Giethoorn is a town in the province of Overijssel, Netherlands with a population of 2,620. It is located in the municipality of Steenwijkerland, about 5 km southwest of Steenwijk. Giethoorn is often referred to as “Little Venice” or the “Venice of the Netherlands”.
History : Giethoorn used to be a pedestrian precinct, but nowadays exceptions are made. It became locally famous, especially after 1958, when the Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra made his famous comedy Fanfare there. In the old part of the village, there were no roads (though a cycling path was eventually added), and all transport was done by water over one of the many canals. The lakes in Giethoorn were formed by peat unearthing. Giethoorn was a separate municipality until 1973, when it became part of Brederwiede, which lost its municipality status in 2001 to merge with Steenwijk
Tourism : Tourism has had a relatively small influence on the old traditional town. The village, still only fully accessible by boat, is one of several places commonly known as the Venice of the North or Venice of the Netherlands. Giethoorn has over 180 bridges. Giethoorn is a very popular attraction among Chinese tourists. The village of only 2620 inhabitants sees between 150,000 and 200,000 Chinese tourists every year.
Monopoly edition : The village of Giethoorn fended off competition from some 182 contenders across the world to achieve a place on the board of the new international edition of Monopoly. An online campaign led by local Village Marketeer Giethoorn.com resulted in enough votes to obtain spot number 21 on the special edition.
Access : Coordinates : 52.738889, 6.078056 / First you have to go to Steenwijk by train. If you come from Amsterdam, this usually means that you have to get onto the Intercity to Lelystad Centrum and then switch onto the Intercity to Leeuwarden (get off at Steenwijk). Then switch onto bus 70 to Giethoorn. Bus 249 is an alternative that is only available in high season. This bus also operates on weekends.
If you’re coming by car, keep in mind that you cannot drive in the centre of Giethoorn. From Amsterdam, follow the signs to Almere, Lelystad and Emmeloord. Take exit 15 of the A6, drive onto the N331 in the direction of Marknesse. Take the exit in the direction Blokzijl/Steenwijk and continue your route along the N333. Follow the signs to Giethoorn
Highlights : There are many small museums in Giethoorn.
- De Oude Aarde, Binnenpad 43. 1 Mar-30 Oct 10:00-18:00 daily, 1 Nov-28 Feb W-Su 10:00-17:00. A museum showcasing a collection of gemstones, minerals and fossils. The highlight is the largest Aepyornis-egg ever found and a couple of large Amethysts. Also has a terrarium. €3.50, children €2.50.
- ‘t Olde Maat Uus, Binnenpad 52 (next to the Doopsgezinde kerk). Apr-Oct M-Sa 11:00-17:00, Su 12:00-17:00, Nov-Mar Su 12:00-17:00. A museum about life in Giethoorn around 1900. It is housed in an old farm. €4, children €1.
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