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

The perfect escape from rush hour traffic.

street canalsLittleaom/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.

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. (Want to visit more places with that small-town feel? These are the nicest small towns in America.)

street canal2xSamara.com/Shutterstock

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. (This rainbow-colored town in Indonesia is almost too stunning to be real.)

street canalShutterOK/Shutterstock

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.

street canalFokke Baarssen/Shutterstock

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for rd.com, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.