A Muslim-Friendly Guide to Giethoorn, Netherlands


Qistina Roslan •  Nov 01, 2023

All my cottagecore girlies need to book a flight to Amsterdam as this village is an adorable realisation of the Enid Blyton books! Or fairytales if you've never read the Enid Blyton books. Even if you aren't one, that shouldn't stop you from visiting here as it is an authentic Dutch village, with hand-dug canals and over 176 bridges connecting the many small islands around this village.

Due to it's popularity (over 1 million people!), it has been called many names such as the Venice of the Netherlands, Dutch Venice and Giethorn.

How to get there?

There are many different ways to reach Giethoorn, from cars to trains and even hailing a cab! If you get lost, you can use the website here to find your way around!

By train

One of the most common ways of travelling, a train from Amsterdam Central Station, will take you around 2 to 2.5 hours to reach Giethoorn, including the bus ride. A one-way ticket will cost you about €25 per person. However, there are no train stations that stop at Giethoorn directly, so you would have to stop at either Zwolle Station or Steenwijk Station.

If you're stopping at Zwolle Station:

Take Bus № 70 to Busstop Dominee Hylkemaweg, which takes you to Giethoorn's Village Centre. However, as the area can get crowded, there are other stops available within Giethoorn that you can stop at. The bus comes every 1-2 hours, so plan your time with the website here to figure out what time it will arrive!

If you're stopping at Steenwijk Station:

Take Bus № 70 or Bus № 270 to and stop at Busstop Dominee Hylkemaweg in Giethoorn.

By tour bus

There aren't any buses that go directly towards Giethoorn from Amsterdam. However, you can book a van or a bus to bring you to the village and back! This is great for those travelling in large groups and intend on doing a day trip to the area. The prices range from €99 to €395 per person. You can find out more here!

By car

For those of you on a road trip, you can drop by Giethoorn. while dropping by other cities such as Amersfoort, Apeldoorn and Zwolle. It's around 120km from Amsterdam and will take approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes to get there. The shortest route there passes by Almere and Lelystad. If you're passing by Emmeloord, you can take the exit towards Steenwijk, leading you to Giethoorn.

For parking, there are 3 parking lots in the centre of Giethoorn. The Green zone parking lot is in the middle of Giethoorn. If you're entering from the South, you'll encounter the Red zone parking lots. From the North, it will be the Yellow zone parking lots. It takes only 5 minutes to walk from each parking zone to Giethoorn.

If you're staying at either of the 3 hotels there, parking is free as it is for hotel guests only. All parking zones are free except for P3 (in Green zone) and P1 (in Yellow zone), which costs around €4/day. To find out more about parking, you can visit the website here!

PS: Do park in the zone as you will be fined €95 otherwise! Peak periods are April - October so do park at the Red or Yellow zones instead of the Green zone!

PPS: The Netherlands drive on the right which is different from Singapore!

What is in Giethoorn?

Boat tours

The most popular activity that you should partake in is the boat rides that are plentiful in the area. There are different boats that you can take to admire the canals, such as sloops (sailboats with one mast), rowboats, sailing pointers (small sailing yachts), tour boats, wooden punters (small boats), and steel punters.

You can rent your own boat which you'll be able to sail down the canal on your own pace. You don't need a license and there are guides available that can help you learn how to drive your own boat. They do provide you with a map as well to find your way around. However, if you aren't experienced enough, you can also book a private boat tour which guarantees you a boat driver so you can explore the canals without the stress of managing your own transportation.

Price-wise, renting a boat for 1.5 hours - 2 hours ranges from €39.50 to €69.95, depending on your boat. A private boat tour costs €180 for 1 hour.

If you would like more information and the availability of these boats, you can visit the website here!

PS: It's cheaper to reserve a boat online than pay on the spot at Giethoorn! However, if you are planning on booking on the spot, do look around at the various boat rental stores before deciding on one!

It is recommended to reserve a boat early during these peak periods:

  • Pentecost weekend (19 May)
  • May holidays (5, 9, 20 May)
  • Ascension Day (9 May)
  • Weekends from May to September (from Friday till Sunday)
  • Summer holidays (and especially the Dutch construction holiday (Bouvak) - compulsory 3 week break for employees)
  • Winter (December to Match)

Frolick amongst the flowers

Despite the many canals. there are a ton of bridges that you can walk on to experience the scenery. You can use the Binnenpad which is a footpath that runs parallel to the canals which allows you to experience the canal without having to rent boats or go on a private boat tour.


If you're planning to stay there for a bit, there are several hotels that you can stay at!

  • Hotel Harmonie
  • Hotel Giethoorn
  • Hotel De Eese-Giethoorn

Both Hotel Harmonie and Hotel Giethoorn are in Giethroon itself, and you're able to book the boats directly through the hotel itself!

If you're planning to stay at Hotel De Eese-Giethoorn, it is a 15-mute drive away from Giethoorn itself! It is situated on the edge of Woldeberg and Eese nature reserves. So if you're looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle, this would be a great place!

If you need more information, you can visit their website here!

If you're not planning on staying in hotels, you can also opt for the many Airbnbs that are available in the area. There are also camping areas and hostels that you can utilise.

F&B options

There aren't many Muslim-friendly restaurants that are available at Giethoorn, as the village also only has a limited number of restaurants. Here are some that we find serve muslim-friendly food!

Restaurant Het Zwaantje

This restaurant is located right at the city centre and offers a variety of dishes with vegetarian and pescatarian options. Or, if you would like to grab dessert, they have apple pie and other types of pastries that you can enjoy with a cup of coffee outside. The restaurant also has free Wi-Fi. However, we are unable to confirm if the restaurant sells or uses alcohol in their dishes. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion. You can call in at 06-28262980 or drop them an email here if you would like to enquire!

PS: The restaurant has a disabled-friendly toilet as well!

Halal status: Vegetarian. We are unable to confirm if alcohol is used or served in the restaurant. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.

Opening hours: Mon-Tues, Sat-Sun (10AM - 5PM)

Address: Dominee T.O Hylkemaweg 1, 8355 Giethoorn

A tip for F&B would be to bring a packed lunch or a bag of snacks if you're not planning to stay long in the area! You can have a nice picnic in the surrounding area or visit the De Weerribben-Wieden National Park which Giethoorn is situated in!

You're now all set for your trip to the idyllic trip to Giethoorn. Take your time and enjoy the sights and smells!