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Visit a magical castle hidden away in south Limburg. Marvel at the moated water castle, get a dose of history, hike through beautiful nature, hop on a bike or even in a golf cart!

The Alden Biesen castle, also known as the Grand Commandery, is one of oldest and largest castle domains in Northern Europe. It’s history dates back over 800 years and was once a headquarters for the German Order of the Teutonic Knights. Now, the castle stands as an impressive cultural heritage site owned by the Flemish Government.

If you want to know more about the castle’s intriguing history, head over to its mini museum. After that check out the beautiful gardens, there’s a Versailles-inspired French garden or an 18th century English-style park. Whether it's the gardens or the architecture, the magical castle grounds feel like you’re living in a fantasy, adults and kids alike!

Take a stroll around the castle and, if the weather’s good, have a picnic on the boardwalk (you don’t even have to make your own!). Hit up Visit Bilzen and pick up a made-to-order picnic hamper at the visitor’s centre, stuffed full of local goodies and regional produce. Yum!

No need to worry about getting bored, there’s plenty to do, see and eat here!

  • Lace up those hiking boots: Try a longer walk - there are 3 marked hiking loops beginning at the castle: the green/blue trail (4 km), the orange trail (8.5 km) and the yellow trail (16 km). Purchase a hiking map at the visitor’s center for 2.50€.
  • Cycling paradise: Pick up a rental bike at the visitor’s centre and enjoy Limburg’s prime cycling real estate. Head for the Haspengouw hills or opt for the flatter, easy-going Demer valley.
  • Worked up an appetite? Try Het Gasthuis for some local beer and culinary classics. Check out Het Apostelhuis for a cosier vibe and authentic dishes. In summer, stop by Der Zomerbar for a delicious regional beer or some apple juice, straight from the castle’s own orchard.
  • Electric Golf Carts: Cruise around Bilzen and Haspengouw in your own eco-friendly golf cart.
  • Bilzen Mysteries: Experience the story of Alden Biesen Castle in a unique way. Visit at night and enjoy a theatrical spectacle in the castle grounds.
  • quatationmark

    Make sure to bring your hiking boots, because no trip to Alden Biesen is complete without a visit to the gardens and nature in the area.

    — Travel blogger at Travelaimes

Updated on 11 January 2022

Tips and Tricks

  • Guided tours of the castle and grounds are available. Individual guided tours mainly take place in the summer, June - August. Group guided tours can be booked for a specific day and can be given in Dutch, French, German and English. Book tours here.

Getting There

  • By Car: parking on site.

  • By Public Transport: 10 min walk from bus stop Rijkhoven Pleinstraat. Bus 34a stops here.

Route details

Starting point: same as address

  • No GPX file available. Purchase a hiking map at the visitor’s center for 2.50€.

Apr - Sep, M - F, 7:30 - 20:00; Sa - Su, 9:00 - 20:00

Oct - Mar, M - F, 7:30 - 20:00; Sa - Su, 10:00 - 16:00


All seasons




Open; national COVID measures apply.

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