The visit to the tulip farm 1 hour outside Amsterdam was included in the organized tour we took. We learned a lot about growing tulips and how to easily identify healthy ones when buying tulips.
The tulips in Holland are mainly grown for the bulbs, therefore farmers will cut the flowers once they are in bloom to grow healthy bulbs that can be sold. The best way to buy high quality bulbs is to get them in the fall. All the bulbs that the stores and the flower market sell during the rest of the year are from the last year crop, therefore you risk to get bulbs that will not bloom at all.
The land where tulips are grown is used to grow tulips once every 6 years. The rest of the time the land is used to plant something else (different vegetables every year) so the soil gets the nutrients needed to grow healthy tulip bulbs and flowers every 6 years.
From the last weekend in March to mid-May, Keukenhof hosts the world's largest flower garden with approximately seven million flower bulbs in the park which covers approximately 32 hectares. It is located in the town of Lisse, to the southwest of Amsterdam and is accessible by train and bus.
Keukenhof was established in 1949 with the idea to present a flower exhibit for growers who could show off their hybrids and help the Netherlands export industry as it is the world's largest exporter of flowers. Keukenhof has been the world's largest flower garden for over fifty years.
There are a number of outdoor displays as well as a number of halls displaying all sorts of bulb flowers as well as a hall which is dedicated to orchids.
During its opening period, it is open daily from 08:00 – 19:30. Its worth taking some time to check out the website to see at what stage the display is - the earlier your visit, the less likely that the bulbs will be in full flower.
Of course you cannot get to Keukenhof without firsrt taking transport as it is around 130 kms from Amsterdam. However, if you got the money to spare, your hotel can probably arrange for you to get there faster at about 62Euros per person.
But if you're like, a family of four- we prefer to ride on public buses and trains to get a feel of the locals!
We were not disappointed as Keukenhof was fantastic, a showcase of brilliant Dutch horticultural techniques. The garden, all 38 hectares of them ca easily be enjoyed on foot. I suggest you give it a whole day to fully immerse yourself in its many gems! I promise you won't be disappointed!
Sharing these information which is consolidated from all helpful VT folks!
Keukenhof is a MUST-VISIT if you are in Amsterdam in spring! I was there in end March 2009 and was told that it is even more beautiful in mid-end April where the tulips are at full bloom.
My transit time in Schiphol was 9 hours. If you have more than 5 hours transit time, you can go for Keukenhof. Here is a quick hassle free (also budget) guide to Keukenhof from Schiphol:
1. Upon exiting immigration, go to the VVV Tourist Information Centre * to buy the combi ticket
2. For Euro 20, you get the 2-way transportation Schiphol-Keukenhof and entrance ticket to Keukenhof:
- Take Connexion bus no. 58 (enquire VVV centre to find out where u should wait). Busses are very regular, refer ** for below.
- The bus driver will stamp on your ticket, pls keep it for your bus ride back. The journey to Keukenhof takes approx 30 minues.
- Upon reaching Keukenhof, proceed to the entrance gate and show your combi ticket where they will there off the entrance ticket portion.
- Allow 30 min for the journey back to Schiphol and at least 1 hour to go through airport security back in departure hall so you will not miss your flight.
I spent about 3.5 hours for a slow walk in the entire garden - this is sufficient to admire and take pictures of the beautiful tulips and flowers.
* VVV center is in arrival hall 2: http://www.schiphol.nl/web/show/id=99011/langid=42
** Timetable for the buses: http://www.keukenhof.nl/images/fck/File/Connexxion%202009/lijn%2058%202009.pdf
In 2009 there is a new activity that you can do besides cycling, it is a 1 hr boat ride. I did not go for this option as the tulips were not at full bloom at my time of visit.
2009: 19 March to 21 May
Daily from 08:00 – 19:30.
(Ticket office closes at 18:00).
with due respect to all the amsterdam vetrans...these are a few of my humble suggestions:)
Hague (Den Haag)
1. city center
2. parliament Building
3. Spui shopping street and other perpendicular streets
4. peace palace
It is 10 mins by train from hague and is a very historic city. Its famous for Delft pottery and you could go to a factory . Koninlijke Porceleyne Fles (the Royal Dutch Delftware Factory)
Famous tulips garden between Amsterdam and Hague.Its open only 3 months in a year
Unesco heitage sight, 17 windmills stand back to back and presents a majestic sight. Would recommend if in a romantic mood.I think its a 3 hours ride from amsterdam
Would suggest you skip as it is a business city , and after it was bombed by the germans, has lost all its charm.
Also a lovely city in south Holland.
As suggested above, if you are there before May 18, you should definitely go to the Keukenhof (http://www.keukenhof.nl/nm/english.html). And Delft is beautiful city easily walkable within a half-day and about 30 min away from Amsterdam
If you are in Amsterdam during spring (Late March to Late May) consider spending half a day at the Keukenhof garden. It's where the tulips are grown and they have a very nice exhibition area. The exhibition area is nice in itself but as you climb the windmills and stand on the platform you will see rows and rows of tulips stretching out on the flat Dutch landscape; a breathtaking view indeed.
I went there three times in six years and it was very good on each occasion.
Make sure you bring your good camera as this is one of the best places to take pictures.
They are open all day from 8am to 7.30pm and ticket cost Euro 13.5 per person.
From Amsterdam you can take the train to Haarlem - it will take 20 minutes and then take the special bus to Lisse-Keukenhof (another 30 minutes or so)
During the end of April/beginning of May, this is a must see. I'm not much of a flower person, but this place was amazing. It definately exceeded all my expectations, as I was being dragged here. You can spend a few hours wandering around the gardens and the colors are unbelievable. I suppose you have to time your visit to balance the crushing crowds, with the flowers in full bloom. We got there early in the day, and the crowds were not bad until we left.
We did a day trip out of Amsterdam. It was a beautiful April day and the colours of the flowers were everywhere we could see. It's an excellent way to spend time with the family, especially with toddlers. It can take up to 5 hours to see everything. There is a restaurant on site.
See all 5 attached photos.
For a magically breathtaking and intoxicating afternoon experience, I highly recommend a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse Holland. This incredible collection of the Netherlands best and most beautiful flowers wonderfully showcases the legendary Dutch expertise handed down through the generations. Mere photos cannot accurately portray the amazing size and spectacular beauty of the blooms you see as you wander through grounds. I included a photo with a friends hand next to the blooms to attempt to illustrate the scale of the blooms, but it is truly something you must see to believe!
In 1949 the then mayor of Lisse, Mr. W.J.H. Lambooy, together with ten leading bulb-growers conceived the idea of a permanent annual open-air flower exhibition. In the 15th century, the 32 hectares of the present park were part of the enormous estate belonging to the castle of Slot Teylingen. This was ruled from 1401 to 1436 by the Countess of Holland, Jacoba van Beieren. Using part of her estate as an herb and vegetable garden, the countess personally gathered the fresh ingredients for her kitchen. It is to this that the present Keukenhof, which literally means Kitchen Garden, owes its name.
Due to the seasonal nature of spring flowers, the Keukenhof regrettably only operates for about 8 weeks. In late May 2005 I visited and the tulips were already done. Since the focus of the bulb growers is to hasten propagation and not the flower itself, once the bloom has passed its prime, the very top of the flower is cut off leaving a naked green stem. It is somewhat surreal to see fields of beheaded tulips! I just returned from Amsterdam the first week of April 2006 and due to the colder than normal spring, only the daffodils were in bloom. If you are specifically planning your trip around the tulip fields, I would surmise that a mid-late April timeframe would most likely prevent disappointment.
2006: 23 March until 19 May
2007: 22 March until 20 May
20 Minutes south west of amsterdam is Lisse, known for it's tulips. It's an awesome place for a guy to go with his girl, but most guys wouldn't want to go with "the guys". Actually, the only reason I went is because my girlfriend told me there were monster trucks and beer there. she lied!! jk.
In my picture, the trees and ALL the flowers haven't bloomed yet. We went early to beat the crowd (maybe it was a bad idea??).
It was still a beautiful place.
Well if this picture does not remind you of the song, nothing will or else you are just too young to remember it. A visit to Keukenhof is a must for all visitors to Amsterdam during the period of mid-April to end May when the tulips are in full bloom and the colours just blow your mind!
Just outside of Amsterdam is the Keukenhof, the famous Dutch flower gardens. Here you can see miles and miles of flowers. There are more than 6 million bulbs in bloom each year. The tulip gardens are only open two months of the year. From the end of March until the end of May the flowers are in full bloom and there are numerous daytrips from Amsterdam to Lisse or you can find your own way there. During the summer the Keukenhof is also open, but tulip season is over by then. There is still a large variety of flowers in bloom, such as anemaones, dahlias, lilies, begonias, roses, and cannas.
A short train ride from Amsterdam in the town of Lisse is Keukenhof-the world's largest flower gardens.
Keukenhof sits on 32 acres of immaculately cared for land. The colors of the flowers are some of the boldest and brightest that you may ever see. Even if you are not a flower enthusiast, Kuekenhof still warrants a visit.
1 - Rent a bike
2 - Queensday
3 - Flowerparade
4 - Gay Parade
5 - Keukenhof
6 - Zaanse Schans
7 - Amsterdam Picture Guide
1 - Rent a bike, because driving by car in the city will drive you nuts. Go along the canals, the centre of the city. Just go where you want to go!
2- The biggest event is Queensday. Amsterdam is one big party. Thousands of people walking on the streets. People can sell things (without paying tax!).
Music, dancing, looking. One massive (orange)party.
3 - For those who like flowers. Always on first saturday of september.
4 - Holland is a free country, even gay and lesbian have their own parade.
5 - Keukenhof is a park with a beautiful scenery of flowers. It's only open a short season.
6 - Typical Dutch scenery
7 - more than hundred images of Amsterdam