Discover Zwartsluis, a picturesque village located in the heart of Overijssel on the Het Zwarte Water canal. With its centuries-old history, beautiful waterways and distinctive architecture, Zwartsluis is a fascinating mix of tradition and contemporary appeal and is a much-visited village by tourists.

Visit Zwartsluis 

Is Zwartsluis a nice destination?

History of Zwartsluis is still tangible

A morning in Zwartsluis
A morning in Zwartsluis

Whether you stroll along the historic canals, observe the bustling shipping culture, or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings, Zwartsluis promises to be a memorable destination where history becomes tangible and every stone bears witness to times gone by. If you are interested in history, shipping and/or culture and nature, then Zwartsluis is a great place for a nice holiday or a day out.

Port as a point of interest

It has a nice harbor where day tourists can moor their boats, who then want to relax on a terrace. But while you're there, below you can see what else there is to do and see in Zwartsluis.

Recreation in Zwartsluis

The water also plays a role in the recreational activities around Zwartsluis, with opportunities for: boat trips. You can book a boat trip or rent a boat at various places.

Things to do in Zwartsluis

  1. Museum Schoonewelle: Discover local history and nature in Museum Schoonewelle. The museum offers exhibitions about the maritime history of Zwartsluis, the surrounding nature and other aspects of local life. The museum has a permanent exhibition and has changing exhibitions.
  2. Walking along the Historic Canals: Take a relaxing walk along the picturesque canals of Zwartsluis. Enjoy the distinctive architecture and tranquil atmosphere that surrounds these waterways.
  3. Churches of Zwartsluis: Visit the historic churches in Zwartsluis, such as the Reformed Church and the Reformed Church. These churches reflect the religious history of the town.
  4. Boat cruise on the Zwarte Water: Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Zwarte Water and admire the surroundings from the water. Several local companies offer boat trips.
  5. Culinary Enjoyment: Discover the local eateries and taste the flavors of Zwartsluis. Whether you choose a cozy café, a waterfront restaurant or a traditional eatery, the local cuisine has a lot to offer. In the harbor you have several cozy terraces.
  6. Events and Festivals: Check the local events calendar for festivals and activities. Zwartsluis regularly organizes events that bring the community and visitors together.
  7. Weerribben-Wieden National Park: See a detailed explanation about this later on this page beautiful nature reserve.

Active in the Zwartsluis area

Cycling from Zwartsluis to de Weerribben


One of the ways to discover Zwartsluis and the surrounding area is by bicycle. With kilometers of cycle paths you can enjoy cycling in the Weerribben-Wieden, through the greenery, along waters and over bridges. You can download a very nice cycling route in the area via cycling network nl. Zwartsluis can be used as a starting point, but of course also as an intermediate point for your cycling route. If you don't have your own bicycle, you can always rent one at one of the bicycle rental points. Bicycle rental companies in this village can be found below.

On a SUP board in the Weerribben


Exploring the Weerribben on a SUP board. If you are curious, just try it! Unlike other board sports, where you spend a lot of time practicing, SUPing is quick to learn and easy to do, without having to follow a long instruction or course. Once you are paddling and get the hang of it, you can explore the beautiful surroundings of the Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Because you are standing you can look over the reeds and you have a beautiful view.

Canoeing from Zwartsluis to the Weerribben


Would you like to burn calories for a day? How about a day of canoeing in the Weerribben? In our opinion, it is the best activity in the Weerribben. In the National Park, the largest contiguous peat bog in Northwestern Europe. In this National Park you will discover a wide variety of flora and fauna. On the website you can find some very cool canoe routes. You can rent a canoe at the Kleine Belterwiede water sports campsite in Belt-schutsloot.


Ice-skating in de Weerribben


Skating in the Weerribben. It will take some getting used to seeing all those skaters on the ice, instead of all those boats that are rented out in the summer. The landscape, sometimes even accompanied by snow, has completely changed during an ice skating trip. Be careful not to hit your head on a bridge. In the surrounding villages such as Giethoorn, which is known for its many bridges, you must be extra careful. Don't forget to pack yourself well. Your gloves and hat will be essential.

Bootje varen Giethoorn

Sailing a boat

If you want to come sailing in Giethoorn, you can always rent a boat on site. Especially if you come outside the often busier weekends and children's holidays. It is still relatively quiet in Giethoorn. This is not a guarantee. Reserving a boat is normally, but not necessary. However, it is possible that with nice weather, even during these so-called quieter periods, it can become quite busy. We therefore recommend everyone to reserve a boat in advance.

Boat tour from Zwartsluis

Sluziger Botter ZS13

Sluziger Botter ZS13 from Zwartsluis
Sluziger Botter ZS13

Want to sail around on a 150-year-old fishing boat that once sailed the Zuiderzee? This is possible from Zwartsluis! The Botter ZS13 has a permanent mooring at 't Botterhuus on the Mastenmakersstraat. This historic ship is the oldest sailing botter in the Netherlands. This is largely thanks to a group of volunteers who recently completely restored this beautiful ship. During the summer, summer evening tours are regularly organized. You can also rent this boat with a skipper and take a boat trip from Het Zwarte water to the Weerribben-Wieden.

Varen in de Wieden

Boat tour company Varen in de Wieden is located right in the center of Zwartsluis. They offer various boat trips through De Weerribben-Wieden. With the heated tour boat De Osarend or the open vessel De Otter (with a partly glass bottom) they will take you back to Zwartsluis via Blokzijl and Dwarsgracht. This way you see a beautiful part of the Wieden.

Boat tour in De Weerribben

Boat tour in De Weerribben

At Restaurant / boat rental De Otterskooi you can also board a tour in a tour boat. This cruise goes through the Weerribben. These tour boats are sailed by skilled skippers, who also have a lot to say about the origins of this peat area and its nature. You can also board one from Giethoorn and then sail back to Giethoorn via Dwarsgracht.

De Otterskooi
  • Tour boat (max 40 people)

From Zwartsluis to Giethoorn

15 kilometers away

Route from Zwartsluis to Giethoorn
From Zwartsluis to Giethoorn

Zwartsluis is located approximately 15 kilometers southwest of Giethoorn. The distance between these two places can vary depending on the specific route you take. In general, you can cover the distance by car in about 14 to 25 minutes. The duration also depends on open bridges. If you want to take a boat from Zwartsluis to Giethoorn or vice versa, you should take into account a sailing time of 1 to an hour and a half. So this could be a really nice day out on a beautiful sunny day.

Visitors to Giethoorn drive through Zwartsluis

About 23% of visitors to Giethoorn drive through Zwartsluis on their way to Giethoorn. Assuming 1 million visitors that Giethoorn would receive annually, that would be 230,000 tourists who (often without realizing it) drive through Zwartsluis. Maybe a missed opportunity.

By car to Giethoorn

From Zwartsluis you can easily get to Giethoorn by car. You can park your car in several places in Giethoorn. Navigate to Kerkweg 35 in Giethoorn for free parking.

With bus 70 to Giethoorn

From Zwartsluis you can take bus 70 to Giethoorn. This bus 70 runs twice an hour to Giethoorn. Please note that this bus line runs from 09:00 to 18:00.

Cycling from Zwartsluis to Giethoorn

From the center of Zwartsluis it is approximately 15 kilometers by bike to Giethoorn. Bicycle rental is possible in Zwartsluis. You can rent an (electric) bicycle for a day or longer. The cycle tour from Zwartsluis to Giethoorn is on paved roads. The roads are flat, so it is also easy to do with a normal bicycle.

Zwartsluis to Giethoorn by taxi

You can also choose to take a taxi. You can recognize taxis by their blue license plates. You can book a taxi to Giethoorn by contacting Giethoorn taxi.

Tip of the Day

Tip for a wonderful day out: rent a boat in Giethoorn or Zwartsluis and sail the route via the Meppelerdiep. In both villages you have the opportunity to moor in the center and find a terrace.

Parking in Zwartsluis

2 hours of free parking with blue disc

Blue Parking disc to park your car for 2 hours in Zwartsluis
Blue parking disc

In the center of Zwartsluis there is a blue zone where the maximum parking time is 2 hours. To park you use a parking disc. These are shop and go parking spaces, so that everyone has the opportunity to park close to the store. Outside the blue zone you can park for (longer periods) in the designated Havendijk parking lot.

How do you recognize a blue zone?

You can recognize the blue zone by the E10 traffic sign. This sign indicates the maximum parking time. You can also recognize blue zones by the blue lines along the parking spaces. Within the blue zone, parking on sidewalks and loading and unloading areas is prohibited. Be sure to check the signs carefully for the maximum parking times in the blue zones. Maximum parking times vary per location. Parking discs are always mandatory in blue zones. Mark the arrival time and place the disc in a visible place behind the windshield.

 Restaurants in Zwartsluis

Restaurants in the center

There are a few nice restaurants in the center of Zwartsluis. In front of these restaurants you can park (free) at the Havendijk car park. From here it is a few minutes' walk to the restaurants.

Restaurant Casanova

Fancy a delicious cup of coffee, a delicious lunch, a snack or a nice dinner? You have come to the right place at Horecacentrum de Albatros in Zwartsluis. The dining center has been a household name in the area for years. In summer the lively terrace attracts many tourists and water sports enthusiasts. This is mainly due to the ideal location in the port.

Vollenhoofsche Poort

De Vollenhoofsche Poort is a luxurious snack bar with a varied menu. You can go here for the tastiest fries, croquettes and other snacks, but also for delicious homemade bami slice, minced meat ball or satay. In this cafeteria, passion for food comes first. For example, they serve the famous 'Oerfriet'. Done snacking? Then go for a delicious ice cream or milkshake.

Delivery to Bella Italia restaurant

You can place an order online here. After placing your order, you will receive a confirmation by email from restaurant Bella Italia Bezorg. It may end up in your spam. If you have not received confirmation, they kindly ask you to contact them on 038-3868473

Restaurants around the center

There are also a few nice restaurants just outside the center of Zwartsluis. For these restaurants it is best to park (free) in the Havendijk car park. From here it is a few minutes' walk to the restaurants.

At Frank's

Can you imagine it: a delicious lunch, relaxation or dinner by the water? Enjoy the most delicious dishes in a beautiful atmosphere? Then go to Bij Frank! The chefs cook in a typical 'cooking style' and use as many ingredients from the region as possible. Combined with their extraordinary views, you are guaranteed a great dining experience!

Café-brasserie de Blizzard

Since 1990, De Blizzard has been housed in the building where Batteram's butcher's shop was once located. Even today, this characterful building is still a place where you can enjoy delicious food and drinks. Open all year round, Blizzard is not only a place to enjoy delicious snacks and drinks, but also a great opportunity for organizing business and private parties.

Restaurant de Combuijs
If you like gastronomic surprises, but do not want to turn your back on exotic delicacies, then Restaurant De Combuijs is the right place for you. The dishes are constantly changing, from springbok to steak and from sole to salmon. This restaurant is located in Hotel Zwartewater.

 Stay over in Zwartsluis

Spend the night in Zwartsluis

Don't expect a ton of hotels or very large campsites here. In addition to a number of B&B options, accommodation, a campsite and a hotel, spending the night in Zwartsluis is still in its infancy. Here you will find Giethoorn camping and Giethoorn hotel as alternatives. Both nearby and you can easily spend the night here.

Zwartsluis campsite and marina

This campsite and marina are located directly on the Zwartewater. You can spend the night in a quiet area by boat or in a camper, caravan or tent and use it as a base to explore Zwartsluis and the beautiful surroundings.


You can also spend the night in the Swarte-Sluys holiday home; a spacious apartment in the Meppelerdiep.

Hotel Zwartewater

This hotel has 51 stylish and well-equipped rooms. You can choose from spacious standard rooms or more luxurious and comfortable rooms.

National park Weerribben-Wieden

What can you expect in the Weerribben-Wieden?

Purple heron in the Weerribben
Purple heron in the Weerribben

If you stay in Zwartsluis or the surrounding area, you will of course go to Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Weerribben-Wieden National Park is a vast nature reserve located in the provinces of Overijssel and Flevoland. The park is known for its unique swamp landscape, waterways, reed fields, lakes and extensive meadows. Below you will find the features and highlights of the Weerribben-Wieden National Park:

  • Swamp and Reed Lands: The park is home to the largest contiguous low peat swamp in Northwest Europe. The extensive reedlands are of great ecological importance and provide a home to various plant and animal species.
  • Waterways and Lakes: The park is crossed by numerous waterways, canals and lakes. These are ideal for boat trips, canoeing and sailing. It is possible to explore the beautiful surroundings by boat and enjoy the peace and nature.
  • Flora and Fauna: In Weerribben-Wieden National Park you will find a rich variety of plants and animals. Bird watchers can spot various species of water birds here, such as bitterns, purple herons and reed warblers. Purple herons are somewhat slimmer and smaller than the better known blue heron and winter in West Africa.
  • Hiking and Biking Trails: The park offers a network of hiking and biking trails that allow visitors to explore nature on the mainland. There are several viewpoints and observation huts where you can admire nature.
  • Giethoorn: Part of the Weerribben-Wieden National Park includes the famous village of Giethoorn, also known as the "Venice of the North; the village is known for its characteristic canals, bridges and thatched farms. It is a tourist attraction and can be The summer can be very busy. However, if you rent a boat and go out on the water, you can often enjoy nature in peace.
  • Visitor Centers: There are several visitor centers in the park, such as the De Wieden Visitor Center, where visitors can get information about the area, view exhibits and plan activities.
  • Activities and Excursions: In addition to walking, cycling and boating, organized excursions and activities are also regularly offered, including boat trips with guides and bird watching excursions.

Sailing to De weerribben via Zwarte water

It is possible to sail from the Zwarte Water to the Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Weerribben-Wieden National Park is located in the provinces of Overijssel and Flevoland and is known for its extensive swamp areas, reed fields and lakes. The park is accessible via various waterways, including sailing routes connected to the Zwarte Water. From Zwartsluis, which is located on the Zwarte Water, you can sail westwards via the Meppelerdiep. The Meppelerdiep is a canal that flows into the Weerribben-Wieden. By following this canal you can reach the beautiful nature reserve.

Consult sailing routes carefully in advance

It is advisable to consult a map of the waterways and shipping routes in the area, and possibly obtain local boating information, to determine the best route and to be aware of any rules and restrictions regarding the shipping routes.

Why is Zwarte water called that?

Het Zwarte Water

Het Zwarte Water is a river in the northwest of the Netherlands, and it flows past Zwartsluis. It is an important waterway in the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland. The name "Black Water" probably comes from the dark color of the water, caused by the many peat swamps in the area.

Historically important

The Zwarte Water has historically played an important role in shipping and trade, and it is still a prominent feature of the landscape in this part of the Netherlands. Near Zwartsluis, the Zwarte Water is fed by the Meppelerdiep, another canal that is part of the regional waterway network.

Villages nearby De Weerribben




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