Giethoorn why and where?Giethoorn, the Venice of Holland, is found in the North West of the province Overijssel in the middle of the nature reserve De Wieden, the area is called Waterreijk.
The village Giethoorn is special in the Netherlands because of it's caracteristic wooden arch bridges and canals, in the center is not a road but a canal where you have to travel by boat. That is why Giethoorn is called the Venice of Holland.
Giethoorn lies central in the Netherlands. The distance by car for example from:
Amsterdam 95 km ± 1 hour and 15 minutes drive
Utrecht 90 km ± 1 hour drive
Arnhem 90 km ± 1 hour drive
Rotterdam, The Hague 110 km ± 1 hour and 30 minutes drive.
By bus: Connexxion line nr. 70, busstop Hylkemaweg (centre). Here you can find thetimetable bus 2012 or scan the qr code for the link to the buscompany timetable online, look for the busstop DS HYLKEMAWEG for getting to the center of Giethoorn.
For all kinds of public transport in the Netherlands and also in the buses in our area (buscompany Connexxion) the provence Overijssel you need the 'ov chipkaart'. More information (in english): ov-chipkaart
It is NOT possible to buy a chipcard in the bus!! An anonymous chipcard can be bought for example at the ticketboxes in the railwaystation. A new, but more expensive, single ticket can be bought (cash only) in the bus 70 of Connexxion by the driver, the 'gemakskaartje', from Steenwijk to Giethoorn 3 zones costs €4,-- per ticket.
Travelling by car
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By car: from Amsterdam: Almere - Lelystad - Emmeloord. Just after the exit Emmeloord head towards direction Zwolle, exit direction Steenwijk - Giethoorn. Do not take exit Giethoorn Noord but drive further ± 2 km on the N334 (Beulakerweg) ± 100 m. after the gaztation Avia, left the entrance of the (private) parking (free for guests) of Company the little swan (near the busstop).
By car: from North: Groningen / Leeuwarden direction to: Drachten - Heerenveen - Zwolle - Steenwijk - Giethoorn. Do not take exit Giethoorn Noord but drive further ± 2 km on the N334 (Beulakerweg) ± 100 m. after the gaztation Avia, left the entrance of the (private) parking (free for guests) of Company the little swan (near the busstop).
HistoryGiethoorn was founded by a group of fugitives. They came around 1230 from regions bordering the Mediteranean. These first inhabitants found masses of horns of wild goats, which had probably died in 1170 during the flood. They called their settlement Geytenhorn (geit = goat), ulimately becoming Giethoorn (dialect goat = geit = giet).
The village owes it characteristic appearance to peatdigging. The peatdiggers dug up the peat-soil at the places that most suited them, mixed it in a trough and spread it out on the land to dry. The result could be cut as peat. This peatdigging led to the formation of large and small lakes. To transport the peat ditches and canals were excavated. Many houses are as it were built on little islands, reached through a high bridge. All this imparts to Giethoorn a beauty unequalled anywhere else.
The village Giethoorn with about 2620 habitants is unique in the Netherlands because of it's bridges, waterways and 'punters' (typical boats from Giethoorn). You see 18e and 19e century farm houses hidden between the trees and wooden bridges. Of course all this is best to view with a guided canal tour or trip by boat. For pedestrians, bikers and sailors who like to know more about the history and sightsseeings of Giethoorn is from april 2010 available the Giethoorn city audiotour (only available at 't Zwaantje ©).
In Giethoorn and surroundings is a fantastic network of cycle paths, it is safe and very well marked, an ideal sportive activity. Suitable for children and adults are the duo bikes, info cycle rent.
In Giethoorn you find musea, art galleries and expositions. Some examples that are also suitable for kids:
- museum farm 't Olde Maat Uus a typical farm from Giethoorn
(± 1800) with an exposition about living and working in
the past 100 years.
Opening hours: eastern till october daily 11 am - 5 pm and november till eastern on sunday 12 - 5 pm.
- museum The old earth stones and minerals, terrarium. Free to visit is the shop. Opening hours: march till october daily from 10 am till 6 pm, november till february wednesday till sunday from 10 am till 5 pm.
- Next to the old Earth over the same bridge: pottery.
- Shells museum Gloris Maris. Free entrance.
- oldtimers museum Histomobil Dwarsgracht: old car's, bikes, skates Opening hours: april till october daily from 10 am till 6 pm.
- For groups: demonstration eel smokery booking 't Zwaantje.
The above mentioned musea can be found in different all inclusive package deals, reservations 't Zwaantje. Groups (from 20 persons) get a discount.
- Dwarsgracht and Jonen in the direct surroundings of Giethoorn and similar to Giethoorn. You can reach Jonen only over the water or by bike
- Sint-Jansklooster (10 km) Here you find the information centre about nature and swamps of "De Wieden", also very nice for kids
- Vollenhove (15 km) Former fishing village
- Blokzijl (15 km) A former fishing city (Zuiderzee) Monumental merchant houses in the time of the golden age
- Wanneperveen (6 km) Here you can visit a sheep farm
- Steenwijk (10 km) Fortress city with walls; Circus museum; on wednesday's (july-august) festivals
- Meppel (15 km) Cosy city famous for the festivals on thursdays in july and august, nice shoppingcentre
- Zwartsluis (6 km)
- Staphorst (20 km) Traditional village with large farms in the typical colours blue, green and white. Many habitants wear old costumes.
- Havelterberg woods
- Ossenzijl (15 km) National park De Weerribben
Sport and relax
- all weather swimmingpool: Meppel (15 km) Steenwijk (6 km) Zwartsluis (6 km)
- cinema City theater Steenwijk and Meppel
- fishing: almost everywhere with fishing licence (available at post office or tourist information)
- ice skating: tourist information VVV, skates
- bowling Hotel Zwartewater Zwartsluis and Steenwijk
- postoffice in the supermarket Eendrachtsplein (centre). Large postoffice in Steenwijk (10 km)
- doctor R.D. Westerbeek Beulakerweg 125 Giethoorn 0031-521361326
- dentist Beulakerweg 119A, Giethoorn Noord 0031-521362115
- hospital Diaconnessenhuis Meppel (15 km) 0031-522233333
- Cashingmachine / ATM in the center near the large parking
Please note! There is no bank in Giethoorn, therefor you have to travel to the nearest city Steenwijk
- ferry-boat Jonen only for pedestrians and bikers, from
november till march self-service
VVV tourist information officeFROM JANUAR 2013 the VVV tourist information office in Giethoorn will be closed permanently. On initiative of local business 't Zwaantje, information will be provided at the boatrental cashdesk Tourist Information Point Giethoorn and (English version not completed yet, Dutch version and a few pages English online) at www.tip-giethoorn.com
Brochures can be orderd only at Giethoornshop.
Unfortunately the tourist office has no information brochures available in English.