Keukenhof Tulip Festival 15


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Amsterdam often gets a bad rep for being a promiscuous, sex-driven city fueled by pot.  Which is truly a shame because I would argue that it is SO much more beyond the Red Light District and “Coffeehouses.”  There are more bicycles than people in Amsterdam, the flower draped canals are stunning and it is the perfect place to just wander around in, getting lost in the back alley cobblestone streets.

 

It is also the perfect place to pair with an outing to the world’s largest Tulip Festival: Keukenhof!

Keukenhof; the world's largest tulip festival

 

While Amsterdam often stands out on it’s own in travelers minds for it’s “Risky Business,” the Netherlands as a whole often conjures images of windmills, delicious cheeses and beautiful tulip fields.  Kuekenhof embodies all of the latter, and more.  With over 7 MILLION tulip bulbs planted each year at the park (not including all of the other plants and flowers on display), it is no wonder the previous castle grounds are such a draw for nature lovers.

 

Dutch Windmill Keukenhof (Large)

 

Tips and Information

 

Who It is For

In fact, you don’t even have to be a flower child or enthusiast to enjoy the park and festival. For example, while my mother’s thumb must have been born green, I can’t even keep a plastic tree alive to save my life.  However, I still found myself completely in awe of the designs made from flowers and just thoroughly enjoyed walking through a park where everywhere you turned there was beauty to take in.  It was like a living art show!

Dutch House made entirely of flowers at Keukenhof!

Dutch House made entirely of flowers at Keukenhof!

There were plenty of men having a fun day out in the fresh air, children running and playing, dogs (on a leash), mamas pushing strollers (it is very stroller friendly as almost all the paths are paved) and people like me, who aren’t even into gardening but still was completed impressed and simply having a great day!  There is a different theme each year, which means you could go several years and still never see the same things.

 

Cost

While the entrance fee is not exactly a budget traveler’s ideal price, if you plan on spending a hefty chunk of your day at the park, it really is worth the cost.  Please check the official page for changes in prices:

Adults: € 16,00

Children 0-3 years: Free

Children: € 8

Parking: €6

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Ready to Tip Toe Through The Tulips at Keukenhof?

Don’t forget to research cheap things to do on TripAdvisor and book affordable Hotels at Booking.com for nearby locations

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How To Get There

 

Driving: For us, we had a car and it only took less than an hour from Amsterdam to get to Keukenhof.  It was such an easy drive and there was plenty of parking (in a field), that I was glad we had our own transportation so that we had flexibility in our day.

 

Public Transportation: There is the “Arriva Keukenhof Express” public bus option that many people take.  This leaves from various locations, including Amsterdam city.  You can buy a combo-ticket which includes the cost of the bus and entrance fee to the Keukenhof Park.  Depending on where you are leaving from and age, this may vary, but for example, from Amsterdam for an adult, it is only 30 Euros.

Tip: While there are many buses that leave per hour and it does drop you off right at the festival, lines can be atrociously long to get on.  Plan this into your day, as you could be spending just as much time waiting in line and getting to/from Keukenhof as you are at the park.

To find out more about the routes and different ticket options, visit the official Keukenhof Information Page

Airport Bus: You can also take bus number 58 (Get information at the Tourist Info) from the airport.  €19 is a round trip price and buses run frequently.  There might be shorter lines here than in the city center, but still plan for plenty of other tourists.

Tip: Buy your own ticket from the machine- it is a few more Euros to go through the TI office

Tours: There are also bus tours available.  However, as you all know, I’m all about saving some cash and doing things myself!  Obviously, for the convenience of someone else taking care of the details, you will pay a higher price.  You also don’t have the flexibility in your day (although most people say they didn’t feel rushed at all when on the tours).  A few options for a group tour out to Keukenhof would be AmsterdamCityTours, using Viator or many people have enjoyed the Lindbergh Tours

 

Other Information:

There are cafes and restaurants at the park.  However, you know me… why pay for a ridiculously overpriced sandwich when I can just bring my own!?  Feel free to pack a lunch and enjoy it on any park bench.  Or, you can be especially frugal like me and eat a huge breakfast, break for a small snack (that I brought) and then tough it out until we make it to a place for an early dinner.  That way, you are only paying for ONE meal that entire day!

I choose to be a flower!!!

When to go:

This is actually a tricky question because it all depends on the weather for the year that dictates when the flowers are blooming the most.  A safe range (although not guaranteed) is Mid April to Mid May.  However, depending in the winter, ideal times COULD be much earlier or later.  The great thing is that the park and gardens do a fantastic job of having other gardens and flowers blooming, not just tulips.  So, even if you go in the spring and it was an odd year for weather and you didn’t hit it at the sweet spot, you will still see plenty of flowers.

Weekdays: As always, if you plan on attending any type of festival or tourist activity, I recommend going during a weekday.  With over one million people visiting the gardens a year (mostly all in the spring), it is easy to see how packed the paths can get!  Either go early in the morning or later in the afternoon to try to escape the crowds and definitely try to avoid weekends.

 

Weather:

Again, it is the spring time, so you just never really know what to expect for weather.  It could be cold and windy or a beautifully sunny spring day!   It could be pouring down rain or not a drop in sight.  I don’t go anywhere in Europe without an umbrella and a few quick-dry layers that I can either double up on or wear as is.  Moral of the story? Anything goes, so just be prepared!

DSC_8841 (Large)

 

Where to Stay:

This is a personal preference and will greatly depend on what else you have planned for your Holland trip.

For Free on Points:  We stayed on points for free at the Park Plaza, which was right by the airport.  While it was a 40 minute train ride into Amsterdam city center, it was still an amazing free, Travel Hacking option and put us slightly closer to driving to Keukenhof as well.

Amsterdam: If I didn’t have a free night on points, I would have chosen to have stayed in Amsterdam.  There is just so much to do there and a day trip to Keukenhof is easy enough!

Kuekenhof: If you truly are going just for the tulip festival, you might as well stay close by

Other Places and Towns To See Nearby

Amsterdam: We’ve already touched on this one quite a bit, but I do highly recommend heading into the city at least for a day

The Hague: About an hour from Amsterdam, located along the North Sea, this city is the Netherlands home of the King and location of parliament

Harlaam:  A great mideival city to enjoy for a day walking around and simply exploring and only about 45 minutes from Amsterdam

Leiden: Get a little taste of Amsterdam, but without all the tourists.  Enjoy boat rides along canals and cobblestone streets in this picturesque town.  (Note: stop in Leiden along the way to The Hague if you have time!)

Maria Clara Cheese and Clog Factory: This adorable cheese and clog factory is only about 30 minutes out of Amsterdam and is a blast for everyone.  We made our own, personalized clogs and even helped mold and form our own cheeses!  It was fun to take part in such a cultural piece of Holland and well….who doesn’t love a day of eating cheese!?

Make your own cheese AND clogs in the Netherlands! How Fun!

 

 

Have you been to Keukenhof?  What did I miss?  Tell us in the comments what tips and advice you have for others wanting to check out the world’s largest tulip festival!

 

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LeAnna

Author and Creator at Economical Excursionists
Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

About LeAnna

Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!


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