The Dutch Guide to How to Have the Perfect Giethoorn Day Trip from Amsterdam
In Giethoorn for a day and wondering how to make the most of your time there? You’re in the right place! I live in the Netherlands and am excited to share with you all of the amazing things to do in Giethoorn, which is an easy day trip from Amsterdam.
Giethoorn has the nickname of “the Venice of the North” due to its canals, and it is one of the most beautiful villages you can explore while you’re in the Netherlands. Giethoorn is also the perfect day trip from Amsterdam since it’s just 75 miles away and takes about 90 minutes to get to.
The small village of Giethoorn has just slightly over 2,000 residents, and it tends to get flocked by tourists. So, you might want to be mindful of this and plan accordingly for crowds. However, even in high tourist season, you can still make the most out of your day trip to Giethoorn, and I’m here to tell you just how to do that.
The Best Things to Do in Giethoorn
Here are some of the things you can do in the village that will help you make the most out of your day in Giethoorn with these can’t-miss things to do:
Explore the Village
One of the best ways to explore the village is by going on a boat tour. This is the best way to see beautiful houses and the canals that surround the village. You can rent a boat for the entire day as the boat is the main mode of transportation in the village.
Don’t worry; you don’t need a license to captain a boat in Giethoorn. You can drive it on your own and it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re not comfortable navigating it on your own, you can always hire a boatman to take you around the village.
There are various styles of boats you can rent:
- Whisper boats: These boats are hard to miss because they come in the color red. You will see them everywhere; it’s called a whisper boat because of their silent electric motors.
- Canoe: You can glide through the canals of the village with a canoe if you’re up for some traditional boating around the area.
- Cruise: This is perfect for individuals who want to sit back and not worry about driving a boat. You can also ride a bigger one that can take you around Giethoorn in just a few hours. There are many types of cruises available for you in the village, and you can choose the one that fits in best with your day in Giethoorn.
The village is tiny, so when you’re not on a boat, it’s easy to navigate it via foot or bike.
If you have the time, catch the village during the golden hour. It’s truly a magnificent view that you don’t want to forget.
Visit the Museums
When it comes to museums, they are one of the least talked about things to do in Giethoorn. This is probably because most people visit in order to see the village architecture and how the homes are situated on top of the canals.
However, if you really want a perfect day in Giethoorn, then you should definitely check out the town’s museums. This is also a great idea if you come to the village during bad weather.
Some of the museums you can visit are:
- Het Olde Maat Uus: A museum that will show you how a traditional farmhouse looks like and how it works. You will also learn here the history of Giethoorn and what the village was like in the 20th century.
- Museum de Oude Aarde: If you’re a fan of gemstones and minerals, you’re going to appreciate what this museum has to offer. Bask in all things shiny in the village by visiting this museum.
- Gloria Maris Schelpengalerie: For those who like what the sea holds underneath the surface, then you’re going to love this museum and gift shop. Here you will see shells, corals, and many more objects from the sea, plus can shop for ocean inspired clothing, jewelry, and home goods.
Drink by the Giethoorn Canals
The canals in the village are lined with restaurants and cafes. That means you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and a good meal right by the canals.
There are numerous restaurants in the village that have a beautiful terrace where you can enjoy your meals. These restaurants and cafes are a perfect place to spend some time if you want to relax by the canals. Many tourists who come to Giethoorn for a day have a great time just by lounging by the canals!
Have a Picnic
You can pack a picnic and enjoy it on a nice spot along the canal. There are also boat tours that come with picnics you can try if you don’t want to think about packing a picnic.
Go On a Hike
Feeling adventurous? You can go on a hike in the village via the Giethoorn Walking Route, which is 15.3 km. The hike will let you see the entire village as you walk along the many canals and beautiful farmhouses.
Additionally, you will cross many wooden bridges that will take you to scenic destinations that will allow you to make the most out of your day trip to Giethoorn.
The route will take you through the polder landscape and down to the water village of Dwarsgracht. From there, you can go back to the village through the lake de Beulakerwijde.
Visit the National Park Weeribben-Wieden
Giethoorn is very close to National Park Weerribben-Wieden, which is the largest fen wetland in North-West Europe. The park has a lot of lakes, ponds, and canals. If you have some more time to spare, make sure you pay a visit to the park, as it’s one of the top things to do in the area.
Like Giethoorn, you can rent a boat in the park to explore the swamps. Also, if you’re looking for some activities that will make you sweat, you can hike the Silent Kiersche Wijde Route and witness the beautiful nature.
Besides the beautiful swamps and nature, you can also spot animals here, such as otters and black terns. If you’re lucky, you might also see great cormorants and egrets.
Some interesting facts about Giethoorn:
- The name of the village means Goat Horn. The first settlers in the village discovered hundreds of goat horns in the area; hence, the name. Unfortunately, there are no more horns you can find today.
- The canals freeze in the winter. So, if you’re here during this season and the conditions are right, you can go ice skating on the canals, which can be a thrilling experience!
- The village remains an unspoilt destination in Europe, despite its growing popularity. Therefore, seeing the village is one of the best things you can do during a trip to the Netherlands!
Hope this list of the best things you can do in Giethoorn helps you plan your day trip to the village. Most of all, don’t worry if you only have a day to spend in Giethoorn. You can make it perfect by exploring the village via boat, checking out the museums, eating and drinking at the restaurants or cafes, and if you have more time, exploring the National Park Weerribben-Wieden.
There is something for everyone in the village, from relaxing activities to adventurous ones, you will never get bored. Plus, being in the Venice of the North is a wonderful experience that you shouldn’t pass up. So, one day in Giethoorn will be enough… for now. Who knows? You might extend your trip there the moment you set foot in the village. Its charm is enough to make you want to stay longer.
About the Author: Frans runs the blog, Ask the Dutch Guy, which is your go-to guide when it comes to The Netherlands. The goal of Ask The Dutch Guy is to showcase the beauty of The Netherlands and to inspire others to explore the country. Read more about Ask The Dutch Guy at https://askthedutchguy.com. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.