Giethoorn: Venice of the Netherlands
With the Dutch weather (slowly) improving, this seems like the perfect time to introduce you to a small village called Giethoorn. Located in the province of Overijssel, this charming village is often referred to as “Little Venice” or the “Venice of the Netherlands”.
An intricate network of canals
So, how did this picturesque village get its nickname? Well, whilst there is one bike path / footpath, for the most part, Giethoorn is only accessible by boat through a network of small canals.
Traditionally, the inhabitants of the village got around by “Gieterse Punter”, a small sailing barge. Nowadays, the “whisper” boat (fluisterboot) is the preferred method of transport, as it is electric, environmentally-friendly and noiseless.
Popular with tourists
Its many small canals, cute islands with lovely (former) farmhouses with thatched roofs and copious quaint wooden bridges (over 180 of them!) make Giethoorn a very Instagrammable place. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the place is quite popular with tourists. The town is especially popular with Asian tourists. Per year, an estimated 350.000 Chinese people visit Giethoorn. To compare, only 2.400-ish people live in the village.
So, what can you do in Giethoorn, exactly?
Well, obviously, you are going to have to take a boat trip. Boat rental in Giethoorn is very popular, but it’s also possible to take a guided canal cruise. Whatever boat option you choose, it’s best to book a boat or tour in advance, as only a limited amount of boats is allowed to depart daily.
There are two museums in Giethoorn worthy of a visit.
Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus
If you want to know what life was like in Giethoorn way back when, visit Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus, located inside an old farmhouse.
- From October 29, 2018 – March 31, 2019
Saturday, Sunday and Monday: 11am to 5pm
- From February 16 until March 3
- From April 1, 2019 – October 27, 2019
Daily, Monday to Sunday: 11am to 5pm
- Adults: 6,50 euros
- Children 3-12: 2 euros
- Binnenpad 52, 8355 BT, Giethoorn
Museum De Oude Aarde
If you are into shiny, pretty things, visit Museum De Oude Aarde. This museum features a large collection of gemstones, minerals and fossils.
- Wednesday to Sunday: 10am to 5pm
- Open daily in school holidays
- Adults: 3,90 euros
- Children: 2,90 euros
- Binnenpad 43, 8355 BR, Giethoorn
Restaurants in Giethoorn
Whilst Giethoorn is small, there are a number of different eateries located in the village. From Chinese food at Chinees Restaurant Giethoorn to traditional Dutch pancakes at Restaurant 't Zwaantje, you're bound to find something you love in Giethoorn. A special mention goes out to 2-starred Michelin Restaurant Lindenhof, which is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the Netherlands.
Have you ever been to Giethoorn? Let us know and leave a comment below!