Giethoorn, Netherlands, is a picturesque city situated in Overijssel, in the municipality of Steenwijkerland, a Dutch province. Known for its heavenly beauty, beautiful canals, bridges, and waterways, Giethoorn is rightly called the ‘Venice of Netherlands.’ Although the village has a maximum of 2620 inhabitants, it attracts many visitors from across the globe who love touring this magical place. The nearest city is Amsterdam, and it will take you about 75 minutes to get to the village by road transport.
If you have decided to have a scenic tour of a European village, then Giethoorn, Netherlands, is the right option. In this read, we have suggested some places which you should visit while touring this scenic hamlet.
Things to do in Giethoorn, Netherlands
1. Row Down the Canals
The village is a combination of 4 miles of canals and 50 short wooden bridges spanning over the canals. The only way to tour the place is to use waterways. There are several types of boats that you may use in touring the venue. Try to look for traditional whispering boats, canoes, and sightseeing canal boats. Well, if you are wondering why it is named whispering boat, it’s just meant for the water transport having a soundless electric motor.
2. Visit the Historic Village
The tiny village is more or less a dream come true. The name harkens back to the 13th century AD when the dwellers, originally farmers of the area, found the horns of a goat that died in the flood of 1170. The name of the village is, therefore, a result of the word ‘goat horn’ shortened to ‘Geytenhoren’ and ultimately ‘Giethoorn.’ It’s said that centuries after a flood taking place, the present topography of Giethoorn came into being.
You’ll see various pubs, restaurants encircling the village where you can stop to catch a drink of your choice. You may even pack some food along and enjoy a mini picnic anywhere near the alluring canals.
3. Olde Maat Uus
Are you interested to know how life used to be in Giethoorn? Then you must visit the museum Olde Maat Uus. There you will hear stories and witness the reality of the striking inhabitants, especially on peat extraction and distinctive customs. See the authentic Gieterse farmhouse, fisherman’s house, and boathouse that give the impression of a simple life in a water enhanced village. Follow the audio guide and enable your language for the ultimate comfort.
Try a cup of coffee in the coffee shop and don’t forget to shop for some souvenirs in the museum shop.
4. Museum Gloria Maris
Situated in the old village of Giethoorn, is a boutique where you will find various wonders of nature, specially sourced from the water body. You will discover vibrant shells and corals, which are of different shapes and sizes. Check out the unique shell, ‘Gloria Maris,’ named after the museum. You will love the jewelry made from pearls, red corals, nautilus, and cameos. Not just that, you will be mesmerized by the annual changing exhibition, which has inspiration drawn right from the sea. You will find all the gadgets and decorative items which are made from elements of the sea.
Apart from all these inspired items, you will also get products like blazers and other garments suitable for all sizes.
5. De Weerribbean-Wieden National Park
Visit the place, De Weerribbean-Weiden National Park, which is spread over an area of 10,000 hectares of land, and is the largest contiguous peat blog area present in the whole of North-Western Europe. You’ll find a labyrinth of ponds, mysteriously looking swamp forests, ditches, flowery meadows, and vast stretches of reed plots. Here, you may indulge yourself in any kind of activity like cycling, sailing, walking, and many more. Don’t be surprised to see nursing rooms for unusual plants and animal species.
Visit the three centers present at the park where you have good facilities for information and viewing the park.
6. De Oude Aarde
Visit this museum to discover the beauty of Mother Nature. Explore the beautiful gems, fossils, and minerals that were collected in this museum since 1969. The founder of the museum, Rene Boissevain, treasured it with all unique collections. You will discover the wonderful shapes and brilliant colors of the stones which you might not have seen before. Don’t be amazed to find the largest egg of the world, the Amethyst Geode from Brazil. There is another surprise like the petrified trunk from America.
All the jewelry, decorative pieces, engravings, and minerals showcased here are straight from nature, exclusively.
Visit this magnificent lake, which is approximately 2 km in length and 1 km in width. The lake is said to have hard sand cover at the bottom, and this unique characteristic makes it beneficial for the trees on the top. The village of Giethoorn is located in the West bank. There was a great strip of Greenland between the lake and village, which is now used by tour agencies to host campsites.
You will see the Smiths Pavilion, a striking building on the West bank. The pavilion is accessible by boat, but nowadays, there’s also a bank connection here.
Visit Cornelisgracht, a waterway from BovenALE to Giethoorn, and served as the transport route from peat to the area. Enjoy recreational boating here, which is a part of the waterway system in the Northwest of Overijssel.
Visit HistoMobil, a museum, situated 3 km away from Dwarsgracht, a tranquil village by the canals. The museum is a collection of olden day transport like a few cars, carriages, bikes and many other exciting items that let you travel to an old farm. It will cost you only 3 Euros to buy an entry ticket to this fantastic museum.
10. Herom Game and Party and Camping
While you are in Giethoorn, make it a point to visit this place with your family and friends. You will love the behemoth of entertainment activities over here. Get the ultimate fun from activities like funky cars, wrecking puzzles, and pretty museum. You may spend a full day here to take advantage of the brewing fun and get ready to nudge with giggles.
Well, if you want to taste some good food, then do not miss the barbeque at the party place.
Best Time to Visit Giethoorn, Netherlands
Plan and visit Giethoorn, Netherlands, preferably during mid-April and mid-October. But always try avoiding the place during August as it’s a bit too crowded. Imagine a place where every day you get to visit your neighborhood by boat crossing the beautiful canals. Sounds great. Simply put, there is no place on earth as serene and tranquil as Giethoorn, the scenic village of the Netherlands.