Visiting a Tulip Garden in the Netherlands: The Ultimate Guide
The Netherlands are famous for their beautiful and colorful, never-ending fields of tulips. Imagine just standing on one end of the field and looking at beautiful, colorful flowers as far as your eyes can reach. This place is no less than ‘heaven on earth.’ Sadly, this heaven lasts for a period. So, if you want to experience Tulip Fields in the Netherlands, you have to plan this trip early!
Ah, the tulip tours season in the Netherlands! For a brief period, the fields of the Dutch countryside experience a beautiful transformation. The so-known Keukenhof tulip festival gives way to rainbow stripes of flowers in its tulip gardens, carpeting the landscape in colors of all sorts. Keukenhof gardens tour is just a magical sight to behold.
The beautiful pictures of Keukenhof tulip gardens were blooming all over my Pinterest and Instagram. It was a persistent invitation to go discover that magical place, so we finally decided to visit the famous tulip gardens in Amsterdam on a sunny day in April and it felt like a trip to heaven and back.
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We spent the day, bathing in a carpet of tulips, flowers, bright colors, and beautifully manicured gardens. We biked along with Tulip Fields in the Netherlands outside Keukenhof and we took – obviously – thousands of photos. Keukenhof tulip festival is just a beautiful and easy day trip from Amsterdam.
This post has everything you need to visit the Keukenhof tulip festival and also beautiful pictures of tulips to inspire you to go!
The Netherlands has some of the most beautiful tulip fields across the globe. Let me take you through some of the best ones:
All the flower geeks may just lose it here. Keukenhof is the premier location for those willing to bask in the glory of the 7 million bulbs of 800 varieties of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths! The park is open for just eight weeks a year (April and May). Thus it is quite busy and crowded at that time. It is, however, a little bit costly for a budget traveler. But is it worth it? Yes.
Noordoostpolder is located in the Flevoland province and has one of the largest flower bulb cultivations and among the best Tulip Fields in the Netherlands. The fields of Noordoostpolder are a treat to the eye from April through May. Profytodsd Tulip Festival is Noordoostpolders main tulip Festival. It starts in mid-April and ends at the beginning of May. The fields are colorful with tulip bulbs blooming everywhere. People visit the fields to enjoy the smell of the flowers and live among the colorful serenity. It has a picturesque backdrop with windmills and the sea.
Schagerbrug is a lesser-known place in the Netherlands where you can find beautiful purple tulip fields. Usually, the places mentioned above are tourist favorites and hence are quite crowded on most days. For a more personal and quiet experience, Schagerbrug tulip fields are the best. Many say that the fields in Schagerbrug look something like out of a Dutch painting with its beautiful pink tulip gardens and the windmills in the far back. Visiting the fields in the early mornings to experience the sunrise amongst the beautiful flowers is always a good idea!
Best Tulip tours in Holland
There are several guided tours conducted in and around Holland. Bike tours are quite common in most places. Companies conduct bike tours that take them through the tulip fields and beyond. It is one of the most surreal experiences one could ever have. These bike tours cost around €60 for a tandem bike (so €30 per person) and honestly, are quite worth the money.
Apart from that, there are guided tours for Keukenhof Gardens where they get fast track tickets to skip the long queues and a guide to take them along the different spots.
Otherwise, you can find tours like canal cruises that explore the city of Amsterdam through its canals. Honestly, it’s a must-do activity if you’re ever visiting Amsterdam. It is super romantic and the experience is surreal.
Further combo-tours are very efficient and worth the money. Some combo-tours take you on a half-day tour around Keukenhof and then end the day with canal cruising. Some travel companies that provide guided tours are- Collette (for tulip river cruise), Verita’s visit bike tour, Tiqets, etc.
Top Tulip festivals the Netherlands
Tulp Festival, the reference of the Tulip Fields in the Netherlands
The Tulp Festival is a Tulip Festival held in Amsterdam. It starts at the beginning of April and lasts a whole month (April 1- April 30). April is the peak season for the tulips to bloom. The motto of the Tulp Festival is- ‘A tulip for every citizen of Amsterdam’. During this time, the streets of Amsterdam are flooded with beautiful, colorful Tulips.
In every street and corner, you could see Tulips being sold. The city looks dreamy with all the colors. Tulips will be on display across Amsterdam, from Noord to Zuidoost and Oost to Nieuw-West. Amsterdam doesn’t have any Tulip farms. But that doesn’t stop them from celebrating this beautiful flower.
All through the first half of Spring Amsterdam displays all the different and rare kinds of Tulips that exist until it is sold out. Private homes, gardens of museums, private institutions, etc. all display beautiful tulips throughout April. Such a beautiful concept isn’t it?
Dutch Flower Parade
The dutch flower parade is one of the best alternatives to the tulip fields in the Netherlands and is held on April 25, 2020, from 9:00 to 21:00. It is the most famous flower parade in Holland. The Dutch flower parade is very unique with its beautiful structure created just by flowers like tulips and hyacinth.
Millions of people from around the world come here to witness this mesmerizing event. The flower parade starts from Noordwijk and travels to the historic city of Haarlem via the beautiful tulip farms of Lisse. A couple of viewing locations are set along the route for the viewers.
The best and the most preferred spot amongst them is the Keukenhof boulevard. Millions of people gather on the boulevard to witness this parade.
Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is a 40 km long parade flower parade that originates from Noordwijk and ends in the beautiful city of Haarlem via Voorhout, Sassenheim, Lisse, Hillegom, Bennebroek, and Heemstede. The Parade is held on April 25, 2020, from 9:00 to 22:30. Several events are held before Bloemencorso Bollenstreek to hype up the parade.
Visitors and locals participate in this beautiful flower parade. Different floats are made each year by the locals which participate in the parade. The Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is a smaller parade than the Dutch flower parade, but it is still just as beautiful and breathtaking.
Also, you can witness the parade better since the viewing spots are less crowded. The smell of the flowers fills the air. It might just be the happiest thing ever!
Which best Tulip Fields in the Netherlands are near Amsterdam?
Amsterdam being a city, doesn’t really have its own tulip fields. So whenever you’re in Amsterdam and you wish to visit some tulip fields, you have to travel a little further from the main city. But don’t fret, we got you covered. Here are some tulip fields near Amsterdam you can visit to quench your thirst for alluring tulip fields.
Tulip Farm De Tulperij in Voorhout
De Tulperij tulip farm is just a 37 mins drive away from Amsterdam. The farm is open for most of Spring (March 21, 2020, to May 10, 2020) when the tulips actually start to bloom. The farm is open all 7 days a week from 9:30 to 17:30.
The owners of the Tulip Farm De Tapperij are the sweetest people ever and might just give you a tour of their farm! The location of the farm is beautiful! You can get a guided tour of the whole place and then end the end tour with some dutch waffles and a cup of coffee!
You can get to Tulip Farm De Tapperij by car or even get a guided tour bus if you feel like it! The tour is usually conducted by a farmer from the place, so you get all the tips and knowledge you wish to know! Another way to get there is to go to Keukenhof and then take a guided bike tour from there. Bike tours are the best way to explore the fields.
Haarlem is a historic city, just a 30 mins drive away from Amsterdam. It has one of the largest tulip fields in the Netherlands, which draws hundreds of tourists every spring. The tulip fields are just a 15-minute bike ride away from the main city.
Every year the Dutch Flower Parade and the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek end in Haarlem. These flower parades are alluring with their beautiful and creative floats parading the whole town. Lots of people gather to witness this beautiful procession.
After reaching Haarlem they are displayed on the Grote Market for another day so visitors can view them up close. You can get to Haarlem from Amsterdam by car or can jump on a tour bus to Haarlem. You can also take a bike tour from Keukenhof to Haarlem to explore the bulb fields!
It takes 40 minutes by car to reach Lisse from Amsterdam. Lisse has the most colorful and most beautiful tulip fields in the Netherlands. Lisse is full of fields with endless stretches of colorful bulb tulips. The best way to explore the tulip fields in Lisse is by electric car or by bike.
You can also explore the fields by car. Just keep off the main road to see the fields. Also, you have to be careful not to enter the fields without permission from the farmer, else they might get really upset about it.
What are the best Amsterdam flower festivals?
The Tulp Festival is a Tulip Festival held in Amsterdam. It starts at the beginning of April and lasts a whole month (April 1- April 30). April is the peak season for the tulips to bloom. The motto of the Tulp Festival is- ‘A tulip for every citizen of Amsterdam’.
During this time, the streets of Amsterdam are flooded with beautiful, colorful Tulips. In every street and corner, you could see Tulips being sold. All through the first half of Spring Amsterdam displays all the different and rare kinds of Tulips that exist until it is sold out. Private homes, gardens of museums, private institutions, etc. all display beautiful tulips throughout April.
Aalsmeer Flower Festival
Aalsmeer is a village situated to the south-west of Amsterdam. It hosts its annual flower festival in June., in case you missed the standard time of the tulip fields in the Netherlands. Every year, this festival has a theme. This year, the theme is ‘Flora’s Finest’ and the latest trends in floral design are highlighted in the festival.
Aalsmeer is known for its international flower auction, FloraHolland. This year, the flower festival is being held on June 20, 2020, and June 21, 2020. The tickets for this festival cost € 7.50 per person.
This year, the locations are the Historical garden and the Flower Art Museum. The Historische Tuin is the horticultural museum of Aalsmeer where you can find greenhouses with beautiful old flower varieties, mini-auction rooms, fields with special plants and trees, and much more.
The other location is the Flower Art Museum. It is the first museum in the world that is dedicated entirely to contemporary art inspired by flowers. During the festival, the artworks in the museum are combined with beautiful floral art.
The must-do Tulip tours in Amsterdam
Several companies provide tulip tours from Amsterdam. Amsterdam doesn’t really have its own tulip fields. So, several guided tours take you through the tulip gardens or tulip fields in and around Amsterdam.
Most of them are guided bus tours. These buses take you from Amsterdam to Haarlem or Keukenhof where there are lots of tulip fields. More often than not, these companies have permission from the farmers to go and visit the fields and wander around in the beauty of the flowers.
Apart from bus tours, some bike tours allow you to explore the tulip fields by bike. Tom’s Travel Tours is one such travel company providing bike tours across tulip fields around Amsterdam. However, these bike tours demand some level of physical fitness since it requires quite some exertion from our bodies.
This experience is however quite mesmerizing and definitely brings you closer to the heart of tulip fields in the Netherlands. The feeling of riding across a vastness of colorful tulip is indescribable. These tours usually take you through some beautiful fields with windmills and castles which makes you feel like living the chapters off of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five!
Some tours also provide a canal cruise where you get to experience Amsterdam in its true essence!
Keukenhof tulip festival
Finally, we get to the must-see attraction in all this Tulip world!
Keukenhof tulip garden is the largest flower garden in the world. Every year thousands and thousands of tourists come to visit this beautiful garden filled with hundreds and thousands of colorful flowers of different kinds.
The Keukenhof gardens are open only during the springtime when all the flowers bloom- March to May. The flower park is open from 8:00 and closes at 19:30. Every year, the flower park has a theme, this year’s being ‘World of Colors’.
The main attraction of the garden is, of course, its flowers, but a garden is a place for people of all age groups. Children love to play in the park, you can see old people just taking a stroll and enjoying the view, and you can see youngsters taking aesthetic pictures for their Instagram feed.
There are different structures made out of absolutely mind-blowing flowers. The Dutch flower parade passes through Keukenhof boulevard during the afternoon time at around 15:00.
The standard ticket prices for adults are €19 and for children, it is €9. If you want to skip the long queues at the ticket counter, get the tickets online! Try to avoid weekends or holidays to avoid the crowd. Also, try to be there early in the morning to enjoy the place in its serenity.
Many of these tour companies offer Fast track Keukenhof tickets which saves you all the time from waiting in the queue! Others offer to make the trip to Keukenhof half-day and then take you along a canal cruise. You have a lot of options to go explore the garden, you just have to pick one according to your choice!
Best time to visit Keukenhof
To anyone you ask, who has been to Keukenhof will tell you that Spring is the best time to visit Keukenhof. Period. This is the time all the flowers bloom in the gardens, and most importantly, the Keukenhof garden is open for only eight weeks in the whole year!
Mid-April to Mid-May
This, without any question, is the best time to visit the Keukenhof gardens. The flowers bloom and the whole garden is a flower-heaven with thousands of varieties of tulips and other flowers. It is a treat to the eyes (and nose), to say the least! There seems to be so much happiness around with the smell of flowers, different types of tulips, different flower shows, etc. Oh, such a dream!
However, the place is very crowded at this period so be ready to brave some massive crowd hordes. If you want to skip the long queue at the ticket counter, get the tickets online beforehand! You can also go for group tours if you want. That way, you’ll have a guide to take you through the place and obviously, you’ll have some great company!
Early-March to Mid-April
Early spring is also a good time to visit Keukenhof and enjoy tulip fields in the Netherlands in general, especially if you want to avoid the long queues and the terrible crowd. The place is less crowded than in the Mid-April to Mid-May period. However, you might not witness all the tulips in their full glory, but it’s still worth it-trust me!
You can enjoy other flowers like daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses. If you are not crazy about tulips and want to stay away from crowded places, this is the ideal time. You can still witness the beauty of the garden and enjoy the vibe there.
How to get from Amsterdam to Keukenhof
From the airport
To get to Keukenhof from the Schiphol airport, Bus 858 (Keukenhof Express) is provided. The bus departs from exit 4 of the arrivals hall and takes about 30 min to reach Keukenhof. During peak hours, however, it takes longer than that.
A single ticket from Schiphol airport to Keukenhof costs € 5 (price as for 2019) one way and can be purchased from the driver. The combi ticket including bus and Keukenhof admission costs €27.50 from Schiphol Airport.
It makes sense to take the combi-ticket since it provides ‘skip-the-line entrance into the gardens and also includes the return to the airport by BUS 858.
The tickets can be bought on the spot or can be booked online. The buses leave at an interval of 30 minutes, so there shouldn’t be much problem to catch one.
Keukenhof bus: which one to take?
Taking a bus to Keukenhof is a cheaper and more viable option. There are several options to get to Keukenhof by bus.
Direct Keukenhof Express Bus 852- This is generally the best option to get to Keukenhof by bus. The bus station can be easily reached by metro train from Amsterdam Central Station or any other metro station.
Taking the Combi-ticket is the best option since it offers fast track entry to the gardens and to top it off, you also get an AC coach.
The Combi-ticket usually costs around €31 (including Keukenhof admission), which, if you ask me, is a good enough deal. The earliest bus leaves at 8:43 AM.
Connexxion Bus 397- This bus starts from Amsterdam Centre (e.g. Leidseplein, Rijksmuseum, Museumplein) and travels to Hoofddorp Station where you have to change to bus 859 to Keukenhof.
The combi ticket including both buses and Keukenhof admission is €31 from Amsterdam. Direct bus options from Centraal station are also available but slightly more expensive. The buses are quite nice and are also a cheap option.
Another way is to take Bus 341 from Amsterdam-Zuid Station or Bus 300 from Amstelveen Bus Station to get to Hoofddorp Station and then take Bus 859 to finally reach Keukenhof. This definitely takes more time, but it’s still a cheaper option.
For more information about public transport, please click here.
Most of the time, you can get the tickets online or you can also get them from the ticket counter on spot. You just have to show a copy of your ticket to the driver and you are good to go. Showing this ticket is also enough to get you inside the gardens. The day trip tour buses are much faster but they are slightly more expensive.
Dutch bike tour in tulip fields near Keukenhof
Taking a bike tour across the tulip fields is the dream of every nature lover! There are several bike tours provided by companies in Keukenhof.
Verita’s Visit bike tour tulip fields are one such guided bike tour. It is a three hours bike tour that starts at 9:00 in the morning from the Keukenhof gardens. It costs around €60 per person with a group of 6 people or more. This is a great way to enjoy nature by riding amongst the tulip fields, the breeze against your hair experiencing Keukenhof and its rich culture.
A local guide will guide you through. He mostly knows the owner of the field and therefore gets access to visit the field. It is an amazing experience and all travel enthusiasts should definitely experience it. During the tulip field cycle tours, you need to explore all the cozy, secret locations in Keukenhof. Sometimes they are also taken to enjoy local festivals such as flower mosaic contests, etc. It is truly a surreal experience!
Tips for making the most of the Tulip Fields in the Netherlands
colors Keukenhof gardens – magic Tulip tours
buy your ticket online
if you want to avoid the long line, Tickets are available online and cost €18 for adults and €8 for kids aged 4-11 while kids under 4 go free. Parking on-site costs €6. The Keukenhof ticket office is open daily 08h00-18h00 but the gardens themselves are open 08h00-19h30.
Don’t forget the food! What to eat in the Netherlands?
In the middle of this rich tulip day! You should not forget to try some famous Dutch food! Taking a break after a long tour is worth it. Choose wisely a local restaurant where you can eat those must-try Dutch treats.
If you ever plan to visit Amsterdam during your Netherlands trip, don’t forget to try the famous Dutch fries there. They are a pure delight!
Rent a bike early in the morning
When you rent a bike, rent it in the morning. Most visitors see Keukenhof first and rent a bike in the afternoon. When you do it the other way around you won’t have to wait for a bicycle in the afternoon.
You can rent a bike in front of the Keukenhof garden and explore some of the bulb fields on that most Dutch vehicles: the bicycle. Actually, you will find bike rental options from a rental kiosk (Rent-A-Bike Van Dam) just outside the Keukenhof entrance. You should also find maps at tourist information offices and bike rental shops. Suggested routes are available ranging from 4 or 7 km around Keukenhof – ask the shop to mark on the map where the flowers are blooming best on the day of your rental. Bike rental at Keukenhof Netherlands gardens costs around €10 per day for standard bicycles and €20 for tandems or electric bikes.
Tulip tours are just magic!
Best time to visit Keukenhof: arrive early or late
My recommendation is that you arrive when it opens; you will have the place to yourself and you can park close to the park. As the day wears on thousands of people come through by busloads and it becomes more difficult to photograph although still doable. I found that a midday rest and then back out to the flowers at 4 until close worked very well. You can actually leave the park in mid-day
When you rent a bike, rent it in the morning. Most visitors see Keukenhof Netherlands gardens first and rent a bike in the afternoon. When you do it the other way around you won’t have to wait for a bicycle in the afternoon.
Best time to visit Keukenhof
What else to Visit in the Netherlands?
Netherlands’ hidden gems are just countless! For example, don’t forget to plan a day trip to Amsterdam while you are in the neighborhood. If you are looking for inspiration, read this post about the itinerary to take in one day in Amsterdam. If you have more time and flexible traveling, read about this 3-day itinerary in Amsterdam.
If you are somehow stuck in the capital, then you can also find Tulips in Amsterdam. For culture-travelers, be sure you find enough information in this post about Amsterdam’s history. You will find in there some key facts about the city.
By the way, if you are traveling further south, think about spending 3 days in Leiden. It is a beautiful city famous for its centuries-old amazing architecture and also for Leiden University, the country’s oldest, dating from 1575. Eindhoven is also a great city to discover in the Netherlands. There are so many things to do in Eindhoven including trying some street food in the new Down Town Gourmet Market. Many great tulip fields are also not so far from The Hague. While nearby, make sure to plan at least half a day in The Hague and explore this beautiful city.
Flower tours have become really famous in Europe nowadays. There many countries where you can find beautiful flower attractions. Have a look for example at Madeira Flower Parade in Portugal. If you are looking for more travel inspiration, have a look at On A voyagé Pour Vous on Instagram.