Giethoorn Travel Guide

  • The Dutch Venice
    The Dutch Venice
    by Nathalie_B
  • Canal and bridge, Giethoorn
    Canal and bridge, Giethoorn
    by nighthawk
    by ATLC

Giethoorn Things to Do


    A fun way to tour the canals of Giehoorn is to rent a WHISPER BOAT. which is an open punter boat equipped with a silent electric motor, thus the nickname "whisper". It is environmentally friendly as well. You are given quite easy instructions on how to handle the engine and navigation maps of the canals. The boats have a flat bottom perfect for the...

  • Go boating

    There s but one thing that most people do when in Giethoorn: they rent a boat.We got ourselves a so called 'whisper' boat.Be aware, during vacation time and weekend it can be hard to find a boat, so be early.

  • Exploring the countryside

    As we rented a tiny house (schuurtje) for the long weekend, our reservation included bicycles as well. They even included a map with explanations and suggestions for a trip. Little we knew leaving the house in the morning that that day will remind me of home- Israel. Over 30 degrees heat and not even one tiny cloud in the sky. Giethoorn has only...

  • Rent information

    On this sign (enlarge photo), you'll find contact info for renting boats, boat tours, bike rent (7 euro per day), arrow and bow shooting, B&B, etc.

  • Venice of the north

    Giethoorn is called the Venice of the north and many tourists flock the little village to see it's unusual scenery. There are lakes (Wieden), only chest deep in the middle, that are connected with canals used for peat transport in the middle ages and later. Because of the canals, each house needs a little high bridge to get to the road. The bridges...

  • Punters

    Punters are the local boats that are moved along with a stick like the gondola's in Venice. You can also plug on a sail and go sailing! It's actually how I first learned how to sail (a little bit), during a teenage holiday week many years ago.

  • museum Het Olde Maat Uus

    This Museum farmhouse is rebuilt and decorated in old style in 1988. It gives an impression of life in Giethoorn 100 years ago. In the stable is an exposition about life in Giethoorn. The house is decorated like Maat still lives here. And outside you can see a fisherscottage, a typical shed and a working Tjasker mill.A nice small museum certainly...

  • make a boattrip

    There are several choices to make a boattrip in Giethoorn. You can rent a small boat by yourself. Like the red ones in the picture, they have an electric motor. Or a rowing boat. The absolute highpoint being a punter, which is like a gondola and you move it with a pole pushing on the bottom of the canal.Or make a guided trip like the boat passing...

  • geological museum de Oude Aarde

    Museum De Oude Aarde ( The Old Earth) was founded in 1969.The founder, Rene Boissevain, travelled to every corner of the earth, to discover many specimens for the unique collection minerals in museum 'De Oude Aarde'. Presently the Visser-family runs the museum, they also travel around the world, looking for beautiful crystals to add to the...


Giethoorn Hotels

  • Hotel de Harmonie

    First of all I need to say that I didn't stay in this hotel, but I visited it's cafe while biking in...

  • Hotel De Jonge

    Besides being a hotel, De Jonge also provides food for the hungry. Although it was a bit of a long...

  • Hotel Restaurant de Pergola

    Ds.T.O.Hylkemaweg 6-7, Giethoorn, 8355 CD, The Netherlands

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

Giethoorn Restaurants

  • Eetcafe Giethoorn

    Eetcafe Giethoorn just started with pancakes, great to enjoy an informal dinner with kids (they even have a childrens indoor playground). Its located in the heart of Giethoorn. They offer great days out in Giethoorn including BBQ or gourmet dinners. On festive days like easter check the website for brunches and specials (

  • Great for kids and Pancakes

    Eetcafe Giethoorn just started with pancakes, great to enjoy an informal dinner with kids (they even have a childrens indoor playground). Its located in the heart of Giethoorn. They offer great days out in Giethoorn including BBQ or gourmet dinners. On festive days like easter check the website for brunches and specials (

  • At the edge of the Bovenwijde lake

    Smit's Paviljoen becames famous by its prominent appearance in the Dutch movie "Fanfare" by Bert Haanstra.It's an ever busy place and from the terrace you have a wonderful view over the Bovenwijde lake. Any refreshment!

  • Food can't get any better than this

    On the first day of our visit to Giethoorn we decided to check out some local restaurants. Since we were biking in the countryside all day long we didn't feel like going far and reading every menu of all the restaurants in town. Bull's was the closest one to our rented house. It was quite a big restaurant with empty tables and busy bar. Locals were...

  • The waterside pavillion

    During my teens I spent a punter holiday in Giethoorn and we'd always end up here after a day of sailing and games. I just had to have hot chocolate and whipped cream this time, just like in the old days.Pavillion Smit's goes back to the 1930s when farmer Teunis Gerrits Smit decided to build a floating pavillion behind his farm. It was only...

  • A stopover for ice cream and beer

    Smit's is a nice cafe-restaurant situated on a pier. Boating in the lake we were fairly tired, thirsty, and sunburned. Cold beer, ice coffee, or milkshake sounded really good. But Smit's serve neither milkshakes nor ice coffees, so I sattled for ice cream with strawberries. It's a nice place which is hard to miss since it is situated kinda on the...


Giethoorn Transportation

  • Travelling with (young) kids.

    Are you nervous about taking your baby or child on a plane trip? You aren't alone, most parents are nervous about it. We have moved with the kids to Alkmaar by car this holiday and drove some distances by car on when we were there and we learned a few things that hopefully will help you. General: Bring books, old favourite toys and new surprise...

  • Whisper boat

    Whisper boats are the unique transportation of Giethoorn. Since sailing along the canals is the only way to explore this town boat/canoe rental buisnesses are very popular there. Whisper boat gets its name from its silent motor operated by two huge batteries located under one of the seats in the boat. 4 hours or rent will cost you around 50Euro....

  • Take the waterbus!

    For those people that are not confident about their boating capabilities: Take the boattour in one of the many places wher you can get on board of these guided boattours. Usually it takes abour 1h30 mins to get around the town.


Giethoorn Shopping

  • Ice cream

    We just 'parked' our boat along the water and Bert and eldest hopped off to buy us some icecream.Second child was told to keep the boat along the shore and was determined to do it right.I of course, had to photograph ;-)

  • fossils, stones, minerals.......

    Buy a stone ball, let it be cut and be surprised. Kids can also cut the stone themselves. After it is opened the people selling it will tell you what crystals are inside.The stones are formed by a vulcano. The outside is lava, and the heat formed crystals inside before it cooled and formed a ball.The balls are not from here, but they come from...

  • Shells and what you can do with them!

    It's more like a museum annex shop.You can see some showcases with Shells and other seacreatures and a lot of stuff made from shells like jewelry, boxes and so on.


Giethoorn Local Customs

  • Talko to someone who knows ...

    I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that...

  • Voltage, frequency and plug ins.

    Maybe it sounds a bit weird, but as an experience traveler I know that you every now and then need this kind of information in advance: electricity in the Netherlands is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to the Netherlands with a device that does not accept 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.There...

  • Grolsch -> Just like home sweet home!...

    Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being at our travel pace is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. At Alkmaar (and this probably counts for our entire home country) it was rather difficult. We found out that there are a few local beers, only known in the particular...


Giethoorn Warnings and Dangers

  • Do drink enough!!!

    For years, we have all been told of the importance of water. The general guideline has been to drink 2 liter of water each day. For a person who is not living an active lifestyle this may be enough, but if you are physically active, you need more water than that. That is especially true if you are hiking in the Alkmaar area due to the fact the...

  • Reading a map!

    Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the catchy title of the 1992 bestseller by John Gray, succinctly expresses an ancient dilemma. What--if anything--do men's and women's brains do differently?The general statement that men and women respond and behave differently under the same circumstances is true; For example, from the crib, male babies...

  • Punter traffic

    It can be quite busy on the canals in Giethoorn. A sign here says: give way to traffic from the left.The canals are narrow so it takes some steermanship to not get into trouble with other boats.


Giethoorn What to Pack

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Travel light!

    by Jerelis Written Jun 14, 2016

    Luggage and bags: * Map and guidebook;
    * Crackers;
    * 2 Liter of water;
    * Fruit / power bars.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: * Hiking boots;
    * 1 extra t-shirt;
    * Shorts with many pockets;
    * Sunglasses;
    * Fleece type jacket;
    * Hat / cap;
    * Raincoat.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: * Lip balm;
    * (Neck) sunblock;
    * Band-aids.

    Photo Equipment: * Camera and lots of SD cards!
    * Filter;
    * Extra batteries;
    * Lens 210 mm.

    Miscellaneous: * Binocular;
    * Compass.

    Here we go ...
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Budget Travel

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Giethoorn Sports & Outdoors

  • Cycling

    Giethoorn and its surroundings are great for cycling.See this map of the Wieden cycle route.More Giethoorn cycle routes and pictures. A bicycle

  • Rent a boat or a canoe

    The main attraction of Giethoorn of course is the water and there are several places where one can rent a boat or a canoe.We did not rent our boat here, that is because we wanted a so called 'whisper' boat, a boat that s powered by a motor that makes little noise. Not needed to bring anything, if you are a sensible boater, little will happen.At...


    A Giethoorn trip cannot be complete without making a boat tour.You can rent boats everywhere; here are some websites:Broer boat rental traditional sailing boatsGroenewegen whisperboatsDe KruumteSmit whisperboats & canoesZuideinde canal boat tourZwaantje whisperboats


Giethoorn General


    Thursday, May 21, 2015This day was set aside to spend with Hans' childhood friends - Paul - Bart - Oga. They met us at the Landal Park and together we went to Oga's house for lunch and to decide what we wanted to do that afternoon. It was suggested to go to GIETHOORN and I loved this idea, as Hans and I haven't been there in years.A village in the...

  • Tourist information Giethoorn

    Unfortunately the Tourist Information website is only in Dutch and German.They do have an office in Giethoorn.Address:Eendrachtsplein 18355DL GiethoornTel: 0900-5674637Fax: 0521-360565Email: giethoorn@kopvanoverijssel.nlTourist Information Giethoorn website


    General Giethoorn linksDiscover GiethoornKop van Overijssel


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