The Easy Guide to visiting Keukenhof Tulip Festival from Amsterdam
So my wife and I recently visited the world renowned Keukenhof World Garden and Tulip Festival in the Netherlands. Finding information on getting there using public transport wasn’t incredibly easy so I’ve written up a quick guide to make your life easier:
Firstly… planning your trip. Don’t go at the start of the season. We visited during the first week following a particularly cold winter and all of the tulips are still deep in the ground or just starting to poke out some greenery. I would advise that visiting towards the end of April to Mid-may would probably be your best bet, unless of course The Netherlands has been unseasonably warm during January and February, in which case, it’s probably a great time to go.
Secondly… you do not need to buy tickets up front. They’re easy to buy on the day 7 days a week and reasonably priced.
So for the rest of this guide, I’m going to assume you’ve made your way to Amsterdam and you’re standing outside Amsterdam Centraal Station.
From Centraal, you want to get a a train to Schiphol Airport. You can buy return tickets for around €7 per person from the yellow machines in the lobby or from the handy ticket booth. Once you have your tickets, head down to the end of the platforms – usually platform 15a – and jump on the next train Schiphol. They run around every 15 minutes so you shouldn’t be waiting long. The train takes about 20 minutes and will drop you off beneath the airport.
From Schiphol station, proceed up the escalators to the Airport main lobby and head inwards. You’re looking for the tourist information desk – it’s well signposted, between arrivals gate 1 and the big red and white checked meeting point box. If you find the KLM shop with it’s big jet engine and landing gear displays you’re in the right area – just look around a bit and you should see it.
Pop into the tourist information shop and ask the staff for a Keukenhof Combi Ticket. This will grant you entry to the park (and let you skip the queues to buy tickets) and includes free return bus fair from Schiphol to Keukenhof. In 2013 this ticket cost us €22 each, but prices may vary by year. You can pay with cash, Dutch bank “chip” cards and most major credit cards.
Once you have your Combi Ticket, come out of the shop, turn 90 degrees to your left and keep walking past the KLM shop, towards the exit doors near arrivals 3. Outside you should see bus number 858 waiting (usually decorated with pictures of Tulips) – they depart around every 5-10 minutes and the journey takes around 30 minutes. Make sure you get your ticket stamped by the driver, if you don’t you won’t qualify for the return journey.
Once you’re there, proceed past the ticket purchasing queues and get your ticket scanned by the park entry wardens and be prepared for a day of beautiful tulips in one of the worlds most beautiful parks. Coming back, is as simple as jumping back on the 858 to Schiphol then getting a train back to Amsterdam Centraal Station. Easy peasy!
I hope this guide has been useful for you and you have a great time at Keukenhof!