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How to Visit Keukenhof Gardens & Lisse Tulip Fields in The Netherlands (+2022 Info)

How to Visit Keukenhof Gardens & Lisse Tulip Fields in The Netherlands (+2022 Info)

Visiting the Netherlands in spring and wondering where to see the most beautiful flower gardens and tulip fields near Amsterdam? In this article, you can read all about visiting the best place to see tulips in the Netherlands: Lisse tulip fields and the nearby Keukenhof Gardens. Find out!

Lisse tulip fields and the Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam attract more than a million visitors every spring and at least half of them were there on a Saturday when we visited…

Don’t make the same mistake we did! Find out all you need to know about visiting Keukenhof gardens and Lisse tulip fields in the Netherlands and get more out of your trip to Amsterdam in spring.

In this article, you can read about what to expect when visiting Keukenhof. We also share tips for the best ways to explore the colorful tulip fields near Keukenhof. You can also find some of our experience-based practical tips to make your trip more memorable. Find out!

Good to know: Keukenhof will be open from March 24 until May 15, 2022.

How to visit Keukenhof and Lisse tulip fields
Photo Andrew Mayovskyy /Shutterstock.com
 

Lisse Tulip Fields

The Netherlands are world-famous for their tulips and many people visit Holland in spring in order to see the endless colorful bulb fields. One of the best places to see tulip fields in the Netherlands is the area around Lisse, South of Amsterdam.

One of the best-known flower gardens in the world – Keukenhof, aka the Gardens of Europe – is also located in the same area.

If you are only interested in seeing the tulip fields, you don’t necessarily have to go to Keukenhof gardens. On the other hand, the gardens are really worth a visit too. So if you have time, try to do both.

The area around Keukenhof is a good place to find colorful flower fields – Lisse tulip fields are probably the best place to see tulips near Amsterdam. We explored the small area between Keukenhof and Noordwijkerhout and saw plenty of tulip fields.

The best way to see the tulip fields around Lisse is probably by an electric car (more info further below) or by bike. You can either bring one yourself or rent one at the main entrance of Keukenhof. There are several route options – you can find one of them here.

You can also explore the tulips fields in Lisse by car, just make sure to stay off the major roads, otherwise, you won’t see much. Please also note that some roads are really narrow and can get quite crowded…

Colorful tulip fields in Lisse, the Netherlands
Colorful tulip fields in Lisse
 

What is Keukenhof and what can you expect to see?

Keukenhof is a truly beautiful flower garden (32 hectares – 79 acres) with more than 7 million bulbs in bloom every spring.

Keukenhof is one of the largest flower gardens in the world with more than 800 different varieties of tulips and many other types of flowers blooming in the park every spring. Even the biggest sceptics will be impressed!

That being said, there are some things you should know before your visit to Keukenhof gardens. Read on!

Blue carpet of grape hyacinths in Keukenhof
Blue carpet of grape hyacinths in Keukenhof
 

When is the best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens?

Keukenhof is only open in spring, from end-March to mid-May. It’s open daily, but – if possible – DO NOT VISIT KEUKENHOF ON THE WEEKENDS OR PUBLIC HOLIDAYS!

There are always plenty of flowers blooming in the park, but the very best period to visit Keukenhof Gardens is – generally – during the second half of April.

The best time to visit Keukenhof park is early in the morning on a weekday. If you want to have some pictures of the park without any people in them, make sure you arrive in Keukenhof at 8 AM and work fast. The areas around the pond and the windmill are the most beautiful, so pick one and head there first.

The last two weeks of April is also the best period to see tulip fields in the Netherlands as the flowers are usually cut off at the end of April.  It might be a bit different every year as so much depends on the weather. Nevertheless, the gardens always have a lot to offer, so if Keukenhof is open, it’s always worth a trip.

Colorful tulips in Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands
The area around the pond is almost impossible to photograph without people
 

We have been to Keukenhof several times, but this year was the very first time we visited on a Saturday. We expected it to be busy, but what we experienced was indescribable!

We knew we made a big mistake the moment we left the highway. We were stuck in traffic some 3-4 km from the park with tens of tour buses from Germany, France, Belgium, and UK completely blocking the road. The last kilometers took us more than half an hour and we ended up parking at alternative parking on the other side of the park in order to avoid the busy parking at the main entrance.

We arrived just before 10 AM and the park was already packed with people. It got even worse after noon and you could walk over peoples heads. There was not a single path in the whole park where you didn’t have to wait and queue… The restaurants were crowded and if you wanted to use the bathroom you had better planned it well in advance.

So whatever you do, avoid visiting Keukenhof on the weekends at all costs. It’s really no fun. You won’t see the ‘big picture’ of the park and it’s a pity because it’s really beautiful.

Traditional Dutch windmill overlooking the flower fields in Keukenhof
The windmill was crowded on a Saturday and you had to queue for a long time in order to get to the observation deck
 

What can you do in Keukenhof?

Keukenhof is a park, but it has a lot of rules and regulations. Basically, you can walk around, look at the flowers and take pictures. You are not allowed to walk on the grass, although we didn’t know this and it looks like the other half a million of visitors were not aware of the rule either.

You cannot bring a bike or a kick scooter into the park and you can only picnic at one designated area, close to the windmill.

There is a treasure hunt for the children, a petting farm, a maze, and a playground. There are various exhibitions and flower arranging demonstrations in the five pavilions of the park as well.

One of the main attractions of the park is the traditional Dutch windmill overlooking the tulip fields from where you can also take a boat trip through the beautiful flower bulb landscape.

Kids at Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands
Kids will love walking on water and getting lost in the maze in Keukenhof
 

Keukenhof Gardens are very tourist-oriented and you will find all kinds of typical Dutch ‘details’ in the park – like the traditional wooden clogs or this cow with Dutch cheese.

Keukenhof is about all things Dutch - not only the tulips, but also the cheese, etc.
Keukenhof is really tourist-oriented and is about all things Dutch, like this cow with Dutch cheese

BUT – you will not be able to see and do much in the park if you are visiting on such a busy day like last Saturday. The queue at the windmill was immense, so was the queue at the ticket office selling the tickets for the boat trips.

Luckily, we had bought the tickets for the park online and so at least we didn’t have to queue at the entrance. All the five pavilions with flower exhibitions were so crowded with people that you could hardly see any any flowers at all…

Dogs are allowed in the park, but you better leave your dog at home. We saw quite some people carrying their dogs in their arms. I assume they were worried that the dogs would get trampled by the crowd.

Are Keukenhof Gardens worth it?

Keukenhof is a park that anyone will enjoy, but the crowds can ruin the experience. 

There are lots of tour groups and day tourists on a stopover in Amsterdam. Some people were even carrying their suitcases with them… I still don’t understand why they do it as there are lockers available at the park, but I wouldn’t be surprised that even the lockers got full on such a busy day…

As you can imagine, Keukenhof is a very touristy place. No matter when you visit, it will be busy.

So, are Keukenhof Gardens for you?

If you like flowers, beautiful gardens and don’t mind the crowds, then yes, Keukenhof is absolutely worth it.

If you like flowers, but cannot stand the crowds, then you might want to visit Keukenhof very early in the morning or skip it altogether and explore the beautiful Lisse tulip fields near Keukenhof. Read on for more information on how to do that…

Dutch flower fields are best explored by bike
You can explore the flower fields by bike
 

Great way to see the tulip fields near Keukenhof on your own

There’s also another great way to explore the tulip fields near Keukenhof on your ownTulip & Flower Fields GPS Audio Tour. It’s perfect for those who are short on time and want to see the nicest areas but have no idea where to start. Find out!

If you want to visit the most beautiful flower fields in Lisse without having to worry about where to go, you could consider renting a small electric vehicle with a GPS audio tour. It’s probably one of the easiest ways to explore the area, and definitely if you are visiting the region for the first time. 

Together with this tiny 2-persons car that is perfect for driving around the tulip fields, you get GPS navigation with an audio guide in English, Dutch, and German, with all ins & outs about the flower bulb region and cool tulip facts.

Electric car is a fun way to see Lisse tulip fields near Keukenhof on your own
Such a great way to explore the tulip fields on your own! – Photo courtesy Renzy
 

They have prepared a 22km route that takes about 2 hours to complete. It is made in such a way that it avoids all the busy areas visited by tour buses, and at the same time brings you to the nicest tulip fields in the Netherlands, through the Keukenhof forest, and to a flower bulb nursery. 

The tour is designed to give you plenty of opportunities to stop at the nicest places, such as a stop at De Tulperij, a traditional tulip bulb farm. Because the car is so small, it’s easy to navigate on the narrow roads and park it next to the road when you want to stop and see and photograph the flowers from close-by. 

Practical information: 

  • You need to be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license, with at least 3 years of driving experience. 
  • Make sure to book your tour in advance.
  • One car is suitable for 2 people (2 adults or 1 adult and 1 child).
  • You can pick up your car at the Renzy office, some 15 minutes walking distance from the main entrance to Keukenhof park. You can see the walking map here, but the actual walk will be much shorter than indicated on the map, because you can walk straight through the car parking areas.
  • Here you can find more information and book this self-guided tour.
Amazing way to see Lisse tulip fields in the Netherlands on your own
The tiny cars are perfect for exploring the tulip fields! – Photo courtesy Renzy
 

How to get to Keukenhof?

You can either drive to Keukenhof by car or take a train and/or a bus (recommended). There are plenty of options available from Amsterdam, from the airport, and from the other towns – they make it really easy for the tourists to get there. You can find more information on the official website of Keukenhof gardens.

Alternatively, you can book an organized tour to visit Keukenhof and to see the flower fields. You can choose from half-day tours, day tours, private transfers, etc. Most trips are available from Amsterdam, but you can find a tour from The Hague as well.

Here you can find the best-rated tours to Keukenhof and the tulip fields. Taking an organized Keukenhof day trip from Amsterdam is the easiest way to get there if you don’t have a car.

READ ALSO: Amsterdam Itinerary for 2 Days

How much does it cost to visit Keukenhof in 2022?

  • The organized tours including a transfer and an entrance ticket start at around 38 EUR/pp.
  • The entrance price to the park is 18.50 EUR for adults and 9 EUR for the children age 4-17. Younger kids are free.
  • Parking costs 6 EUR and the park guide – 5 EUR. Map is free.
  • Renting a bike to explore the flower fields costs 10-15 EUR.
  • A boat trip is an additional 9 EUR/ adult and 4.50 EUR/ child.
  • The food is really expensive in the park. We didn’t see any of the restaurant menus (it was too busy to even try to get close to a restaurant), but a hot dog costs 4-5 EUR, a small bottle of water – 3 EUR, and ice cream – 3-4 EUR. It quickly adds up.

TIP: Bring a picnic – it will save you lots of time, but also money.

Visiting Keukenhof and Lisse tulip fields – conclusion

Keukenhof is well worth seeing, just not on the weekends. Go early in the morning on a weekday during the last two weeks of April and you will love it!

Would I travel from the other side of the world to see Keukenhof gardens and the tulip fields in the Netherlands? I wouldn’t come to the Netherlands just for the flowers, but if you are planning a trip to Amsterdam anyway, spring is as good a time as any other.

TIP: Don’t visit just Keukenhof Gardens! Make a whole day trip of it and make sure to also explore the tulip fields nearby. Rent a bike or an electric car, as walking distances are really too big to explore them on foot. Not to mention, that it’s really handy to have a suggested route to follow.

I made a short video from our most recent visit to Keukenhof and Lisse tulip fields nearby. Take a look!

 

TIP: If you have more time in the Netherlands, consider a day trip to the windmills of Kinderdijk and visit the Alkmaar cheese market.

More tips for visiting the Netherlands:

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

How to see tulip fields in the Netherlands
 
Best day trip from Amsterdam in Spring

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Nishma

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Hello, First of all, thank you for writing this blog. I visit your blog for all my trips and planning. It's awesome! We want to visit the Keukenhof Gardens and fields coming weekend. Understand the crowd situation but we have already booked our itinerary. We know how to get to the Keukenhof Gardens. But we wanted to check if you knew which fields are within walking distance of which entrance of the gardens. We don't cycle and hence, that's not an option for us. We considered the boat trip but I don't believe they stop at the fields for photographs (please let us know if this is incorrect). Is there any bus option? Most of the other options are quite expensive. We are 3 of us.

Thank you so much!

Jurga

Thursday 28th of April 2022

Hi Nishma, It's not really ideal to tour the flower fields with big buses, so I don't think that's an option. I'm not sure if there are any mini-bus tours, but you could check once you are there. There are usually some nice fields nearby, mostly at the northern entrance of the park, so maybe take a look there. However, those fields are usually not really accessible to tourists and so normally, you can't walk on them - just take pictures from a distance. As for the boat, it's a really short tour that runs from the park itself and no, they don't stop (but they do go very slow). They just go for a short ride next to the tulip fields close to the windmill - those are the same fields you would see close to the northern entrance. Alternatively, you can rent the little cars as described in our guide, but those can only seat 2 people, so you'd need two of them. Hope this helps.

Elham

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

Hello, I am going to visit Netherlands in late April. I am looking for a flower field with an old windmill at the back to get photo shoot. I would like to have flowers with windmills together. I googeld a lot but no useful results. I would appreciate if you can help me.

Jurga

Sunday 24th of April 2022

Hi Elham, most of the pictures of the windmills and tulip fields in the Netherlands are photoshopped. I'm sure there are some places where you could find a nice combination of the two, but where and whether they are accessible, no idea. Anyway, the first picture at the top of this article is taken right next to Keukenhof Gardens. That windmill stands on the grounds of the gardens, whereas the tulip field is just outside. But I don't know what that particular field will look like this year, or how close you can get to the windmill... Here's the street view and map of this location - it's just next to the northern entrance of the park, so you can always check it out to see how it looks like this year if you are going there anyway. Also, keep in mind that some farmers aren't thrilled to have tourists on their land, so respect private property.

Amit

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hi,

So I bought a 3pm tour on April 3rd, 2022 "Skip the line Kuekenhof from Amsterdam with transport". When I get to the park I believe I will have 3 hours of free time to see the park. In that time can I rent a bike or some other method to take a quick look at the fields from the park? How much does it cost for renting a bike?

Thanks

Jurga

Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Hi Amit, normally, you actually need about 2-3 hours for the park itself. It's huge and very busy. But yes, you can also rent a bike and tour some of the fields if you plan well, but it will be very rushed. I'm not sure how much rental costs this year, usually it's around 10 eur if I recall well. Another option is to first visit Keukenhof Gardens and then check out the fields that are just nearby on foot. Depending on which park entrance you take, there are some tulip fields just close by - a few minutes walk. I would say just see how it goes when you get there and ask the guide/driver for recommendations on how to make the most of your 3 hours (also depending on where they drop you off).

Neal Nieuwenhuis

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Is there a frameable print available of the bulb fields with the the Keukenhof windmill in the distant background? I saw this on your website and I have a very special association with this location. Both my paternal grandfather and my maternal grandfather owned these bulb fields during the 1930's through the 1960's. Both men were life-long bulb growers and exporters in Lisse.

Jurga

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Hi Neal, you can purchase this image online (download the highest resolution available) and then order a print wherever you want to. Hope this helps.

Joe

Sunday 19th of January 2020

Thanks for this useful guide, Jurga. Can't wait to see Lisse fields. We are going end of March. Do you think there will be lots of flowers at that time?

Jurga

Monday 20th of January 2020

Hi Joe, glad that you found this useful. Yes, the end of March should be a good time to see the tulip fields. You never really know in advance how the weather will be this spring, but in general mid-March - end of April is the best time to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands. Enjoy your trip!

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