The beautiful village of Giethoorn, in the Netherlands, is often called the “Venice of the North” because of its waterways and bridges, with no streets.

In addition to its natural beauty, Giethoorn is also home to several historical buildings and museums. You might already know this since you love the village as much as I do.

That’s why you want to explore other places like Giethoorn in Netherlands.

From quaint fishing villages in the north to colorful cities in the south, these alternatives to Giethoorn will make you fall in love with the Netherlands.

21 Similar Idyllic Villages and Places Like Giethoorn in Netherlands

The criteria for choosing these places similar to Giethoorn are their striking beauty, waterways, and natural scenery. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

1/ Haarlem

If you’re looking for an alternative to Giethoorn, Haarlem is definitely worth visiting. This historical city is located in the west of the Netherlands and is known for its beautiful beaches. 

The city center is also worth exploring, with its quaint shops and cafes. Be sure to check out the Frans Hals Museum, which houses an extensive collection of works by the Dutch master.

These are the things to do in Haarlem:

  • Explore the city center
  • Visit the Frans Hals Museum
  • Check out the beautiful beaches
  • Go on a canal cruise
  • Visit the Corrie Ten Boom House Museum

And if you’re a fan of classical music, then you won’t want to miss a performance by the world-famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

2/ Groningen

Groningen is a city in the Netherlands that is similar to Giethoorn. It’s a lovely city. The canals, the trees, and the people make it a great place to visit in the Netherlands. 

You can explore the city by taking a boat tour of the canals or take a walk through its quaint streets and admire the architecture.

These are the things to do in Groningen :

  • Explore the canals and bridges of the city
  • Visit the famous Groninger Museum
  • Take a ride on the museum’s tram
  • Climb to the top of Martini Tower for beautiful views of the city
  • Explore one of Europe’s oldest universities – The University of Groningen

Groningen has a long history, and there are many things to see and do. If you like Giethoorn, you will love Groningen.

3/ Heusden

Heusden is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands. It’s located on the left bank of the Afgedamde Maas, northeast of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The initiative for building a dam in this place was taken in 1380 by the Duke of Bouillon. When Spain overran part of the Netherlands in 1579, Augustine hackers constructed heavily fortified fortifications around Heusden.

Despite its complex history and continued growth, today, Heusden remains similar in many ways to its early days as a sleepy fishing village. With its canals and bridges, Heusden is often compared to Giethoorn, and it is easy to see why.

These are the things to do in Heusden :

  • Walk around the old fortifications and admire the town walls
  • Visit the Bourtange Fortress Museum and Heusden Open Air Museum
  • Take a boat tour on one of Heusden’s canals
  • Try some of the local specialties in the restaurants and cafes
  • Shop for unique items at one of Heusden’s markets

Heusden is a great place to visit if you want to experience the historic charm of Giethoorn without leaving the Netherlands.

These days, Heusden is a popular tourist destination, and for many visitors, it is the best choice for exploring the southern Netherlands.

4/ Valkenburg

Valkenburg is a small town in the southern Netherlands that is best known for its picturesque setting and its many tourist attractions.

One of the most popular things to do in Valkenburg is to take a boat ride through the canals, which have been likened to those of Venice. And that’s why I have added Valkenburg as one of the best places like Giethoorn in the Netherlands.

The town has many castles and fortifications, making it a popular spot for history buffs. But what sets Valkenburg apart from other Dutch towns is its location, nestled among hills and forests.

These are the things to do in Valkenburg:

  • Explore the medieval castles and fortifications
  • Enjoy a boat ride through the canals
  • Visit the old City Hall and Clock Tower
  • Shop at one of its many markets
  • Take a stroll through its parks and gardens

If you’re looking for a charming European village to explore, Valkenburg should be on your list.

5/ Naarden

Naarden is a municipality and a historic town in the Gooi region in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands.

Naarden is now best known for its medieval walled fortifications, which have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it also has several other notable features, including its quaint canals and traditional Dutch windmills.

These are the things to do in Naarden:

  • Explore the old fortifications and the beautiful canals
  • Visit the old town hall and its clock tower
  • Take a stroll through the Vestingmuseum (Fortress Museum)
  • Shop at one of its many markets
  • Visit the nearby Zuiderzee Museum

However, Naarden predates Giethoorn by centuries, and its history is much richer and more complex. As a result, Naarden is well worth a visit for anyone interested in Dutch history and culture.

6/ The Hague

The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and the country’s administrative capital. Often referred to as ‘Den Haag’ in Dutch, The Hague offers some important cultural and political institutions.

  • Dutch Supreme Court.
  • International Criminal Court.
  • International Court of Justice.

The Hague also has many parks, beaches, and beautiful buildings. 

The Hague and Giethoorn share many similarities. Both cities are built on bodies of water and have a long history of trade and commerce. And they are popular tourist destinations for those looking to experience Dutch culture.

These are the things to do in The Hague:

  • Visit one of the many museums and galleries
  • Stroll through Noordeinde Palace and the Binnenhof
  • Explore the beautiful gardens at Clingendael Park
  • Shop in The Hague’s many markets and boutiques
  • Take a boat tour through the city’s canals and waterways

The Hague is a wonderful city to explore and the perfect place to experience the best of Dutch culture.

7/ Domburg

Domburg is a beautiful seaside town located on the northwest coast of the Netherlands. The town is popular with tourists for its stunning beaches, quaint cafes, and lively market square. 

Visitors can also explore the town’s many historical monuments, including the 13th-century Domburg Castle. While the town is small, there is plenty to see and do, making it an ideal destination for a day trip or a longer holiday.

These are the things to do in Domburg :

  • Visit the lovely beaches and take a dip in the sea
  • Explore the historical monuments, such as Domburg Castle
  • Take a walk through the town and admire its quaint architecture
  • Shop at one of the many markets and boutiques
  • Visit the nearby Port of Oosterschelde

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore Dutch culture, Domburg is an attractive option for any traveler.

8/ Den Bosch

Den Bosch (aka s-Hertogenbosch) is a city in the Netherlands that is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the North.”

Den Bosch is built on a network of canals, making it one of the best places like Geithoorn. Travelers can explore the city by boat. Den Bosch also has many historic churches and museums, making it a popular tourist destination.

However, there are some significant differences between Den Bosch and Geithoorn. Den Bosch has a larger population and is much more urbanized, making it ideal for those looking to explore a city with a vibrant atmosphere.

These are the things to do in Den Bosch:

  • Explore St. John’s Cathedral and its historic interior
  • Visit the Noordbrabants Museum
  • Take a boat tour on one of Den Bosch’s canals
  • Visit the Begijnhof and marvel at its history
  • Shop in one of the many markets and boutiques

Without a doubt, Den Bosch is an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore Dutch culture and history.

9/ Gouda

Gouda is a small city in the Netherlands famous for its cheese.

However, Gouda has much more to offer than just cheese. The city has several historical monuments, including the 15th-century Sint Janskerk, as well as a variety of quaint cafes and boutiques.

Gouda is also located close to the city of Rotterdam, making it a great destination for those looking to combine city life with the tranquility of a small town.

These are the things to do in Gouda :

  • Visit the Sint Janskerk and marvel at its historic architecture
  • Explore the cheese markets and sample some of the local cheese
  • Visit one of Gouda’s many museums, such as the Waag
  • Take a walk through the city and admire its picturesque buildings
  • Shop in one of the many boutiques and markets

Whether you’re looking to sample some cheese or explore Dutch culture, Gouda is an excellent destination for any traveler.

10/ Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a large port city in the Netherlands. The city is known for its architecture, museums, and nightlife.

Rotterdam has many iconic landmarks, including the Erasmus bridge and the Cube Houses. The city also has many parks and open spaces, making it ideal for those exploring the outdoors.

Both Giethoorn and Rotterdam are popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands. Giethoorn is more rural and tranquil, while Rotterdam is more cosmopolitan and lively.

These are the things to do in Rotterdam :

  • Explore the Erasmus Bridge
  • Visit one of Rotterdam’s many museums, such as the Maritime Museum
  • Take a walk through one of Rotterdam’s parks or gardens
  • Visit one of the many restaurants or bars

Whether looking for a tranquil escape or an exciting urban adventure, Rotterdam is an ideal destination for any traveler.

11/ Delft

Delft is a city in the Netherlands known for its canals and tulips.

The city has many historic buildings, such as the Old Church and the New Church. The city also has a variety of museums, making it an ideal destination for those looking to explore Dutch culture.

Like Giethoorn, Delft is a popular tourist destination for its quaint charm. The city is home to the Royal Palace of Pinakothek, which was once the residence of Dutch royalty.

Visitors can also tour the Delft Pottery Factory, where the famous blue and white ceramicware is made.

These are the things to do in Delft :

  • Explore the Old Church and New Church
  • Visit the Royal Palace of Pinakothek
  • Tour the Delft Pottery Factory
  • Take a walk through one of Delft’s many parks and gardens
  • Sample some of the local cuisines

Whether you’re interested in history or art, Delft has something to offer everyone.

12/ Maastricht

Maastricht is a lively university town located in the southernmost province of Limburg.

Although its more famous neighbor, Brussels, often overshadows it, Maastricht is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer visitors.

Maastricht is an ideal destination for those looking to experience the best of Dutch culture, from its grand Old Town square to its lively nightlife scene.

These are the things to do in Maastricht :

  • Explore the Old Town Square and its historic buildings
  • Visit one of Maastricht’s many museums and galleries
  • Take a stroll through the city’s parks and gardens
  • Sample some of the local cuisines
  • Experience the city’s vibrant nightlife scene

However, if you’re looking for a more modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Maastricht is the city for you.

13/ Utrecht

Utrecht is a Dutch city located in the middle of the country. It’s about an hour east of Amsterdam, similar to Giethoorn in that it has canals running through the city.

However, Utrecht is much larger than Giethoorn, and it’s a popular destination for visitors who flock to the city to see the canals and enjoy Dutch culture.

Utrecht also has a large university, which adds to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

These are the things to do in Utrecht :

  • Explore the city’s canals and bridges
  • Visit one of Utrecht’s many museums and galleries
  • Take a walk through one of the city’s parks and gardens
  • Shop at one of the many boutiques and markets
  • Experience the city’s lively nightlife scene

It’s a great place to visit if you want an authentic Dutch experience.

14/ Zwolle

If you’re looking for an alternative to Giethoorn, consider Zwolle.

This attractive spot is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands and is known for its canals, windmills, and museums.

There’s plenty to see and do in Zwolle, and the city is a great place to relax and enjoy the Dutch countryside.

These are the things to do in Zwolle :

  • Explore the city’s canals and windmills
  • Visit one of Zwolle’s many museums and galleries
  • Take a walk through one of the city’s parks and gardens
  • Shop at one of the many boutiques and markets
  • Sample some of the local cuisines

While Zwolle may not be as well-known as Giethoorn, it’s worth a visit if you’re looking for a different kind of Dutch experience.

15/ Zaanse Schans

If you’re looking for a charming and historical Dutch town, add Zaanse Schans to your list.

This small town is similar to Giethoorn in that it’s built on a network of canals, with quaint houses lining the waterways.

 Zaanse Schans

However, Zaanse Schans is perhaps even more picturesque, with its traditional windmills and wooden clogs.

You can learn about the town’s history at one of the museums or simply enjoy a stroll along the canals.

These are the things to do in Zaanse Schans :

  • Explore the traditional windmills and wooden clogs
  • Visit one of the museums
  • Take a stroll along the canals
  • Shop at one of the many boutiques
  • Visit a clog maker’s workshop

You will fall in love with this charming Dutch town.

16/ Appingedam

If you’re looking for a must-go place in the Netherlands, look no further than Appingedam.

This small town is located in the province of Groningen, in the country’s north.

Although it’s not as well-known as Giethoorn, Appingedam is just as charming and picturesque. The town is built on a network of canals, and its houses are lined with colorful flower boxes.

These are the things to do in Appingedam :

  • Explore the quaint canals and bridges
  • Visit one of the town’s many museums and galleries
  • Take a walk through one of the town’s parks and gardens
  • Shop at one of the boutiques and markets
  • Experience the local cuisine

With its peaceful atmosphere and stunning scenery, Appingedam is the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

17/ Harlingen

If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful place to visit, you’ll want to add Harlingen to your list.

This town in the Netherlands is often compared to Giethoorn, and it’s easy to see why.

However, Harlingen has a unique charm that makes it worth a visit. The town has various shops, restaurants, museums, and art galleries.

These are the things to do in Harlingen :

  • Explore the town’s canals and bridges
  • Visit one of the shops or restaurants
  • Take a walk through one of the parks and gardens
  • Experience the local culture
  • Enjoy a boat tour on one of the canals

Whether you’re looking for history, culture, or just a chance to relax, Harlingen is a must-visit town.

18/ Lisse

Lisse offers some of the most beautiful tulip fields in the country. Every spring, the fields burst into bloom, creating a sea of vibrant colors that are truly breathtaking.

Visitors from all over the world come to see the tulips, and many consider Lisse to be a must-visit place.

These are the things to do in Lisse :

  • Explore the many shops and markets in town
  • Go on a boat tour of the canals
  • Stroll through one of the city’s parks and gardens
  • Experience the local culture
  • Take a bicycle tour through the countryside

Whether you’re interested in flowers or want to explore a charming Dutch town, Lisse is sure to delight you.

19/ Volendam

Volendam, a small town located in the Netherlands, is definitely worth your time if you find yourself in the area.

For one thing, it is home to some of the best Dutch cheese that you will ever taste. The local cheese market is open daily, and there are plenty of opportunities to sample the wares.

Furthermore, Volendam offers a lively fishing industry, and you can watch the boats come in with their catch or even take a boat out yourself. Finally, the town has a rich history and culture reflected in its architecture and museums.

These are the things to do in Volendam:

  • Sample the local cheese at the market
  • Watch the boats come in with their catch
  • Stroll through one of the town’s parks and gardens
  • Visit one of the museums or galleries
  • Take a boat tour along the canals

Whether you’re looking for a delicious meal or a fascinating glimpse into the past, Volendam is sure to please.

20/ Ommen

Ommen is a beautiful town located in the Netherlands. It is situated in the province of Overijssel and is known for its picturesque buildings and lively market square.

Visitors to Ommen can explore the town’s historic center, home to several well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The town’s market square is also a popular spot for shoppers as well. 

These are the things to do in Ommen :

  • Explore the town’s historic center and buildings
  • Shop at one of the markets or boutiques
  • Experience the local culture
  • Go on a bicycle tour through the countryside
  • Visit one of the museums or galleries

Ommen offers you traditional Dutch culture to experience, making it one of the best alternatives to Giethoorn in the Netherlands.

21/ Muiden

Muiden is a small town located in the province of Overijssel, Netherlands. Muiden is often compared to Geithoorn for its canals and bridges. But it has a few advantages over its more famous counterpart.

First, Muiden is much smaller and less crowded, making it a more relaxed and enjoyable place to visit. Second, it’s located closer to Amsterdam, making it an ideal day trip from the city. And finally, it’s home to Muiden Castle, one of the most impressive castles in the Netherlands.

These are things to do in Muiden:

  • Visit Muiden Castle and explore its rich history.
  • Take a boat tour of the Vecht river, which runs through the city center.
  • Cycle around the town to take in its picture-perfect views.
  • Explore the canals and windmills of Naardermeer Nature Reserve.
  • Visit the Atmospheric Mill, which was built in 1785.

Which of these towns and places like Giethoorn in Netherlands are you going to visit? I would love to hear from you in the comments section, as I always respond to your feedback and questions!

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