Giethoorn, What to do List

Almost all of us know Venice. But, how many of us know about Giethoorn?

Giethoorn is a village in the Netherlands that use water transportation almost in the entire village. I was lucky that my university provide us with excursion to Giethoorn, so I also got the chance to learn about the culture and history.

Giethoorn, a water village in the Netherlands

Giethoorn water village Netherlands

How to get there

With the excursion from my university, we all took a bus and we didn’t really have to worry about how to get there. But, I’ve done my little research on how to get there, and turns out, it’s pretty easy. From Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, you can take train to Giethoorn. I usually use Go Euro to check trains, bus, or flights for my trip in Europe. However, the old village of Giethoorn can only be reached by bike, boat or on foot. I would suggest to rent a bike to also experience the culture, as biking is one of the main transportation in Holland.

What to see

You don’t have to think of what you will see in Giethoorn, really, because it will be displayed in front of your eyes.  You will see traditional houses, boats, water, green grass, farm animals and fresh for the past 20 years (about), tourists! The number of tourists visiting this village increase along with the movie that took the setting in this village and became popular. Besides, with the city life and routine that many people experience nowadays, who doesn’t feel interested in looking at a village without roads, right?

Giethoorn what to do list

water as replacement of road in this village


You might ask, if there is no road, then how is the mobility in this village. Well, easy, boats! and bikes and foot 🙂 There are a lot of small bridges made in this village to connect the area through the river or canal. For the trip, we started with the boat and continued with walking until it ended. By walking, we could see the houses in near distance. Something special with the houses in Giethoorn is the material of the roof. It also showed one of the local wisdom at the time to earn long-lasting roof that can handle lovely Dutch weather. However, it is a difficult and expensive process to get this kind of roof, and some houses already changed into the modern roof that we have nowadays.

Giethoorn what to do list

Houses, Water, and Bridge


What to do

  1. Eating cake and drinking tea in a boat 🙂 This activity will give a whole different experience of having a breakfast! Yummy :9 I got apple pie, which was easily found all over Netherlands, I guess.
  2. Joining the walking tour where the tour guide will show you around the village. In our case with the excursion, the guide also explains some thing around the area when we were having cake and tea in the boat.
  3. Visiting the boat making place. The one that we visited was Punterbouw Schreur. It is a family business runs through generations and is on its 3rd generation at the visiting time.

Giethoorn what to do list

the boat in the making


4. Eating pancake for lunch. It is a bit unusual for me to have pancake for lunch as Indonesian, but apparently it is normal here in the Netherlands. So, I ended up eating tons of pancake to feel full and try to put salt and pepper to match my taste. The result was….yuck!


Just my two cents

Finally, I want to share that I always like to visit new places, because usually I can learn about something there. With this visit, I got a pretty sad fact to me. Tourism helps the economy of the village, because without tourism, the younger generation tend to leave the village and move to the bigger city.

However, tourism also change the tradition and habit or culture of the village. In the past, when someone passed away, the body would be carried with boat and taken to the graveyard. But, with tourism, the boat traffic in the river is increasing, and the sad part is the tradition should stop because the traffic is too crowded with tourists. It’s true that there is nothing permanent but changes. But through this post, I want to encourage us to be more conscious when we travel, either it is about social issue, cultural issue, or environmental issue 🙂