It’s Time to Get Away: Visit the Town With No Roads

How do you visit a town with no roads? Well, read on, dear traveler!

Veteran travelers may think they’ve seen everything. Sure, “It’s A Small World” may work for Disney, but the truth is, there are still a lot of must-do experiences out there. One of them is visiting the town with no roads.

Where on Earth is this place?

Is this anything like “A Horse With No Name?” Sounds like a song title, doesn’t it?  But don’t fret, it’s real.     

Giethoorn, also known as “the town with no roads,” is actually a small village in the Dutch province of Overijssel in the Netherlands. You can find it in the municipality of Steenwijkerland. Try saying that five times, fast. 

Dutch Venice

Some veteran visitors have said it’s like a town from a storybook. It has that fantastic feel, in part, because it has no roads. The entire town is connected via a number of memorable waterways. Hence, Giethoorn is also referred to as “Little Venice,” “Dutch Venice”, “Venice of the Netherlands” or “Venice of the North.” Yes, that’s a whole lot of Venice.

The village offers the same type of photo ops as Venice, but just minus the crowds. In fact, while visitors have praised it as a picturesque location,  the town of 2,620 locals doesn’t host all that many tourists. Mind you, this only adds to its nigh famous “storybook appeal.” It truly is insta-worthy. 

Walk In The Sunshine

Don’t worry. Giethoorn has sidewalks, lakes and more than 180 bridges. You can easily take in the sights by foot if you’re only there for the day. You won’t even get in the mailman’s way because they deliver by watercraft. But a boat ride is totally worth it, due to all the water. 


Giethoorn was originally an individual municipality. In 1973, it officially became part of Brederwiede. It was once a pedestrian precinct. Pretty weird, but still a cool part of history if you’re asking us.  

Giethoorn has a unique feel all its own. The little town became famous sometime after 1958 when the Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra made his famous comedy Fanfare there. So this quiet, small town is totally worth the trek. 

Fun fact

This village once competed with 182 other locations all over the world to garner a spot on the board game of the new international edition of Monopoly. And guess what, it happened! In fact, residents continue to mention the achievement. The victory is credited to a special online campaign launched by the local village marketeer which brought in enough votes to earn the town with no roads spot number 21 on the special edition playing board. So if you can’t get here soon, there’s always the international edition of Monopoly to hold you over. 

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