Most questions regarding the most beautiful village in the Netherlands are about the Giethoorn boat rental system. In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about renting a boat in Giethoorn. Things like how much it costs, how to rent, and everything you need to know about a Giethoorn day trip.
Many places in this world are described as looking like fairy tales. Still, a Giethoorn day trip introduces you to a romantic story with perfect houses surrounded by water channels, wooden bridges, and many colorful hydrangeas. Although words can’t do it justice, this is how I would describe, in short, this gorgeous Dutch village.
Giethoorn is also part of those places that have been given the name of the Venice of the North, like Saint Petersburg, Bruges, and Amsterdam, but in this case, it seems we are talking about different things.
Giethoorn is like a corner of paradise, with lots of nature, flowers, tall trees, things you won’t find in Venice. Both are gorgeous and worth visiting, but still so different. The number of water canals in Giethoorn is not even close to Venice.
An interesting detail about the houses in Giethoorn is that most have a roof made of reed. That’s because 100-200 years ago, the reed was the most affordable option. Instead, nowadays, reed it’s the most expensive type of roof in Giethoorn.
I hope they will continue to preserve this tradition because the reeds give a unique charm to the place. It reminds me a little of the houses in the Danube Delta.
You can walk freely through Giethoorn because it’s not a museum but an authentic village where people live. In the most significant part of the village, which is crossed daily by thousands of tourists, there are no roads for cars. But they exist on the outskirts of the village.
What I use every time I travel:
- To book hotels: Booking.com
- To book tours: GetYourGuide.com
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Giethoorn fun facts:
- It was created 800 years ago when a group was looking for peat. They dug all the canals that we can see today in Giethoorn and thus created several islands on which the houses in the village are located today.
- over 1 million tourists visit the village annually; most come only on a day trip to Giethoorn village
- around 3000 people are official residents of the village
- there are 176 bridges in Giethoorn
- The name Giethoorn comes from Danish and means goat horns because the first inhabitants found many goat horns on the village lands.
Giethoorn boat rental
How to get to Giethoorn from Amsterdam
There are two ways to get to Giethoorn
- With a personal or rented car – depending on the chosen route, it will take between an hour and a half and two hours. The infrastructure is good in the Netherlands, so you have nothing to worry about. There’s no toll, and gas stations are frequent. You can also find free Giethoorn parking. I recommend the Giethoorn parking lot next to the PLUS supermarket. Right next to it you will find public toilets as well.
- by train to Steenwijk station, then bus 70. You don’t need to worry about Giethoorn parking here 🙂
Why rent a boat in Giethoorn
Renting a boat in Giethoorn is the most beautiful, exciting, and unique way to explore the village. That’s the only way you have the opportunity to see it from angles that you wouldn’t be able if you visited it on foot or by bike. In addition, by boat, you can go to Lake Bovenwijde and see the islands.
Also, if you are on a Giethoorn day trip and not planning to stay more, renting a boat is the fastest way to explore the village and its canals.
How to Rent a Boat in Giethoorn online
- Giethoorn day trip from Amsterdam
Most of the tourists come from Amsterdam, so if you have limited time and you don’t want to worry too much about the Giethoorn boat rental or the transport to get there, be it shared or renting a car, you can opt for a one-day tour from Amsterdam to Giethoorn, and that’s about it sums it all up. Otherwise, you should document yourself well in advance for the road.
Giethoorn village is about 120 km from Amsterdam. If you rent a car, it will take an hour and a half to 2 hours, and if you opt for public transport, it will take about 3 hours, depending on the chosen route.
Therefore, the one-day trip to Giethoorn village remains the ideal choice for those who don’t want to put in too much effort but enjoy the experience. I always choose the Get your Guide website to book tours wherever I travel.
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Prices for a Giethoorn day trip start from €75 and include transport from Amsterdam to Giethoorn, a guide, a boat tour, and a short photo break at the Enkhuizen dike. This tour is one of the best rated and recommended, especially since it is affordable.
Some tours include a short visit to Zaanse Schans, another legendary place in the Netherlands, just 15 minutes from Amsterdam. It’s an open-air museum dedicated to windmills that are worth seeing. It’s different but at least as beautiful. Ok, I admit, I like Giethoorn a little bit more!
- Giethoorn boat rental on official websites in English
If you decide to make this short one-day trip to Giethoorn on your own, you can visit other sites that strictly offer you the boat tour. The official tourism website is also translated into English, and there you can find different boats; you can select the duration and the number of people.
Prices for a tour start from €39 for 2 hours, to which a €5 service fee is added. The whisper boat has the most affordable price and can accommodate up to 4 people.
You can also rent for a whole day, and the price will be €100 with tax. As the number of people increases, you can choose a bigger boat and the cost per person will decrease slightly.
Websites in English for Giethoorn boat rental:
- Giethoorn Boat rental from a Danish website
TYPE! There is also an alternative option that will offer you the same tours in the Giethoorn village at slightly lower prices, but you will have to rent for at least 3 hours.
If you don’t understand Danish, you must right-click and “translate to English.” For example, for a 3-hour tour, you will pay €45/boat, and for the whole day, only €75—no service tax.
The website is boothurengiethoorn.nl
How to rent a boat in Giethoorn offline – Giethoorn boat rental location
There is also the option to get there and take a Giethoorn tour from the spot. You will find one, no matter what day you arrive or how crowded it is. Many companies offer such boats. Most of them are lined up along the street Dominee T.O. Hylkemaweg.
You can choose to go on a cruise with several people, in which you will not have to drive the boat yourself. It is covered and has a table for every two benches. In general, a glass of tea or coffee is served.
Prices for such a boat start from €9 per person for one hour. It’s a good choice if you have little time available in Giethoorn; you want to save money and find interesting information from the boat guide.
And you can, of course, also choose a whisper boat whose prices can start from €20/boat for an hour’s ride on the canals of Giethoorn. It’s effortless to drive, very quiet, and private.
That means you will have it only for you and your partner or fellow travelers. Such boats can accommodate at least 4 people, and the cost can increase with the size of the boat.
Do you need to book a boat at Giethoorn?
I would not recommend visiting Giethoorn without taking a boat ride on its canals. It’s like going to Venice and not riding the gondola. It’s an experience you can’t miss if you want to feel like you’ve visited the place properly.
Besides that, you will have completely different perspectives from the boat, and you can admire every house you pass much better. You will feel like part of a dream, passing under bridges and among hydrangeas, fairytale houses, and tall trees.
Therefore, I would not include renting a boat in Giethoorn in the chapter of superficial activities to tick, but an experience that will enrich your album with travel memories and make your soul happy.
If you have to book in advance? Not necessarily; I think you can find it on the spot, but if you visit the village during a hectic period and want to make sure, then yes.
What to do in Giethoorn besides renting a boat
The Giethoorn village is relatively small, with a total area of only 38 square km, but the area of interest for tourists is about half. So, there is not much to do on a Giethoorn day trip except for boating. However, there are some extra activities that you can try. Among them are:
- bike ride
- Visit the Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus museum – a collection of objects representatives of the village’s past, such as clothes, utensils, or even furniture
- the museum of crystals and semi-precious stones De Oude Aarde
- lunch or dinner at the restaurant overlooking the canals. I suggest Café-Restaurant Smit, Ristorante Fratelli, Restaurant ‘t Achterhuus or Canal Grande
- Gloria Maris jewelry store
How long can I rent a boat in Giethoorn?
As I mentioned above, you can rent a boat in Giethoorn for a minimum of an hour and a maximum of the whole day. Generally, a day means until 6 in the afternoon, when all the companies close.
Best boat rental in Giethoorn
Honestly, I don’t think there is such a thing as the best boat rental in Giethoorn. All the companies are professional, mainly since locals generally operate them.
They want the village to be visited because tourism is the primary source of income here, so they will offer tailor-made services. In general, the services in the Netherlands are excellent, and this is also the case for Giethoorn boat rentals.
Where to stay in Giethoorn
Although most people come to Giethoorn just for a day, enough to visit the village, some tourists fall in love with it so much that they decide to spend a night or even two here.
If you want to stay more than one day in Giethoorn and are looking for accommodation, I recommend the hotels below, depending on your budget:
- budget: Hotel de Pergola – wifi, free parking, delicious breakfast
- mid-range: Bed & Breakfast Giethoorn – spacious rooms, good breakfast
- luxury: Giethoorn Lodge – o whole house next to the canal, bikes, free parking