14 glorious things to do in Giethoorn in 2024

Explore the Venice of the Netherlands 🌿

Dubbed the Venice of the North, Giethoorn is a wonderland of canals weaving and winding their way around unspoilt Dutch countryside — and it’s packed with things to do.

If you’re looking to break out of Amsterdam’s hustle and bustle, but still want those quaint Dutch canal views, you need to visit gorgeous Giethoorn!

1. Tour the winding canals by boat

boats-lined-up-against-the-bank-in-giethoorn
Bob and chug your way through Giethoorn’s green heart. Image: Depositphotos

The stunning canals of Giethoorn are beckoning, so jump in a boat and get ready to explore, plucky adventurer! 😉

As a car-free city, there’s no better way to embrace all the sights and sounds than by water, and you’re certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to boat rental companies.

Whether you’d like to glide down the stunning waterways accompanied by a tour guide’s historical retellings or photograph the abundance of wildlife from an ultra-quiet whisper boat, your adventure is of your choice.

💰 Price: Renting an entire boat can cost anywhere from €65 to €170
⏰ Opening hours: Vary per company
📍 Location: Along the canals of Giethoorn


2. Hop on a bike and explore Giethoorn at your own pace

man-biking-down-a-cycling-path-in-giethoorn
No matter where you go in the Netherlands, a bike’s probably going to be your best friend! Image: Depositphotos

If you want to feel the breeze rushing through your hair as you cycle through some of the most picturesque scenery in the Netherlands, you’ve got to hop on a bike!

No bike? No problem — Giethoorn has a horde of bike rental companies that’ll saddle you up with a two-wheeled BFF in no time.

💰 Price: From €7.50
⏰ Opening hours: Vary per company
📍 Location: Stroll the main streets to find a bike hire company


3. Voyage down the stunning canals with a kayak or canoe

tourists-in-kayaks-exploring-giethoorn
All in favour of having a fun afternoon on the water, raise your paddle! 😉 Image: Freepik

Do you want to tour Giethoorn from the water and burn some calories whilst you’re at it?

Sounds like you may need to grab a kayak or canoe!

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never kayaked or canoed in your life or if you’re an absolute pro at it — there are routes for all skill levels, so do take the plunge.

💰 Price: Prices start from €12.50 for a one-person kayak
⏰ Opening hours: Vary per company
📍 Location: Along the canals of Giethoorn


4. Stroll through any of Giethoorn’s breathtaking walking routes

walking-path-in-giethoorn-overlooking-a-canal-and-a-row-of-houses
Exercise AND great views? Count us in! Image: Depositphotos

Perhaps you’d like to stretch your legs a bit? You’ve certainly come to the right place, as Giethoorn has many enchanting walking routes that’ll lead you on an enjoyable ramble through the city.

Whether you’re into a casual four-kilometre stroll around various points of interest or want a more gruelling 27-kilometre walk around the entire city, you can definitely find one that’s your speed!

TIP: Be sure to bring your camera along, because we aren’t joking when we say these routes are breathtaking. 📸

💰 Price: Free
⏰ Opening hours: Entirely up to you
📍 Location: Along the many walking routes of Giethoorn


5. Grab a board and hit the water

man-windsurfing-on-a-lake-in-giethoorn
Who says you can’t make a big splash whilst exploring a new city? 😉 Image: Depositphotos

D’you fancy trying your hand at stand-up paddle boarding? Good on you, because Giethoorn’s the right place to bob through scenic canals on your paddle board.

Alternatively, if you thought Scheveningen was the only place to go windsurfing in the Netherlands, think again! Giethoorn also offers both windsurfing facilities and several surf schools for visitors who’d like to dip a toe into a water sport.

💰 Price: Prices range from €15 (windsurfing) and €20 (stand-up paddle boarding) for an hour, to €60 (windsurfing) and €35 (stand-up paddle boarding) for a day
⏰ Opening hours: Vary per company
📍 Location: On Giethoorn’s lakes


6. Embark on an enchanting trip back in time at Museum ‘t Olde Maat Uus

Museum ‘t Olde Maat Uus peels back the weathered pages of time to give visitors a charming look at what Giethoorn was like back in the olden days.

Perfect for history enthusiasts, it’s got a carefully curated collection of costumes, furniture, tools, and hordes of other things from a bygone era.

There’s also a museum shop for tourists to buy trinkets, a coffee shop for refreshments, and activities for children to do.

💰 Price: €7.50 for adults, €2.50 for children aged four to 12, and free for children under three
⏰ Opening hours: 11 AM until 5 PM, Monday to Sunday
📍 Location: 1 Beekstraat, 5671CS Nuenen


7. Take a walk on the wild side at the Weerribben-Wieden National Park

a-whooper-swan-flapping-its-wings-in-the-wetlands-of-giethoorn
Between stunning views and a large population of birds and animals, this national park is a definite must-see. Image: Depositphotos

Comprising two separate parks, the Weerribben-Wieden National Park forms Northwestern Europe’s biggest bog.

But don’t let the word bog you down — this park offers visitors a huge selection of activities!

Whether you’d rather bike in the wilderness, hike through several trails, or rent a boat to tour the park, you’re guaranteed to find an activity you enjoy.

Oh, and did we mention that it’s also a birdwatcher’s paradise? Many rare species call it home, and there are several bird-watching huts erected for this very purpose, so be sure to check them out!

💰 Price: Free to enter
⏰ Opening hours: The park has no times listed, but opening times for individual activities will vary
📍 Location: Weerribben, 8302 KW Emmeloord


8. Explore the Netherlands’ best collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils

visitors-admiring-all-the-rocks-and-minerals-at-museum-de-oude-aarde-giethoorn
Do check out the museum shop for trinkets! Image: Supplied/Museum De Oude Aarde

Do you seriously dig rock exhibits? Well, Museum De Oude Aarde has got your back!

This museum has the largest egg in the world, a stunning geode from Brazil, and a whole host of other treasures collected over the decades.

Are you travelling with children and wondering how you’ll keep the little ones entertained? Fret not — the museum’s got an enthralling Scavenger Hunt, where kids uncover a bunch of hidden treasures based on a few clues.

💰 Price: €4.90 for adults and €3.90 for children up to the age of 12
⏰ Opening hours: Open 10 AM to 6 PM from Monday to Sunday
📍 Location: 43 Binnenpad, 8355 BR


9. Stop and smell the (porcelain) roses at Giethoorn Floramics

Calling all art enthusiasts!

Giethoorn Floramics is an atelier that features gorgeous handmade pottery with summery flower motifs.

If you’d like to pick up some unique keepsakes from your trip to Giethoorn, then this is the best place to do it!

TIP: This atelier is also situated along the famous Dorpsgrach canal in an area that is home to at least 20 historical buildings. Why not tour this historic neighbourhood whilst you’re in the area?

💰 Price: Depends on the item
⏰ Opening hours: 10AM to 6PM
📍 Location: Binnenpad 35, 8355 BP


10. Channel your inner royal at Museum Villa Rams Woerthe

Built in 1899, the stately Museum Villa Rams Woerthe has been dubbed the Downton Abbey of Overijssel — and for good reason!

Both the museum, in its Art Nouveau style, and the surrounding grounds are national monuments (is it just us, or is that code for “super Instagrammable?”), making them the perfect sight for architecture enthusiasts.

TIP: The basement of the Villa Rams Woerthe houses the Hildo Krop Museum, which is dedicated to artist and sculptor Hildo Krop (once City Sculptor of Amsterdam). Make the most of your visit and check out this hidden gem, too!

💰 Price: €9.50 for adults and free for those under 18
⏰ Opening hours: 11 AM to 4 PM from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Monday and Thursday)
📍 Location: Gasthuislaan 2, 8331 MX Steenwijk, OV


11. Have a gezellige picnic by one of Giethoorn’s many canals

woman-enjoying-a-picnic-by-the-canals-in-giethoorn
Perfect for delicious snacks and drinks by the cheerful, babbling canals! Image: Unsplash

Is that romance in the air? This city has so many picturesque canals and lakes to sit by, that a picnic is a perfect thing to do on a sunny afternoon in Giethoorn!

There are a number of supermarkets spread all over the city — such as Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Lidl, ALDI, and Coop, to name a few — so it’s easy to pick up something yummy for your picnic. 🥪

💰 Price: Free (just the price of groceries for a picnic)
⏰ Opening hours: Whenever you want
📍 Location: Around Giethoorn


12. Paint the town red at Paintball Giethoorn

female-paintball-player-in-a-park-in-giethoorn-scaled
Aim and… fire! 💥 Image: Freepik

Are you travelling with a group of friends and are dying for something fun and energetic to do?

Then head over to Paintball Giethoorn for an absolute blast (of paint, that is!) and get ready to make some fun memories.

💰 Price: From €22.50 to €30 per person
⏰ Opening hours: 1 PM to 6 PM every Monday to Wednesday, and 8 AM to 6 PM every Thursday to Sunday
📍 Location: Zuiderpad 5A, 8355 CA


13. Tickle your tastebuds at one of the best restaurants in the Netherlands

photo-of-food-on-a-plate-at-a-michelin-starred-restaurant
If you’re exploring the wonders of Giethoorn, why don’t you take your tastebuds on a culinary adventure? Image: Unsplash

Giethoorn is also home to the Michelin-starred Restaurant de Lindenhof, which serves an enticing concoction of regional, French, and international cuisine.

If you’re looking to make unique memories in Giethoorn, then embarking on a rare culinary experience might be the perfect thing to do!

TIP: If you’re not into Michelin-star prices, don’t worry — Giethoorn has plenty of top-quality restaurants with midrange prices, such as Restaurant 141, Grand Café Fanfare, and Smit Giethoorn.

💰 Price: Culinary packages range from €225 to €450 for two people
⏰ Opening hours: Open for lunch and dinner every Wednesday to Sunday
📍 Location: Beulakerweg 77, 8355 AC


14. Venture off to Vollenhove and explore the ruins of Kasteel Toutenburg

view-of-a-canal-with-boats-in-the-historic-city-of-vollenhove
This village is a hidden gem just a stone’s throw from Giethoorn’s scenic heart. Image: Depositphotos

Run out of things to do in Giethoorn? Just half an hour from the Giethoorn’s centre is the historical shipping city of Vollenhove.

Granted a city status as far back as 1354, it’s also home to the ruins of the medieval Kasteel Toutenburg.

The castle was built in the 1500s by Joris Schenck van Toutenburg, the then-stadtholder (ruler) of Overijssel under Emperor Charles V, and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts!

💰 Price: Free
⏰ Opening hours: All day
📍 Location: Laan van Toutenburgh 1, 8325 AV Vollenhove


Whether you’re there to explore, to photograph, or simply to take in the sights, gorgeous Giethoorn is sure to absolutely enchant you!

Travelling the Netherlands? Check out our total lists of things to do in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and more!

What are your favourite must-see sights and fun activities in Giethoorn? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Liana Pereira 🇱🇰
Liana Pereira 🇱🇰
Liana juggles her role as an Editor with wrapping up a degree in cognitive linguistics and assisting with DutchReview's affiliate portfolio. Since arriving in the Netherlands for her studies in 2018, she's thrilled to have the 'write' opportunity to help other internationals feel more at home here — whether that's by penning an article on the best SIMs to buy in NL, the latest banking features, or important things to know about Dutch health insurance.

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