You think Venice is pretty and romantic? We Dutchies have Venice in village size and let me tell you, it is way better than Venice! Curious about Giethoorn? Read on! It is one of the most popular hotspots in the Netherlands for a reason!
Giethoorn is located in the northern part of the Netherlands, in the province of Overijssel. It is famous for being a village only accessible by boat for the mayor part. There are around 2600 people who inhabit the homes of Giethoorn. Want to buy one? Be sure to spend a good buck, our captain told us about one house being on sale for half a million euros. Better bring your paycheck. Thanks to the several water roads and bridges it is also called the Venice of the Netherlands. First sightings of Giethoorn date back to the 13th century. The settlers found a lot of goat horns from a big flood in the 12th century which reached havoc back then, giving the settlement the name ‘Geytenhorn’ (Geit is Dutch for goat). Thanks to the local dialect it became Giethoorn.
Nowadays it is a hotspot, especially for Chinese tourists. Heck, there is even a Chinese restaurant near the entrance to the village! (And it is not bad either) The beauty attracts around 200,000 Chinese tourists on a yearly basis. That has to state something!
Giethoorn is located in between the bigger cities Zwolle and Groningen. It is really close near the Dolmen area of the Netherlands, and Amsterdam is doable by car as well.
There are enough parking arrangements near the entrance. It is also easy accessible by public transport, there is a bus stop right in front of the boat rentals places.
Things to do
The main thing? Floating around the waters of Giethoorn in a boat of course! There are several options to do so.
The first one is an organized boat tour of an hour to see all the highlights. We did this and it is perfect. You get a guided tour, see all the highlights and can make pictures of these hotspots while enjoying the nice breeze. Prices are pretty good as well for an one hour regular city tour: € 6,95 for an adult and € 4,75 for kids between the age of 3-11 and just € 1,- for kids under the age of 3. There is also a hop on hop off version, but the one hour is fair enough to see the hotspots for a first visit in our eyes. You can see all the arrangements here to book upfront.
The cool thing about Giethoorn is that you can also drive your own boat! Is there a special license needed to steer the wheel? Nope! There are different rental boats for groups as big as 20+ to 4. You can use the same website here for the rental boats hire. Prices start at € 17,50 per hour.
You can also rent bikes or walk around the city and over the several bridges to enjoy the nature filled environment. There is a big church located near the entrance of Giethoorn which will catch your eye for sure!
Once you are done exploring, there are enough restaurants to enjoy some Dutch food (kroketten, pancakes, poffertjes), Italian and of course as mentioned earlier Chinese. Enough for everyone’s taste!
Going to the Netherlands? Be sure to add this trip to your bucket list. You will not be disappointed!