The Dutch Venice: this is what the Dutch call the small village of Giethoorn in the province of Overijssel. Thatched cottages, beautifully tended front gardens, small canals, and weeping willows, which sway gently in the wind. Welcome to the most romantic village in the Netherlands.

If you would like to visit the Netherlands, Amsterdam shouldn’t be your only option. Try out something even more picturesque: In Gorgeous Giethoorn, grab your punt, a typical wooden boat, put the small motor in the water, and set off down one of the many canals. A great idea, right? No more last minute searches for the car keys, only a refreshing breeze and the gentle sloshing of the water, flowing through the canals – I couldn’t think of anything better!

Photo: Littleaom/

Giethoorn in the Netherlands – Straight out of a picture book

Car free, idyllic, and sooo romantic… This is the best way to describe the small village of Gorgeous Giethoorn. Around 8 kilometres of canal meander through the village – there are more than 180 bridges and a countless number of boats. Many small canals wind along the houses through the community, which is home to 2600 inhabitants. Behind the weeping willows and amid the beautiful gardens, you will find old farmhouses from the 18th and 19th centuries, most of which have been elaborately restored. Newspaper articles, which are more than 100 years old, prove that the canals were used at an early stage to transport both people and animals.

Photo: De Aarde en haar Volken – 1900

Boat Trip through the village

But why is this village car-free and why does it have so many canals? The small town by the Weerribben-WiedenNational park lies directly next to a swamp area. The canals, which are today used as a means of public transportation, were dug many years ago for the transportation of peat from the swamp. This popular fuel could then be quickly and easily transported into households or even beyond the borders of the province of Overijssel.

You can get the best overview of the canals and the pretty thatched houses on a guided tour. However, if you prefer to be independent, you can hire an electric boat and sail through the canals yourself.

Rent a farmhouse by the canal in Gorgeous Giethoorn

Would you like to spend a few days in the most beautiful town in the Netherlands? Then book a house by the canal! There are some offers on Airbnb. Simply click the link. You can rent houses here from just €25 per night per person. Grab your friends and get going!

Something for next summer? Who can say they have stayed in one of the most romantic places in Europe, in a house with a real thatched-roof? Bikes and canoes can be borrowed in most cases and there are some great hiking trails and two-star Michelin restaurants in the surrounding area. Giethoorn is a 75-minute drive from Amsterdam, so there is also nothing standing in the way of a trip to the Dutch Capital!

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