Sail through this 'Venice of the North' and admire the thatched farmhouses and the 170 bridges.

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Giethoorn, located in National Park Weerribben-Wieden, is an idyllic village in Overijssel where countless thatched farms have been built on small peat islands connected by over 170 small wooden bridges.

  • Visit Giethoorn and see the thatched farms on the many peat islands.
  • Take a boat trip on the canals of this Dutch Venice.
  • Enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the many tasteful restaurants by the water’s edge.

What is there to do in Giethoorn?

In Giethoorn, a typically Dutch village in Overijssel, you can perfectly see how the Dutch love to live with and on the water. In an environment full of lakes, reed beds and forests lies this picturesque village with its many handsome farms with thatched roofs and characteristic wooden bridges.

Giethoorn was established as a settlement of peat harvesters. Peat cutting created ponds and lakes, and people built houses on the islands between them. As a result, access was only possible by bridge or using traditional Giethoorn boats, so-called punters – narrow boats pushed along using a long pole by a punteraar.

Fortunately, little has changed in Giethoorn. The tall wooden bridges are still there, and you can still travel the waters on a punter, as well as on an electric boat or a tour boat. A 1 or 2-hour boat tour takes you past the gorgeous 18th and 19th-century farmhouses and under the bridges.

Where to go for good food in Giethoorn

Giethoorn undeniably has a reputation when it comes to gastronomic enjoyment. It is home to various excellent restaurants, many of which are of course beautifully situated at the water’s edge. The highlight among them may well be restaurant De Lindenhof (Beulakerweg 77), with 2 Michelin stars, but Hollands Venetië (Beulakerweg 167) and ’t Achterhuus (Dominee T O Hylkemaweg 43) are also highly recommended!

More in the area

Not far from Giethoorn, you will also find such old Zuiderzee towns as Vollenhove and Blokzijl. There, you can stroll past historic buildings, ancient churches and castles, and have a moment of pure enjoyment on a terrace by the water’s edge. And, if you like exclusive restaurants, be sure to visit the top-level restaurant Kaatje bij de Sluis in Blokzijl. For nature lovers, National Park De Weerribben-Wieden is highly recommended.

If on an extended stay in this area, consider visiting the nearby Hanseatic towns of Zwolle and Kampen. Or take the kids out for a day in Slagharen amusement park.   


Many of the hotels and holiday homes in Giethoorn are located directly at the water’s edge. Perfect if you wish to rent a boat to explore the environment during your holiday!


Giethoorn, in the province of Overijssel, is about an hour and a half’s drive from the capital city of Amsterdam or Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. You can park around the village center and continue on foot, by bike or by canoe. The most popular mode of transportation here is the punter.

Editor’s tip

For hiking enthusiasts, the Giethoorn Walking Route (15.3 km) is a wonderful walk from the water village of Giethoorn to the water village of Dwarsgracht and back. Typical wooden bridges, canals and thatched farmhouses form the picturesque backdrop of this route. And if you need a moment to catch your breath, have a seat on one of the many great terraces along the water’s edge.

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