Route: Keukenhof and beyond 

Duration: 1/2 day or full day 

Keukenhof visitors Cris Toala Olivares

  • You can’t leave Holland without visiting the famous Keukenhof gardens. Open for just eight weeks each year (24 March-16 May 2016), the Keukenhof boasts a staggering 7 million blooms, planted over 32 hectares. From Amsterdam Central Station, take a train to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and then the Keukenhof Express bus 858 or 361 to Keukenhof. Alternatively, take a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Haarlem Station and then bus 50 to the Keukenhof. Both journeys take around 1 hour. 
  • Located opposite the garden is Keukenhof Castle
  • The Black Tulip Museum (a kilometre away, Heereweg 219) is also worth a visit if you want to know more about the history of the Bollenstreek (bulb region). 
  • If you’re heading back to Haarlem Station with bus 50, make a stop at Annemieke’s Pluktuin to pick your own bouquet (Ford Museum stop). 

Route: Fantastic Flora 

Duration: full day 

FloraHolland Aalsmeer

  • Set the alarm because today you’ll discover the wonderful world of flowers at the FloraHolland flower auction. The earlier you get here, the more you’ll see. Experience the hustle and bustle of the auction floor, watch traders bidding against the clock and be amazed at the quantity of beautiful blooms traded daily from more than ten countries. Take bus 172 from Amsterdam Central Station to Aalsmeer, stop FloraHolland (1 hour, direct connection). 
  • After your visit, take bus 172 again to the Hortensiaplein stop. From here you can walk to Westeinder Rondvaart (20 mins total), a company that operates boat tours on the Aalsmeer lakes. You’ll float past countless islands teeming with flora and fauna (www.westeinderrondvaart.nl). 
  • Next to Westeinder Rondvaart is the Historic Garden, which takes you through the horticultural history of Aalsmeer between 1700 and 1940. 
  • Refuel in the centre of Aalsmeer, with its many cafés, restaurants and shops. 
  • Bus 172 from Hortensiaplein will take you back to Amsterdam.

Route: Tulpomania 

Duration: full day

Frans Hals museum Haarlem

  • The city of Haarlem pays its own tribute to Holland’s most iconic bloom, the tulip. During the Keukenhof’s open season (24 March-16 May 2016), the special ‘Tulpomania’ package lets you experience the Keukenhof’s floral splendour, a floral exhibition – with both paintings and real flowers – at the Frans Hals Museum and a Tulpomania beer tasting at the Jopenkerk brewery. The package is available online at www.haarlem.nl
  • For the duration of Tulpomania, four Arriva buses per hour run from Haarlem to the Keukenhof. A great all-in-one package for the best tulip experience! 

Route: World of Flowers 

Duration: full day

Keukenhof bike rental

  • To explore fully the wonderful world of flowers, a boat or bike tour through the bulb fields is highly recommended. Discover the bold stripes of colour which flame across the landscape each spring. 
  • After you’ve visited the Keukenhof gardens, rent your bikes at Rent-a-Bike Van Dam, just in front of the garden’s main entrance (€10 a day, including a cycle route). Or relax as you enjoy the peace and quiet of the endless bulb fields in an electrically propelled ‘whisper boat’. You can buy tickets for the boat tour at the Keukenhof’s only windmill. 
  • To get back to Amsterdam, take Keukenhof Express bus 858 or 361 to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol or bus 50 to Haarlem. From there, take the train to Amsterdam Central Station (1 hour total).