Fort, learn about its history and enjoy beautiful sea views out back towards Muiden. The ferry leaves from the water front (a 3 minute walk from the castle), and the journey over is stunning. We were lucky as the sun came out for our ferry ride, alongside some mist, making the water look incredible.

Stunning views out

As a side note, please take cash to pay – Pampus only take Dutch bank cards so we physically couldn’t pay for our trip. They were so nice and let us take the ride and tour the Fort for free (!), but we felt awful. I think they took pity on us because I’d reached my post-operation limit of walking at the castle, so really needed to sit down on the ferry!

How to get to Muiden

You can get to Muiden via car (or Uber) from Amsterdam in about 30 minutes. There is parking at the castle but it’s limited, so I recommend getting there for opening to guarantee a space.

If you don’t have a car, you can also get to Muiden via train although it’s a bit complicated because there’s no train station at Muiden. You will need to get the train to nearby Weesp, and then take bus 110 to Muiden which takes only 5 minutes.

Another sunny Muiden ferry view – where does the sky start?

So, what do you think of Muiden? Would you visit if you were in Amsterdam? We really enjoyed our day there (apart from the crazy weather) and found it a great break from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam centre to take things a bit slower. Let me know what you think – stay safe and happy travelling everyone!


  1. When I saw the pictures of a castle on your post, I just knew what I needed to read before going to bed πŸ˜„. The castle almost look like a picture out of a fairytale book. And what a pretty picture of the reflections in the water in Muiden … and wow, that last photo – stunning!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We were thinking of Netherlands for Easter 2020 – visiting a few of those lovely towns and cities – away from Amsterdam… of course those plans were shelved but I’d definitely include this place now – thank you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I’m sorry your plans were cancelled, but hopefully one day you can visit The Netherlands – it’s a beautiful and underrated country I think, and there is so much more to it than just Amsterdam! πŸ™‚


  3. Thank you for sharing, Hannah! It looks beautiful! My friend from NJ moved to the Netherlands to be with her boyfriend. I told her I want to try to visit them. Saving this list in case that happens later on this year! 😊 Thanks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I’m so glad you like it……and yes definitely worth a visit, especially if you have a friend there that you can stay with. I think The Netherlands has lots of lovely towns and cities that are well worth exploring πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for reading, have a great day.

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    1. It really is a fairytale castle isn’t it, it was very special to have it to ourselves and definitely found it magical. Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚ And congrats on your wordpress feature, a great interview.

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  4. I’ve actually never heard of Muiden before, but what a charming little place! Goes to show that day trips out of Amsterdam are worth it and more abundant than you think! Thanks for sharing this gem of a place, Han. πŸ™‚

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    1. Aw I’m glad to show you somewhere new then πŸ™‚ I totally agree, there are so many great day trips and places in The Netherlands away from Amsterdam well worth a visit. Thanks for visiting and have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you like it and thanks for reading – we were very lucky to have it all to ourselves. The Netherlands was actually in lockdown when we visited, although sites were open they had to close at 3pm which I think just mean lots less visitors with people choosing not to travel.

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  5. Looks like wonderful place to get away from the city and take a stroll through those charming streets. And anywhere with a historical castle in definitely on my list. Even with the crazy weather- I would love to visit the Netherlands πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely think The Netherlands is an underrated European country, it’s absolutely beautiful with lots to do in quite a small area – and it’s easy to get around with a good train network. Muiden was definitely a good day trip option to escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for reading Meg, have a great day.

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  6. Wow, what a beautiful place to explore and photograph! Although there are a lot of great reasons to visit Amsterdam, the Netherlands is so much more than its most famous city. Thanks for sharing and introducing me to a new place worth visiting πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This little town seems really nice! I have never been to Muiden but I am very curious to check it out now! I really like smaller towns with canals and for sure it must have been a welcome break from busy Amsterdam. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Castles, history, waterfront landscapes, interesting architecture and villages…you travels include such wonderful and oftentimes diverse locations!!! Thank you for sharing, Hannah πŸ™‚

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