Giethoorn is a little picturesque village in the Netherlands also known as the “Venice of Holland”. It is famous for its beautiful thatched roof houses with beautiful gardens connected by little bridges over the canals. This scenery looks like it has come straight out of a fairytale.
If you’re looking for a beautiful place in the Netherlands that is not Amsterdam, Giethoorn is a great choice. We spent one afternoon and one night in Giethoorn and it was absolutely worth it. You can easily do this as a day trip from Amsterdam (no need to spend the night there)
In this guide, we’ll share what to do and see as well as tips to spend a great day in Giethoorn. We’ll also share how much we spent in one day in Giethoorn.
Visiting Giethoorn: Quick Tips
- Best time to visit: Spring and Summer or early Autumn (preferably a sunny day)
- How to get there: easiest way is by car; alternative is to go on a tour from Amesterdam.
- Things to do: rent a boat and explore the canals, stroll along the canals, eat a stroopwafel, visit the Giethoorn museum, explore the Weerribben-Wieden park by bike.
- How many days: one day is enough to explore the little village.
Visiting Giethoorn – Table of Contents
- Best time to Visit Giethoorn?
- How to Get to Giethoorn?
- What to do in Giethoorn?
- Where to Stay in Giethoorn?
- One day in Giethoorn – How much did we spend?
Best time to Visit Giethoorn?
We visited Giethoorn in early Spring (beginning of April), and we were lucky to experience beautiful weather and almost no crowds. I believe it is even more beautiful in late April or early May when the tulips and other flowers are in full blossom.
Summer is the high season, so there will be bigger crowds, but it’s also when you’ll have better weather. I saw some pictures of Giethoorn in the summer and it can get really crowded easily because the pathways are very narrow. If you intend to visit in the high season go early in the morning, or late in the afternoon.
Autumn should also be a beautiful time to visit as long as you visit on a sunny day.
In summary, the place is so beautiful that it will be magical no matter the time of the year.
How Many Days in Giethoorn?
We spent an entire afternoon and we were able to see and do most of what the village has to offer. We would add a second day or another half day to explore the Weerribben-Wieden Park by bike.
How to Get to Giethoorn?
The easiest way to get to Giethoorn is to drive there. Driving in the Netherlands is very easy, the roads are in very good condition and the drivers are respectful. If you’re doing a road trip in the Netherlands, definitely add Giethoorn to your list.
Unfortunately, if you’re in Amsterdam, there isn’t direct public transportation to get there. You need to do a combination of train + bus rides, and it may take three hours or more to get there. But, it is possible. Just search the directions for public transportation using Google Maps.
It’s also possible to visit Giethoorn on a day tour from Amsterdam (the most comfortable way if you’re based in Amsterdam). In Spring, there are tours that include Giethoorn and the Keukenhof Gardens on the same day.
What to do in Giethoorn?
Giethoorn is a small village, but there are things to do to keep you occupied for an entire afternoon or more. We’ll share how we spent our afternoon in Giethoorn and other things that we would like to have done but didn’t have the time.
1. Explore the Canals by Boat
Exploring Giethoorn canals by whisper boat is one of the best things you can do there. There are several ways to do this:
- rent a boat and drive it yourself – this is what we did and it was so much fun.
- go on a canal cruise tour – it’s a shared tour on a bigger boat.
- go on a private boat tour on a small boat (some tours also include food and drinks).
The prices for the boat rental and boat tour greatly vary depending on the company and the time of the year. Inquire in different places to compare prices. We rented a small boat for one hour and it was 25€, some other places were asking for 30€.
There’s no need to book a boat in advance if you go in the off-season. There were plenty of boats to rent, even though we visited during Easter holidays. I read in many other places that if you intend to visit in the summer months, it’s best to book a boat in advance
You can rent the boat for 1, 2 or 4 hours. Depending on the duration of your rental, they’ll recommend different paths that vary in length. We did the shortest path (one hour) and it was great.
After renting the boat, they’ll quickly show you how to drive it and in less than 5 minutes you’re ready to go. Driving the boat is easy, my boyfriend really enjoyed riding the boat and he managed pretty well. The boats don’t go fast and it is a one-way path, so you don’t need to stress much about it if you haven’t driven a boat before.
The path started on the Giethoorn village canals and you can simply awe at the beautiful houses as you ride along.
Then, the path goes through Bovenwijde Lake. There, you can stop your boat for a little while and be amazed by the magnificent landscape and watch the many different species of birds.
2. Walk Along the Binnenpad
The Binnenpad is the inner path that runs through the parts of Giethoorn that cars can’t reach. Simply walk along the main canal to see the most beautiful and picturesque houses you’ve ever seen. Along the way, most specifically at the center of the village, you’ll find little cafes, restaurants, and some souvenir stores.
There are also some benches along the way, where you can rest, soak up the views, or have a picnic.
We stayed the night in a hotel in Giethoorn, so after leaving our bags, we simply started walking towards the center. The walk is easy and you’ll find beautiful houses and little bridges on every corner.
3. Eat a Stroopwafel
After our boat trip, we stopped by a stroopwafel house. This was our first time eating a fresh stroopwafel and we really liked it. They made it right after our order, it was delicious. We also bought a magnet for our fridge in this store (yes, I’m that person that collects magnets from the places we’ve visited).
4. Museum Giethoorn T Olde Maat Uus
If you want to know more about the history of Giethoorn and how people used to live there, visit the T Olde Maat Uus museum.
Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, the museum was temporarily closed.
5. Cycle and Explore Weerribben-Wieden by Bike
The little village of Giethoorn is located right in the Weerribben-Wieden Nature reserve. There are many cycle paths starting in Giethoorn to explore this wonderful nature reserve. There are no shortage of places where you can rent a bike.
Unfortunately, we only spent one afternoon and one night in Giethoorn. If we had more time, we would definitely rent a bike to explore the nature reserve around this beautiful area.
Alternatively, you can also rent a bike to explore the part of Giethoorn where the cars don’t get access. However, the paths are narrow and are shared with the pedestrians. So, I don’t recommend this option, it’s better to walk there.
Where to Stay in Giethoorn?
There are not many places to stay in Giethoorn, so if you’re visiting in high-season, make sure you book your accommodation in advance.
We visited in April, and booked our accommodation two weeks in advance. We stayed at the Giethoorn Hotel. It costed 67€ for a night with breakfast included, which in my opinion is a great deal. The room was clean, the beds were comfortable, there was parking for the car and it was located right next to the canals.
One day in Giethoorn – How much did we spend?
Here’s a summary of how much we spent in one afternoon in Giethoorn. We don’t include lunch because we ate something we prepared at home before flying to the Netherlands. We also don’t include the price of the car rental – that will greatly depend on how many days you’ll rent a car, the season, and company. For dinner, we bought some premade foods at the supermarket.
Boat rental for 1 hour
Accommodation (1 night with breakfast)
Food at the supermarket
55€ per person
Watch our Videos about Giethoorn
Giethoorn is a little village in the Netherlands that’s absolutely worth visiting. It’s like you’re visiting a fairytale village. We hope you’ve found our Giethoorn guide useful. Definitely add it your your list of places to visit the next time you go the Netherlands. You can also visit Giethoorn on a day trip from Amsterdam.
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