What is your impression of Europe? The romantic Eiffel Tower in Paris? Or the magnificent London Bridge? For me, the most impressive part of Europe is its slow-paced life that is perfectly demonstrated by the cute village in Holland, which is named Giethoorn.

This so-called Venice of the North (you might have guessed why it is called ‘Venice’) is located in the municipality of Steenwijkerland, about 5 km southwest of Steenwijk (wikipedia). It has around 180 bridges inside the town and the main vehicles is boat. Yes, boat! It is said in the past, people tried to dig coal from the underneath to trade and gradually formed many canals. The houses here are in unique designs and look like creatures that live in their own way.

Must-try

Ride a boat

Undoubtedly, renting a boat and riding it yourself is the best way to feel this village. You really do not need to know exactly where you want to go. Simply drifting on the canals will make you feel like in a paradise where there is no sorrow and sadness but only sunshine and lush reeds. The average price for renting a boat is around 75 euro per day.

Visit museums

There are various musuems that provide interesting aspects of the village. Museum De Oude Aarde is presenting all kinds of unusual precious stone where you can even buy home. Gloria Maris Schelpengalerie has various sea shells on exhibition. In Museumboerderij’t Olde Maat Uus, you can see the traditional life of local people in the past days.

Cycling

Although the main vehicle is boating, there are side roads reaching to every corner of the village and thus cycling is a good alternative too (As long as you make sure you will not push yourself into the water).

Photo-taking

This is such a serene, quiet and slow-paced village where everything is in its cutest and purest form. Wandering around the village, you will feel the time seem to slow down and every breath is so fresh as if there is something filter out the noises from the outside world. You just cannot stop capturing the wonderful moment using the camera on hand.

Tips

  1. Recommended visit duration is 1-2 days
  2. Don’t trespass and watch out for the sign board if the owner of the house do not allow tourists to enter.
  3. Knowing Dutch will be easier for you to travel.
  4. Official site: http://giethoorntourism.com
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