Experiences,  Netherlands

Best Day Trips to Keukenhof – and is it worth visiting?

Are you looking for a perfect day trip to explore Dutch culture, history, and beautiful flowers? Look no further – a day trip to the Keukenhof Gardens might just be what you need.

Nestled in Lisse amidst stunning tulip fields, this historic attraction will leave you enthralled with its floral displays and exceptional ambiance. Visit the largest flower garden in the world to witness a magnificent showcase of nature overflowing with vibrant blooms that grace each pathway and fill every corner.

There are many options on how to get from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof gardens in just a day. I have visited the Keukenhof every year since I have lived here – and tried them all.

Truth to be told, the Keukenhof can be a bit touristic and organizing a day trip can be a hassle. I have created a comprehensive guide in this post so you can pick the best option for your trip.

Also, I will go a bit into depth about whether or not visiting the Keukenhof is worth it – to help make the decision easier for you.

Let’s dive in!

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Table of Contents

Perks of booking a Day Trip to the Keukenhof Gardens

While you may be tempted to plan your trip, joining an organized day trip is a better alternative that offers more value. I have tried both of the options and I found the organized trips much more convenient. Here are some of my reasons why you should choose an organized day trip to the Keukenhof.

Firstly, an organized day trip guarantees that you will have a seamless and stress-free experience. With a pre-arranged itinerary, you won’t have to worry about transportation, tickets, or getting lost there.

It also means that you can sit back and relax, taking in the breathtaking scenery and the flower fields, while your guide takes care of everything. The parking space in front of the Keukenhof is huge – and it certainly has its perks that a tour bus can drop you right at the entrance.

The day trip we booked included skip-the-line tickets. When we arrived there it was such a relief to just walk by all these people and go right into the garden.

Thirdly, an organized day trip offers better value for money. By booking a package tour, you can benefit from a bundle of discounts, including transportation, entrance fees, meals, and much more. These offers will save you money, meaning you can spend more on souvenirs and bulbs to take home.

Lastly, when you go by yourself you have to book a certain time slot and then stick to the pre-booked times. If you are in a traffic jam or late for other reasons, you might lose your slot.

Also keep in mind that you can combine your trip to the Keukenhof with other attractions, like the Zaanse Schans. This is a great way to see the country without much effort.

The Best Day Trips to the Keukenhof from Amsterdam

1. Keukenhof Ticket and Transport from Amsterdam

🥰 4,5/5 (2071 reviews)

This was the trip we took this year. It includes only the transportation to the Keukenhof from Amsterdam Centraal Station and the entrance tickets to the flower garden.

We were extremely happy with the tour, because we did not want a guided tour, but merely organized transportation and tickets. You can choose an option to have a tour guide on the bus tho.

The bus was air-conditioned and had WiFi, and you could even buy water there for the park. The journey was super comfortable and everything was seamless. There were some traffic jams in front of the park, but we still had enough time to enjoy the gardens.

I recommend taking this tour for 5,5 hours. It is enough time to explore the gardens in peace. The tour is also extremely affordable.

Always keep in mind that the weather might be crappy in Amsterdam, so I do not recommend an 8-hour trip – you might be stuck at the gardens in that case.

I love booking my trips and tours with this provider because cancellation is always free in case something comes up. This trip is my first choice when it comes to day trips to the Keukenhof from Amsterdam.

Bonus tip: make sure to actually be there 30 mins before departure time – they leave at that time towards the bus.

2. Keukenhof’s Tulips and Windmills Small-Group Tour With Lunch

🥰 4,5/5 (60 reviews)

This tour is my absolute favorite when it comes to touring the cultural highlights of the Netherlands. In only one day you can see so many of the highlights that this area has to offer.

The tour is limited to only 8 people, which I love. This gives you a chance to talk to your guide and ask all the questions you might have.

Your day will start with a visit to the Zaanse Schans. You will have a local guide that will show you around the windmills. To be fair, I found the windmills lovely, but the area was super crowded and touristy. Keep this in mind.

On this trip, you will also learn how wooden shoes and Gouda are made. And my favorite thing: you can walk inside a windmill.

The tour ends with three hours at the Keukenhof. Three hours is definitely enough to see all the attractions.

The tour takes 9 hours and Keukenhof will be the last stop on the tour. That is a great perk because it means you will have the garden almost to yourself in the evening hours.

I loved seeing all the attractions that this tour offers, so I can recommend it.

3. Private Keukenhof Tulip Fields & Flowers Sightseeing Tour From Amsterdam

🥰 5/5 (12 reviews)

This Private Keukenhof Day Trip is my favorite tour for small groups. This is for sure the most comfortable way to experience the Keukenhof and the surrounding tulip fields.

The perks of this private tour are obvious: it is extremely convenient and very relaxed. The guide will pick you up at your hotel and bring you directly to the Keukenhof. If you wish to stop at one of the magnificent tulip fields on the way to take some pictures it is no problem at all.

With this tour, you can avoid waiting times and save yourself a trip to the meeting point of the tour. Your guide can tell you all about the Netherlands, Amsterdam, and the tulip fields while you drive to the Keukenhof.

The price is a little steeper than with a public tour. However, you can split it with your friends and have a wonderful experience. I found it worth paying a bit more in exchange for privacy and convenience.

colorful tulip fields in Amsterdam

What you need to know about the Keukenhof Gardens before you visit

The Keukenhof Gardens, also known as the Garden of Europe, is a spectacular sight in the Netherlands. If you visit Amsterdam in Spring, this should be on your itinerary.

Set within a 79-acre park filled with millions of brightly-colored tulips, daffodils, and other flowers, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens and a must-see for any garden lover. But not only garden enthusiasts will love the Keukenhof – it is an amazing place for photographers and culture buffs as well.

The gardens are located close to Amsterdam in the town of Lisse, and are open from late March until mid-May each year. It takes about an hour to drive from Amsterdam to Lisse.

During this time, you can wander through changing seasonal displays that feature different varieties of bulb flowers every two weeks.

There are also plenty of activities like guided tours, shopping at the souvenir shops and markets, boat trips along the canals, and more. Cute little restaurants and cafes inside the garden are the perfect spots for a break.

In addition to its beautiful blooms, Keukenhof Gardens is also home to some stunning sculptures and formations that have become iconic symbols of Dutch culture. Especially the windmill is very beloved among tourists, although I did not find it as spectacular.

What you need to bring to Keukenhof Gardens

When visiting the Keukenhof Gardens, it’s important to bring a few essentials:

  • Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, as the gardens span 79 acres.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen are also essential for sunny days.
  • You may also want to bring a light jacket or scarf in case the weather is cooler than expected.
  • For rainy days I suggest to either bring an umbrella or move the day trip to a later day if possible
  • A camera is a must – you’ll want to take photos of all the beautiful flower displays!
  • If you plan on taking boat trips along the canals, you’ll need your own life jacket or a rental one from one of the vendors at the gardens.
  • It is often windy in the Netherlands, so I suggest styling your hair accordingly.
  • Bring some water, the shops in the garden are a bit crowded
  • Bring your credit card or debit card – cash is not accepted in the gardens
  • Bring allergy medicine if you are allergic to pollen (kind of obvious, I know)

Map of the Keukenhof Gardens in 2023

map of the Keukenhof Gardens

Best things to do inside the Keukenhof

  • Take a 45 minutes whisper boat trip around the Keukenhof and see the stunning flower fields outside the garden
  • Rent a bike at the main entrance and cycle around the garden and discover the flower bulb fields
  • Check out the flower show at the Oranje Nassau Pavilion, they have a different exhibition every week. These are usually the most impressive flower shows in the whole garden
  • The Beatrix Pavilion offers an Orchid and Anthurium show, go check it out! This place is also filled with little Instagram photo spots, so make sure to bring your phone!
  • The Willem Alexander Pavilion also showcases different tulips and other flowers. This is in my opinion the least impressive flower show in the garden
  • Check out the petting zoo and the maze
  • The Juliana Pavilion showcases an exhibition about the history of the tulip and the story of the black tulip
  • Inform about a free scavenger hunt for your children through the park
  • Have a coffee and a cake in one of the cafes. My favorite one is the one next to the Beatrix exhibitions because there are beautiful cherry blossoms and a lovely outside sitting area.

Is it worth it going to the Keukenhof Gardens?

Absolutely, it is worth it going to the Keukenhof Gardens!

Keukenhof Gardens is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves flowers or simply wants to explore traditional Dutch culture. From the breathtaking displays of vibrant tulips to the captivating aroma of the blooming hyacinths and crocuses, this incredible park offers an experience you won’t soon forget.

Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty as you admire numerous flower beds, take picturesque strolls along the canals, and learn about floriculture. If you’re looking for a unique way to explore springtime in the Netherlands, then be sure to add Keukenhof Gardens to your list of things to do.

There are some downsides to visiting the Keukenhof. It is extremely touristy and crowded, which was surely a bit of a disappointment. If you visit in the evening or the morning, you can avoid the crowds a bit tho.

Another thing I did not expect was the lack of actual tulip fields. I was looking for nice picture opportunities of me walking in one of the tulip fields. However, the tulips in the Keukenhof are usually in very small gardens and they are restricted.

Even if some things there frustrated me a bit, it was still a sight to behold. And I can recommend going for everyone that is still in doubt. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and even though there are some downsides to a visit, it is well worth it going to the Keukenhof.

Visiting the Keukenhof without a guided Day Trip from Amsterdam

If you do not wish to take a Day Trip to Keukenhof, there are some other ways to visit the flower gardens. Keep in mind that these ways are less convenient and take a bit more organizing.

Visiting By Car

Driving from Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens can be an easy and convenient way to travel. The journey takes about an hour, depending on traffic. During peak times it can be quite excruciating to drive to Keukenhof, so I do not recommend it.

To get there by car, take the A4 motorway towards Schiphol Airport, then take the exit for N201. Follow this road until you reach the Keukenhof Park signs and follow them until you’re at the entrance gates.

Be sure to have a valid ticket before entering the gardens to avoid paying extra fees.

If you do not have a car, you can grab a rental car at the airport or in the city.

Going with Public Transport

Taking public transport from Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens is also an option for those who don’t have access to a car.

The easiest way to get there is by taking the train from any of Amsterdam’s major stations and getting off at Schiphol Airport. From here, take bus 858 which will take you directly to the Keukenhof Park entrance.

Alternatively, you can take the direct bus 397 from Amsterdam Leidseplein, which takes just over an hour and will drop you right outside the gardens.

I find it very complicated to go by public transport, so I usually do not recommend this option. However, you can get discounted tickets to the Keukenhof if you use public transport.

Conclusion: Best Day Trips to the Keukenhof – and is it worth it?

To sum it up, experiencing the Keukenhof is an amazing opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful gardens in Europe.

Each of the day trips from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof allows you to soak in a unique atmosphere. While there are a variety of activities to partake in at Keukenhof, don’t forget that you can also take a bike tour or take a cruise to truly capture some incredible memories!

Ultimately, if you want a one-of-a-kind experience then visiting The Keukenhof is more than worth your time and money – trust me on this one! If you have your expectations set straight and are well-prepared for your trip, then you will have an unforgettable experience.

For more wonderful experiences during your trip, don’t forget to check out my blog post about three days in Amsterdam in spring!

FAQ: Day Trips to the Keukenhof – is it worth it?

Till what time are the Keukenhof Gardens open?

The Keukenhof Gardens are open till 7:30 PM. You can find blooming tulips from the end of March to mid-May. I suggest visiting in the evening or early in the morning for the best experience.

Is Keukenhof open in the summer?

No, the Keukenhof is not open in the summer. In 2023 Keukenhof will be open daily from 23 March until 14 May from 08:00 – 19:30.

How much time do you need in the Keukenhof?

I suggest planning at least 3 hours in the Keukenhof. That is enough time to stroll through the garden without a rush. You can even have a cup of coffee during that time.

How long does it take to get from Amsterdam to Keukenhof?

The Keukenhof Gardens are about 40 km away from Amsterdam (Amsterdam Central Station) and it takes about 40 minutes to drive. Keep in mind that it is very busy in that area, so traffic jams are likely.

What time of day is best to visit Keukenhof?

The best time to visit the Keukenhof is early in the morning or later in the evening. I suggest not going there around noon, since it is the busiest time.

Is it worth it going to the Keukenhof

Yes, it is worth it to go to the Keukenhof. Despite it being a bit crowded, the gardens are beautiful and something everyone will enjoy. Visit early in the morning or later in the evening for the best experience.

How much does a day trip to the Keukenhof cost?

Day trips from Amsterdam start around EUR 40,00. Depending on how long you go or whether or not the tour is private, prices can be as high as EUR 270,00.

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