Three Things to Know When Planning a Trip to the Tulip Festival, Netherlands

The tulip fields are now a super popular tourist attraction every year so here are three things you MUST know when planning a trip to see them. When, How, and What to do on your visit. I am so happy that I was able to see the gorgeous tulip fields in the Netherlands in person and WOW they were so pretty! Not only are there tulips — but also orchids, dahlias and daffodils.

When To Visit

The best time to visit the tulip fields honestly depends on what you want to see. If you want to view them with less crowds I suggest earlier on in the season (early April). However, at this time not all of the flowers may be blooming/ open although they are still super pretty. I do NOT recommend visiting Easter weekend as that is a holiday in Europe and peak time for tourists in the Netherlands. And on the Keukenhof website they suggest arriving before 10:30AM or after 4PM to avoid crowds. What you should DEFINITELY do is go with friends, and if possible bring your pup! Keukenhof is dog friendly as long as they are leashed.

tulip friends

How To Get There

Contrary to popular belief, the best place to see the tulips isn’t in the city of Amsterdam — but rather about an hour drive out to the town of Lisse. There are multiple ways you can get there. By public transportation there are direct buses that leave from multiple places in the city (Schiphol Airport, Rai, City Center and more!). I did this and you should get to the bus point 30 mins before you want to leave because there will DEFINITELY be a line. Same thing applies for the ride back as well.

You could also drive to Lisse from Amsterdam and it only takes ~50 minutes (without traffic). I visited the tulip fields on a Tuesday and a Saturday and both days there was crazy traffic leaving Keukenhof to get back to the city.

If you’re SUPER adventurous and fit, you can do what Kevin did and bike the whole way from Amsterdam! From our place on the East side of Amsterdam (Oost) it took him about 2 hours. From the West side it may take you closer to 1.5.

tulip fields

What To Do

When visiting the tulip fields in Lisse, there are two ways to take them all in.

  1. Walk around the Keukenhof gardens itself. It’s a huge basically Disneyland of all things tulip (floral) related.
  2. Rent a bike at the shop in front of Keukenhof and bike any of the four trails they have marked out.

It is totally possible to do both in one day! I suggest biking the trail first then walk around the gardens while sipping a cool refreshing beer. Why you should bike first? Because they may run out of bike rentals later in the day and also it would be hard to navigate the trails once it gets crowded. Pro tip: reserve a bike in advance here). I highly recommend reserving a bike especially on the weekends. A three hour rental should be good if you want to also do Keukenhof, but I would have been totally satisfied just biking around the nearby fields.

Once you’re done biking, head into Keukenhof and stake out a picnic spot on one of the available grassy areas and treat yourself to a snack. The grounds are HUGE and will take awhile. I don’t even think I saw everything in two trips.

Leo at tulip field
Family Tulip fields

Important note: The photos I took were in the presence of the tulip grower and with their permission. While biking around there will be some fields with the owners, or people who work there watching over visitors. Some will allow you to venture into the fields on the DIRT path carefully, and only a few feet in. There are obviously fields that are blocked off and clearly are not inviting visitors.

An alternative to biking around looking for the perfect field to take photos in, check out the Fam Flower Farm which is a farm which organises photo ops especially in the fields. They provide props, a bouquet and lunch! It’s perfect for a girls day in the tulip fields!

Now that you know all the details, start planning! 🙂 Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments!