Every year, 2 million tourists come to Holland to see the Tulip fields. Most people will go to Keukenhof, and if you want to make a photo of the background with the fields, you will need to stand in a line.
When to see the Tulip fields?
The bloom begins in the middle of March, narcissus and crocuses come first, then hyacinths and later — tulips. Peaches and roses complete the feast. So if you did not manage to grab a ticket at the beginning of the season, do not worry — you will have enough time to find at least some flower fields until the end of May and the beginning of June.
Where to go?
The districts of Lisse, Leiden, De Engel, Sassenheim, Noordwijk, Hillegom surround Keukenhof, are not difficult to get to and won’t take more than half a day.
The easiest way to get there is by bus from the airport. You can buy a ticket directly from the driver, and pay only with your card. Remember that it’s a touristic destination, so I can only imagine how much it will cost. The bus will bring you directly to Keukenhof, the entrance costs 17 euros and there is always a big crowd. So if you want to feel the real atmosphere and explore areas that are not crowded with tourists -avoid touristic buses!
You can also grab a local bus number 50 from Haarlem (It will take you 20 minutes to get from Amsterdam to Haarlem and another 40 minutes to the fields). Amsterdam-Haarlem costs 5 euros one way, Haarlem – Keukenhof – another 4 euros one way.
If possible, rent a car.
A certified service at the central Amsterdam station — Enterprise Car Rental.
Your possible directions are Lisse, Leiden, De Engel, Sassenheim, Noordwijk, Hillegom. Your landmark: roads number N208, N442, N206, N450. Carefully look around, sometimes the field with the right flowers is a bit hidden from the eyes.
When you arrive, you can always rent a bicycle as there are a lot of fields and the territory is huge. Do not forget to buy sandwiches and water/wine for a picnic.
Here are two places where you can rent a bike close to Lisse and Keukenhof:
www.bikerental-keukenhof.com/for 7.50/ half day.
keukenhof.nl/ for 8 euro / day.
Directions for the Sat Nav or your trusty map reader: Zwartelaan, Essenlaan, Loosterweg-Zuid en Herenweg.
Or if you are not afraid of pedalling 40 kilometres per day — rent a bicycle in Haarlem at the railway station. It will cost you 3.50 per day if you have a yellow OV-chip card, if not, then 7.
Most of the fields are enclosed by a fence or a canal. You can also see signs “verboden toegang” which means “do not enter.” It is easy to understand farmers dismay; what will happen to the flowers and the earth if 2 million people walk on it? But then how to take a photo?
Tip number 1 — go to the Tulip fields on a weekday. There are fewer tourists, farmers are also more accommodating. Politely ask the farmers permission and walk on specially dedicated tracks between the fields and the flowers.
Tip number 2 — go deeper. The further from Keukenhof, the more chances that there will not be strangers in the background or in your photos.
Tip number 3 — do not be afraid of the weather forecast. Most tourists will not go exploring Tulip fields on a gloomy raining day, so you will have more opportunities to enjoy the beauty.
And finally, useful sites during your stay in Holland:
http://www.bloemenradar.nl/ shows what flowers blossomed where in real time.
http://www.bollenstreek.info/en/the-region/vvv-tourist-information-offices information offices in regions with fields.
https://www.buienradar.nl/ shows the exact weather. In Holland, sometimes twenty minutes in a cafe will save from a day in wet shoes.
https://www.holland.com/be_nl/toerisme/blog/bloembollenvelden.htm directions for bike routes, depending on the starting point.
https://9292.nl/ paves the most optimal road from point A to point B on public transport and calculates the cost.
Enjoy your trip and don’t forget to share this article with those who plan to visit Holland!