Guide to Giethoorn title
The Netherlands

Day Trip to Giethoorn

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Giethoorn is jaw-dropping as a postcard-perfect village surrounded by water in the north of The Netherlands. People keep calling it the “Venice of the North” and the “Village with no Roads”…but I disagree. Though many like to compare Giethoorn to Venice I wouldn’t really compare it to any place! It’s got its own charm and is almost too-cute-for-words.

Giethoorn is a great day trip from Amsterdam, with about 2.5 hours of riding on a train and bus to get from Amsterdam to Giethoorn. Once you get there though, you’ll see what all the fuss is about! As a bonus, you can watch our video and get a feel for it right now and keep scrolling for your day-tripping guide 🙂

Or get your day tour tickets: Giethoorn Tour by bus and boat or Giethoorn Tour + free 1 hour Amsterdam canal cruise

Canal houses and boats in Giethoorn

Get ready for a day-trip

You’ll want to make sure you have everything you’ll need for the day with you, so it’s best to pack a day bag. I have used this backpack for years and am obsessed with the PacSafe brand. Bring some water, snacks, money, your photography gear, and probably a packable raincoat or an umbrella. It is the Netherlands after all.

How to get to Giethoorn from Amsterdam

To make the trek for a day trip from Amsterdam to Giethoorn, you will likely need to transfer trains, so it’s best to check for the best route from Amsterdam Central Station to Steenwijk. Then take bus 70 (tickets can be bought inside the train station) to the Dominee Hylkemaweg stop. You’ll see a restaurant across the street and that’s the direction you’ll want to go.

House in Giethoorn

Get on a Boat!

Whether you rent a boat yourself or you take a tour, be sure to get on a boat! Once you arrive at the stop we mentioned, cross the street and you’ll see the water on the left. Walk around the building there and follow the canal. There’s a bunch of different canal cruises and many vendors you can rent a boat from.
Boat Rental in Geithoorn
Boating in Giethoorn

No Roads?

To clarify, Giethoorn does have roads, but there is a part of town that has foot-paths that double as bike paths (when not filled with tourists, of course!) and canals surrounded by green lawns. The main path is the Binnenpad, which takes you on a picturesque walk through the prettiest part of town. All you have to do to get the best views is to take a walk. Simply walk. There’s not much point in renting a bike for the canal area!

Day trip to Giethoorn binnenpad

What to do

This is the beautiful thing about Giethoorn, it’s relaxing and you don’t have to do anything. Take a stroll, navigate the canals, or find a bench. You may want to have a camera handy, but don’t spend too much time behind the lens. Simply enjoy.
Day trip to Giethoorn path

What to eat

It’s a small town, but there are still a few nice spots to eat. If you are along the canal and it’s nice out, grab a place outside on the Binnenpad! Fratelli is great if you’re in the mood for Italian, Grand Café de Fanfare is in the same area, and De Grachthof offers small plates and more, right next to the canal.

Giethoorn Swans

Giethoorn Dining

More than just a day

While a visit to Giethoorn is easily a day trip, we decided to have a weekend away to relax. We picked the right place! As soon as we discovered it, we wanted to go explore, so we went shortly before everything started blooming…and it was still absolutely stunning! It was a great decision because after dinner, all the day-trippers headed back to Amsterdam and we had a lovely quiet stroll together. Away from the main cluster of tourists, but still in Giethoorn and walking distance from everything, we stayed at Hotel Giethoorn. Super cozy and I really enjoyed the space! Check other hotels with availability in Giethoorn.

Day trip to Giethoorn house

Whether you want to get away from Amsterdam for the day or the weekend, Giethoorn is the place to go. Relax, enjoy, and soak it all in. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen…and we live in Amsterdam!

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54 thoughts on “Day Trip to Giethoorn

  1. Oh sweetie, I can’t wait to go there. I was planning to go there last week but I couldn’t … 🙁 Now I really regret but it’s still on my list! Such a beautiful place!

  2. Hopefully, I will get to visit this beautiful place on my next trip to Amsterdam. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi girly , loved your view of Giethoorn! I went there with my boyfriend last year on a weekend getaway and fell in love with the place. How adorable are the houses 🙂 Did you get a chance to head out to the nature reserve as well?

  4. I will definitely put this on my Amsterdam things to do next year. I love all the quaintness and off the beaten path places.

  5. I’ve never heard of Giethoorn but it looks fantastic! Definitely will have to get myself there soon. I went to Amsterdam a couple of months ago and was so impressed by the surrounding Dutch countryside!

  6. Ah there are so many cities vying for the title Venice of the North. This looks really pretty. But then I think a canal or two always makes a town look pretty. I really loved the photos.

  7. What a cute little town!! I’d love to spend a day cruising the canal and taking photographs of all the quaint little houses! It looks like a at place to go as an alternative – or in addition to – Amsterdam!

    1. So cute! I’d recommend going in addition to Amsterdam if you’re in the area. Many tourists give Amsterdam 2-3 days, but really, there’s so much to do in the city, and as day trips! 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh! Those thatched roofs! Those little boats! What an adorable place… I never would have heard of it if I hadn’t read this post. Thank you for sharing, this is a fantastic guide!

  9. This place looks really pretty, I love unique places like this. It’s really cool that it has roads as well!

  10. very informative and helpful …. we plant to go in next (mid) Sep. Thanks for sharing

  11. Hi, I was wondering if Sunday is a good day to visit or are all the vendors closed as in most places in the Netherlands?

    1. We left earlier on Sunday so I’m not positive, but there will be places to eat open and I believe a boat tour should be easy to get too.

  12. Is there any ” day trip package” from Amsterdam City to Giethoorn? If YES, i’m interested to buy the package.

  13. I was there many years ago and am coming back May 2018 with 5 friends! Staying in Amsterdam I would like to pre arrange a bus tour for us to get here and a boat to take us around! Can you recommend any tour company or individual guide that could help us with this?
    Many thanks

    1. I’m so glad to know you liked it enough to come back : ) Sadly, I don’t know much about the tour companies since we travel independently. But there are many companies in Amsterdam that take day trips there, a quick Google search hopefully will help you find a good one. If you use a travel agent, even better! They may have information on the boat tour companies in Giethoorn. I didn’t see many online, so they may need to know someone. Another great option is to check with, they may have a few ideas as well. Wishing you a great trip!

  14. Hi,
    We are planning to visit this place in December end. Is it a good time to visit this place?

    1. That’s a great question and sadly, I don’t know the answer. I would think that some restaurants would be open, but I’m not sure the boats run and nothing will really be in bloom. But you would have a nice and unique experience 🙂

  15. Hi girly , loved your view of Giethoorn! I want to go in a couple of days and I want to know if the tickets for the trains I can buy online or only in the windows of the station the day that I travel. Thanks you for your help. Nadia

  16. Can you suggest me some good hotel in Giethoorn. Would you suggest De Dames Van De Jonge Hotel there? Thanks

    1. Hi Sandeep! I’ve only stayed in the one I mentioned, so I can’t recommend others. But I usually book through and check ratings there 🙂

    1. Hi Pri! I haven’t been in September myself but based on what I’m seeing in Amsterdam it will likely still be green, but I’m not sure about flowers. What I can say is that it will still be an amazing place to experience! Enjoy your trip!

  17. Many thanks for this very useful introduction. I have a question, can we use the day train ticket in the Hollandpass package to travel between Amsterdam and Geithoorn?

  18. Nice to read your story, me and my family plan to go there on march next year.I just want to know how long you recommend to spend in this place, we will stay in amsterdam with travel time around 2,5hours we are hoping to have another trip on that day due to we only have short trip in holland (around 2-3days)…

    1. I was happy to spend all day and evening there instead of rushing around. If you want to just do a boat ride and walk around a bit, I’d give yourself 3-4 hours. One for the boat ride, one to eat, two to walk around and/or wait in line.

  19. Hello,
    what a detailed blog you have.
    Just to clarify .. you free and easy for this tour? You did not book any day tour at all ?

    1. Hi Karen,
      We are independent travelers, so we did not book a day tour. We just took the train, then a bus to the town. Once there, we just walked around and found a boat tour to hop on. Hope that helps!

  20. Hi, Planning to go between March 14 – March 25th. However, given its winter season, would it still be green and would flowers be blooming? The scenic pictures seem to suggest it might be a better visit for summer.

  21. Hey Jessica! great blog and review. I was in Geithoorn yesterday and this really helped me find my way there. Bus 270 (Geithoorn Express) is also available from Steenwijk train station for 2.74 EUR/one way.
    I got the 16 EUR all day train card from Albert Hein so i saved a lot.

    1. If you can find a day pass, that is awesome! They can be tricky to find but can definitely save you so much money. So glad you enjoy it 🙂

    1. Hi Julia! It really depends on how cold is too cold for you. If you are already visiting Amsterdam, I see no reason why you wouldn’t take a day trip to Giethoon. However, keep in mind that during that part of the year the sky will likely stay grey and likely to rain. Just be prepared!

  22. Hi Julia,
    We are planning a day trip from Amsterdam to Giethoorn. It seems that the tour including transport, boat trip, etc is not bad value at Euros 84 each. It also includes a 1 hour boat trip in Amsterdam. Probably not worth making our own way there. Would you agree ?

    1. Hey there, This is Jessica. It’s really up to you and how you value time and convenience. We went on our own, as we mentioned, but when you are visiting, it might be nice to not worry about switching from train to bus and finding your way around.

  23. Hi! Thanks for the infos!
    I’m planning a trip to Amsterdam but was very interested in this place and thought of staying there for 1 or 2 nights, do you think it’s too much? Thank yoU!

    1. It’s always hard to answer for other people as to what they should do. But I think one night is nice so you get the evening and morning with no crowds. Stay for 2 if you just want to relax. There isn’t so much to do for 2-3 days but if you are looking to travel slower, it might be nice.

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