Things to do in
Overijssel

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Our most recommended things to do in Overijssel

From Amsterdam: Giethoorn & Enclosing Dike Full-Day Tour

1. From Amsterdam: Giethoorn & Enclosing Dike Full-Day Tour

Climb aboard an air-conditioned coach and travel through a typical Dutch landscape for 1.5 hours en route to the picturesque town of Giethoorn. Experience how the Dutch people live with, and on, the water upon arrival, and set off to explore on foot and by boat. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a town where cars are forbidden and little has changed over the centuries. Admire the many types of boats in the town, from gondolas to punters and flat-bottom vessels used as transportation on the canals. Cruise past the skillfully restored farmhouses on a 1-hour boat trip, and get some free time for lunch and to explore on your own. Get tips from your guide on what to see and where to eat. The tour will continue to the Enclosing Dike (Afsluitdijk), the 32-kilometer dike connecting the provinces of North Holland and Friesland. The Netherlands is famed the world over for the way it deals with water management. The Afsluitdijk, built to tame what was formerly the Zuiderzee (now the Ijsselmeer lake) is a prime example of Dutch water prowess.

From Amsterdam: Giethoorn & Zaanse Schans Day Tour with Boat

2. From Amsterdam: Giethoorn & Zaanse Schans Day Tour with Boat

Your experience begins as your guide meets you near Amsterdam's Central Station, from where you travel to the typical Dutch windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum complete with a cheese farm, clog factory, diamond museum, bakery museum, and Kuiperij, where barrels were made to transport goods, green timber houses, traditional crafts, and windmills. Next, head to the unique Dutch village of Giethoorn, heading further north out of Amsterdam. As you travel, listen to learn about the history and significant elements in the Giethoorn region. The journey will take roughly 2 hours, with a break included to ensure a pleasant journey. Giethoorn is beautiful in all seasons and contains a simple beauty that hardly seems real. Discover this as you glide gently through its small canals, passing old but pretty thatched-roof farmhouses. Your captain will serve as a guide throughout this 1-hour boat trip around town. Get to know everything about Giethoorn, with extra time after your boat trip to walk or bike along a narrow footpath, or to learn how to operate the ''whisper boat'', an electric-motor boat. In the evening, arrive back in Amsterdam's center with the rest of your night to look forward to.

Amsterdam: Giethoorn, Volendam, and Zaanse Schans Tour

3. Amsterdam: Giethoorn, Volendam, and Zaanse Schans Tour

You will begin with to a trip to the enchanting village of Giethoorn in the north of the Netherlands for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Known as the “Venice of North”, the village is notable for its many canals and complete lack of roads. You will explore this fairy tale village, where less than 3,000 people live, throughout a 1-hour guided boat tour. Explore the preserved village on foot, and see how each farmhouse is built on a small man-made island. Wander the narrow footpaths to discover hundreds of bridges, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village. Your trip will continue to the village of Volendam, where you can admire brightly painted wooden houses and see locals wearing their colorful regional attire. Your guide will take you on a short walk through the Volendam harbor, which has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in the village since 1875. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts for those at home or for yourself, and to have photos taken in traditional Dutch costume in one of many photo studios of the village. Your last destination is to explore the most picturesque traditional 17th-century Zaanse Schans village which contains houses and a collection of beautifully preserved windmills from the nation’s industrial heritage. In Zaanse Schans village you can stroll past the charming greenhouses and visit a factory where the clogs popular in this part of the country are made. There’s also nothing more Dutch than cheese, and whilst there you can try some at the Catharina Hoeve Farm where you will also learn about its production.

From Amsterdam: Giethoorn Day Trip by Bus and Electric Boat

4. From Amsterdam: Giethoorn Day Trip by Bus and Electric Boat

Explore Giethoorn on a guided day tour from Amsterdam by bus and electric boat. Admire the charming canals and traditional homes as you cruise along the water. Wander along the narrow footpaths and bridges and get a sense of local life as you explore. Depart Amsterdam and travel to the enchanting village of Giethoorn in the north of the Netherlands. Explore a village notable for its many canals and complete lack of roads. Upon arrival, explore the fairy-tale village, where only 2,700 people live, on a 1-hour guided boat tour in English. Experience the idyllic scenery from a unique perspective on a leisurely trip through the canals. Watch people punt the traditional flat-bottom boats over the canals as you go. Although most transport in the village is by water, there is also now a cycling path. So, after your boat tour, explore the beautifully preserved village by bike or on foot. See how each farmhouse is built on a small man-made island. Wander the narrow footpaths to discover more than 180 bridges, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village. 

Giethoorn Sightseeing Tour from Amsterdam

5. Giethoorn Sightseeing Tour from Amsterdam

After being picked up from Amsterdam in a luxury Mercedes sedan or minivan by a professional driver, travel to one of the most beautiful villages in Holland, Giethoorn. Take a lovely canal cruise through the village, known as the Dutch Venice. The elongated village is located in one of the largest areas of continuous fenland in northern Europe. The village is an excellent starting point to make a canoe trip through the area and there are a number of special museums and art galleries to discover.  After exploring Giethoorn, you are transferred back to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam: Keukenhof Tulip Garden and Giethoorn Experience

6. Amsterdam: Keukenhof Tulip Garden and Giethoorn Experience

Explore the extraordinary phenomenon of Keukenhof from up close. Keukenhof is a place to enjoy millions of flowering tulips, daffodils, and other bulb flowers in the spring. This beautiful spring garden offers a unique scent and color experience, over 20 spectacular flower shows, surprising inspirational gardens, and exciting events. Surrounding Keukenhof lie the famous bulb fields. Take in spectacular views of some of the bulb fields from the windmill, with a visit to Keukenhof guaranteeing beautiful photographs. There are activities for all ages, allowing you to stimulate your senses as you smell, taste, listen, and enjoy. Keukenhof is a treat for the whole family with children being able to enjoy themselves in the playground, pet the animals in the petting zoo, and go on a scavenger hunt. Your tour will continue to visit the enchanting village of Giethoorn in the north of the Netherlands for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Known as the “Venice of North”, the village is notable for its many canals and complete lack of roads. Explore the fairy tale village, where less than 3,000 people live, on a 1-hour guided boat tour. Experience the scenery on a leisurely trip through the canals. Explore the preserved village on foot, and see how each farmhouse is built on a small man-made island. Wander the narrow footpaths to discover hundreds of bridges, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village.

Private Tour to the Zaanse Schans Windmills and Giethoorn

7. Private Tour to the Zaanse Schans Windmills and Giethoorn

Start your tour with a convenient, pickup service from your accommodation. After being picked up from Amsterdam in a luxury Mercedes sedan or minivan by a professional driver, travel to one of the most beautiful villages in Holland, Giethoorn. Take a lovely canal cruise through the village, known as the Dutch Venice. The elongated village is located in one of the largest areas of continuous fenland in northern Europe. The village is an excellent starting point to make a canoe trip through the area and there are a number of special museums and art galleries to discover.  After exploring Giethoorn, you will visit the Zaanse Schans. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh bread, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. You should be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry, and the various windmills. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns, and workshops. Enjoy a cycling or sailing trip, browse the shops, or treat yourself at the pancake restaurant. After the windmills, you will visit Volendam, a small fishing village with 22000 citizens. Walk along the beautiful harbor and marvel at the typical Volendam shops before enjoying lunch at one of the best seafood restaurants in Holland (at own expense). Depending on the amount of time remaining, you can take a boat trip with the Volendam-Marken express. For over 80-years the Volendam-Marken Express has operated a ferry service between Volendam and Marken. The boats sail all year round and every year thousands of travelers use the ferry to enjoy a relaxed trip on the water and to visit the historic towns and harbors of Volendam and Marken. After a day full of adventure and excitement, your driver will return you back to your accommodation for an evening of well-deserved rest.

From Amsterdam: Private Sightseeing Tour to Giethoorn

8. From Amsterdam: Private Sightseeing Tour to Giethoorn

Explore Giethoorn, called the “Little Venice of the Netherlands”, on this 7-hour private sightseeing tour. Begin with a convenient pickup at your hotel in Amsterdam and head to Giethoorn, a village in the north of the country.  This town is full of thatched-roof farms that are connected by more than 170 wooden bridges. Explore this unique townscape either by sailing a boat yourself or joining a canal cruise. On the water, your guide will share information about the history and culture of Giethoorn. After taking in the sights, you can take a seat in one of the town’s many restaurants for lunch.

Small Group Full Day Trip to Giethoorn

9. Small Group Full Day Trip to Giethoorn

Meet your guide/driver before heading in a comfortable, air-conditioned luxurious minivan to your first destination in about 90 minutes. The journey takes you goes through the typical flat Dutch ‘polder’ landscape. Polder is land that has been reclaimed from the sea, and most of the land you drive through today was a sea until the 1950s. Giethoorn is definitely one of the most picturesque villages in the Netherlands. The town has been one of the country's most popular tourist villages and is nicknamed the Dutch Venice. Just like Venice, Giethoorn has many canals and the only way to get around town is by boat or walking.  After a short walking tour of the village, you will have leisure time to discover the village on your own. Your driver/guide will reveal the city’s unique character, and give you insider’s tips about great local restaurants, shops, attractions, activities and more. End of the afternoon being driven back to Amsterdam.

Giethoorn: Private Day Trip with Boat Tour from Amsterdam

10. Giethoorn: Private Day Trip with Boat Tour from Amsterdam

Start this tour from your hotel or any other desired location where you will be picked up by your personal guide and driver. From here, drive to the picturesque town of Giethoorn. You will embark on a private walking tour of Giethoorn where you will be shown all the sights. Explore the beautiful Dutch countryside and its many waterways and small farmhouses. After your private walking tour, set sail on a 1-hour boat tour of Giethoorn. This way you will be able to authentically explore the village as the only way to get around the center is by boat. Following your boat tour you will have the option to have some free time to explore the village yourself, take some pictures and visit the many small shops. Since it is a private tour the guide is very flexible and will customize the tour to your needs. After the visit of Giethoorn the guide will bring you back to your hotel in Amsterdam.

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What people are saying about Overijssel

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 932 reviews

The day trip is highly recommended. A visit to Zaanse Schans allows you to visit a clog maker, a cheese factory (+ tasting different types of cheese) and visit beautiful windmills :) The restaurant targeted for lunch is not cheap, but really everything there looked very good and tasted great! Giethoorn is beautiful and incomparable when the weather is nice. Unfortunately we were there at a bad time. Tulip season is between March and May and late summer is also very flowery and colourful. The canal trip is great and Cherry (tour guide) also showed us pictures from other seasons and described it really vividly. In winter the canals can be frozen, sometimes the canal tour is replaced by ice skating in Giethoorn. Looked very interesting and unique at least in the pictures!

We had a great day. Giethoon was very crowded so I would try to go on a weekday if possible. There was not enough participation for what we booked so they upgraded us to a stop at the windmills, cheese tasting and clog making demo also. It was well worth the extra time. There is a 1.5 hour ride to Giethoon from Amsterdam so be prepared for that. They went above and beyond for us to make another appointment and we really appreciated the assistance. Great tour company!

Really full day. Zaans Shans: Enjoyed clog making, cheese making and tasting, and exploring the working windmill to crush materials to make paint pigments. One of the best ethno-heritage parks I have visited. Giethoorn: we had a perfect weather day for a tranquil float on a small boat and stroll through this beautiful town.

The entire experience was wonderful and worthwhile. We recommend everyone to do this. Our host/guide was amazing with plethora of knowledge which was interesting and fascinating at the same time.

This is the only day tour I found that combined Zaanse Schans and Giethoorn...the best "typical" dutch sights when you have limited time. Cherry was a great tour guide!