April and May are the perfect months to visit the tulip parks of Holland. The spectacular coloured fields and gardens full of tulips and over a hundred different other flowers are located near the Dutch city of Lisse, between Leiden and Amsterdam. Keukenhof is Hollands most famous tulip garden in bloom. In 2017, you can visit the tulip gardens of Keukenhof from March 22 until May 21.
Visiting the tulip gardens
There are several ways to visit the bulb fields in Holland. You can rent a car and drive around the area and stop at Keukenhof. You can also rent a bicycle and cycle around the flower fields. To visit just Keukenhof it’s easiest is to buy ticket and bus transport in one ticket and go directly from Amsterdam Central Station.
Keukenhof is the most famous spring garden in Holland. It’s the biggest showcase of flowers in bloom. It’s pretty big: there are over 7 million flowers in a 100 different varieties in an area of 32 hectares. So it’s not just tulips, but also daffodils and hyacinths. There are also flower shows and artsworks.
In spring, april and may the Dutch flower park Keukenhof attracts around 1 million visitors from a 100 different countries.
Visiting the tulip gardens of Keukenhof
The tulip gardens of Keukenhof lie about 1,5 hours of travel time from Amsterdam in Lisse. Out of the tulip garden season, it’s complicated to reach. Keukenhof does not lie near a rail road and so it’s only to be reached by bus, car or bike.
How to get to Keukenhof
Bus company Connexxion runs a bus service from Amsterdam to Keukenhof (change at Schiphol Airport). From The Hague, Leiden and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport there are direct buses to Keukenhof bulb flower park.
Prices & Tickets to Tulip Park Keukenhof
A bus ticket including the entrance ticket to Keukenhof costs €25. In Amsterdam, tickets to Keukenhof are available at the coffee house across Central Station (Tourist Information) and at the Ticket Shop at Leidseplein.
Buy entrance ticket, transport and tour for Keukenhof online
For a hassle free visit to Keukenhof, get your entrance ticket and transport ticket in advance online. There are several options:
1. Combo: Bus + Skip the line entrance to Keukenhof €32,50
Skip the line at Keukenhof with your entrance ticket and book your bus in advance with this combo ticket. You get a return bus ticket from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam Central Station or Haarlem to Keukenhof. From Amsterdam your bus ticket is valid for the Keukenhof Express bus 858 and bus no. 197. It leaves leaves 2 to 12 times an hour. A time and hassle-saving ticket.
2. Take a luxury coach drive to Keukenhof SPECIAL PRICE €49,00
Don’t want to take the bus? Take the luxury coach drive to Keukenhof. This organised day trip to Keukenhof takes 5 hours. Transportation, a private guide and entrance to the tulip gardens are all included.
3. Combo visit: Keukenhof and Zaanse Schans with guide NOW €85
Personally, I recommend this tour. In 8 hours you will visit 2 must-sees of Holland: Keukenhof and Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is a small museum-village consisting of a line of authentic, still functioning windmills from the 17th century. Your private tour guide will tell you all about it! The coach leaves from an easy to find and accessible pickup spot: across the Hotel Victoria (opposite Central Station).
4. Daytrip: Keukenhof, Flowerfields, Volendam & Windmills €149,00
Combine a visit to Keukenhof with a drive through the blooming flower fields and a visit to Zaanse Schans & Volendam on this day trip. This a full day tour. You meet the driver at a meeting point near Amsterdam Central Station. He will take the group in luxurious minivan for a scenic ride in the flowerfields area and windmills area near Amsterdam. You will also visit the windwill village of Zaanse Schans and Volendam.
5. Keukenhof Tour with Live Guide €45
By bicycle to Keukenhof!
Sporty people might be interested in renting a bicycle at Leiden Central Station and cycling to Keukenhof (about 37 km). The route is signposted by 6-sides green signs saying: ‘Ontdek het landschap van Zuid-Holland‘ (discover the landscape of Zuid-Holland). It’s possible to rent a bicycle at Keukenhof as well. You then cycle around Keukenhof, and through small villages and bulb fields around.
2. Tulip garden Floratuin Julianadorp
Another tulip garden is Floratuin Julianadorp. On show are exclusive and new varieties of blossoming bulb flowers. Visitors are free to wander around in the tulip garden and pick their own bunch of flowers. The Floratuin is open from March to May. In August, September, October and November the shop is open for the sale of flower bulbs.
You can also order the flower bulbs online. First you choose the flowers you like and order them. They will be sent to your house in October. You need to plant the bulbs in the fall. They also seem to stores around Miami, Florida.
3. Flower parades and tulip festivals
Many villages and areas of Holland that grow flowers organise a flower parade. During this tulip festival, a procession (‘corso’) of wagons decorated with thousands of colourful flowers pass through the streets. Hundreds of volunteers have worked on the creation of these artistic processions for months. The biggest flower parade is the Bloemencorso held each year at the end of April. Find more about Dutch flower parades.
Flower parade: Bloemencorso
From April 19, 2017 up to and including April 23, 2017 is Corsoweek, Flower Parade Week, in the Bollenstreek, the bulb growing area. The parade floats will be decorated in the hall van DeLeeuw Flowerbulbs in Sassenheim from Wednesday, April 19 up to and including Friday, April 21.
On Saturday April 22, 2017 the Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek will travel from Noordwijk to Haarlem. In 2017, the theme is Dutch Design.
4. Tulip gardens in Amsterdam
If you prefer to stay in Amsterdam and visit a tulip garden in Amsterdam, you don’t need to search. In April and May there are tulip gardens in bloom all over Amsterdam. Recommended for a spring visit in Amsterdam is a visit to the the beautiful Botanical garden. The Botanical garden of Hortus Botanicus has around 4,000 types of plants, including rare tulips. The Amsterdam Hortus is one of the oldest in the world and has been in the Jewish Quarter, near the centre of the city, since 1638. There are plants from 6 different climates.
5. Tulip garden at the Vondelpark
The Vondelpark has a special area designated to flowers. Apart from lovely roses, there is also a tulip garden in the Vondelpark Amsterdam.
History of the Dutch tulip
Originally the tulip grew in the wild in Central Asia. The Turks were the ones who first cultivated them in ancient times. In the 17th century the tulip was introduced in the Netherlands by a biologist from Vienna, who planted them in the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden.
Dutch Tulip mania
In 1637 there was a real tulip mania in Holland, which resulted in extremely high prices for certain tulip bulbs. A serious trade in tulips started in Amsterdam and many people made a fortune. In the end, though, the bulb didn’t turn out to be quite so rare to justify the high prices. The prices of tulips plummeted and many people lost their savings. This is called the Tulip Crash. Still to this day, gardens in Amsterdam are filled with the strong and colorful tulips.