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Castle De Haar: The Largest castle in the netherlands

    Situated near the city of Utrecht lies Castle De Haar, one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands. This is one of the most luxurious castles in the Netherlands and one of the top historic houses in Europe!! If you are looking to get out of Amsterdam and really explore the Netherlands then a trip here is not to be missed! 

    I had the chance to visit here last summer and I was just in complete awe of the place. The castle itself is incredible! As soon as you walk through the entrance you will feel like you just stepped into a fairytale, being greeted by this incredible grand hall which house the remnants of the castles 13th century remains. 

    Before getting into everything about the tours they offer, ticket prices and what you can expect on a trip here lets get into the history of the castle… 

    The history of castle de haar…

    The castle is believed to date all the way back to the 13th century. It was originally owned by the Van De Haar family who was a manservant to the Prince Bishop of Utrecht. Throughout the years the castle was inherited by many and suffered a lot of external and internal damage so, it was left in ruins up until the mid 1800’s. The famous Architect Pierre Cuypers known for his work on the Rijksmuseum and the Central Station in Amsterdam was commissioned to restore the castle. The restoration took around 20 years and is the Castle De Haar we see today.

    Since its restoration the castle has hosted many incredible guests including Coco Chanel, Maria Callas, Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, Yves Saint Laurent, Joan Collins, and Brigitte Bardot.

    Need to know…

    Location:

    Castle De Haar is located on the outskirts of Utrecht. The castle itself sits on over 130 acres of land with lots of surrounding canals. Transportation to and from the castle is very limited. If you are looking to visit, the best way to get there is by car. If you are taking public transportation you can get the 127 bus from Vleuten Station to Brink and from there it is a 15 minute walk to the castle.

    Parking:

    If you are looking to drive here then you are in look! The castle offers on site parking located on the opposite side of the castle. You will need to pay an extra €5 for the car park on top of you entrance cost to the castle and grounds. The carpark itself is quite large so there should be no worry on if you will be able to get a space. The charge for parking covers the whole day so you don’t have to worry about running around trying to explore the castle and gardens before the car park ticket expires.

    Tickets and pricing:

    The castle offers two entry tickets depending on where you would like to visit. If you are looking to explore just the gardens then prices will start from €7.00. I would highly recommend getting the joint ticket though which includes access to both the gardens and the castle. The joint ticket starts from €19.00 per adult but it is definitely worth the extra price as the castle is just incredible and it needs to be explored from the inside.

    Tours:

    Entry to the castle includes a self guided ticket but if you are looking to brush up on some extra history of the castle and its tenants that you are in look as they offer a wide range of tours. If you are looking to see a more unique side of the castle and its grounds they offer cycling and jogging tours and their “Under The Tiles” tour which will take you to the areas of the castle which are usually closed off to the public.

    What to expect…

    I went with the joint ticket which included access to both the castle and it’s grounds and it was incredible!! This is by far one of the most beautiful castles I have visited in europe and you have to see it yourself just to see how incredible the architecture is.

    Whilst exploring the castle and grounds they are both self led so you can take however long or short you would like exploring. I would definitely recommend dedicating either a full or half day to here as the gardens alone are across over 130 acres of land and the castle has so many incredible nook and crannies to explore.

    Upon entering you will be given a map to both the castle and the gardens. When you are exploring the castle you can also take along with you one of their audio guides which will tell you all about the castle and its rich history. You will get to explore some incredible rooms all with authentic furniture including the kitchens, living quarters and my favourite the room of the Baroness which was decorated to the tastes of the Rothschilds. It took my around 45-60 minutes to explore the castle and everything it has to offer but I was very lucky as there was barley anyone there that day so on more busier time I would say it may take a little longer.

    As mentioned above the gardens span across 130 acres and there is so much to see and explore! Strolling through the gardens you will find the Rose Garden, The Roman Gardens, beautiful canals and ponds and long walking trails to enjoy.

    For further information check out De Haar castle.

    Book here…

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