Kasteel de Haar is the largest castle in the Netherlands and is located in the Utrecht region. This fairy-tale castle is set in its own extensive grounds and features moats, turrets, drawbridges and some beautiful gardens.
The original de Haar castle building dates from medieval times around the 13th century. However by the 19th century the castle had fallen into serious disrepair. The wealthy van Zuylen and Rothschild families commissioned noted Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers (of Amsterdam Central Station and Rijksmuseum-fame) to completely restore the grounds and building.
The renovation work took 20 years between 1892 and 1912 and transformed the ruins into a comfortable and sophisticated neo-Gothic country retreat for the family and their guests.
The castle gardens are 55 hectares in area (a bit larger than Amsterdam’s Vondelpark) and feature a chapel, a Serpentine lake, a 400m long grand canal, a rose garden, a maze and a Roman garden. The park contains around 7,000 trees including a number of large monumental specimens.
The family would reside in the castle during September each year with famous guests such as Roger Moore, Joan Collins and Bridget Bardot having visited. The castle is now owned by an independent non-profit foundation.
A visit around the castle interior takes about 45 minutes. You can see the impressive Great Hall, Ballroom, Dining Room, some bedrooms and the old kitchen. Much of the castle interior is decorated with lavish wood carvings with furnishings from the Rothschild collection.
Volunteers are on hand to provide background and information sheets are also available.
Group tours are possible on request by booking in advance. A map of the gardens is available at reception which highlights the main features and has 3 walking routes.
There is a restaurant at the Stable Yard near the entrance and a tearoom café in the gardens.
With a beautiful castle, stunning gardens and interesting history, the Kasteel de Haar is worthy of a visit and makes for a good day trip to escape the bustle of Amsterdam.
Kasteel de Haar Essential Info
|Opening Times||Park generally open daily 0900-1700. Castle open daily 1100-1700 with last access at 1615. Double check the site as park and castle can be occasionally closed for special events.|
|Admission Prices (2022)||Park and castle entrance costs €18.00 for adults, €12.50 for children 4-12. Free entry for children 0-3 and Museumkaart holders.|
Entry to the park only costs €7.00 for adults, €5.00 for children 4-12. Free entry for children 0-3 and Museumkaart holders.
Parking costs €6.00.
|Getting There||The castle is located in the village of Haarzuilens, not far from Utrecht. If coming by public transport take a train to Utrecht Central (30 mins from Amsterdam). From there take a sprinter train to Vleuten station (direction Den Haag Centraal or Woerden, 10 minutes journey time) usually departing from platform 20. From Vleuten station take U-OV bus 111 directly to the castle (direction Kasteel de Haar, 7 minutes).|
Kasteel de Haar, Kasteellaan 1, 3455 RR Haarzuilens
T: +31(0)30 677 8515, kasteeldehaar.nl
Last update 28 January 2022, first published in 2019.