What place to visit in The Netherlands? Giethoorn of course!
If you have ever been looking for place to visit in The Netherland apart from just Amsterdam, you’ll probably have read about Giethoorn. And if you have never heard of Giethoorn, let me explain: it’s a small village that has the nickname ‘little Venice of The Netherlands’. Some houses can only be reached by boat, by foot or by bicycle. Not by car. There is this ‘main’ canal that you can walk alongside just like every other tourist does. This is where the restaurants and shops are. There are many cute tiny bridges too! Of course you can also rent a boat to sail the canals and into the open water, into the peacefull nature surrounding Giethoorn. Also, I don’t know why, but Giethoorn is especially populair amongst Asian people.
Now from the explanation I just gave you, you’ll probably think Giethoorn is one of those places that is only worth a visit during spring and summer. Nope, that’s wrong! Well, not entirely wrong because during the harsh, cold winter months everything in Giethoorn does close down for some days of the week and some places are even closed for all of January! Definitely something to keep in mind and check before your visit 🙂
Anyways, I just went to Giethoorn not too long ago, the 18th of November 2018 to be exact. It was actually just as fun as in the summer, only it was colder (obviously) and there were not as many tourists. But still a lot considering the time of year!
Are you curious now? Want to see what Giethoorn looks like in November? Here come the pictures! Also check out the bottom of this post for more pretty pictures 🙂
Now Giethoorn is lovely to visit, but you really don’t need more than a day to see the place because it is that small. It takes max 2-3 hours (depending on how fast you walk and how busy the streets are) to see the entire inner city, which is of course the most populair area. You can spend the rest of your day by renting a boat and saling around in the sun, shopping a bit, having lunch/dinner at restaurants or by going for a walk in the surrounding nature.
The village being so small is actually the reason why I think I would recommend not booking a hotel in Giethoorn itself. Or at least, not in the city center. You’ll definitely struggle to get to the hotel because you have to walk quite a bit with the suitcases (trust me, I’ve seen people struggle with their suitcases on the bridges a lot). Also, it’s always busy and it’s not even that centrally located. So even if you plan on seeing other, surrounding cities, I’d recommend staying in one of those. Steenwijk for example, is a bit more centrally located and has a train station so it’s easier to go somewhere else. However, keep in mind that I myself never actually went to a hotel in Giethoorn, so these recommendations are just based on my observations.
Or maybe just book a hotel entirely somewhere else and go to Giethoorn by train. Public transportation to Giethoorn is defnitely not difficult. You get on the train to Steenwijk and from there you take the bus to Giethoorn. Make sure you get off at the right stop! From there on it’s just a small walk to the city center.
Good to know
Before you go to Giethoorn though, there are some things you should know and keep in mind during your visit. First: people actually live in Giethoorn. Yes, they really do. The houses you see are actually places where people live. The grass around it? That’s their garden, wow! Okay so that’s all quite obvious to you probably, but not to everyone. The people living there have had to put up fences on the bridges that lead to their gardens because tourists would keep coming into their gardens. That’s disrespectful guys please don’t try to do that. If there is an obvious sign though saying the place is a restaurant or a shop, then you can obviously cross the bridge. Second: the tiny green boxes that you find a lot along the main route are mailboxes. Don’t throw in your trash. Some people didn’t know this, so the villagers have had to put stickers on their mailbox that say ‘this is not a trashcan’. Third: this one is actually more of a tip, but don’t rent a boat with the first rental company you see. There are many more in the city center (and out of it) that will probably be cheaper. Doing some research beforehand also won’t hurt 🙂