There Are Almost No Roads in Giethoorn, Holland, Just Waterways

Bert Knot via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
Bert Knot via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0 /

Bert Knot via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0


Venice may be the world’s most famous canal city, but it’s not the only one. Giethoorn, a town of 2600 people in the Netherlands, has almost no roads. Holland’s “Little Venice” only has canals, according to Travel + Leisure.

PhotoBobil via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Amsterdam may boast dozens of miles of canals, too, but most of the quaint village of Giethoorn, by contrast, is almost only accessible by boat. The town was built by harvesters of peat, a fertile mixture of decaying vegetation found in bogs, and as they dug out the peat, lakes and ponds formed. Thatch houses were built up on the islands between them, and residents could only traverse the town by narrow boats called punters.

You can get around by walking across the 170-plus bridges between the islands, but the best way to see the town is still by punter. You can rent boats and canoes for as little as $8 an hour.

Giethoorn is now a major tourist destination for travelers from Asia—it receives around 200,000 Chinese tourists a year. And now that Giethoorn has a spot on the new international edition of Monopoly, it might be poised for an even bigger tourism boom.

CrazyFunk via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

[h/t Travel + Leisure]