Giethoorn, the Netherlands: where it is, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references

A city ​​without roads? It exists in Holland. Giethoorn is a picturesque village in the Netherlands, nicknamed the "Venice of the North". It owes its fame to the particularity of not having roads, but only wooden bridges and canals. Cars are not used here; one moves only by bike, on foot or by boat.

It can be explored by participating in organized boat tours, but the idea of ​​renting a Whisper Boat, silent and electric boats to plow these channels undisturbed, is much more suggestive.
Every year, in August, the Gondelvaart Festival, a competition between gondoliers that involves the whole world and attracts thousands of tourists and onlookers. Immersed in a magical and timeless atmosphere, the village seems built by the Hobbits. Let's find out together.


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where it is
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. 10 things to see in and around Giethoorn
  5. What to do in Giethoorn: excursions and tours
  6. How much does it cost to visit Giethoorn? Prices, offers and advice
  7. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 2785
  • Language: Dutch
  • Local currency: euro (€)
  • Weather: cool, cloudy and humid most of the year. Precipitation is not very abundant (it varies between 750 and 850 mm per year) but it is frequent all year round. Wind is very frequent. The average annual temperature is 14 ° C
  • Closest airports: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (131 km)

Where it is

120 km from the capital Amsterdam, in the northwestern part of the province of Overijssel. Until January 1, 1973, Giethoorn was a separate municipality, after which it was incorporated into the new municipality of Steenwijkerland, together with the former municipalities of Steenwijk and IJsselham.

How to reach us

  • Amsterdam Schiphol is the reference airport, reachable in about 2 hours by flight from Rome and Milan. Flights to Amsterdam from € 71,00
  • By car from Amsterdam: the village is 1 hour and 20 minutes from Amsterdam. In the village there is a large free parking just 15 minutes walk from the center (Get directions)
  • By public transport from Amsterdam: reach Steenwijk by train (€ 20,00), then bus 70 to Dominee Hylkemaweg (from € 4,00 each way; departures every hour). The total duration of the trip varies between 2 and 3 and a half hours
  • Organized tour: The day tour from Amsterdam is particularly recommended, with prices starting from € 89,00 per person. Find out more.

When to go? Info on climate and best time

  • Weather: oceanic climate: it rains every month of the year. The average annual temperature in Giethoorn is 14 ° (average highest of 22 ° in July and lowest of 5 ° in January). In a year, 368 mm of rain fall. average humidity rate of 82%
  • Best time: from May to September, when there is a mild and pleasant temperature and rainfall is scarce
  • Period to avoid: autumn and winter are very rainy even if not excessively cold
  • Advice: for winter: warm clothes, sweater, coat, umbrella. In summer: light clothes, but also some spring / autumn items (jacket, sweatshirt or sweater). Always raincoat or umbrella.

10 things to see in and around Giethoorn

  1. Boat tour: obviously it is the main activity, you can choose between the typical boats known as "punters" or in classic boats
  2. Wooden jumpers: have fun counting all the famous wooden bridges of Giethoorn. There are about 176
  3. Historic Centre: a small jewel that can only be reached on foot, by boat or by bike. Once here, stroll among the typical houses, admiring the thatched roofs and the colorful flowers on the balconies
  4. 'T Olde Maat Uus Museum: th century farm, restored, now used as a museum. Here you will find documents and artifacts that tell the story of the village
  5. De Oude Aarde geological museum: one of the most famous in the Netherlands. Here are kept some wonderful collections dedicated to mineralogy, geology and precious stones enthusiasts
  6. Gloria Maris Museum: collection that takes you on a journey to the bottom of the sea among shells and corals of any color and type
  7. Weerribben-Wieden Park: to enjoy a unique and enchanting landscape, characterized by an aquatic flora and different species of animals, including the otter, the black tern, the cormorant and the egrette
  8. Kroller-Muller Museum: opened in 1938, it exhibits an exceptional private collection of over 11.000 works, with an important section dedicated to Van Gogh
  9. Enkhuizen Open Air Museum Zuiderzeemuseum: with over 130 buildings including authentic houses, shops and workshops, illustrates the history and culture of the region
  10. Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet: a sort of outlet set up in what used to be a pretty 150th century village. 250 stores selling over prestigious brands

What to do in Giethoorn: excursions and tours

How much does it cost to visit Giethoorn? Prices, offers and advice

The easiest and cheapest way to visit the location is by staying in Amsterdam and booking a day tour. If you want to explore the province of Overijssel, you can stay in Giethoorn but in all probability you will spend a much more reasonable amount. Given the particular conformation, it is logical not to expect large structures with hundreds of rooms. The few hotels in the area are very small (average € 75,00 per night in low season), while there are much more holiday homes, which generally offer good value for money.

Giethoorn has an excellent gastronomic reputation. It offers several indeed excellent restaurants to eat at. The most prestigious restaurant is the Lindenhof which boasts two Michelin stars (tasting menu € 100,00), but obviously there are more affordable solutions. To save money and taste typical localities, perhaps for a frugal lunch, bitterballen, fried meatballs to be savored with mustard, excellent frites and, for the bravest palates, the traditional raw herring are fine. Unmissable experience the tour of the canals (boat rental from € 6,10).

  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 66,00 per room -
  • starting from € 41,00 -

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