Duration: 1/2 day or full day
- You can’t leave Holland without visiting the famous Keukenhof gardens. Open for just eight weeks each year, the Keukenhof boasts a staggering seven million blooms, planted over 32 hectares.
- To get there 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 Keukenhof. Both journeys take around an hour.
- Located opposite the garden is Keukenhof Castle. Take a tour and learn about its 400-year old history and previous inhabitants through portraits, furniture and decor that span the styles of each century. Head outside to view the unique sculpture collection, or to admire the ‘hidden’ gardens tucked away on the wooded estate.
- The Black Tulip Museum (1 kilometre away, Heereweg 219) is also worth a visit if you want to know more about the history of the Bollenstreek (bulb region). The museum paints an enthralling picture of the remarkable ‘bulb-to-flower-to-bulb’ cycle with exhibits and a specialised library.
- If you have the time, 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.
- 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).
When exploring the tulip gardens of Amsterdam, make sure to stick to the paths and follow the farm rules. Walking across the fields can crush or damage the flowers. If a tulip plant is trampled, it will not produce a bulb large enough to be sold, so it is important to stay out of the fields. It takes a tremendous amount of work to cultivate the neat lines of flowers that blossom into a rainbow of bulbs each spring, and everyone who visits should be respectful of the flowers and the farmers who have invested so much time, effort, expense and love into the fields.