One of the small towns you must visit in Noord (North)- Holland is Muiden, The Netherlands. Whether you’re thinking of spending one day in Muiden, or want to make a quick trip to this Dutch town, this Muiden travel blog shows you everything you need to know. From things to do in Muiden to discover more places to visit in the area and to learn about the history of Muiden. If you’re searching for where to go in The Netherlands for a trip, then Muiden has to be on your list.
Muiden is filled with beautiful buildings and streets, so when you’re exploring this Dutch town, you will see many sights to see in Muiden. And you will also understand why you have to visit Muiden; it’s simply worth visiting. From exploring the centre of Muiden to doing some sightseeing and admiring landmarks. Muiden might be a smaller town, but it’s still one of the best places to visit in Noord (North)- Holland.
Things to do in one day in the small town of Muiden, The Netherlands
Muiden is one of the cities you need to visit in Noord (North)- Holland and this town and its surroundings are filled with unique hidden gems in The Netherlands and the Dutch countryside. In this Muiden city blog you will discover unusual places to visit in The Netherlands and Holland region, but also see what there is to do and see in Muiden.
History & facts about Muiden
Muiden is a fortified town in the province of Noord (North)- Holland and is found in the municipality of Gooise Meren, together with the towns of Bussum and Naarden. Muiden currently has a population of around 3265 inhabitants.
The first time that the, at the time, village of Muiden was named, was in the early Middle Ages. It was written down as Amuthon. In 777, the church in Amuthon and the fishing grounds were owned by the Dom church in the city of Utrecht.
Later in 953, Emperor Otto the Great officially gave this location with all its goods and tolls to the Dom church in Utrecht. At that time, this location had a Latin name, called Villa Amuda. Amuda meant mouth of the Aa river, and the Aa is the old name of the current Vecht river.
The word of Muiden also comes from the estuary of a river into a sea. That’s also why you have towns such as Ijmuiden and Genemuiden in The Netherlands.
Then in 1122, Muiden was given city rights by Emperor Henry V together with Utrecht, although it is said that Muiden only gained a fraction of the rights that Utrecht got. When 1281 made its way to Muiden, the Earl of Holland: Count Floris V, gained control over Muiden. It was now part of the county of Holland, but formally still a part of the bishop of Utrecht. Muiden obtained city rights again, given by Count Floris V of Holland, in 1296.
The first defences in Muiden date back to the first half of the 15th century. In 1590, the walls around the city were replaced by bastions. That’s also when the Muiderslot castle got a rampart.
Fast forward to 1672, which was when many troops of the enemy went to Amsterdam. Naarden was captured on the 19th of June, but luckily Muiden was kept safe due to the inundation of the region. Unfortunately, in 1795 Muiden was occupied by the French. During October 1811, Napoleon visited the city of Muiden, and he combined Muiden and Muiderberg as a municipality in 1812. On the 1st of December 1813, Prussian troops and Russian cossacks freed Muiden from the French.
A city without a myth is hard to find, and Muiden is also home to one of these Dutch myths. It is said that fishermen had captured a mermaid (why is it always a mermaid?). And when they talk about who they’re going to give her to, the mermaid said that it’s better to free her as she won’t survive on the land longer than one hour.
She says that when they release her, they will get rewards with overflowing fishing nets and more. When the mermaid was released, she sang: ‘Muiden zal Muiden blijven, Muiden zal nooit beklijven.’ And she disappeared. This means that Muiden will stay the same and will never bloom. And whether this mermaid has existed is not known (obviously), but Muiden has never been a very rich or blooming place. Nowadays, you can find the mermaid in the coat of arms of Muiden.
Where to stay in Muiden
If you’re looking for places to stay in Muiden, then there isn’t a lot to choose from. But, the accommodation in Muiden that you can find in this small Dutch town is suitable.
Accommodatie in de Vestingstad Muiden: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Rooftop studio near Amsterdam Castle (Muiden): Check rates & availability on Booking.com
If those accommodations in Muiden are all filled up, then you can also stay at the following place near Muiden. It’s only around a 1,5-kilometre bike ride from here to Muiden. You can use bicycles at this accommodation.
Boerderij Honswijck: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Best restaurants in Muiden
There are quite a few good restaurants in the town of Muiden. Whether you’re looking for a great late breakfast cafe, a lunch spot or a good place to eat dinner in Muiden, these restaurants are excellent. De Poort van Muiden is good for Indonesian food. Brasserie Herengracht, Graaf Floris V van Muyden and Restaurant Gieling are also great places to eat in Muiden.
Things to do in Muiden
Free walking tour in Muiden
This Muiden free walking tour is a little less than 5 kilometres long.
We start our self-guided and free walking tour in Muiden at Herengracht. Here you will see an old sea dyke on the right side. This is called ‘Waterkering De Stenen Beer’ and was built in 1678. It was adapted in both 1718 and 1917 and last restored in 1991. Now, walk to Herengracht 71. This building was made before 1756, as in that same year the building was altered. This monumental building in Muiden is named ‘De Gooyse Boer’, or the farmer from the region ‘t Gooi.
It’s been in use as a cafe since 1810. Some say that at the facade of this building, you will see a tobacco farmer from the Gooi region. It is said that the person on the image is the person who built an inn here in the 18th century, but not everyone believes that statement. Others say that the image is of a tobacco grower from the Gooi region, as there are tobacco leaves in his right hand and his left hand is resting on some more harvested tobacco. The image remembers when tobacco plantations existed in this region. The cafe in this building is known as ‘Ome Ko’.
Then continue to Herengracht 72. This was built in the 18th century as an inn but is currently a cafe in Muiden. It’s named Graaf Floris V van Muiden, after Count Floris. It is said that in 1624, meetings took place here in the previous building on this location about the sea sluice in Muiden. The building has had several names, such as ‘De hertog van Gelre’, or the duke of Gelre. Interesting to know is that back part of the building on the Naarderstraat was equipped as a storage place for horses and carriages. From there it had a connection to the train station of Weesp, which was found at the rail line of Amsterdam to Amersfoort.
Walk to Sluisstraat and admire the Groote Zeesluis in Muiden. This giant sea sluice connects the river the Utrechtse Vecht with the Ij lake (IJmeer in Dutch). The first (wooden) sluices that were built in or near Muiden in around 1674. It was made to stop floods from the former Zuiderzee as well as an inundation system for the old Holland waterline (that protected the Holland region in the 17th and 18th century).
At the beginning of the 1800s, the sluices were in a terrible state, which was dangerous for the inhabitants that lived behind the sluice for safety reasons. Then in 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte (at that time ruler of the current The Netherlands), gave the assignment to restore the complex of sluices. Construction started in 1809 and finished five years later. The sluices were now made of stone. Then visit Sluisstraat 1 in Muiden. This is the location of the lock keepers house for the old sea lock.
Now head to Zeestraat, Westzeedijk and walk on the small path on the left side of the Westzeedijk to walk to Westbatterij Muiden. This fortress in Muiden is found at the western banks of the estuary of the Vecht river in Muiden. The first defences were already made at this location in 1427, but the current Dutch fort in Muiden was built as part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie between 1850 and 1852. The reason why Muiden has quite a few fortresses and fortifications is that it’s found at a militarily strategic location, with the former Zuiderzee nearby and the Vecht river flowing through the town. The fortress is oval-shaped, at around 19 x 22 metres and two floors high.
The walls on the seaside part are thicker, as it was expected that most of the enemies would come from the Zuiderzee. The main job of this fort in Muiden was to protect the port estuary of this Dutch town. The fortress became military outdated when a specific type of grenade was created in 1885. The fortified city of Muiden was added to the Stelling van Amsterdam in 1892 (a ring of defence around Amsterdam).
It was last in use during the First World War and housed 84 people here, but it was mainly used as a storage space and accommodation for the troops. After this war, this defence fort in Muiden wasn’t used anymore. After you’re done with looking at this Dutch fortress near Amsterdam, you can also continue to walk in this area for a bit. When you walk along the dyke, you can see a beautiful view of the IJ lake in The Netherlands.
Then head to Brederodelaan, Constantijn Huygenslaan, Burgermeester De Raadtsingel, Amsterdamsestraat, Singelstraat, Weesperstraat and Weesperstraat 52. This is one of the oldest houses in Muiden and dates back to 1644.
Walk to Amsterdamsestraat, Zeestraat, Hellingstraat, Sluisstraat, Herengracht and to the H. Nicolaaskerk. This Roman Catholic church in Muiden was designed by Tieleman Franciscus Suys and dates back to 1822. After that, go to Kloosterstraat and then you’re going to walk on a small part of the fortifications in Muiden. Now, continue towards Ravelijnspad, Kloosterstraat and Kerkstraat to Kerkstraat 1.
This is the Grote Kerk, also named Sint Nicolaaskerk. This is the protestant church in Muiden and is pretty old. The tower dates back to the 12th century, and the rest of the church goes back to around 1425. This church tower in Muiden is 28 metres tall and built with tuff in a late Roman style. Interesting to know is that this tower was also used as a lighthouse and watchtower. There are two bells found in this church tower were made by Henrick de Borch in 1525. A giant bell has a diameter of 108 centimetres.
If you’re in Muiden in the evening, listen to the bells of the church at 21:00. This has been done since the time Muiden had city gates. This clock (also nicknamed papklok, or porridge clock) was used to let people know that the city gates were closing so that the inhabitants could come home for dinner. In that time, people often ate porridge in the evening, which is why it is nicknamed ‘papklok’. Every summer you can visit the Grote Kerk, which is one of the things to do in Muiden.
Then continue your walking tour in Muiden to Kloosterstraat, Naarderstraat, Zuidpolderweg, Vestingplein to Muizenfort. This is another fortress in the city of Muiden, and it’s part of the Stelling van Amsterdam, which is one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites you can find in The Netherlands. It’s built between 1874 and 1877, and it had to protect the Naardertrekvaart and entrances of the sea dyke of Muiden.
What is interesting to know is that the eastern part of the fort is covered with sand. This minimalizes the effects of attacks with grenades and filters the rainwater which was then brought down to a reservoir underneath the fortress. People suspected that the enemy would poison the water in the canals, and this way, the troops had clean drinking water. During World War 1, around 100 soldiers were stationed on the fort. When the Second World War started, the defence was strengthened, and troops were on duty here.
It’s funny to know that the Muizenfort translates to mice fortress. It is said that the name refers to the mice-grey coloured uniforms of the Dutch troops in 1939-1940. However, many people think that the name is way older, so it continues to be a bit of a mystery.
Nowadays, you can find a visitor’s centre in Muiden here, as well as several offices and even an escape room. You can visit the visitor’s centre of Muiden for free. It has a little museum and information about Muiden, included walking routes and sights to see in Muiden and its surroundings. It’s generally opened during office hours (from Monday- Friday) and on Saturday from 11:00- 13:00.
After that, you will walk on another part of the ramparts in Muiden to the Muiderslot castle. You can either stop here and visit the Muiderslot or do that a bit later. You can find more information about this Dutch castle in Muiden below, or you can continue the last part of your Muiden walking tour to the middle of the Herengracht, which is your final stop. I hope you’ve enjoyed one of the free things to do in Muiden.
Visit Pampus fortress island from Muiden
This is a fort island in The Netherlands that is also part of the defence line of Amsterdam. You will only be able to reach the island by boat from the town of Muiden. From there you can learn about the Pampus island, why it’s named the way it is, the history and everything you want to know about the defence line of Amsterdam. Visiting Fort Pampus island is a must-do in Muiden.
Muiderslot castle Muiden
Some people call the Muiderslot castle, which is located in the town of Muiden, the Amsterdam castle. Now, if you know me by now, you know that I think this is bizarre as it’s not found in Amsterdam, but Muiden. And some (I see you all) believe that naming half of the country after Amsterdam is a great idea to spread tourists, which is frustrating.
But okay, I will set my frustrations aside for now, as the Muiderslot castle is one of the highlights in The Netherlands and one of the best Dutch castles you can visit. It has tons of things to explore.
Castle Muiderslot is one of the best castles you can visit that are near and around Amsterdam. The current castle dates back to the end of the 14th century. The original castle was created at the end of the 13th century but destroyed, as you know how that goes with castles and angry people.
Interesting to know is that the castle of Muiderslot in Muiden is one of the only castles in the Noord (North)- Holland province that is left. Visiting the Muiderslot castle (not Amsterdam castle) is very cool to do. Admire the castle gardens in Muiden, learn the history of the Muiderslot and simply explore this extraordinary moated castle in The Netherlands. There are often also events in this castle in Muiden, which makes it even better.
Things to do in the surroundings of Muiden
Visit the fortified town of Naarden
A great day trip from Muiden, or even just visiting for a few hours, is the city of Naarden. This is one of the best destinations you can visit in the province of Noord (North)- Holland and is a true dream. Explore one of The Netherlands most beautiful star fortresses and walk through its picturesque streets. Spending one day in Naarden is always a fantastic idea.
Cycle in the surroundings of Muiden
There are so many beautiful areas and places to visit near Muiden. Whatever you’re looking for, cycling routes of 10, 20, 30 or more kilometres there is a great route to be found. For 30 kilometres you could ride your bike for instance, from Muiden – Weesp- Driemond – Nigtevecht – Ankeveen – Naarden – Muiden. This way you will explore parts of the incredible Vecht river region, as well as small (and even fortified) towns, see stunning nature reserves and so much more. You could also visit the Fortenlandroute. It’s very easy to get this route and other routes at the tourist office in Muiden at Vestingplein 1, 1398 VE Muiden. As far as I’m aware you are only able to rent bikes in Muiden at this location (search for Muiden, also you need to download an app to reserve the bike).
Walk in the surroundings of Muiden
While Muiden is a small town in the province of Noord (North)- Holland it is found near Amsterdam and home to one of The Netherlands most famous castles. That means that sometimes there can be quite a few tourists in the town, mainly during summer. If you want to get away from people, then I would recommend you to go on a relaxing walk. A nine kilometres walking route from Muiden takes you through the countryside, Dutch polders and along the Ijmeer.
Muiden – Noordpolderweg – Dijkweg – Muiderberg – Googweg – Zuidpolderweg – Muiden
The city of Weesp is not only a quick and easy day trip from Amsterdam but also from Muiden. Muiden is only around 3,5 kilometres from Weesp, which also makes Muiden a fun day trip from Weesp. But anyway, Weesp is cool to visit. Why? There are tons of things to do in Weesp and its surroundings. You can admire the few canals, see old Dutch windmills, explore small Dutch museums, rent a boat, walk through its charming streets, and so much more. If you’re thinking of travelling to Weesp, but aren’t too sure yet, I can tell you that you’ll love the small Dutch city in Noord (North)- Holland.
Amsterdam is, of course, the capital city of The Netherlands and is filled with things to do. From exploring the secrets of Amsterdam to admiring the endless canals. And from going on a boat tour in Amsterdam to discovering incredible restaurants. While Amsterdam is the most visited city in The Netherlands, many people only see a tiny part of the centre of Amsterdam. And that’s a real shame. Explore De Pijp, Bijlmer, Noord and Weesper neighbourhoods in Amsterdam for instance. There is so much to discover and see. You can find all my Amsterdam travel blogs here.
Hang out at Beach Blijburg
The city beach of Amsterdam is ‘Strand Blijburg’, and it’s found relatively close to Muiden. So, when the Dutch weather is nice, I can certainly recommend you to visit Blijburg beach and to relax. Enjoy a peaceful, sunny day in The Netherlands and put your feet in the sand, while you watch the water of the IJ lake flowing away.
Admire The Netherlands Lake District
The Netherlands lake district is beautiful. Not only is it filled with lakes, small creeks and little Dutch islands, but there are also tons of things to do. The Dutch lake district exists out of tons of areas that have combined their forces for tourists with the name ‘Hollands Plassengebied’ (as most of the region is found in the Holland part). You can go canoeing, sailing, swimming, relaxing, wakeboarding, diving, and so much more in this part of The Netherlands. Visiting The Netherlands lake district is a perfect day trip from Muiden, especially when the weather is nice.
How to get to Muiden
I would always recommend you to use 9292.nl/en to plan your current trips by public transportation in The Netherlands. This is only used to give you a quick idea on the arrival time and how you roughly can travel to Muiden.
From Amsterdam: To go from Amsterdam Centraal train station to Muiden you’d need to take a train that runs to the train station of Weesp. From Weesp you can take the bus to Muiden. Get out at Bushalte Centrum, Muiden. To reach Muiden from Amsterdam takes you around 40 minutes.
From Utrecht: To go on a day trip from Utrecht city to Muiden, you need to take a train to Naarden-Bussum train station. From there you must transfer to a bus in the direction of Weesp via Muiden. Get out at Bushalte Centrum, Muiden. It takes you around one hour to reach Muiden from Utrecht.
From Rotterdam: To go to the town of Muiden from Rotterdam, I would recommend you to take a train to Schiphol. From there you need to transfer to a train that will take you to Weesp. At Weesp you need to get on the bus to Muiden. Get out at Bushalte Centrum, Muiden. It takes you around 1,5 hours to get from Rotterdam to Muiden.
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Other Noord (North)- Holland travel blogs and guides you’ll love
I hope that this 24 hours in Muiden itinerary has shown you everything you would want to know about Muiden and the things you have to see here. From cool activities in one of The Netherlands most interesting places to explore some of the secrets of the Noord (North)- Holland province. When you travel to Muiden, you’re in for a trip. And with this city guide of Muiden, you know precisely why Muiden is worth visiting and where Muiden is located in The Netherlands.
Everything from must-sees in Muiden to the top tourist attractions has been making its way on this travel blog about Muiden. I hope this article has made you excited to go to Muiden, whether it’s for a weekend or just a few hours. Travelling to Muiden is one of the things to do in Noord (North)- Holland and is filled with places to see and visit. Enjoy your vacation to Muiden, The Netherlands. Share this post!