There are places in this world that are so surreal and beautiful that when you first see photos of them you naturally assume they must be from a movie set. But while the tiny town of Giethoorn in northern Holland, Europe, may look like it was built for a film based on a children’s fairytale, this enchanted neighborhood that’s built upon a network of narrow canals is actually completely real.


With a population of only 2,600 and very little tourism, Giethoorn is the kind of picturesque, tranquil village most people can only dream of. Even its website says that “the loudest sound you can normally hear is the quacking of a duck or the noise made by other birds.” 

And while it’s so remote that even the postman reportedly delivers mail by punt (a flat-bottomed, square-cut boat), it is fairly accessible by car from Amsterdam, and features a variety of charming B&Bs, so you definitely stop by during your next visit to Europe. 

Or you can just indulge in the photos, close your eyes, and imagine yourself drifting gently past thatched-roof cottages and wooden bridges, under the soft rays of the early morning sun. 

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