One of the world’s largest flower gardens, Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe”, is a must-see for someone visiting Holland for the first time in the spring. According to the official Keukenhof website, there are more than 7 million bulbs in bloom, with a total of 800 varieties of tulips. The best time to view the tulips is mid- to late-April when the flowers are in peak bloom.
BEFORE YOU PLAN YOUR VISIT:
Keukenhof is only open for approximately 8 weeks every year from mid-March to mid-May. For 2018, the opening dates are 22 March until 13 May
Getting to Keukenhof is fairly easy if you are staying in Amsterdam. The best way to get there is to take the train to Schiphol Airport. Once you arrive, you need to find Bus Line 858. This bus runs only during opening times of the Keukenhof every 15 minutes with pick-up/drop-off at the entrance of Keukenhof. You can use the OV chipkaart on Line 858 (it’s always cheaper than to purchase a paper ticket) and you can buy the entrance ticket to Keukenhof separately. Otherwise, you can purchase a Combi-ticket that includes a roundtrip bus ticket and the entrance to Keukenhof, where you can just walk into the park without having to wait in line.
Keukenhof Entrance Fee: €16
COMBI-ticket Fee (Bus 858 + Keukenhof): €27
I actually went to Keukenhof early in the morning to beat the crowds so that I can take photos of the flowers without having tourists in every picture. There were seriously so many tulips – as far as the eye can see! There were also tulips fields that you can see, especially from their little “windmill” that you can queue up to go inside. I had a great time viewing all the flowers without having to deal with the congestion of people. It’s the perfect place to also bring children because there is a small maze that they can entertain themselves with as well as a playground and even a treasure hunt!
There are also carts selling cups of strawberries and oh-my-goodness, they’re seriously the best strawberries you will ever have! Definitely take some cash with you and buy those strawberries! There are also tons of cafes and places you can get food but I decided to just go to the gardens in the morning for two hours and then head back to Amsterdam since Sam was going to take me on a boat ride with a picnic!
I did go up the windmill that was there to see the tulip fields that are behind Keukenhof and it was pretty awesome! I really wish I could rent a bike to ride through the fields of tulips in my wooden clogs!
I also love that Miffy is everywhere in the garden! I used to read Miffy books in Portuguese as a toddler – I had a whole set – and had no idea that it was a Dutch character. Even these large wooden clogs that you can take photos in had Miffy characters on them! It really just brought my back to my childhood and got me super nostalgic.
I did buy a wooden tulip as a cute souvenir for myself before I left. I actually had a hard time getting out of the park and had even left through the wrong exit and had to go back into the park to go to where the entrance was since that was the only area Line 858 picks up and drops off from. It ended up taking me about an extra hour to leave the park because it was so huge so I did get a little cranky near the end since the tourist crowds had pretty much swarmed in by the time I had wanted to leave. I think it’s best to come to Keukenhof around 09:00 and that way you can actually relax! But all in all, it was definitely an adventurous morning!