Photos courtesy of Stayokay Hostel Heemskerk








The historical name of this castle is Slot Assumburg. It had its origins in the 13th century and was rebuilt in 1546.

For centuries it was a noble residence, until the last aristocratic family died out and the castle’s contents were auctioned off. In 1861, the castle served as a hospital during a cholera epidemic and later as a school. Finally, in 1867, it became uninhabited. The paneling and remaining furnishings were taken to Marquette Castle.

The Dutch government took over the property in 1911, with the proviso that it would restore it. Slot Assumburg began its new life as a youth hostel in 1933. The Germans occupied it during World War II, and after liberation, it served as a house of detention for thirty political prisoners.

Pamela’s Perspective

Unlike a lot of hostels, this one has a midnight curfew. Ask before you head out for the evening what time the gate is locked. You don’t want to be locked out!

Also, the hostel tends to attract a lot of youth groups. If you’re looking for a romantic castle stay, this may not be the place.


Stayokay Hostel Heemskerk

A 13th-century castle


Tolweg 9
1967 NG Heemskerk
Tel: ++31 (0)251 232 288
Fax: ++31 (0)251 251 024
Hostel website
Reserve with Booking.com

Fast facts

32 rooms (162 beds)
4 doubles; 1 triple; 9 quads; 18 of 6 or more beds
Male, female, and mixed dorms

Beds: from 22 euros
Private room with two beds and bath is from 55 euros.
Includes breakfast!

Open: all year

Getting there

Heemskerk is just off the A9, about 25 km from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Heemskerk has a train station that’s about a 25-minute walk away from the castle; better is the train station in Beverwijk, take bus 74 and get off at the Jan van Kuikweg stop.
From Amsterdam, you can also take the fast ferry to Velsen Zuid, and from there bus 74 as above.

What to do

On site: game room
Nearby: hiking; swimming; horseback riding; bicycling; canoeing; North Holland Dune Reserve


Now there is no longer any excuse that castle hotels are too expensive. Hostels may not be for everybody, but they are inexpensive, and what better way to bunk down for the night than crossing over a moat on a drawbridge?

If you’re not used to hostel life, know that you’ll be sleeping in a dormitory room with strangers. Sometimes it’s with members of the opposite sex, but that rarely poses a problem. At this hostel, some of the dorm rooms are of the same gender. If you are a group or a family, it’s possible to reserve an entire room for a little more privacy. There is also one double room with an en suite bathroom. Grab it, if it’s available.

Sheets are provided, but not towels. You’ll need to bring your own.

Some hostels have kitchens where you can do your own cooking, but this one does not. A plus, however, is that a very good breakfast comes with the bed price. It’s served in an original castle room on long tables.

The grounds are worth strolling around. You’ll find a fruit orchard, rose garden, and a vegetable and herb garden.

There’s also free parking and free Wi-Fi.

Something special

curlicueArchitectural wow factor on the outside.