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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 in a train and bus. 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
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.
Let’s get you there!
To make the trek for a day trip to Giethoorn, you will likely need to transfer trains, so it’s best to check 9292.nl 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.
Get on a Boat!
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!
What to do
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.
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.
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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