The first time I set my foot in Giethoorn, I had that weird urge to pinch myself to check whether I was dreaming or not! The moment you would enter this idyllic dreamland, a little village it might be, but you would find yourself surrounded by an inordinate immensity of natural beauty.
Quick Note –
- Local Language – Dutch
- Local Currency – Euro
- Best time to Visit – May through August. Starts to get rainy and cold from Mid-September.
Located in the Dutch province of Overijssel, Giethoorn is famous for its neatly navigable canals spread across the village occasionally meeting small ponds beside the local residences or larger lakes in the neighborhood. This village has no roads, hence no cars. Giethoorn is also known as the Venice of Holland. You may walk through the narrow paths alongside the canals and the picturesque houses, greenery hugging them intensely from their adjacent island like gardens, or you can simply take a boat ride and access each corners of this paradise. Cycling is also an option, but during the daytime. Honestly, nights are genuinely dark and quiet.
From Amsterdam to Giethoorn, its a 1.30 hours drive. Its an amazing camera-ready drive. Better to drive if you are in a group, the cost gets shared that way. But remember, parking is kind of expensive there. You would have to park the car outside. Cheapest means of transportation would definitely be a train ride especially if you are travelling alone or as a couple. You should take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Zwolle. Then from Zwolle change the train to Giethoorn. It takes 20 Euros approx for one pax. Individual or group, always plan for a day trip. Day time is the best, and you can experience the amazing boat rides.
After dark everything gets closed, so you can probably enjoy a very few local pubs and the serenity of nature at night. Plan your trip when its spring or summer. Mid-September onwards it starts to get rainy, damp and cold, sometimes windy too. There are a few B&B guesthouses, in case you want to stay overnight and enjoy the next early morning views. After dark almost everything gets closed, but that must also be a very different kind of experience. I myself would love to experience that next time!
Already planning to visit The “Venice of the North”? Go see it yourself!