Are you wondering how to travel to the Keukenhof from Amsterdam?
Look no further. As a Dutchman who has lived here my whole life, I know all the different ways to get to the Keukenhof.
There is not one solution that works for everybody. It depends, as always, on your situation.
That is why we explore all options in this article today. So you can find the right option for you.
When you’re short on time:
For most people, using a combi-ticket is the most effective method to reach Keukenhof. This ticket includes a tour bus ride from Amsterdam and a time slot entry ticket to the Keukenhof tulip garden.
It’s hassle-free, convenient, and relieves the stress of managing multiple tickets or negotiating traffic.
Here’s a money-saving tip: book your combination ticket with Get Your Guide instead of Tiqets, which many other bloggers advertise (because it gives them more commission). But don’t do it. You save €7.50 per person for the same tour from the same tour operator.
Thank me when you’re enjoying your now-free coffee with apple pie at the Keukenhof from the savings you just made. And or consider sending me a small token of appreciation and buy me a coffee.
The 2nd best option, if you’re planning to explore more of Amsterdam and its region and/or need transportation to and from the airport is the Amsterdam & Region Travel Card, which I love!
It’s such a bargain and allows transportation to destinations in and around Amsterdam, as far south as the Keukenhof, to the Zaanse Schans or Volendam north of the city, and to and from the airport!
You must combine this with a timed entry slot for the flower gardens (not yet on sale for the 2024 season) since at-the-door tickets will likely be limited and sold out.
It’s important to know starting in 2024, the Keukenhof Gardens will be using timed slots for entry. This means you’ll book a specific time to enter the park, helping to manage crowd sizes and ensuring a pleasant experience. So, remember to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season!
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Combi-Tickets: Direct Transfer Bus + Entrance To The Keukenhof
To travel from Amsterdam to Keukenhof, you have two great options: combi-tickets. Both include a bus transfer and entrance to the Keukenhof Gardens. Both options leave from near Amsterdam Central Station.
Buses from the This is Holland Experience (Amsterdam North): This option departs from the This is Holland Experience, an interactive exhibit that offers a simulated flight over the Netherlands. I love this attraction, and it is worth buying tickets for (cheaper online). I always visit with my overseas friends. But you don’t have to, and it’s not what this article is about, just a side note.
It’s also the departure point for scheduled tour buses to the Keukenhof that leave every 30 minutes. The cost is only €35 with Get Your Guide, a trusted online marketplace for travel activities (and €7.50 per person cheaper than Tiqets).
Your ticket will include roundtrip transportation by a luxury coach and guaranteed entrance to the Keukenhof. And the nice thing is you can choose. You’ll always have a guaranteed seat on your booked departure, and for your return to Amsterdam, a seat is guaranteed for the departure 3 hours after your arrival.
Buses leave from Amsterdam every 30 minutes, and you can stay longer or shorter and return with any other departure (space allowing).
It’s easy to get to their departure point. The This is Holland Experience is located at Overhoeksplein 51, Amsterdam.
It’s a 5-minute free ferry ride from the North Exit of Amsterdam Central Station to Buiksloterweg (F3). Ferries leave every 5-10 minutes, 24 hours a day. Once at the other side, it’s a 2-minute walk to the left.
Tours and Tickets: This option has fewer departures but might be more convenient because they depart from inside Amsterdam’s Central Station, where they have their own store. Go to the North Exit. It’s in the far right corner (if you have the trains behind you).
At Tours and Tickets you can book a tour with just the transfer and entrance, or with a live tour guide on board for extra commentary and someone available for questions. This carries a small surcharge.
It’s another direct transfer, stress-free option to reach the gardens.
Just know that your departure time and return time are fixed. But they still allow plenty of time in the gardens.
Amsterdam to Keukenhof Express Bus
If you’re a holder of an Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, you’re in luck. This travel ticket covers Amsterdam and the surrounding area, including the Keukenhof Express, a convenient and direct bus service from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof Gardens.
Keukenhof buses depart from various locations like Amsterdam Rai (for Amsterdam), Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, and Leiden.
These are the three express bus lines that all travel non-stop from their departure points:
From Amsterdam, you can take the Keukenhof bus 852. They’re easy to spot, with images of flowers covered across the buses. Busses leave from the RAI convention center, a short metro ride from the Amsterdam City Center (included in the “Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket.”)
The travel time is roughly an hour.
From Schiphol Airport, you can take Keukenhof Express bus 858. This is an ideal choice for those flying into the Netherlands and don’t need to go to the city center. The journey from the airport is direct and takes approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
But this bus is popular, often waiting lines are long. It will remain to be seen if that is better this year now that Keukenhof started working with timed slots.
Keukenhof Express bus 854 departs from Leiden and is more useful for locals than for tourists unless you booked your hotel in Leiden.
Leiden is outside the cover area for the “Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket”; thus, you can’t use it on this line.
The Keukenhof Bus from Amsterdam to Keukenhof is public transport. Anybody can board it, and they run on a schedule. So it’s slightly different than a tour.
It’s important to note that the park works now with timed entry slots. Tickets are expected to sell out. Thus if you don’t travel on a tour, but with a pass like the “Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket.” (or travel with a car), you must reserve a Keukenhof entrance ticket well in advance!
Guided Tour To Keukenhof
There are multiple ways to visit the Keukenhof Gardens on a tour from Amsterdam. Here are a few options for you.
Go City Pass Keukenhof Tour
First, I want to mention this great deal: the Go City Pass. Go City is an I amsterdam Card alternative focusing more on popular attractions than museums. I had the ability to try it recently, and I had an amazing time in the city.
I saved so much money compared to regular fees, and the attractions were often completely different than the I amsterdam Card (which is also great if you love museums). You can read my review about the I amsterdam Card here.
But what sets the Go City Pass apart is that besides all the fantastic attractions they include year-round, they also have a tour and admission to the Keukenhof in their program during flower season (when the Keukenhof park is opened) without any additional costs.
It’s an amazing deal. Now to take advantage of this you have to book your Go City Pass early and make reservations for the Keukenhof tour as soon as they become available.
You can get your Go City Pass (plus more information) here.
Tours and Tickets Daily Guided Tour
Although this tour is priced slightly higher (compared to the basic transfer and entrance option), it has the added benefit of a live guide on the bus.
This means you get more information about the gardens and the Netherlands, and you have the ability to ask questions. The departure time is fixed, as is the return to Amsterdam, with plenty of free time in the gardens.
Since this tour departs in the afternoon, the park will be slightly less crowded since the morning visitors have already left. But mind the word relative, this park is always busy when it’s open. You’re extremely lucky if it is quiet.
More information about the tour can be found here, where you can also directly book it from the provider.
Local Tip: Avoid rip-offs. I saw one blogger recommending this Keukenhof tour on Viator that said to include Tulip Experience Amsterdam, another thing to thick of your list. It’s not something to tick off your list. It’s just a stop at a Tulip grower like any other, but you pay €45 extra for the “privilege”, I don’t think their having a swing for the kids makes up for doubling the prices from the tours I recommend above.
Explore Beyond Keukenhof
A trip from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof Gardens is a must on most visitors’ lists, but I have often heard they’re disappointed after their visit. Why is that?
Let’s first say the gardens are gorgeous. Beautiful, it’s not that.
But many people expect to see vast tulip fields, but it’s not a tulip field. Instead, it’s a meticulously maintained indoor and outdoor garden with various flower displays. It’s been around for decades and it’s gorgeous, but it’s not the same as the fields. There are tulipfields around Keukenhof, but not really inside.
Tulips bloom only very shortly. For about three weeks, tulip season is only from mid-April to the beginning of May. The park is open for six weeks. Double that time.
To have something to offer for all visitors, also those coming early, or late, most displays are indoors. And it’s not just tulips in the gardens either. They also display flowers other than tulips.
We often call it the tulips gardens, but it’s a flower garden instead, a small but important difference.
PS: did you know it’s the largest flower garden in the world?
This Is How You Get More Out Of Your Experience
To truly experience yourself in the Dutch flower fields, I recommend booking an additional tour to visit the smaller tulip fields around the park. Here are a few tour options that do just that. How about, a helicopter tour, or travel with your own electric vehicle from field to fields around Lisse?
Or consider a private tour by yours truly.
For just €400, I offer a private tour of the lesser-known production tulip fields in the North East. This is where you experience the authentic Dutch tulip industry, with fields of vibrant tulips stretching as far as the eye can see in every color imaginable.
This tour option is quite popular and tends to get booked quickly, especially because it can only be done in a short time window from mid-April to the first week of May. Every year, I have about 12 spots available.
It’s private so that no other people will join us. It’s just you and me as your guide. I recommend booking well in advance to secure your spot if you’re interested in this.
The price is the grand total for your travel party (no more than 4 people), not per person.
This private tour includes door-to-door transportation in a comfortable SUV to the production fields in the north. This is NOT in the direction of Lisse, and we will not visit the Keukenhof. You’ll need to do that on your own with one of the options above if you want to do both.
Traveling to Keukenhof Gardens By Train
While you can take the train from Amsterdam, I don’t recommend it. Because you can only travel by train from Amsterdam to Leiden. From there, you still need to transfer to a bus to get to the park. Then you can just as well board a bus from Amsterdam directly, or take one from the airport.
Using this route by train will also be more expensive, will not save you money, and won’t be faster.
Keukenhof By Car
It’s not complicated to get from Amsterdam to Keukenhof by car. But prepare for potentially heavy traffic.
The roads from Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens can get quite busy, especially during the weekends when the locals come and visit in droves.
And if you think you made it to the park, you might need to wait long to enter the parking lot.
My best advice opt for a weekday visit and plan to arrive early!
Speaking about parking, it’s available for €8 (2024 price).
And again, tickets are now allocated through the new time-slot system to manage the influx of visitors. Make sure to get your skip the line Keukenhof tickets well in advance. You wouldn’t want to drive there only to be turned away at the gate.
The gardens are located in Lisse, about 25 miles / 40 kilometers from Amsterdam. Here is the address for Navigation:
2161 AM Lisse
This will get you to the main entrance.
The travel time from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof is 30 minutes from the airport and 60 minutes from the city center of Amsterdam.
Cars are hard to get, so book yours on time too! Especially Rental Cars has great policies if plans change, so it’s no risk to do so early.
Biking to Keukenhof
Althought this is theoretically possible, I won’t recommend it for most people.
The distance is 20 miles / 35 kilometers. Which is a long way. If you like to do this, it is a fun ride, past the airport, and some flower fields. Make sure to rent an electric bicycle. The journey should then take no more then 90 minutes each way (without stops, of course).
You can rent a bicycle here for the best prices.
Hotel Recommendations near the Keukenhof
There are no great hotels directly adjacent to Keukenhof Park.
I would recommend Van Der Valk Sassenheim if you have your own car. It’s near enough and comfortable, with easy parking and a great breakfast buffet.
But for most people, I recommend either staying at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The airport has many hotels in all price classes for every budget, and from the airport, it’s easy to visit the Keukenhof by bus 858.
Alternatively, you can opt to stay in Amsterdam. The city offers many hotels. From central Amsterdam, getting to Keukenhof Gardens with different options is easy.
Find A Place To Stay In Amsterdam
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Frequently Asked Questions About The Keukenhof
When is the Keukenhof open?
The Keukenhof is only open for a very short time in spring. Right now, it’s closed for the remainder of 2023. Next year, the opening times are from Thursday, March 21, through Sunday, May 12. The opening hours are from 8 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., seven days a week, including Sundays and holidays.
What are the Best Times to Visit Keukenhof?
The best time to visit Keukenhof from Amsterdam is on a weekday. These days are typically less crowded compared to the weekends.
I would recommend visiting from mid-April through early May because most people come to the Keukenhof to see the Tulips in bloom.
This window falls within the peak bloom period for tulips in the Netherlands. If you visit too early or too late, the tulips might not be there, especially outside.
April 20th is the day the Tulip Festival or Bloemencorso parade is held. This is extremely popular; millions visit the 25-mile-long parade on the same day.
And many think it’s also a great time to visit the Keukenhof Gardens since it’s so close. But it is not a great idea, it will be so crowded. Distances are short in the Netherlands, so return to the park the day before or after.
What if I miss my Tour or Bus departure?
If you happen to miss your scheduled departure, don’t panic. You can usually take the next departure if there is available space. However, I recommend arriving early to avoid such situations because of your time slot entry at the park. It will be easier to reschedule a tour with a combination ticket than when traveling alone.
Most likely, they won’t send you away if you’re one bus later, but they might not honor your ticket if it’s by a lot. Don’t take the risk.
Do I need to pre-book my Keukenhof tickets?
Yes, A B S O L U T E L Y, starting in 2024, Keukenhof has introduced a new time-slot system. This means you must pre-book your tickets, which can easily be done online. It’s a measure to control the crowd and provide a better experience for visitors. Because since re-opening after Covid the visitor numbers have exploded, and it wasn’t fun anymore.
Are Keukenhof Buses Wheelchair-friendly?
The Keukenhof Express is designed to be accessible to all visitors since it is public transportation. It’s wheelchair-friendly, with a low-floor entry system for easy boarding. Each bus has places for two wheelchairs. Mobile scooters are not officially allowed, but I have seen them board. It depends on the driver.
The tour bus coaches like those from Tours and Tickets, and the transfer service from This is Holland will transport wheelchairs in the luggage hold, but they can’t be inside the seating area. You have to be able to take a few steps to get in. If this is a problem, travel with the Keukenhof Express instead.
Can I buy Keukenhof Combi tickets on the Bus?
No, starting in 2024, Keukenhof Park has implemented a time-slot system, requiring all visitors to book in advance. So, you’ll need to secure your entrance tickets online before you visit the park. The transit ride can be paid on board but will be more expensive than getting your combination in advance.
Can I use a GVB travel pass (like the GVB Day Ticket or the I amsterdam Card) in the Keukenhof Express?
No, the Keukenhof Express does not accept GVB travel passes. GVB is a transportation operator that serves Amsterdam only. Keukenhof, located in Lisse, is about 25 miles / 40 kilometers from Amsterdam. The Express buses are operated by Arriva, which is separate from GVB.
The only valid passes on these buses are Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, or OVpay (pay-as-you-go by contactless debit or credit card). However, OVpay is typically more expensive than a combination ticket or the Amsterdam & Region Travel ticket for most people.
Do Keukenhof Express buses stop along the way?
The Keukenhof Express and the transfer coaches are all direct services, meaning they do not make stops between the origin departure point and the Keukenhof. It’s as quick as traveling by car, without the hassle of driving and parking.
Can I visit Keukenhof Gardens directly from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport or Travel to Amsterdam first?
You can go directly from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport to the Keukenhof. The Keukenhof Express bus line 858 provides a direct service from the airport to the flower park, making your journey much quicker.
Can I Bring My Pet on the Bus?
Yes, small pets, are allowed on the bus (but not coaches). However, larger dogs might be refused entry if deemed too big. Dogs are required to fit on your lap and must not disrupt other passengers.
The coaches will not allow pets.
In the Keukenhof Park itself, dogs are also permitted, but they must be kept on a leash at all times, and only one dog is allowed per person. Dogs are prohibited in indoor areas or restaurants within the park.
The only exception is guide dogs, which are permitted in all areas. It’s also important to remember that you are responsible for cleaning up after your dog.
Can I Travel with Luggage?
While you are technically allowed to bring luggage onto the Keukenhof Express buses, it’s generally not recommended because buses are often crowded. Large luggage items can be deeply uncomfortable to transport, and you might be refused entry if your luggage is too bulky.
A much more comfortable and convenient solution would be to leave your luggage at a luggage locker at Amsterdam Central Station, at your accommodation, or at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport before you head to the park by bus. This way, you can experience the beauty of the flowers without the burden of heavy luggage.
What is the Tulip Festival Amsterdam?
For most people, it’s another way to refer to the Keukenhof.
With this extensive guide, you’re well-equipped, to make the right choice when visiting the amazingly beautiful gardens. I hope you’ll have an amazing time there no matter what you choose.
It’s such an easy day trip from Amsterdam that a Keukenhof day trip should be on every visitor’s to-do list when visiting the Netherlands during these few weeks in spring. Even though the park is not the same as the large flower fields, it is something different.
PS: Before I go, don’t forget to download the Glimple app. This app is a handy tool for planning public transport in the Netherlands. While it’s not specifically designed for trips to Keukenhof, it’s a handy resource for navigating Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. I wish you safe travels.