Tulip Paradise: Keukenhof
If there's something the Netherlands is well known for is TULIPS! and good news is that Tulip season is ON! and Its the most wonderful time of the year! YES! Tulip season is like Christmas here in The Netherlands. My first time during this season was last year, so I'm here to tell you all about my experience and hope to update you with more as the season goes by.
First things first, tulip season runs from march to may and the easiest way to see them an appreciate them is going to Keukenhof gardens. The gardens are open this year for a little longer opening on March 21st until May 19th. I know not everyone can plan on their vacation dates but if you ask me the best time to see them at their best is April. In March they are starting to bloom so you will see them or most of them closed, in April they start to bloom depending on the weather but last year by April 20th when I went they were fully bloomed! I made my research which suggested the best time (weather permitting) is the last 2 weeks of April. by May a lot of them have been harvested, so you might not see the fields to the full.
I went by car and I bought my tickets online. There is public transportation as well, and you can also buy the tickets once there. The day I went the line was not so crazy but it always feels good to have your ticket already and just walk directly to the entrance. Please note there's no re-entry, there are lockers available and there are toilets before getting in which I recommend using since you can avoid long lines inside! lol. And as many places here in Europe (Including Disneyland Paris!!) you can bring your own food! which I strongly recommend since the food there I didn't it like much. It is not crazy expensive but it is not very tasty (in my opinion. They offer Italian and Asian options which sound attractive but they are just as any other park food).
Admission fee is 17 euros for adults and 8 euros for kids (4-17 years old) AND there is an option called Combi ticket which includes entrance + bus ticket from Haarlem, Hoofddorp, Schiphol or Leiden (25 euros) and from Amsterdam (30 euros). If you want to take public transportation from Amsterdam, it costs around 9 euros one way so basically the combi ticket is worth it and it leaves you right at the park's door click here for all the ticket options. Keep in mind April 13th is the flower parade and there WONT be buses going to Keukenhof, so they recommend visiting any other day or by car/bike.
The park opens from 8 am to 7:30 pm. I wanted to be there as early as possible so I could get the best pictures without big crowds and avoid the tourist busses which usually arrive by 10-11 am, but I FAILED! We were driving and coming from Eindhoven so it was quite a drive, we got there around 10.30 am. I didn't have any other choice but to go on a Saturday that happened to be the same day as the parade! I was excited because I would love to see it but unfortunately it had to be one or the other, and since it was my very first time there I chose the gardens. Traffic was a little chaotic and slow specially because of the tour buses but then it cleared out and parking was not a problem at all.
As you go passing by and entering the Keukenhof area you will be able to not only see the fields but also smell. Its something magical!! You will also see a lot of florists and you will be able to get 50 tulips as low as 5 euros!
As I mentioned before the parade this year will be held on April 13th and It has a long route passing by Keukenhof around 3 pm. If you want to see both things I would recommend arriving as early as possible. You will want to have a good spot to see the parade so that means leaving the park early and remember once you leave the park you can NOT go back in.
So you get an idea, We arrived to the park at 10:30 am and We left around 3:30 pm. We had like an hour lunch break in between, I took a lot of pictures and if it was for me I would've stayed longer buy my mom, sister and boyfriend were overwhelmed already lol. We wanted to take a boat tour but it was fully booked until almost 5 pm so if you want to do it or the bike tour I would recommend is the first thing you look into.
I learned a lot about different kinds of tulips!
I didn't know there would be many colors, shapes and variations.
It was super crowded, but with patience I could get good shoots.
Every year the garden has a different theme and last years it was LOVE, this year will be Flower Power inspired by the Hippie movement.
Last but not least when we were done with the park, and since we were with the car, I told my boyfriend I wanted to explore the fields and maybe take some pictures. I had a big surprise because all fields are of course secured since they are private property. They actually have signs specially for tourists that its not allowed to jump the fence thingy and get in to the fields to take pictures, of course not everyone was respecting that but I just want you to be aware of that. Other fields are surrounded by water so its not so easy to get there, and some other fields were with out any signs or fence but they were not tulip fields.