The World’s Most Beautiful Garden: Keukenhof & Tulip Fields
The best time to visit Keukenhof and to go on tulip route is April and May because you are witnessing a spring that is beyond your dreams during these times. As the world’s largest flower producer, the country has kilometers of flower fields and all fields are blooming with millions of color. Of course, the tulips, which have become the symbol of the Netherlands, are the leading stars, but it is also possible to see many kinds of flowers such as hyacinths.
3 Popular Routes To Choose From
We have 3 tulip road trip recommendations for those who came to the Netherlands during this period to go on the tulip route:
- Complete the Tulip Route marked by signs, which exceed 100 kilometers by car. This route takes you from Amsterdam to the north of the Netherlands in an hour, 10 minutes by car and 2 hours by train. This path is worth it for only 6-8 weeks, because then the flowers are picked. We will tell you in detail soon. You can also cycle on this route, but if you’re just going for a short bike tour, the 2nd option is more practical.
- The most popular bicycle route to see the tulips is from Keukenhof to Haarlem. Keukenhof Park is the most beautiful place you can see the tulips without getting too far from Amsterdam. You can reach Keukenhof by train and bus from Amsterdam. There are even buses leaving the airport to Keukenhof. If you trust your energy, it takes 2 hours pedaling from Amsterdam to Keukenhof. Usually people come to Keukenhof by car and start to ride the bicycle from there. Pedaling from Keukenhof to Haarlem takes 18 or 35 kilometers, depending on where you are heading. There are many routes covering Keukonhof in this region, but this is the best in terms of being short, beautiful and practical.
- For those who read the option number 2 but asked “would it be possible to do it by car?”, there is the Bloemen Route (Flower Route) which takes 40 kilometers. It is going from Haarlem to Leiden. Very convenient to do by bike as well.
Whichever you choose, make sure to see Keukenhof. And if you haven’t been to the Netherlands before, spend at least 2 days in Amsterdam.
Tulpenroute (Tulip Route)
- The tulip route (called Tulpenroute) can be taken by bicycle or car that goes between the endless tulip fields. In this route, there are more intensive flower fields compared to others. The other 2 alternative route options include museum stops and city stops as well but are not as attractive as the 1st route.
- Tulpenroute is 100 kilometers long, marked by signs. Our advice is not to stick faithfully to the route marked with signs, but to make your own route more or less in the same area. The reason is that although Tulpenroute is full of tulip fields everywhere, tulips can be planted in the same field in every 6 years or so for crop rotation purpouse to increase soil fertility.
- So your first stop is to visit Tulip Information Center in Wrakkenpad to learn the most dense fields of flowers. The most colorful fields have up-to-date information. If you have a map of the past years, throw it away. The route is renewed every year according to the fields that planted flowers.
- When you think about Tulip Information Center, you would probably think of a help desk in a glassy building. No. You are wrong. If you did not know where it is on the map, you would probably miss it. My guess is that the building used for other purposes during the other days of the year. It is being turned to the information center during the tulip season. If you look outside, it looks like a house or a barn in the fields. The flags they hung on the road will help you recognize it. There is a café inside and the operators provide information about the tulip route and run the place.
- When to go on Tulpenroute (Tulip Route)? As we said, Tulips are blooming during April and May, but the prime time for the Tulip Route is the 3rd week of April. The flowers are fresh, and you can catch a few events.
- If you want to shoot two birds with one stone and your wallet is ready for prime time prices, you can do nothing but join the Kings Day celebration in Amsterdam and then tie it to Tulpenroute. You catch two of the most important events in the Netherlands. Kings Day The biggest party in the Netherlands, Amsterdam is totally crazy about having fun. Hotel and airplane prices are hurting during this time because it is the most famous event in the country, which is a real deal.
- Kings Day also overlays with the 2-week Tulip Festival . The Tulip Festival generally lasts for 3 weeks. There are small concerts in the evening and various activities during the day.
- If you want to ride a bike in Tulpenroute, you can rent a bike from Binnenhaven.
- Peace of mind, wherever you go you will see beautiful things. But don’t skip Keukenhof Park just because it’s in the opposite direction.
2. Keukenhof – Haarleem by Bike
If you are not coming to Netherlands to ride a bike, you might not get the full joy as the biking is almost a national sport in Netherlands. In the meantime, it is a good idea to ride the bike because the country is flat, there is a settlement along the way.
Catching Kings Day is also a good idea for cyclists.
- After Keukenhof- Haarlem route, you can also return to Amstardam or stay in Haarlem. Haarlem is a very sweet historic city, one of the most pleasant parts of northern Holland. A typical Dutch settlement with canals, houses that looks like they are out of a painting, beautiful bridges. It is also surrounded by tulip fields. Haarlem is closer if you are going to The Hague.
- Is it difficult to ride a bike Keukenhof – Haarleem? Since the country is flat, it is quite easy in terms of effort. However, it is possible to go 20 kilometers or 100 kilometers in the same day. It’s up to you how much you want to push yourself.
- If you say “I love cycling but planning to tour it”, you can join guided bike tours. Check out Guided Tours at Holland-cycling.com.
Keukenhof – Haarlem (6 hours)
Keukenhof – Linden (6-8 hours)
3. Bloemen Route (Flower Route) by Car
- Nat Geo picked this route as one of the best roadtrip in the world. It is a journey that compresses both cultural breaks, tulip landscapes and different activities on the same route. You can also do Salkantay route, one of the best trekking routes that Nat Geo selected.
- You can make the route with or without a bike according to the weather and your fatigue tolerance. On the way back, you can take public transport with your bike if you wish.
Here is details of Bloemen Route (Flower Route) by Car.
- Route starts at Haarlem . First start by strolling the city.
- No wonder why the famous painters are from Netherlands. It’s easy to find inspiration when the flowering landscapes they draw are right next door. While you’re in Haarlem, you can visit The Frans Hals Museum and see the landscapes Jan Jan Goyen has drawn.
- Then head towards Lisse from the N208 highway. A pitstop in Keukenhof , the most beautiful flower garden in the world.
- If you are driving, also pay a visit to Keukenhof Castle right next to the park. If you are cycling, you may want to save time and effort. The castle belongs to one of the managers of the Dutch East India company, which made the Netherlands rich in the 17th century.
- Connect to A44 via N208 to Leiden. Visit the botanical garden of the oldest university in the Netherlands founded in the 1500s. The De Valk Windmill Museum is also a must-see.
- When you get back south from A4 and turn west from N222, you reach Leiden to Naaldwijk in 30 minutes. Naaldwijk is the center of the Dutch flower trade. Flower trade is an important source of income. FloraHolland, the country’s largest flower auctioneer, makes around $ 5 billion to stand alone a year. The world’s largest greenhouses are here. You can’t join the auction but you can join one of the tours organized by Naaldwijk Flower Auction House where you can learn a lot about flower trade.
- If you can, try to set your calendar to see Flower Parade (Bloemencorso). During the flower parade, 20+ gigantic statues made of flowers crosses for 42 kilometers. Music, shows, bands, wonderfully colorful. The parade starts in Noordwijk and ends in Haarlem.
The World’s Most Beautiful Garden Keukenhof
Keukenhof, founded by Dutch people with an idea of having “the most beautiful flower exhibition in the world” is a park that does justice to live it up to its title. It will blow you away. It is possible to see various kinds of tulips and flowers in a tremendous landscape arrangement. There are also 4 pavilions. Some giving information about tulips, some containing aesthetic arrangements. It is hard to believe that so much effort has been given to such a large investment is only for a park to be open for two months. Yes, you did not hear wrong, planted 7 million flowers Keukenhof is only open in April and May! You must confirm the opening and closing days at the Keukenhof Tulip and Flower Gardens. The coming days of spring can vary from year to year.
Even if you do not make the Tulip Route, it is worth visiting Keukenhof wherever you are in the Netherlands. You can easily arrive by train. It is recommended that you spend at least 1 day. One of the most beautiful spring experiences you can have in the world. If possible, choose the weekdays when it is less crowded. The first opening hours of the park and the time towards the closing time are the less busiest times to visit. There are places where you can grab something to eat inside the park.
Some days there may be long ticket queues at the gate, so get your tickets from online (Tiqets or GetYourGuide) before you go.
Tips for Budget
If you rent a car, make your renting plans not via Amsterdam, but via Rotterdam or The Hague (The Hague, Dutch: Dan Haag). The Hague fits the route even more. If you fly to Amsterdam first, there are regular trains from the airport to both.
For accommodation, choose B & B’s. Breakfast is included, they have very nice rooms, very reasonably priced.