There are several water towns around the world, the most popular being Italy’s Venice, a bustling commercial city like any other. However, there are other places where serene water magic truly lives. Towns that look like something straight out of a princess fairytale, too beautiful to be real, but they are anyway.
I finally found the dream place for my water-loving soul.
The tiny village of Giethoorn in northern Holland is one such place. Located in the province of Overijssel, this romantic town is known for its boat-filled waterways, bicycle trails, and thatched roof cottages . With a population of about 2,260 people, Giethoorn is a quiet and peaceful town. On a normal day, the only sounds you’d hear are the quacking of ducks or birdsongs.
The city is situated right at the center of the Overijssel‘s canal system, and transportation is mostly by boats and canoes. There are dozens of cute arched wooden bridges of various sizes connecting the house platforms since the streets are all water. You don’t have to get into a boat to go to your neighbor’s house unless they are on another street.
Formerly, the town saw very little tourism every year, which was a good thing because it could maintain its peace and serenity. An excessive influx if tourism runs the risk of taking away the ‘charm’ somewhere may have. Over the past few years, Giethoorn has become increasingly popular and tourism in the area has soared significantly.
Getting around a fairytale town
The most common thing to do in a water town is… get on the water and drive around. Now that tourism is growing in the town, more boats are available for rent, usually motorboats and whisper boats. The best way to see the village is to join a canal cruise where local skippers would guide you through their magical home.
Sometimes, if visitors aren’t up for the general cruise, they can rent small boats that require little technical knowledge to operate and drive themselves around the canals.
The town is little but there’s so much to see. The cottages themselves would make you want to move to this peaceful town. With arching bridges and lush greenery, it looks like a spontaneous combination of medieval life and civilization. The town is a dream with lovely birds and majestic trees of different species, complete with varieties of lush flora decorating the homes.
If you’re a cycler, bicycles are also a common means of transportation as bicycle trails connect most of the town. Fishing is also one of the fun things you can do in Giethoorn. If you fancy ancient history and artifacts, there are three canal-side museums worth visiting.
Tours and accommodation
If you don’t want to lodge in the town or nearby, you can book a day trip from Amsterdam and enjoy a 9-hour tour of the village with a small group of people, never more than 25 persons in one tour (although they can be smaller). Depending on the tour specifications, prices usually start at €95 ($104.15).
If you prefer a private 8-hour tour, complete with a special local lunch and 2 free hours to explore the town on your own, the price starts from €360 ($394.68).
The best way to enjoy the town is to sleep over in their adorable B&Bs and cute hotels. Click HERE to find a wide selection of accommodation choices in the town.
- Diana Bruk. There’s a Magical Little Town in Holland Where the Streets Are Made of Water. House Beautiful. https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/a4440/holland-town-canals/. Retrieved 06-01-2020
- Geithoorn. Giethoorn Tourism. https://giethoorntourism.com/. Retrieved 06-01-2020
- Giethoorn Day Trip from Amsterdam. Viator. https://www.partner.viator.com/en/18531/tours/Amsterdam/Giethoorn-Day-Trip-from-Amsterdam/d525-39989P1?SUBPUID=. Retrieved 06-01-2020
- Private Tour: Giethoorn customizable tour. Viator. https://www.partner.viator.com/en/18531/tours/Amsterdam/Private-Tour-Giethoorn-customizable-tour/d525-27672P8?SUBPUID=. Retrieved 06-01-2020
- Hotels in Giethoorn. Booking. https://www.booking.com/city/nl/giethoorn.html?aid=344026. Retrieved 06-01-2020
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