The Netherlands might be one of those places with plenty of fairytale villages waiting to be discovered. Even so, most people usually spend all their time in Amsterdam or the occasional tulip fields. But here is why you must plan a day trip from Amsterdam to Giethoorn, even if you only have one day.
Why Giethorn and not another small village from the countless charming places out there? Because Giethoorn is special beyond your normal dreamy small town. Bear with me and you’ll understand soon just why.
Sure, places like Paris, Venice, or the Amalfi Coast are utterly romantic, and there are for sure plenty of hidden gems in Amsterdam, but when you look for something more special, and without the crowds, Giethoorn is your go-to destination.
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Amsterdam to Giethoorn, the day trip you must take!
Gow to get from Amsterdam to Giethoorn
First things first, and getting from one place to the other is what everyone wants to know, right?
No worries, I’m here to help you out with all your options out there, so that at the end of this article you can decide which one works better for you.
By organized tour
I’m putting this first because that’s what we chose to do, thus it is what I think to be the most optimal way of getting to Giethoorn.
Besides being the fastest way to get from Amsterdam to this pretty little town in the Dutch countryside, we appreciated the fact that we could see other things along the way as well. Zaanse Schans and its pretty windmills can be easily seen together, or fit in a stop in Volendam and Edam.
Personally, I think that when you only have one day to explore outside of Amsterdam, you really don’t want to think about renting a car. All the time spent finding the place, picking up the car and making all the necessary checks, getting used to the car, and let’s not talk about roads and parking.
And the good thing is, you have plenty of options out there, here are only a few I would find perfect for a day trip from Amsterdam:
By public transportation
In a country like The Netherlands, there’s no wonder you can get almost anywhere by public transportation.
When you want to take the bus, check out the options here and configure your trip. It is super easy to use and to plan your trip.
You’ll see that depending on the time of the day, the trip will require taking a train from Amsterdam Centraal with one or 2 changes up to Steenwijk station, and bus number 70.
Be aware that 70 departs only 1-2 times per hour, and you can check out the timetable and itinerary here.
The overall trip including the Amsterdam to Giethoorn itinerary train fare will set you back around 27 EUR/ one way. For us, it was not worth going through all this trouble.
Of course, there’s always the option to rent a car and make your schedule as you wish. Even though, I would rent a car when I would have more days to spend in the Dutch countryside, or at least stay overnight in Giethoorn.
When looking to rent a car, I usually check out the prices by using Skyscanner.com ahead of time, and then I choose the best option available.
Best time to visit Giethoorn
Unlike other destinations out there, I would encourage you to visit Giethoorn during late spring or summer.
Of course, this means more tourists and maybe bigger prices, but I think spring in the Netherlands and summer days are some of the best. I have been during spring, summer, and fall, and while I loved all my trips, the ones with better weather and no rain make the top of my list.
Longer days, sunny vibes, a bit of catching the sun on a green terrace, these are just a few reasons to take into consideration. Note that temperature in the Netherlands doesn’t drop that much during fall or winter, but because it is very humid you’ll feel colder than what your thermometer will show.
Things to do in Giethoorn in one day
As soon as we arrived and I got a peek at a small part of this village, I already couldn’t wait to see more.
Walk around and take it all in
We got a few hours to stroll around and do as we wish with our free time. Honestly, there isn’t much to do in Giethoorn apart from walking around and admiring this place.
I felt the houses here with their huge hydrangea bushes were torn from paintings. Almost every house was built on its small island and in order to get to it, you had to cross the small toy-like bridge.
Obviously I couldn’t have enough of this place and we had to walk up and down several times until we finally stopped at one of the crazy beautiful terraces on the river banks and ate something.
Have lunch by the river
We stopped at this restaurant, right by the entrance on the canals and had a hearty traditional Dutch lunch with a glass of prosecco. We even had to share the fries with a duck curious to know what we were eating.
The restaurant has an amazing terrace right by the canal from where we watched the boats passing by.
Take a boat ride on the canals
Once we finished eating, we headed forward to the boat that took us along the canals. The tour usually includes a boat trip, thus we didn’t have to pay additionally.
While the boat went on, our guide told us all about this small town with a bit over 2500 permanent residents, over 150 bridges, that attracts over 500.000 tourists every year.
Visit a museum
“Het Olde Maat Uus” where you will see how a typical farmhouse from Giethoorn looked a century ago. The gemstone and minerals “Museum de Oude Aarde”. Are a few of the things you can explore here.
Explore the outside of the village
Wander outside of the village and explore the Dutch countryside nature. You can even take a kayak ride in the National Park Weerribben-Wieden and see nature upfront and close.
And don’t leave without taking hundreds of pictures! This place would deserve the title of “the most Instagrammable place in The Netherlands”, even though there are lots of those around for sure.
Where to stay in Giethoorn
You’ll thank me for this when you’ll fall for this place like I did. And if my pictures above managed to make an impression, you might want to take into consideration booking an overnight stay in this little corner of paradise.
I would have stayed there for more than one night, but I’ll just have to go back for that.
I can only imagine that once the people visiting for a few hours left, this little Dutch village transforms itself and becomes really torn from fairytales. For instance, couldn’t you just imagine yourself enjoying a late dinner, a glass of wine, or early morning breakfast in a garden with those hydrangea bushes and neighbors sailing past? I sure know I could.
The one location that caught my eye and where I would definitely go to spend at least one night is B&B De Galeriet Giethoorn. Check out their availability and latest prices here!
And if you’re not convinced yet, here’s a short video to take you there!
What to pack for Giethoorn
Giethoorn is such a peaceful place, that I would go there to relax and unwind after a few intense days in Amsterdam. Spring in the Netherland or summer can be moody and unforeseen; thus,s coming prepared is always a good idea.
Here’s what I would pack for my escape from Amsterdam to Giethoor:
- at least a nice denim jacket, no matter if you go during summer;
- my Kindle and my Unlimited Kindle membership, to sit outside reading something nice in wonderland;
- A nice raincoat or colorful travel-size umbrella, just in case;
- A light scarf;
- One pair of comfortable rain-ready sneakers;
- A stylish and easy to carry bag;
- Travel deodorant wipes;
- A small and compact quick-dry towel.
Other travel resources for when you visit The Netherlands
- Here are 4 pretty small Dutch villages you must see
- See Zaanse Schans the windmill and chocolate town near Amsterdam
- Looking for tulip fields near Amsterdam? Look no further! Here’s my guide on seeing the tourist-free tulip fields and tulip farms.
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