Giethoorn is without a doubt one of the most idyllic places I have ever visited. It’s quaint charm coupled with leisurely canals come together for one of the prettiest sceneries. Most people- including myself- had never heard of Giethoorn- until it exploded on social media about a year ago. Suddenly everyone and their grandma wants to visit Giethoorn but it’s not too simple unless you have a car. In this blog post I expand upon how I took a day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam?, what I paid and why you seriously consider taking a day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam.
Often referred to as the “Venice of the North”, Giethoorn, Netherlands is said to be a village with no roads, where traveling by boat through a maze of canals is the primary method of transportation
The question is not whether or not to go, it’s only how can you go?
What I did:
I booked a tour with Tickets & Tours (they’re the primary tour agency in the Netherlands offering day trips to a number of destinations) for 75 euro. This was my “splurge” for my trip but also I didn’t want the hassle of figuring out the public transportation in the countryside. That’s not to say public transportation in the Netherlands is bad- it’s one of the best I’ve encountered- I just wanted a relaxed trip.
The tour was a lovely experience despite it being quite full (about 30 people were on the bus). The bus met us at Amsterdam Central Station and it took us around 2 hours to reach Giethoorn (with a stop at a shop and restroom) and then 1.5 hours to get back. We arrived in Giethoorn at 12pm and left at 5pm.
If an organized tour isn’t your thing, you can catch a train. Using the train in the Netherlands is fairly simple especially if you have an OV-Chipkaart. You can take the train to Zwolle; then you will want to catch bus 70. Or take the train to Steenwijk, where you can take bus 70 or bus 270. Travel by public transportation takes slightly longer. Buses are infrequent in the countryside so you may want to plan your trip while looking at the bus schedule. Use this official trip planning website to help you.
What is there to do in Giethoorn?
The main reason to take a day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam is to relax and enjoy the scenery. Even on a Saturday in summer, the village was relatively quiet and not overcrowded. The village is very walkable and it’s possible to spend an hour walking all over it. There are musuems (but I didn’t visit either of them). Included in the price of my tour was a one hour guided canal cruise which takes you around the entire village by boat and explains the history of the area. If this doesn’t take your fancy, you can hire your own electric boat and drive on your own.
There are not a lot of eating options in Giethoorn other than 4 small restaurants (as far as I could tell). While I ate at one, the food was overpriced. I would suggest bringing a picnic and enjoying the countryside while you eat your own food.
WHAT ARE THE RATINGS ON PANDA’S RATING SCALE?
Overall I was quite pleased with my day in Giethoorn and thought it to be the perfect amount of time for me. There are accommodation options in Giethoorn but in the summertime these are booked well in advance. So if you wish to stay over, plan your trip months ahead.
Remember that this is an actual village where people reside; respect the private property signs and keep away from people’s houses.
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Have you considered taking a day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam? Or have I just put it on your list? Let me know in the comments below!