Giethoorn, also known as “the Venice of Holland” or the “Venice of the North”, is a beautiful village in the Netherlands. There are no cars or roads here; tourists leave them out of the village and have to travel by water or on foot over the lovely wooden bridges.

The small Dutch village located in the north of the Netherlands is rather known for its picturesque canals and charming houses.

Located in the Dutch province of Overijssel. Giethoorn village is surrounded by a vast natural reservation entitled De Wieden, often included in tourist brochures. The travelers who adventure here are usually mesmerized by the familiar atmosphere, bohemian canals, small wooden bridges, vivid flowers and colorful 200 year old homes.


  • Population: around 2620 inhabitants;
  • No roads available- just well marked paths, access by boat or by foot;
  • The tourism industry is developed: guided tours, accommodation available, museums, many city attractions;
  • Boat rental is also possible;


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Bikes are also available for rent. More information on the costs and routes here.

Giethoorn is located in the North West of the province Overijssel in the middle of the nature reserve De Wieden, in an area called Waterreijk:


Even though Giethoorn remains a location pour les connaisseurs, the village became famous after the Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra completed his famous comedy “Fanfare” here.

Here is a short video about Giethoorn and its atmosphere during summer:


One of the most popular activities in Giethoorn is exploring the canals by boat. Visitors can rent a small boat or take a guided tour, gliding along the narrow waterways and admiring the beautiful homes and gardens that line the canals. Many of the homes have thatched roofs and are decorated with colorful flowers, adding to the village’s charm and beauty.

Giethoorn, the Netherlands canals

Another popular activity is hiking or biking through the surrounding countryside. The area around Giethoorn is dotted with small villages and farms, and visitors can explore the scenic landscape on foot or by bike. There are several trails that lead through the countryside, passing by windmills, historic churches, and other landmarks.

Giethoorn is also known for its unique cuisine. The village is home to several restaurants that specialize in local dishes, such as poffertjes (small pancakes), stamppot (a traditional Dutch dish made with mashed potatoes and vegetables), and smoked eel. Visitors can also sample traditional Dutch cheeses, such as Gouda and Edam, which are made in the surrounding area.

The Architecture of the Houses in Giethoorn

Most of the homes in Giethoorn are built on small islands separated by canals, and are made of wood and brick, with thatched roofs.

One of the defining features of Giethoorn’s architecture is the use of natural materials. The homes are constructed using local materials, such as reed, straw, and mud, which were readily available in the surrounding area. This gives the buildings a rustic and earthy feel, which blends seamlessly with the natural landscape.


The windows of the homes in Giethoorn are another distinctive feature of the village’s architecture. The windows are typically small and square, with wooden shutters that can be closed to keep out the cold and wind. This gives the buildings a traditional and cozy feel, and adds to the overall aesthetic of the village.

Many of the homes are painted in bright and cheerful colors, such as red, yellow, and blue. This adds to the vibrancy of the village, and gives it a welcoming feel.

When to visit Giethoorn?

One of the best times to visit Giethoorn is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and sunny and the village is in full bloom. During this time, visitors can enjoy outdoor concerts, festivals, and other cultural events. The village also hosts an annual boat parade, where residents decorate their boats with flowers and other decorations and parade them through the canals.


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