Known as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice’s charming waterways, gondola rides and incredible food makes it one of Italy’s most popular spots.
However, with as many as five million tourists visiting the city a year you definitely won’t be the only tourist wandering Venice’s winding streets.
Luckily for you, there’s a pretty village in another corner of Europe that could satisfy your craving for canals – minus the hoards of tourists.
Giethoorn is a quaint village in the Netherlands where there are no roads or cars, just cycle paths and waterways.
Dubbed the Venice of the Netherlands, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy life on the water – minus the hoards of tourists.
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Located just an hour and a half from Amsterdam in the Dutch province of Overijssel, Giethoorn has a population of just 2,795.
It’s certainly a contender for the perfect peaceful getaway, with the charming thatched roof cottages and wooden arch bridges (there are more than 180 of them) making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Sail the canals in the summer and stop off at one of the many quaint cafes for a snack or ice skate along the frozen river in the winter.
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While visiting you can rent whisper boats but if you prefer land to water, you can visit the town’s museum or stroll the Binnenpad footpath that’s like walking onto a film set.
Still not convinced? The TripAdvisor reviews of Giethoorn speak for themselves.
“It’s so incredibly charming to walk along these canals,” said one satisfied customer. “Every step is worth taking a break, taking a pic and taking in the charming scenery. It’s just so amazingly beautiful.”
Another said: “You can travel in boats to enjoy the beauty of the village. The beauty of the journey is amazing.”
A third raved: “The whole of Giethoorn is very easy to walk and to get around. Most sights are at the main canal.
“It’s all suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. But it’s partly unpaved and some short bridges are a bit steep. Some extra help might be required.”
And it’s not just tourists who rave about it’s beauty. It’s so pretty it’s been named one of the 50 most beautiful villages in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler.
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