Welcome to the Magical Town Where the Streets Are Made of Water

The perfect escape from rush hour traffic.

Giethoorn in HollandPhoto: rob3rt82/Shutterstock

Paved roads are convenient for getting from point A to point B, but black slabs of asphalt scattered with pot holes, yellow lines, and arrows aren’t the prettiest thing to look at. Imagine a place where all the roads are replaced with canals. No more honking horns, screeching breaks, or aggressive drivers. (Check out the most popular travel destinations for fall.)

Good news! A place like this actually exists, and it’s as gorgeous as you imagine it would be. In the town of Giethoorn, Holland, the only way to get around is by boat, bike, or on foot. It’s located about 75 miles north of Amsterdam, and it sits inside the Weeribben-Wieden National Park. About 180 footbridges allow people to travel over the canals throughout the town. (Here are 10 gorgeous beaches with the clearest water in the world.)

As you might have guessed, the population of Giethoorn is very small, and not many people know about it so tourists are few and far between. It’s obviously a stunning place to visit in the summer, but in the winter you can explore to town on ice skates when the canals freeze. People often refer to this sleepy canal town as the Dutch Venice because of its beauty and romantic feel. (These heart-shaped islands and lakes from around the world are almost too stunning to believe!)

Leaving your car outside of the town and exploring the four miles of canals surrounded by thatched-roof farmhouses will be the restorative vacation you never knew you needed. (From private beaches to skiing in the Alps, you can tell a lot about a person by the holiday that tops their bucket list.)

Plus: The Best Cities in the World for Every Type of Traveller

Popular Videos

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest