Duration: 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.
- 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.
- One great place to walk among the flowers in a manner that’s respectful to the farmers’ hard work is at the Old Zandvliet Farm (Westelijke Randweg 2-4), where you can learn more about the hard work that goes into cultivating the colourful fields of blooms each year. And also take some amazing pictures in the fields themselves of course!
- The Black Tulip Museum (1 kilometre away, Heereweg 219) is also worth a visit if you want to know even 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.
- 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).
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.