This post is sponsored by I Amsterdam and Keukenhof Gardens who hosted our visit. As always, all opinions and recommendations are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.Major bucket list item alert! For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to see the tulips in The Netherlands. Since spring is the season for that and I was planning to head to Ireland and the United Kingdom in April, I excitedly added The Netherlands to my itinerary to include a day trip from Amsterdam to Keukenhof to fulfill this dream. Tulips, here I come!!!
Amsterdam to Keukenhof
While you can do a tour, I highly recommend going on your own. The benefits are that you can go when you want to avoid the crowds, get the best lighting for photos, and spend as much time as you want without the pressure of having to hurry. However, if you only like to do tours (I get it), then I recommend this one from Amsterdam to Keukenhof.
Amsterdam to Keukenhof On Your Own
Getting from Amsterdam to Keukenhof on your own is actually pretty easy thanks to the ARTT card. The Amsterdam Regional Transportation Ticket provides unlimited travel via bus, tram, train, and metro in Amsterdam and its surrounding areas. Cards can be purchased at I Amsterdam Visitor Centers and you can choose the card that fits your length of stay: 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72 hour.
Our Travel Route: Amsterdam to Keukenhof
We walked 25 minutes from our hotel on the west side of the city center to Amsterdam Centraal which is on the east side of the city center. We caught the 9:24 am train to Haarlem which was only a 15-minute ride (2 stops). At Haarlem, we followed the (well-labeled) signs to where the buses were parked and swiped out with our ARTT cards.
We found the 50 bus to Lisse and took it to the De Nachtegaal stop. This was earlier than I had planned on getting off, but the driver announced “Keukenhof” and there was a mass exodus so we followed suit. We could see it as soon as we got off and after a short 10-12 minute walk, we were standing at the entrance!
Open only two months out of the entire year 😳, Keukenhof, which means “kitchen garden” in English, is 32 hectares (79 acres) of flowers. Over 7 million bulbs of 800 varieties of tulips bloom in these 79 acres. Let that sink in. And now you know why it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens and known as “The Garden of Europe”.
Okay, snap out of it daydreamer. We’ll get to the visuals in a minute. It is just crazy to think that all of this hard work producing millions of flowers is only on display to the public for roughly 8 weeks!
It’s much more than just a flower park though. There are exhibits, flower shows and even activities for kids like treasure hunts and a petting farm.
Welcome to Keukenhof
We were finally here, at last! Let me tell you what…I was all kinds of excited at this point!
Since we arrived in the morning, there wasn’t a huge crowd…yet. Yet is the keyword here guys. I was dying to see the tulips, you are dying to see the tulips, we ALL want tulips. So yes, it does get crowded. Just keepin’ it real for ya! 😉
I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to explore Keukenhof. We just decided to do ours counter-clockwise using the entrance as 12 on the clock. So after entering the gates, we headed to the right and worked our way around.
Get ready because from here on out, everywhere you turn there are the. most. gorgeous. flowers. !!!
The Tulip Fields
After we hung a right, we basically made a beeline for the open fields where you can gaze out at this view.
Views of the tulip fields flying into Amsterdam from London
They are so colorful and make such a statement even from the sky! How cool is that to fly over? 😱
The Tulips of Keukenhof
Now, let’s talk for a second. I’m not a flower connoisseur. I can identify a lot of flowers, know how to plant a few winter and summer mixed beds (stop snickering Mom!) and I definitely have my favorites. But that’s where my knowledge of flowers stops. Beyond the above, I don’t speak flower.
Where am I going with this? I know, I’d be asking that question too. My point is that I had ZERO idea that there were this many TYPES of tulips and that they all didn’t look like, well, classic tulips. 🌷 I saw tulips I would never have identified as a tulip. So not only were my eyes treated to beautiful scenery, but my brain was treated to a tulip education! 😂 See, Keukenhof is an educational experience! 😜
Okay, I’ll stop with the chitchat for a second and let you enjoy a small showcase of what you will see at Keukenhof. However, be sure not to miss the special features and tips that come below after the eye candy!
The Reds and Yellows
Left: Mix of “Crocus King of the Striped” & “Tulipa Parade” Middle: “Tulipa Parade”
“Tulipa Paradise City”
The Blues and Purples
The Orange and White
Left: “Tulipa Twilight Princess” Right: “Tulipa Stunning Star”
There is a traditional Dutch windmill you can go up in for a better view of the fields.
This is also where you can take a boat trip along the canal of the tulip fields.
Dutch Wooden Clogs
Traditional Dutch Clog
And you can’t forget the famous traditional wooden clogs, right? Kids had a blast crawling in these and posing for their parents’ cameras!
Artist: Gemma en Vincent van Leeuwen
The Glastree is what I refer to as the “frozen fountain” because that’s what it looks like to me. It looks like Elsa (from Frozen for those who haven’t clued into anything at all for the past 6-7 years) blasted it with one emotional outburst of her hand. I was quite fascinated by it.
This was only one of several sculptures throughout the park. Some of them you will probably walk by and never notice. However, others will grab your attention!
Most parks have water features and Keukenhof is no exception. It makes for a very pretty, calming photo.
Thanks to my Dad for this photo!
This is a great location to soak up the beauty of Keukenhof. Have a seat on one of the nearby benches and take a break from the busyness. Sometimes you need to be in the moment instead of always chasing the moment (I’m really talking to myself here).
Yes, this most definitely sums it up! | Photo Credit: My Dad
My bucket list day trip from Amsterdam to Keukenhof to see the tulips was absolutely a highlight of my travels so far. As you can see, it’s a gorgeous place and one you must experience for yourself!
Thanks to my parents for this photo!
Have you been to Keukenhof to see the tulips? Did you visit on your own from Amsterdam? As always, I would love to hear about your experience!
‘Til next time…