Wondering about transportation from Amsterdam to Giethoorn? Check all the options in this post and decide how to get to Giethoorn from Amsterdam.
This is a guest post written by Ask The Dutch Guy, your go-to guide when it comes to The Netherlands. The goal of Ask The Dutch Guy is to showcase the beauty of The Netherlands and to inspire others to explore the country. Read more about Ask The Dutch Guy and follow him on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re planning to go to Giethoorn the next time you’re in the Netherlands, you have planned well. Giethoorn is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country, if not the whole of Europe.
Giethoorn is known as the “Venice of Holland”, and that moniker is saying a lot. Located in the province of Overijssel, the historic and highly blissful village of Giethoorn is known for its romantic canals, ancient cottages and bridges, and friendly people. The town is simply magical all year round.
Locals and international travellers make sure Giethoorn is part of their travel itinerary, and so should you. Getting there from Amsterdam is easy and with several options to choose from based on your budget and interests.
FASTEST WAY FROM AMSTERDAM TO GIETHOORN: Private Transfer
CHEAPEST WAY TO GO AMSTERDAM-GIETHOORN: Train + Bus
BEST FOR A DAY TRIP FROM AMSTERDAM TO GIETHOORN: Day Tour
Let’s see how to get to Giethoorn!
Join a Giethoorn Tour from Amsterdam
If you’re looking to spend 2 or more days in the area, I recommend going by public transport or a private transfer. However, if you’re just looking to go on a day trip to Giethoorn, it’s one of those cases where you might want to consider joining a tour. As you’ll see blow, there isn’t a direct transportation option from Amsterdam, so a tour makes the whole experience enjoyable and hassle free.
▶ This day tour to Giethoorn by bus and boat includes transportation from/to Amsterdam and a guided boat tour when in Giethoorn. You’ll also have free time to walk or bike around on your own and for lunch. This is a small group tour limited to max 15 participants, and previous travelers rave about the tour!
There are plenty of tours from Amsterdam to Giethoorn, but this in my opinion is the best option. GetYourGuide is a reputable tour aggregator which offer a 100% refund up until 24 hours before the tour, so you can book with confidence and cancel in case something comes up and you can’t make it.
Book a Private Transfer from Amsterdam to Giethoorn
The most convenient way to get to Giethoorn from Amsterdam is by private car transfer. It’s a door-to-door service, which means very little or no hassle to you at all. The private car will be waiting for you when you arrive at the airport or pick you up from your address in the capital.
Giethoorn is 120 km or an hour-and-a-half away, so it’s essential to get as comfy as possible. Prepare to pay EUR20-40 per person, depending on how many people are with you, but every euro is worth the safe and comfortable ride. Private car transfer companies will give you several vehicles to choose from.
▶ One company that offers this type of transfer is Daytrip. Depending on how many people are in your party, you can choose different types of cars. The most popular vehicle is a sedan (Volkswagen Passat), which is perfect for one to three passengers, with luggage. The vehicles are all air-conditioned, non-smoking, pet-friendly, with a child seat and ready for disabled passengers. (Inform the car company in advance when travelling with children, a person with a disability, or a pet.) You also get a bottle of water for free.
Two other choices are the Volkswagen Touran for four people and a van (Mercedes Vito) when travelling for a group of five to seven people. All cars have been inspected to ensure their safety, comfort, and reliability. You are sure to get a vehicle that is less than 10 years old, insured, and in excellent running condition.
This company only hire English-speaking drivers, and some can speak other languages, too. They are also happy to talk with you during the trip and tell you about local history and culture, and answer any questions you may have.
It’s also convenient that you can cancel your booking a day (24 hours) before departure to get a full refund. You can pay by credit card online, or by cash (in any currency) to your driver. Gratuity is neither included nor required. If you enjoyed your trip, you could show appreciation to your driver (10% is sufficient).
What’s really special when getting a private car transfer is that you can stop at three hot spots along the way. Make the most of your transfer and check out Clara Maria Cheese & Clog Farm, De Haar Castle, and Utrecht.
➤ Clara Maria Cheese & Clog Farm is famous for its traditional wooden clogs and Gouda cheese, the types that you can only see in the Netherlands. You can see how traditional clogs are made using antique machines and even help out in making them. The farm also still uses traditional methods to make Gouda cheese. You can watch first-hand how they put the milk in a large tub and add a mix of herbs and spices.
➤ De Haar Castle, the largest castle in the country, gives you a glimpse into the extravagant lives of the Rothschilds. It was built at the end of the 19th century, and it is filled with extravagant fixings and decorated with valuable antiques.
➤ The historic city of Utrecht is famous for its canal culture. A short stop here will let you see their ingenious canal system, historic shops and cafés, and give you enough time to relax while walking along the canals. You might also want to check out the tallest belfry in the Netherlands, the 14th-century Dom Tower.
From Amsterdam to Giethoorn by Train + Bus
The most common and perhaps most adventure-filled way to go is by train + bus, although it is time-consuming and complicated. Yet, commuting will not only allow you to save some euros along the way, but also get to see how the local folks travel and soak in the raw beauty of the Netherlands. There isn’t a direct train from Amsterdam to Giethoorn, so train+ bus is the way to go.
Travelling anywhere in Europe can more convenient with a Eurail Pass. If you have this, you wouldn’t need to pay for anything or make any seat reservations.
▶ To get from Amsterdam Centraal to Giethoorn, first take a direct train to Steenwijk, or one with a connecting train via Zwolle. Hop in, and enjoy a scenic 90-minute journey. BOOK IT HERE
All trains are operated by NS and the first train leaves Amsterdam Centraal at around 6:00 AM. If you are going for just the day and you wish to make the most of your stay, leave as early as you can. But for people who prefer travelling late, the last train leaves just after midnight. There are several departure times to choose from during the day, with three possible arrival points.
▶ Once you get off in Steenwijk, go to the nearby bus station and take the Bus no. 70 for a 30-minute ride to the Dominee Hylkemaweg stop. From there, the enchanting medieval village is just a 10-minute walk away. Sounds fairly easy, but the entire trip could take more than 2 hours.
From Amsterdam Centraal, another train option is one going to Meppel, and on to Wolvega and Steenwijk. All of these destinations are just a few miles from Giethoorn itself. Of course, to get from Giethoorn to Amsterdam on your way back you’ll have to repeat the same process.
The train fare at the time of writing is 34 euros at the time of writing. You might get some discounts and special offers if you book your trips early or online, perhaps a few months before the planned departure date.
The cheapest train is the one going to Meppel one-way at 8:35 AM, 9:45 AM and 10:38 AM. Booking a ticket in advance also allows you to avoid traveling at rush hour.
A friendly warning when you reach the Steenwijk train station, if you get offered a boat + bus ticket for EUR15, don’t bite. One-way bus ticket is only 4 euros, and you can pay directly to the driver. You can easily rent a boat when you get to Giethoorn.
⚠️ There isn’t any direct Amsterdam to Giethoorn bus, so I recommend the train + bus option.
Rent a Car in Amsterdam
If you feel comfortable with that, there is always the option to rent a car and get from Amsterdam to Giethoorn by car.
The distance from Amsterdam to Giethoorn is approximately 120 km, and it should not take you more than 2 hours to get there. The drive will definitely be scenic and unforgettable, as the Netherlands is known for its natural beauty, and roads are always great in the Netherlands. Leave early to avoid traffic when you travel to Giethoorn.
▶ The best option for renting a car from Amsterdam to Giethoorn is to book in advance online. I usually use Rentalcars to compare prices. COMPARE PRICES HERE or check down here.
Oh, by the way, you can’t drive yourself into the village, as Giethoorn is known for being car-free, peaceful, and pollution-free. There is a specified parking area for your car just outside the village.
Things To Do in Giethoorn
And finally you made it! Welcome to one of the loveliest places in Europe. There isn’t much to do here, actually, but that is exactly the type of attraction this village offers. It will take you away from the usual city and tourism grind and take you to a special place of peace, quiet, and tranquillity. The village is so quiet that the local boats are called “whisper” boats for the sounds they make (or not make).
In Giethoorn, prepare to take leisure hikes, bicycle rides, and boat rides around the village and canals. Make sure to see Bovenwijde (one of the lakes in Giethoorn) and other lovely lakes and rivers. Walk around the ancient walkways and wooden bridges, and discover hidden cottages that are actually shops or cafés.
Also, visit Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus and Museum de Oude Aarde to know more about how the locals live. Museum Giethoorn ’t Olde Maat Uus is highly recommended.
Don’t rush driving or commuting back to Amsterdam or on to your next Dutch destination. There are several hotels to relax and stay in the village, and plenty of restaurants to try out when you visit Giethoorn. There are also quite a few B&Bs, guesthouses and hostels in and around the village, so if you have time make it a longer trip!
How To Reach Giethoorn from Amsterdam – FAQ
You can, but it will be expensive. It might be more convenient to book a private transfer in advance.
You can, but there are no direct buses from Amsterdam to Giethoorn village. I highly suggest taking the train to Steenwijk, and the bus to Giethoorn from there.
The closest airport to Giethoorn is Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ), although most international flights arrive to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.
Take the train from Schipol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station. From here, you can get from Amsterdam to Giethoorn by public transport (train + bus). Otherwise, for a hassle free experience, you can book a direct transfer from the airport.