You planned a spring holiday in the Netherlands. Everything packed: sunglasses, travel guide, tank tops. You made a little plan: visit Keukenhof, see a bit of Amsterdam, maybe an authentic Dutch village, something like Volendam or no, make it Zaanse Schans. Great! You’re good to go. Then your plane touches ground in Amsterdam Airport, you get out and….uff, it’s terribly cold! And…it’s raining! Well, here’s an alternative day program that will still get you to Keukenhof.
Step 1: Check the Weather
Our Amsterdam Keukenhof alternative day program starts in the early morning. That’s when you check the weather. The Dutch use weeronline , buienalarm or buienradar. I use the app of Buienalarm as this gives me live updates and warns me 5 minutes before mild or heavy rainfall, so I know whether I need to find shelter during my bike ride or can just survive the rain and keep cycling.
Step 2: Follow the Amsterdam Tulip Trail
I haven’t checked with them, but I hope their tips for this spring include a visit to the tulip museum in Amsterdam. A great – and warm- place to get a bit of background information on the Dutch tulipmania. To get there from Drop&Go I would suggest you go by foot. This way you can fully enjoy the Amsterdam Tulip Festival. Once upon a time, just a year ago, there was a garden desiger named Saskia Albrechts who had but one goal: to plant one tulip for each Amsterdam citizen, that means 80.000 tulips! You can find tulip arrangements on 60 locations in Amsterdam. Want to see all of them? There’s a special guide with walking routes with names and descriptions of every single tulip you can see in this special spring festival in Amsterdam.
If you want a break and you’re in for a Dutch snack go to the Eetsalon Van Dobben.
Step 3: Visit Haarlem
After a good two hours wandering through Amsterdam it’s time to take the train to Haarlem. I see you’re getting anxious. It’s one ‘o clock now, will you be able to get to Keukenhof in time? Don’t worry!
The Netherlands’ most beautiful spring garden only closes at 19:30.
We still have enough time.
What you can do once in Haarlem is visit the Frans Hals Museum with its exquisite exhibition Flowers from afar. After that, have a bitterbal (What! Again?) & a Tulpomania beer at the Jopenkerk. Don’t drink too much, because I would recommend you to rent a bike at the station of Haarlem and get into the blooming daffodil, hyacinth and tulip fields. The cycle route from Haarlem to Keukenhof is definitely one of my favourites.
Step 4: Become a Daffodil, Hyacinht & Tulip Maniac
And then. Then you get into thé Flower Garden of Europe, the Keukenhof. Some say you have to visit the park one time in your life. I say, visit it a couple of times. Each year the Keukenhof has a special theme. Last year they celebrated Van Gogh, this year it’s Golden Age. With the theme come different gardens, all with their own unique themes and designs. Moreover, the’re different events taking place each weekend and because of the innovative way of planting the bulb flowers, there are different flowers blooming every day.
The Keukenhof is spectacular. But, if you want to see where all these daffodils, hyacinths and tulips come from I would definitely recommend you to visit a bulb flower or tulip farm. And, while you’re finding treasures in the Keukenhof area, don’t forget to stop at the local museum or at one of the many castles which offer great viewpoints and have their own fantastic flower gardens.
Step 5: Tell Me About Your Trip 😀
I wish you a wonderful stay in Holland and hope you enjoy your spring holiday. If you like to read more tips on spring events in the Netherlands follow this link. Feel free to share your stories & pictures here or on Facebook and let me know if you need any help organising your trip. You can always contact me.
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