“Dutch Venice” is an ideal place if you are looking for somewhere to chill. It is quiet; you can listen to nature and enjoy the sound of silence. I visited Giethoorn on a summer morning. Many people are interested in architecture and canals. I was there to listen to myself and to get inspired by nature. I sat on a bench and started to meditate. The more I focused on myself, the more nature took me in. The noise of the wind was assisting my breathing. I enjoyed my time and the view of the canal.
The spirit of this cute village immediately draws you in. It is a privilege to be purely present in Giethoorn village. This made me wonder about the history of this place. Who were the residents centuries ago? The founders of Giethoorn came from the south and sought refuge to escape the Black Death in the 14th century. They also wanted to live their religion freely.
Located in De Wilden, it is one of the largest continuous NP areas in Northern Europe. Giethoorn is a perfect place to enjoy the tranquility, appreciate architecture, and visit museums and art galleries around the neighbourhood. The village offers different experiences in different seasons. In the summer, it is a perfect place to enjoy nature, and in the winter, “West Overijssel” is a perfect place to enjoy the ice and wander around on ice skates.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, peat extraction was a very profitable industry in the region. Now tourism and Rietland management have become the core sources of income.
The first thing that comes to mind when arriving at Giethoorn is to have a boat tour around the canals. There are two options for this. You can either hire your own private boat or take a guided tour with a group. I prefer the second option. On the guided tours, you can learn interesting facts about the village.
Museums in Giethoorn
Museum ‘t Oude Maat Uus: There is a renovated farm. Inside is furnished as life was 100 years ago; for instance, there is a living room, bed, and tub. Next to the museum, there are small buildings that represent farmhouses and fisherman’s houses. The museum’s opening times are from 11:00 to 17:00 in summer and from 11:00 to 16:00 in winter (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday).
De Oude Aarde: This is the oldest museum in Giethoorn. A great collection of minerals and fossils brought from all over the world can be found in this museum. The opening times are 10:00 to 18:00 on 1 march to 1 november and 10:00 to 17:00 on 1 november to 1 march.
Restaurants in Giethoorn
There are many restaurants all along the canal side from a wide variety of cuisines ranging from breakfast, lunch to high tea, pancake, pizza or snacks like fries and burgers. Here is the list of restaurants: de Fanfare, De Grachthof, Restaurant 141, de Witte Hoeve, Hollands Venetië, Burgers & Grill Giethoorn, De Rietstulp, ’t Achterhuus, Smit’s Paviljoen and ’t Vonder. Here are the options if you want to have snacks: Recreatiebedrijf Geythorn, Vishandel Gerrit en de Boer.
Stores in Giethoorn
There are art stores in Giethoorn. A must-see place to visit is Gloria Mais Schelpengalerie. There you can find unique collections of jewellery or home decorations that are made from different coral and pearls. Click to learn more about the shop.
Suydersee shopping center: Beside the sightseeing and attractions, there is also a shopping mall in Giethoorn. Here you can find several cloth shops, accessories and jewelry stores. Inside there is also an electronic shop and a supermarket.
Nature in Giethoorn
Weeribben – Weiden national park is North Europe’s largest fen. You can access there by taking a boat tour, renting a canoe or electric boat and by hiking. This unique sample is a prominent example of wide landscapes evolved over centuries by humans through extracting peat where a natural material used as a fuel back in the old days. The national park offers a wide range of sceneries in different times of the year therefore Werribean Weiden is a must if you visit Giethoorn.
Parking in Giethoorn
Since the center of Giethoorn is a no-auto access area, it is important to find a convenient parking space nearby. There are three big parking lots close to the center. The good news is that most of the parking places are free of charge. However, it is important to park your car in a proper place; otherwise you might pay a 95-euro fine. Click to learn more about parking options.