If you are going to have an afternoon available to explore outside of Amsterdam on your next visit, we highly recommend taking a day trip to visit the Keukenhof gardens. If you love Tulips, this will be like walking through a flower dream for you.
One of the first things you need to be aware of is that the Keukenhof is only open seasonally around the time Tulip’s are in bloom. Generally, this is towards the end of March till the middle of May each year. You can check for the current opening times or future years on their information page directly here.
Getting to the Gardens
The easiest way to get to the gardens is by Express Bus. This bus only runs during the spring season when the park is open. The schedule will change each year so you will want to get the current times when you go. You can take a direct Express bus from the following locations as of this writing.
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
- Amsterdam RAI Station
- Hoofddorp Station
- Leiden to Keukenhof
There are plenty of options to get to the gardens depending on where you are located. We happened to be in port on a cruise the last time we visited. We took a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Hoofddorp Station and boarded the bus from there. This choice fit our schedule well, and we enjoy exploring by train.
If you buy a bus ticket, it is best purchased with your garden entrance as a combi-ticket to save a few euros and for convenience. As of the time of this article, it is approximately €25,00 for the round trip combi-ticket depending on your departure location.
You can also go by car, and there is ample parking at the gardens directly for €6,00.
What Do You Get to See?
Well, let’s start with what I presume will be obvious, Tulips. Lots and lots of Tulips. Surrounding the official gardens you will tour are acres and acres of tulip farms. Depending on when you visit and when they harvest for shipping you might see bands of colors in fields for as far as you can see.
You will, of course, see plenty of other beautiful types of flowers as well as landscaped gardens and ponds to explore for a couple of hours.
The gardens are beautiful, this was our second time going. The first time was 10 years prior and it was fun to revisit them. They, however, have become very popular, whch is favorable to keep it going as a business. But keep in mind you could be surrounded by tourists. On our visit, some sections were so crowded you had to negotiate between other visitors taking photos to keep moving.
The Keukenhof recommends visiting on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday when typically there are fewer people.
There are food trucks set up around the park. Some serving simple classic treats such as stroopwafels. And some offering more hearty fare.
If you have a day to spare and are looking for a nice family-friendly activity that gets you outside the gardens are a good choice. We certainly enjoyed our visit to the Keukenhof and look forward to checking back in during a future visit.