Naarden is a beautiful star fortress in Noord-Holland, The Netherlands. Here you will discover the best things to do when you have 24 hours in Naarden. Including tips for the best restaurants and hotels in Naarden. But also directions. Naarden is very easy to visit by public transport. And its location makes visiting this Dutch fortress a perfect day trip from Amsterdam to the nearby city of Naarden.
Naarden is a fortified city in the province of Noord- Holland, The Netherlands. One of the reasons why you should visit Naarden is because it’s one of the hidden cities in The Netherlands. It’s a pretty off the beaten path place and destination to visit in The Netherlands for most foreigners. And because this bastion fortress in Naarden is one of the best preserved and renovated of the entire country.
What to do and see in one day in Naarden, The Netherlands
From the best museums to visit in Naarden, to the top things to do. And from witnessing the most beautiful view of the fortified city of Naarden, discovering the magic of this town on a free walking tour. Remember that Naarden is not a castle, but a star fort in The Netherlands. you’ll find all of these activities that you must do in Naarden, and more, in this article. So continue reading.
Best restaurant/ cafe for breakfast in Naarden
Coffee Culture is a great cafe to enjoy the best coffee, tea and breakfast in Naarden. You can find anything from the best sandwiches, to organic delicacies. And not to forget plenty of different kinds of coffee and tea.
Marktstraat 14, Naarden
Discover Naarden on a free walking tour
We start our free walking tour through Naarden at the Utrechtse Poort, which is an old city gate. Naarden used to have six city gates. At the Utrechtse Poort, you can see the faces of King Willem the third and his wife Sophia. As well as the city arms of Naarden, which exists out of two eagles. There was a steam tram that drove under the city gate for years, which you can see at the ceiling. This makes the Utrechtse poort one of the most special, historical sites and sights in The Netherlands. Now you will walk to the Oostwalstraat, Pijlstraat and Gansoordstraat.
Then we will pass the Stadhuis (old city hall) of Naarden, which was built in 1601. You can see the city arms of Naarden with the double eagle as well as the weapons of Holland, Prins Maurits and West- Friesland. The city hall is opened from the 31st of March until the 30th of September on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 – 17:00.
After that, we walk to the Raadhuisstraat and Kloosterstraat. Then you will walk to the Kooltjesbuurt to end up at the Cruydthof. The Cruydthof used to be a herb garden and you can visit the garden during working days and hours. The house used to be of a wealthy family, but after they left it was turned into an orphanage. Nowadays the city archive of Naarden and its surroundings is located here.
Via Nieuwe Haven, Cattenhagestraat and the Marktstraat you will get a good glimpse of the Grote Kerk of Naarden that you will visit later today. But for your information, the built of the church started in 1380 and not only was it used as a church but also as a lighthouse and hiding place. In the walls of the tower, you can see cannons as a memory to the disasters that were faced during the occupations. On the wooden ceiling of the church of Naarden, you can find unique paintings that date back to the 16th century.
Then we have arrived at the Spaanse Huis. This house is a must see in Naarden and was built in the middle ages but actually turned into a city hall in the 16th century. During the 80- year war against the Spanish in 1572, every man needed to go to the city hall for what they thought was a sort of peace offer. It couldn’t be more wrong and cruel. All the men of Naarden were brutally murdered in 1572 in the Spaanse Huis by the Spanish.
After that Naarden was looted and set on fire. The disaster is commemorated by three memorial stones on the facade. At the end of the 16th century, the building was renovated and turned into a so-called waag. In 1809 it was turned into housing for French soldiers by the French occupiers who left in 1813. After that, it was turned into a bakery and as of now, you will find a museum in this building.
Via the Turfpoortstraat you will end up at Bastion Promers. When you walk to this bastion you will see metal pipes that stick out of the soil. This is what we call ‘luistergangpijpen’ or listening pipes. This way people could hear what happened outside. You will also see trees standing here. These trees were planted with a good reason. Bullets would get into the wood of the trees instead of bouncing off. This bastion houses several things, including a restaurant. But I would definitely walk inside for a quick visit and walk through the halls.
From here you walk to the Utrechtse Poort once again and will exit the fortified town of Naarden in The Netherlands and follow the vestingpad. Via this path, you can walk over the defence works of the fort and get a whole different view of the city. When the path ends you will walk via the Admiraal Helfrichweg to the Arsenaal and finish your walking route of Naarden here. In the Arsenal you can find cute shops, a design centre and a restaurant. It’s definitely worth it to have a quick look. By now I think you and I can both agree that Naarden is one of the most beautiful cities or towns of The Netherlands.
Visit The Netherlands fortress museum in Naarden
In this museum in Naarden you will discover the turbulent past of the fortified city of Naarden, The Netherlands. You get to know exciting and horrendous stories that are a part of the history of the fortress of Naarden. As well as exploring how the garrison was living and working, while at the same time defending the wealthy region of ‘Holland’ from the threatening East.
Visiting the fortress museum is one of the must do’s of Naarden. A part of the museum is located under the ground, in basements. And the rest is located in the open air, which makes The Netherlands fortress museum also an open air museum. You might be surprised to find out that this fortress was in use up until the Second World War. Because during the Second World War there were airplanes that could just fly over the fortified parts, which made Naarden more or less useless.
At the third Sunday of every month the cannons go wild at this museum in Naarden. Between 14:00 and 16:00 the cannons are fired off.
Every Sunday there’s a free tour through the fortress museum for visitors at 13:00. In the months of May- September there’s a free tour at 13:00 as well on the first Saturday of every new month. You need to have an entry ticket and then a guide will show you, together with plenty of other people, through the bastion of Naarden. You’ll discover the functions, everything about its shape, interesting rooms and plenty of more.
At the Dutch Fortress Museum they also offer boat trips during the weekends of April- October at the following times: 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00. During the holiday season of The Netherlands there are boat trips on Wednesday as well. With this boat trip you will be sailed over the Eastern side of the moat of the fortified city of Naarden in 45 minutes. You can buy boat tickets at the cash desk in the museum.
Every day from 10.30 uur until 17.00 uur.
9,50 euros for adults
Free with a Museum card
Westwalstraat 6, Naarden
For more information about this museum in Naarden, The Netherlands, have a look here.
Eat the best lunch in Naarden
A great restaurant for lunch in Naarden is De Kapschuur. Besides the obvious good food, friendly staff and great atmosphere, you can also find the best terrace of the town of Naarden here. So if you’re looking for a relaxed restaurant to enjoy some good food in Naarden, then this is the place to be.
Kerkpad 1, Naarden
Climb the church Grote Kerk of Naarden for the best view of the bastion
You can climb the tower of the church of Naarden and have the most beautiful view of the fortified town of Naarden and its star fortress. If that’s not one of the best things to do in Naarden, then I don’t know what is. A beautiful view and the only chance on seeing the bastion shaped fortress of Naarden from above. You have to climb 235 stairs in order to reach the top of the 45 meter tower.
You can climb the tower between the 1st of May and 30th of September on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 14:00 & 15:00. The admission fee to climb the tower is 3 euros for everyone who is aged 12 and above.
Visit the oldest nature reserve of The Netherlands in Naarden
Just outside of Naarden you can find one of the most beautiful nature reserves of The Netherlands and it is also the oldest, the Naardermeer. It’s a stunning area for when you want to enjoy the calm surroundings and nature. The nature reserve Naardermeer can be found at 7 minutes cycling and 25 minutes walking from Naarden.
Or visit other museums in Naarden
This museum in Naarden is about scales. Yes, scales. While this might sound odd and a tad boring, I can assure you it’s anything but. Nowadays most of the world is familiar with kilos and meters. But how did it all start and what does Napoleon have to do with this? You will discover the history of measuring and weighing in the museum of Naarden and plenty of more. It could be one of those unusual things to do in Naarden, but that makes it more fun.
April – September Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 – 17:00
October – March Saturday & Sunday 11:00 – 17:00
12 + 5 euros
Museum card Free
Turfpoortstraat 27, Naarden
The Comeniusmuseum is dedicated to a 17th century priest, philosopher, pedagogue and theologian named Jan Amos Comenius who was from the area of what we call the Czech Republic nowadays. The reason why this man is so famous is because he had very modern ideas about education, including education to girls. Now, why is there a museum about a Czech man in Naarden, The Netherlands?
Jan Comenius lived in The Netherlands for the last 14 years of his life. And he is buried here. As a matter of fact, you can even visit his grave, which has become a place of pilgrimage for quite some Czechs. There’s a permanent exhibition called Vivat Comenius which shows the timeline and most important moments of his life. There’s also a library with works of and about Comenius.
Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 – 17:00
12+ 6,50 euros
Museum card Free
This museum in Naarden is accessable for wheelchair users. At the ground floor you can find a suitable toilet and there’s an elevator in the building.
Kloosterstraat 33, Naarden
Go the best restaurants of Naarden for dinner
Eetcafe Het Hert is a great place to have a wonderful dinner in Naarden. Not only is the food at this cafe/ restaurant very affordable, but there are a few options for vegetarians as well. Now, there are not a lot of options for vegetarians, but the options that area available are incredibly tasty. I’d prefer great food and fewer options, instead of plenty of options but a horrible taste. Besides wonderful food you can also find a beautiful and peaceful courtyard at the restaurant to enjoy your dinner in a calm and relaxing environment.
Cattenhagestraat 12, Naarden
Lokaal – Wijn & Eten is another great restaurant that can be found in the beautiful town of Naarden, The Netherlands. From great food to incredible wines. And from nice staff to a stunning location. Here you can find it all.
Pastoorstraat 2, Naarden
Finish 24 hours in Naarden with a drink at one of the best cafes
De Vitrine van Demmers is an old-fashioned ‘bruin’ (brown) cafe in Naarden. If you’re looking for the best beer in Naarden, then at De Vitrine van Demmers you will find your favourite spot of this fortified city in The Netherlands. There are so many different beers to choose from, but when you’re there anyway, don’t forget to order some snacks. You can thank me later.
Marktstraat 52, Naarden
Other things to do in Naarden, The Netherlands
Visit the market in Naarden. Every Saturday there’s a market in Naarden where you can buy fresh fruits, cheese, vegetables, fish and more. This weekly market in Naarden takes place from 07:00 – 13:00 at Adriaan Dortsmanplein.
Go shopping in Naarden. The town of Naarden, The Netherlands, might be small, but has a lot of cute boutiques that you can visit. From clothing to antiques, you can find all of it in the centre of Naarden.
Discover the galleries in Naarden. There are a lot of galleries in Naarden and one of them is Galerie Pouloeuff. This gallery in Naarden offers a place for young and upcoming artists to exhibit their works. From beautiful photographs to incredible paintings, to mesmorizing statues.
Explore the gardens of Naarden. Every other year there’s an event when you can visit some beautiful 20+ gardens in Naarden and it’s called Vestingtuinen achterom. It takes place from around 11:00 – 16:00 in the beginning of the month of June on a Sunday (around the 9th of June). It’s said that 2019 is another year, but for the full and up to date information of this event you’d have to visit the tourist information office of Naarden.
Spend the night in Naarden with one of these great hotels and b&b’s
Here you will find the best accommodation and places to stay in Naarden. Including hotels in Naarden, The Netherlands.
Disclaimer: These links may include affiliate links. This means that whenever you book a room through my link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Have a look at the full disclaimer here.
Vesting Hotel Naarden, book this accommodation now.
NH Naarden, book this accommodation now.
Design B&B Naarden Vesting, book this accommodation now.
How to get to the Naarden fortified city
From Amsterdam: The best and easiest way to travel from Amsterdam to Naarden is by train and by bus. You’d have to take the train to the station of Naarden – Bussum from Amsterdam Centraal. The train you should take is the blue sprinter trains in the direction of Amersfoort Vathorst. Get out at Naarden- Bussum. From here it’s either a 24-minute walk to the city of Naarden. Or you can take bus number 110 in the direction of Weesp Station and get out at Westwalstraat, Naarden. To get from Amsterdam to Naarden and the other way around will take you around 50 minutes. As Naarden is such a special and hidden town in The Netherlands, but located nearby Amsterdam, visiting Naarden is one of the best day trips from Amsterdam.
If you want to get more information about Naarden, or discover other walking tours or even cycling tours I can recommend you to walk to the tourist information of Naarden. The VVV of Naarden can be found inside the Utrechtse Poort at Ruijsdaelplein 6. The tourist office of Naarden is opened from the 1st of November – 31st of March from Tuesday – Sunday from 11:00 – 16:00. And from the 1st of April – 31st of October daily from 10:00 – 17:00.
I hope you enjoyed this article about all the things that you should do when you visit the fortified town of Naarden in The Netherlands for one day. I hope you feel the same way when I say that Naarden is one of the most interesting places in The Netherlands.
If you’re interested in exploring Amsterdam like a local, then I recommend you to read this 2 day itinerary for Amsterdam. For an off the beaten path day trip from Amsterdam I would recommend you to go to Hoorn or the dunes of Schoorl. And if you want to exploring tulip fields nearby Amsterdam, but without tourists, then you’ll definitely enjoy this article. Thank you for reading! Share this post!!