Giethoorn is a village that you won’t believe your eyes when you see it, a village that looks like a fairy tale. This village is the region of quaint houses, some of which are single-storey, and the canals separating the houses, which are engraved in the memory of those who go and remain in the minds of those who cannot go.
- Giethoorn history
- Where is Giethoorn? How to get there?
- How to get from Amsterdam to Giethoorn by train + bus?
- How to get Giethoorn from Rotterdam by car?
- Where to eat in Giethoorn? Shopping in the village
- Rent a boat in Giethoorn
- Where to stay at Giethoorn?
- When to go to Giethoorn?
- Things to do in Giethoorn?
- Olde Maat Uus Museum
- De Oute Aarde
Giethoorn, which dates back to the 13th century, first became famous when Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra shot the 1958 film Fanfare. When the movie was popular, the town also aroused interest and started to attract tourists over time.
In the past, Giethoorn was only accessible by canal road. Today, there are bicycle paths at some points and more than 180 wooden bridges throughout the village. These bridges, which connect the islands, also lead to the residents’ doorsteps.
During your trip, don’t forget to visit the houses that can only be reached by boat. Everywhere is already full of these houses. Especially in the summer months, the colorful flowers in the gardens in front of the houses create beautiful views in Giethoorn.
Giethoorn is a magnificent village in the middle of a lush green area, with streams running through it and houses accessible only by boats and boats, not even close to wheeled vehicles. Called the Venice of the North, Giethoorn is a water village in the Overijssel province of the Netherlands.
Each house has its own boat parking area and the village is so quiet that the loudest sound you can hear is the sound of boats and ducks on the canal.
Where is Giethoorn? How to get there?
It is 120 km from Giethoorn to Amsterdam by private car. However, you do not need to waste your money by renting a car among the pocket-burning prices of the Netherlands. It is very easy and enjoyable to get to Giethoorn in Overijssel province with your own means.
How to get from Amsterdam to Giethoorn by train + bus?
First of all, we buy a ticket from the train ticket machines at Amsterdam Centraal. It doesn’t matter when you buy your ticket, the important thing is to choose the right ticket date. You can use the tickets at any time of the day. To reach Giethoorn, we first buy a round trip ticket to Steenwijk. It takes about two hours to reach Steenwijk.
After you get off at Steenwijk train station, you can rent a bicycle from the shops there and go to Giethoorn, but we prefer the bus ride and go to the bus stop next to the station. When you exit the station, you will see the bus platforms on the left side.
Here we have to take the bus number 70, you can follow when the bus arrives on the boards, our bus arrives at 25 minutes past every hour. We board the bus for a fee per person and head towards Giethoorn. After about 20 minutes we get off at Dominee Hylkemaweg bus stop. We cross the underpass and start living our Giethoorn memories.
How to get Giethoorn from Rotterdam by car?
If you’re coming from Rotterdam, take the A13 motorway north towards Gorinchem. Then, take exit 26 onto the N209 towards Steenwijk. From Steenwijk, it’s a short drive on the N33 towards Giethoorn.
Where to eat in Giethoorn? Shopping in the village
We managed to reach Giethoorn around 08:30. It is still early and the tourists start arriving around 10 am. This is a good opportunity to have a good look around and understand the atmosphere.
If you reach Giethoorn early in the day or if you get hungry during your trip, there is a supermarket called SPAR which opens at 08:00 at the entrance of Giethoorn Village.
You will definitely find something to fill your stomach here. SPAR is one of the supermarkets suitable for our pocket. You can also buy some snacks to eat during the boat tour. Let us remind you that there are free toilets next to the parking lot behind SPAR Market.
Giethoorn is a place where people live in peace with its clean air. Mostly old people live in the houses and they are very helpful. The most advantageous thing about going to Giethoorn early is that there is no one around. Life for tourists here starts around 11:00.
Rent a boat in Giethoorn
Therefore, it is necessary to have a good look around before anyone arrives. After exploring Giethoorn on foot for a while, it was time to go on a boat tour. Boat tours and renting boat in Giethoorn are the most popular activity in Giethoorn.
This is one of the activities you should definitely do in Giethoorn. But I’m not talking about boats with a captain or a few people traveling with you. I’m talking about renting a private boat in Giethoorn. This is the fun part, you drive the boat.
Where to stay at Giethoorn?
There are many accommodation options in Giethoorn, ranging from camping and caravan sites to hotels and bed & breakfasts.
Camping is a popular option for those who want to experience the Dutch countryside up close, and there are several campsites located within easy reach of the village. Caravan sites are also available, and these tend to be more expensive than campsites.
If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, there are plenty of hotels and bed & breakfasts in Giethoorn. Many of these are located on the canals, so you can enjoy views of the water as you relax in your room.
Staying in these cozy one-story houses on the canal banks can be a bit costly. Of course, this is up to your preference, you can search for houses you can stay in on Airbnb or booking.com. There are especially many houses on Airbnb.
When to go to Giethoorn?
Winter in Giethoorn is cold, so cold that even the canals separating the houses freeze. In winter, the canals are more like ice rinks. I think you should go to see Giethoorn in summer when the trees are green and the flowers are blooming. You will have a more enjoyable Giethoorn in summer.
Things to do in Giethoorn?
We do not have many options among the places to visit in Giethoorn. Let’s talk about the museums we encountered during our trip in Giethoorn, although we did not enter these museums, it is useful to mention their contents, opening hours and what is exhibited in case you are interested.
Olde Maat Uus Museum
This is a farm museum that was used hundreds of years ago and is now under protection. Olde Maat Uus is the best example of how the settled life in Giethoorn has survived until today with its haystack, fishing shelter and farm.
Open since 1988, the museum was restored from an old farmhouse and brought to tourism. The museum is located at Binnenpad 52.
De Oute Aarde
Another museum in Giethoorn is the De Oute Aarde mineral museum. Founded in 1969 by Rene Boissevain, the museum was created with artifacts from his travels to places like Australia, Madagascar and Brazil.
Stones, minerals and fossils are gathered under one roof and opened to the public. If you are interested in minerals, you can closely explore the stones in different shapes and colors. This museum is also located at Binnenpad 43.
How to get from Giethoorn to Amsterdam by bus + train?
There is a bus from Giethoorn at xx:19 every hour, so if you plan your time accordingly, you will not waste time. We finished our Giethoorn trip at 12:00 and took the bus number 70 at 12:19. Since there is no direct return, we take a connecting train journey.
After a 1.5 hour train ride, we get off at Almere Centrium train station, get on the Amsterdam Centraal train and we are in Amsterdam before 14:30. As you can see, half a day is enough to visit Giethoorn if you make a good program.
Giethoorn is a small village in the Netherlands that is truly a hidden gem. With its charming canals and picturesque buildings, Giethoorn is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Although small, there is plenty to see and do in Giethoorn, from exploring the canals by boat to visiting one of the various museums or churches. If you are looking for a quaint and charming destination for your next vacation, be sure to add Giethoorn to your list.