Giethoorn – “Dutch Venice”

Giethoorn, Netherlands

Giethoorn – “Dutch Venice”

Welcome to Giethoorn – “Dutch Venice”

Giethoorn is a fairytale-like village nestled in the serene countryside of the Netherlands in the province of Overijssel, about an hour and a half drive from Amsterdam. With its idyllic canals, enchanting thatched-roof houses, and peaceful ambience, Giethoorn is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travellers.

Giethoorn boasts a rich history dating back to the 13th century when a group of fugitives seeking refuge founded it. As you wander through the village, you’ll notice the traditional thatched-roof houses, some of which have stood for centuries, exuding a sense of timeless beauty.

The village is renowned for its intricate network of canals, earning it the nickname “Venice of the North.” Hop aboard a traditional punt or rent a whisper boat and navigate the narrow waterways, passing under picturesque bridges adorned with colourful flowers. There are approximately over 180 bridges! Enjoy the tranquillity as you soak in the captivating scenery that surrounds you.

One of the defining features of Giethoorn is its charming thatched-roof houses. Stroll along the waterfront paths and marvel at the perfectly preserved architecture adorned with vibrant gardens; these houses add a touch of whimsy and warmth to the village, making it a photographer’s dream.

Unlike many other places, Giethoorn has no roads and no motorized vehicles are allowed in the village centre. Embrace the slower pace of life as you explore on foot, cycle or by boat, truly immersing yourself in the serenity of this magical place.

How To Get There

By AirThe nearest major airports to Giethoorn are Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Eindhoven Airport. You can take a train or bus from either airport to the village. From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, you can take a direct train to Steenwijk train station, which is the closest station to Giethoorn.

By Train: To reach Giethoorn by train, you can travel to Steenwijk train station, which is the closest station to the village. Steenwijk is well-connected to major cities in the Netherlands, and from there, you can take a bus or taxi to reach Giethoorn.

By Car: If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can rent a car and navigate your way to Giethoorn. The village is well-connected by roads, and designated parking areas are available outside the main centre. Remember that cars are not allowed in the village centre itself, so you’ll need to park and explore on foot, by bike, or by boat.

Places Of Interest

Giethoorn Center

Old Town Center

Take a stroll through the historic centre of Giethoorn. Admire the charming architecture, visit local shops, and enjoy the peaceful ambience.

Canals and Bridges Giethoorn

Canals and Bridges

The intricate network of canals and charming bridges is the heart of Giethoorn. Take a boat tour or rent a whisper boat to navigate the waterways and admire the picturesque scenery, passing by charming thatched-roof houses and lush greenery.

Museum Giethoorn 't Olde Maat Uus

Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus

This museum provides insights into the village’s history, showcasing traditional houses, tools, and artefacts. Learn about the local way of life and the development of Giethoorn over the years.

Museum De Oude Aarde

De Oude Aarde (The Old Earth)

This unique museum specializes in gemstones and fossils from around the world. Marvel at the dazzling exhibits and discover the beauty of rare stones and minerals.

Giethoorn Gardens

Giethoorn Gardens

Explore the beautifully maintained gardens surrounding many thatched-roof houses. Admire the colourful flowers and well-manicured landscapes, adding to the enchanting atmosphere of the village. Book tickets here.

Weerribben-Wieden National Park

Weerribben-Wieden National Park

Giethoorn is located within this stunning national park, so take the opportunity to explore its natural wonders. Go for a hike or bike ride through the wetlands, and enjoy the rich biodiversity and serene landscapes.

Punter Yard Wildeboer giethoorn

Punter Yard Wildeboer

Punter Yard Wildeboer is a renowned boat rental service in Giethoorn. Rent a traditional punt boat and explore the village’s canals at your own pace, experiencing the tranquillity and beauty of Giethoorn firsthand.

Smit Giethoorn

Smit Giethoorn

Smit is a well-known souvenir shop in Giethoorn. Browse through a wide range of unique and locally made gifts, including traditional Dutch crafts, souvenirs, and mementoes, to take a piece of Giethoorn home with you.



Beulakerwijde is a beautiful lake located near Giethoorn. Enjoy water activities such as boating, sailing, or kayaking on the serene waters. The lake offers stunning views and opportunities for relaxation amidst nature’s beauty.

Where To Stay

Luxury Hotels

Hotel De Harmonie: 

This upscale hotel offers a luxurious stay in the heart of Giethoorn and provides a memorable experience with comfortable rooms, elegant decor, and top-notch amenities. Its luxurious ambience and proximity to charming canals offer a delightful dining experience amidst the region’s scenic beauty.

Mid-Range Hotels

Hotel de Pergola: 

Hotel de Pergola offers a comfortable and charming stay on the banks of a canal. The hotel features cosy rooms with modern amenities and a delightful restaurant serving Dutch specialities. It’s a great choice for travellers seeking a mid-range accommodation option.

Budget Hotels

Hotel Giethoorn:  

For budget-conscious travellers, Hotel Giethoorn provides affordable accommodation without compromising comfort. This hotel is located close to the village centre and offers cosy rooms and a friendly atmosphere.  Conveniently situated near the famous canals of Giethoorn.

Where To Eat

Indulge in a taste of traditional Dutch cuisine at one of the village’s charming restaurants or cafes. Treat yourself to a hearty Dutch pancake, locally known as pannenkoeken, or savour freshly caught fish from the nearby waters. Remember to try the famous Dutch cheese paired perfectly with a glass of regional beer or a refreshing gin cocktail.  

De Witte Hoeve: De Witte Hoeve, renowned for its warm service and cosy atmosphere, presents a diverse menu with delectable Dutch and international cuisine. Catering to both meat and vegetarian preferences, the restaurant offers reasonably priced dining options.

Restaurant ‘t Achterhuus: Situated in a historic building, ‘t Achterhuus is a popular restaurant that serves traditional Dutch cuisine. Enjoy hearty meals like stews, pancakes, and local specialities, all at affordable prices.

Café-Restaurant ‘t Vonder: Located in the heart of Giethoorn, ‘t Vonder offers a diverse menu of Dutch and international dishes. The restaurant has a charming terrace overlooking the canal, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a meal on a sunny day.

De Grachthof: Located on one of Giethoorn’s canals, De Grachthof is a cosy restaurant known for its friendly service and tasty meals. They offer a variety of dishes, from burgers and sandwiches to salads and pasta, at affordable prices.

Final Thoughts

Giethoorn offers a fairytale escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Its captivating canals, thatched-roof houses, and tranquil atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a serene and picturesque experience. Whether you explore by boat, wander along quaint paths, or relax in the embrace of nature, Giethoorn will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Discover this hidden gem, and let the enchantment of Giethoorn captivate your senses.

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