In spring, the countryside of Bollenstreek in the Netherlands transforms from regular farmland to fantastical rainbow hued scenery. The popping rows of colors are the spring flowers, tulips! The tulips have become synonymous with Netherlands and the tulip bloom takes places only in the months of March to May. The best spot to enjoy these rare and beautiful flowers is at the Keukenhof Gardens, one of the world’s largest flower gardens, with over 7 million flowers blooming each year. The park is situated in Lisse about 40 KM away from Amsterdam, making it a great day-trip option to enjoy the beauty of tulips, and learn more about their history. Here's all you need to know before going from Amsterdam to Keukenhof to see the tulips!
Traveling from Amsterdam to Keukenhof
From Amsterdam to Keukenhof By Bus
The best way to take a direct bus from Amsterdam to Keukenhof is by using this Combi-Ticket that offers fast track entry to the Keukenhof Gardens plus round-transfer on a AC coach. You can board the bus from Amsterdam Central Station. There is no direct public bus from Amsterdam to Lisse, you will have to take a connecting bus to Hoofdorp, Amsterdam RAI, or Schiphol and then board a Keukenhof Express Bus.
If you wish to take a bus to Hoofdorp Station, here are your options -
- Bus Line 397 – From Amsterdam City Centre (Leidseplein, Rijksmuseum, Museumplein)
- Bus Line 341 – From Amsterdam Zuid Station
- Bus Line 300 – From Amstelveen Bus Station
From Amsterdam to Keukenhof by Train
Keukenhof Gardens are located in the town of Lisse, which does not have a train station. You will have to choose to visit any of the nearby train station and then take the Keukenhof Express Bus to reach the gardens.
From Haarlem – Take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Haarlem Station (One way ticket cost approx € 4,50) and it takes about 20 minutes on average. From Haarlem you can take the Regional Bus Line 50 to reach the gardens.
Leiden – Take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Leiden Centraal (One way ticket cost - € 9,60) and it takes about 35 minutes on average. From Leiden you can take the Keukenhof Express Bus Line 854 to reach the gardens.
From Amsterdam to Keukenhof By Car
Keukenhof Gardens are about 40 KM away from Amsterdam (Amsterdam Central) and it takes about 40 minutes to drive. It is a convenient drive and ideal for a short road trip, you can also use the car to drive by the countryside of Bollenstreek. The parking fee for cars is € 6.
- The Keukenhof Gardens are at the address – Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM, Lisse
- The Keukenhof Garden’s GPS coordinates are ‘52.271256 4.546365’
Directions - You will have to take the A4 Highway will getting out of Amsterdam, and take the exit at Nieuw-Vennep to Leimuiderweg/N207. Drive on the road for about 10 KM and you will reach Loosterweg Noord, near the gardens.
By the Keukenhof Express Bus
The Keukenhof Express Bus is the official bus that transports visitors to the Keukenhof Gardens. There are four lines which will take you straight to the Keukenhof Gardens –
- Bus Line 858 – From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Aprox. Travel time – 35 minutes)
- Bus Line 852 – From Amsterdam RAI (Aprox. Travel time – 35 minutes)
- Bus Line 859 – From Hoofddorp (Aprox. Travel time – 22 minutes)
- Bus Line 854 – From Leiden (Aprox. Travel time – 25 minutes)
The single one way ticket on Buses 858, 859, 854 costs € 5, and on the bus line 852 costs € 7.
The buses are wheelchair-friendly and you can also bring along your small dogs on the bus.
Walking or Biking to Keukenhof
Keukenhof is located in the Bollenstreek area which offers beautiful countryside views and the best way to appreciate it is through slow exploration by walk or bike. An added bonus is that you can visit the garden early in the morning or late without the worry of missing a bus back to Amsterdam.
Lisse has a few hotels that will suit your budget and are ideal for walking to Keukenhof Park. The surrounding areas that are suitable for biking to Keukenhof which have great hotels are –
- Noordwijk – 12KM from Keukenhof – Idyllic coastal town with access to beaches
- Hoofdorp – 15 KM from Keukenhof – Canal side town with famous Amsterdamse Bos Park
- Haarlem – 15 KM from Keukenhof – City with medieval old town, art museums, and tulip fields
Guided Tours From Amsterdam to Keukenhof
A tour is the most convenient way to visit Keukenhof from Amsterdam. There are multiple benefits to taking a tour –
- Transportation in sorted – The private tours have comfortable AC buses which start from near Amsterdam Central. You don’t have to travel to Schiphol or Amsterdam RAI and then take the Keukenhof Express. It offers a direct transfer!
- Skip the line entry – A tour will give you a fast track entry that will help you beat the crowds at the Keukenhof Gardens
- Visit nearby attractions – A guided tour will also take you to nearby attractions like a bulb farm, flower fields, Marken, Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and even get a free Amsterdam Canal cruise. You don’t have to worry about arranging transportation for these additional locations.
Below are the top Keukenhof Guided Tours from Amsterdam that you must consider for your trip.
Keukenhof Fast Track Entry Ticket & Transfers
Relish a comprehensive experience of Keukenhof with an exclusive fast track entry into the attraction as well as flexible travel options to and from the park. Explore 32 acres of the Keukenhof Garden and get a chance to see more than 7 million blooming flowers.
Keukenhof Opening Times
The Keukenhof Park is open only during the tulip season in Amsterdam. In 2019 the garden is open from 21st March 2019 to 19th May 2019, including Easter (22nd April), Kingsday (27th April) and Liberation Day (5th May).
- The park timings are 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM
- The Keukenhof gardens tickets are sold from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Best Time to Visit Keukenhof Gardens
The tulip season in Amsterdam lasts for around eight weeks during spring, which is also when the Keukenhof Gardens are open to the public.
Mid-April to Mid-May – This is undoubtedly the best time to visit Keukenhof Tulip Gardens.Spring is at its peak with bright and sunny days, making for the perfect time to walk around blooming tulips. It is a visual treat as the colors shine in the sun, making for terrific photographs. Note, this also happens to be the most crowded period, hence be prepared to brave massive tourist hordes.
Mid-March to Early-April – Early spring is also a good time to visit, however be prepared for a few cloudy days. Also, there is a possibility that you may not view the tulips in their full glory. But, you can enjoy other flowers like crocuses, daffodils, and hyacinths during this period. You will also experience fewer crowds at this time.
Tips for going from Amsterdam to Keukenhof
- The earliest Keukenhof Express bus from Amsterdam Schiphol leaves at 8:00 AM, while the first bus from Amsterdam RAI leaves at 8:43 AM. If you want to get to the gardens early then choose to go to Schiphol.
- Going by train from Amsterdam to Keukenhof might not be the quickest option but if you are going on the day of the flower parade, then it will be your best option. You can watch the flower parade either at Leiden or Haarlem, and take the train, as the streets will be packed for the parade with the visiting crowd.
- You can keep your bikes for free at the designated parking spots at the Keukenhof Gardens. Make sure you bring a lock and put up an identifying marker for your bike.
- The earliest bus from all of the stations is the Direct Bus Line 50 that leaves from Haarlem Station at 7:00 AM. There are at least eight trains that leave from Amsterdam Centraal to Haarlem Station before 7:00 AM. You can use this combination to get to Keukenhof Gardens in time for the 8:00 AM opening, and have the gardens to yourself for almost an hour till the first Keukenhof Express Buses start coming in!
- Hotel de Nachtegaal, Hotel De Duif, Boutique Suites Lisse, Hotel de Lis, and Bed & Breakfast Madeleine, are some of the best hotels in Lisse. These hotels are within 5 KM radius of the Keukenhof Gardens and ideal when you want to stay overnight and bike or walk to the park.