Always wanted to know what opportunities you have when Giethoorn visits is on the agenda? Good news: in this article we have listed the many possibilities for a successful trip to the Venice of the North. The village is accessible by car, but in the centre of Giethoorn you can not drive by car. Public transport – bus, train – to Giethoorn is perfectly arranged and there are also some other options and combinations. Read along and then you can start planning your day to Giethoorn.

By car to Giethoorn

If you come by car to Giethoorn, it is important to know where you can and should park. The nice news is that parking in Giethoorn is free almost everywhere. We’ll walk you through the possibilities.

Car parking in Giethoorn

In the centre of Giethoorn you can walk, cycle and sail alone. If you come by car, you can park it in various parking spaces on the outside of the city centre village. The number of parking spaces is more than enough, but large parking garages that you will find in Amsterdam and other major cities, for example, are missing.

Parking in Giethoorn can be done in the public parking lots and in parking spaces at hotels, restaurants, boat rentals and tour companies, this is free at almost all of them. There are also some paid areas where you can stand for a whole day for a couple of euros.

P-Route parking spaces

In Giethoorn we have a clear P-Route system. And actually the great thing is that wherever you choose to park within this P-Route you are almost always within a 5 minute walk of a restaurant, supermarket, cruise company or boat rental. The different zones are divided into colors (green, red and yellow). Giethoorn is a long village built to the main vein of the village, the village moat. All companies are located on this village canal and branches. And with these companies you will find all the parking spaces. Seen from a southbound direction, P-route is red (centre-south), P-Route green (centre-centre) and P-Route yellow (center-north) Each parking lot has its own color and number combination, so every parking lot (company) is easy to find.

parking lot in giethoorn by car

Parking at the supermarket

In the center of Giethoorn is the Plus supermarket Ter Schure. At this supermarket there is a spacious parking lot where you can park your car to visit the super market. But adjacent to the supermarket is a large tourist parking lot (Green P1) for visitors to our village. If you want to visit our village and first stock up, this is the ideal place to park your car.

Parking at companies

Many catering companies such as restaurants, boat rentals and hotels in Giethoorn have their own car parks for their customers. Usually you can park there for free and stand for a longer period of time. This is ideal if you want to eat extensively or rent a boat in Giethoorn.

Parking at an accommodation

If you book an overnight stay at a hotel, b&b, guest house or holiday home in Giethoorn, you often have your own parking space. In most cases, these parking spaces are exclusively intended for visitors. Then you are always insured for a parking space in Giethoorn.

Always inform how parking is arranged when booking an overnight stay or accommodation and whether there are any costs involved. Usually a parking space is included when renting the property or hotel room. If you book via a booking website such as or Agoda, the booking information often mentions whether this is inclusive parking or not.

Parking at a restaurant

A number of restaurants in Giethoorn have their own parking park or parking spaces. You can use this for free if you book a table there. Often you can stand there for a longer period of time. So if you want to see the village or rent a boat, such a parking space is the perfect place to start your day of Giethoorn.

Restaurants in Giethoorn

No expensive parking tickets, that saves a lot. You can spend that money saved on dinner! I’m sure you’d like to pick out a restaurant? An overview of restaurants in Giethoorn can be found here.

At most restaurants you can indicate during the booking that you want to reserve a parking space. If this is not the case, you can still give this trough by phone or mail after you made the booking. Booking a ‘general’ parking space in Giethoorn in advance is not possible.

By train to Giethoorn

First, it is good to know that there is no train station in Giethoorn. The nearest NS train station is Steenwijk, followed by Meppel. You can also come to Giethoorn from Zwolle station. Depending on the period, a train stops in Steenwijk or Meppel two to four times an hour.

by train to Giethoorn

How to get from Steenwijk to Giethoorn

From the stations you can come in Giethoorn in different ways. From the NS station Steenwijk you can take the bus to Giethoorn. You can also take a taxi or rent a bike at the train station. This can be done both in Steenwijk and in Meppel. After this we will tell you a little more about the different travel options from the stations.

By bike from Steenwijk to Giethoorn

From Steenwijk it is about 8 kilometers to the center of Giethoorn. At the station of Steenwijk there is a bicycle rental. There you can rent an (electric) bike for a day or more. It is a nice bike ride from Steenwijk to Giethoorn. The road is flat, so also on a regular bike with gears this is fine to do.

By taxi from Steenwijk to Giethoorn

You can also choose to take a taxi from the Station. When you come off the train platform, you’ll see the taxi rank on the right hand. You can recognize a taxi by a blue license plate. Often there is a taxi ready. If not, you can contact the taxi station via the column and order a taxi to Giethoorn.

taxi to Giethoorn

By bus from Steenwijk to Giethoorn

If you go by bus from Steenwijk to Giethoorn, there are two options.

  • You can take bus line 70 towards Zwolle/Genne. Bus line 70 runs once to twice an hour throughout the year.

  • There is also an extra bus to Giethoorn, this is line 270: the Giethoorn Express. This runs twice an hour all summer and also on holidays such as Ascension Day and Pentecost. This line drives a faster route to Giethoorn.

In both cases, it is best to get off at the Hylkemaweg-Giethoorn Centre stop or stop Hollands Venice. From there it is only a few hundred meters walk to the village centre.

How to get from Meppel to Giethoorn

By bus from Meppel to Giethoorn

From Meppel to Giethoorn there is no direct bus connection. So don’t get out in Meppel, if you want to take the bus to Giethoorn. Travel to Steenwijk, and take the bus to Giethoorn.

By bike from Meppel to Giethoorn

At Meppel station you can rent a bike at the bicycle shop. The bike ride to Giethoorn is a nice ride of about 9.5 kilometers. The route is flat, so is basically very good to do with a bike with gears. There are several routespossible. One of them is ‘indoor’ through the farmlands and through the village of Wanneperveen. Cycling through this elongated village you can see beautiful farms along the way and here you can also make a stopover.

Other places

Giethoorn is easy to travel from the major cities in the Netherlands and abroad. To give you a good idea, we have described this for a couple of cities.

How to get from Amsterdam to Giethoorn

Trains regularly depart at Amsterdam Central station to Steenwijk. You can catch the intercity train to Almere and switch to the intercity to Leeuwarden or take the intercity directly towards Leeuwarden. The travel time is about an hour and a half to Steenwijk station. There you can take the bus(line 70 or line 270)to Giethoorn.

Visa versa is of course also possible. How to get to Amsterdam from Giethoorn? You are the first to take the bus (bus line 70 or bus line 270) to Steenwijk. In Steenwijk you take the train and you can get off in Amsterdam an hour and a half later.

How to get from Rotterdam to Giethoorn

In more than two hours, the train takes you from Rotterdam Central to Steenwijk station. At Rotterdam Central you will take the intercity towards Groningen and in Zwolle you will switch to the train towards Leeuwarden. It also stops in Steenwijk. At Steenwijk station you will then board the bus(line 70 or line 270)to Giethoorn.

How to get from The Hague to Giethoorn

At The Hague Central you can get directly into the intercity towards Leeuwarden. This stops more than two hours later in Steenwijk. From Steenwijk you grab the bus(line 70 or line 270)to Giethoorn.

How to get from London to Giethoorn

From London you can fly from various airports to Groningen (Eelde Airport) or Schiphol. The flight duration about an hour and 15 minutes. From Groningen Central you can travel with the intercity towards Zwolle. An hour and 15 minutes later you are at Steenwijk station. There you can catch the bus(line 70 or line 270)to Giethoorn.

From Schiphol you will also be at Steenwijk station in about an hour and 15 minutes. You take the intercity towards Leeuwarden at Schiphol and get out in Steenwijk. There you take the bus to Giethoorn(line 70 or line 270).

Our travel advice for a day Of Giethoorn

If you only come to visit Giethoorn for one day, the combination of train bus is the easiest and also the most advantageous option. By train to Steenwijk and then by bus to Giethoorn(line 270:the Giethoorn Express or line 70).

Not such a fan of the bus? Then the taxi is a good option.

We hope that with this information you will know how to get into our beautiful village. If you are looking for more inspiration, we recommend that you read this article.

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