7 of the prettiest palaces in the Netherlands
Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy some of the incredible palaces the Netherlands has to offer. With impressive grounds and stunning interiors packed with historical treasures, these palaces are great for a day trip to admire art, history, and architecture.
Must-see palaces in the Netherlands
There is no shortage of breathtaking palaces in the Netherlands, but here are some of the ones we would recommend.
1. Koninklijk Paleis, Amsterdam
The Royal Palace, or Koninklijk Paleis, is right in the heart of Amsterdam, and it’s one of the most cherished monuments in the Netherlands. Many events have taken place here, like the wedding reception of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, New Year’s galas, and award ceremonies.
Aside from extravagant events, the palace is open to the public, allowing all kinds of visitors to explore Dutch royalty, art, and architecture. The castle dates from the Golden Age, and it was designed by the architect Jan van Campen in the 17th century.
2. Paleis het Loo, Apeldoorn
The palace was built in the 17th century when Stadtholder Willem III (the great-grandson of William of Orange) bought the neighbouring mediaeval castle, Het Oude Loo, and its surrounding lands to build a new hunting lodge. The lodge was then extended in the 1690s. After almost 300 years of new additions and renovations, Paleis het Loo was restored to its original 17th-century condition through a huge restoration project between 1977 and 1984.
3. The Markiezenhof, Bergen op Zoom
The oldest city palace in the Netherlands, the Markiezenhof was once home to the Lords and Marquis of the region. Nowadays the beautiful palace houses an interesting museum which allows visitors to explore the history of the area from the mediaeval period right up to the present day.
Alongside the historical rooms, French garden and mediaeval architecture, the palace also houses a treasure trove of tens of thousands of historical items. There are various exhibitions and events that periodically take place at the palace throughout the year for visitors to enjoy, and the palace is a fabulous venue for a special dinner or a wedding.
4. Paleis Soestdijk, Baarn
The Paleis Soestdijk has long been owned by the Dutch Royalty of Orange - Nassau. It was originally constructed as a hunting lodge for the royal family in the 1930s, before becoming a royal residence for Princess Juliana in the 1940s. After the death of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard in 2014, it became a place of work, and since 2007 it has been open to the public.
You can explore the residence's long and interesting history as you wander the house and grounds. Activities such as summer evening concerts, art exhibitions, and open garden days also take place at the palace for visitors to enjoy.
5. Paleis Noordeinde, The Hague
This palace in The Hague has been owned by the royal family since 1609 when it was given to the widow of William of Orange as a gift. Today, the monarchy uses it as a working palace, and it has undergone restorations a number of times since World War II.
While the palace itself is not open to the public, you can take pictures of it from the street - which is itself known as having the highest "density of art" in Holland. Visitors are permitted into the palace's grounds (admission is free), to wander the gardens and see the Royal Stables where the horse and carriages of the royal family are kept.
6. Paleis Kneuterdijk, The Hague
Another fascinating palace in The Hague is Kneuterdijk, which used to be a royal palace before it was sold in 1937. Right after World War II, the palace's former ballroom was where Dutch war criminals were tried, and where many were sentenced to death.
Since 2001, the palace has been used by the Netherlands Council of State, which consists of members of the royal family and crown-appointed members. The Council needs to be consulted by the Dutch government on proposed legislation before it is submitted to parliament. The Council of State also serves as the highest court of appeal in administrative matters.
7. Bronbeek, Arnhem
Bronbeek is a 19th-century palace that is now a museum where you can learn about the military and colonial history of the Dutch in the Dutch East Indies. Located in Arnhem, the beautiful house and grounds sit alongside exhibitions on weaponry and uniforms, as well as spectacular paintings. Bronbeek still serves as a nursing home for former military personnel.
If you're a history buff, look no further! Explore this alluring history museum with interesting exhibits and collections while wandering the amazing estate.
Pop by these Dutch palaces
Wandering through one of these exquisite palaces is the perfect way to pass a day! Already seen them all? Then be sure to check our pick of the Netherlands' top castles, and the eight coolest castles in Europe!
Got any other gems to add? Let us know in the comments below!