Guide to Giethoorn: A Magical Town in the Netherlands with No Roads

Giethoorn, Netherlands, no roads

Dreaming of the simple life? Well, let me introduce the cutest, most adorable town in the world, Giethoorn. It’s a village in the Netherlands, also known as ‘Little Venice’ or ‘The Venice of the North’. It has such simple beauty that it hardly seems real – small canals, pretty thatched-roof farmhouses and a fairytale-like gardens.

Giethoorn, Netherlands, no roads

Background info on Giethoorn

Giethoorn’s history goes back to around 1200 when Franciscan monks settled in the area. It was founded by fugitives from the Mediterranean region in around AD 1230. Giethoorn was a separate municipality until 1973, when it became part of Brederwiede. It is currently home to less than 3,000 people, most of them living on their private islands. There’s approximately 180 bridges as it’s the only way to reach many houses, other than by boat.

Giethoorn, Netherlands, no roads

Getting there

Catching public transport will take around 2.5 hours. From Amsterdam take train to Steenwijk, from there take the bus 249 to Giethoorn. If you’re driving from Amsterdam, take highway A1-E231 to the A28-E232. Driving time is about 90 minutes.

Things to do

The best thing to do in Giethoorn is to relax and admire the canals, ponds and the scenery. Stop and have lunch by the water, some ice-cream or drinks. It’s all about laying back and enjoying your day. You can rent a boat and explore the waterways on your own, although in high season free boats are often hard to come by, so make sure you rent one first thing in the morning.

You can also rent an inflatable ball, position yourself inside it and literally walk (or float) on the water.

There’s bikes to rent too if you want to explore the village on land, and you’ll be able to cycle into the Dutch countryside and witness its beautiful fields.

Giethoorn, Netherlands, no roads

Where to stay

The village is very tiny, most people suggest no more than 1 night. You could see everything in just a few hours but if you’d like to stay overnight, or even longer, there are several hotels and bed & breakfasts to choose from.

A few recommendations:

De Dames Van De Jonge Hotel Restaurant
Appartement Hoek
Chaletpark Kroondomein Giethoorn (bed & breakfast)
Hotel de Pergola

Giethoorn, Netherlands, no roads

So… has it stolen your heart yet?