Best way to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands

Tulip season in the Netherlands! The time of year our boring fields turn into colorful carpets of joy. For just a brief period of time, the end of march to the beginning of may, you have a chance to be among the many tourist flocking to the Keukenhof (the main tulip viewing spot). If viewing touristy flower creations like sardines in a can does not sound appealing to you, there is another option!

Keukenhof is not actually the only place to see tulips. We have lots of tulip fields in the Netherlands and the best way to see them is cycling one of the beautiful routes around Keukenhof. We were there when the fields hit their peak and saw just a few other tourist cycling around. Most of the time we had the fields all to ourselves!

bike rental keukenhof tulip fields

How to get there?

As a tourist in the Netherlands you are most likely staying in Amsterdam. The fastest way to the tulips is to take the train to Schiphol airport and take the bus from there. It’s bus 858 to Lisse, Keukenhof. This bus is only available in the tulip season. The bus-ride is about half an hour and it leaves every 7 minutes.

Cost of train and bus: €10

flower field Lisse tulips

Rent a bike!

At the entrance of keukenhof you can rent a bike at ‘rent a bike van Dam‘ for €10 a day. This includes a map with the possible routes. They open at 9:30 and you have to return the bike by 19:00, so plenty of time to explore! The people there can also tell you which fields are in bloom so you won’t miss the best flowers.

The time of year you’re allowed to be super basic and take photos like this!

Pick a route

The possibilities are endless. For the slightly lazy people among us, the shortest route is 5 km. This shouldn’t take you to long, you can snap some nice photos of the fields and tick this activity of your list. If you want to get a bit more bang for your buck you can take a longer route and see some of the villages or even the ocean and have a drink on the beach. The time indications on the map definitely include breaks and stopping for photos. I think you could cycle the purple route in half an hour. We ended up cycling the purple and orange route in about 4,5 hours, but we stopped to do entire photoshoots and stopped for lunch and drinks too.

Important: Respect the crops! You are not allowed to walk through the fields. In my photo’s I’m either standing at the beginning the field or there was a wider path. 

cycling routes keukenhof flower fields

tulip field Lisse