Keukenhof vs Tulip Fields


Keukenhof is the very famous – and very busy – tulips garden that everyone has heard about. It gets an average of 26,000 visitors per day. However, that’s just the average! In the final two weeks of April, the daily amount is much higher indeed.

Gardener at Keukenhof

Keukenhof is a set of manicured gardens. It consists of primarily, but not exclusively, tulips.  The pictures above give you a good sense of Keukenhof, because they are of Keukenhof! However, they convey no sense as to how busy it gets. The first two are publicity shots from Keukenhof, and the third is of former guests of ours. We plan our trips to Keukenhof for the quiet times.

Keukenhof gets very busy around midday, so ideally you should be getting there at about  9 am or maybe 4pm or after – if you want to beat the crowds that is. That’s not just for the gardens themselves, but the area surrounding it can get quite clogged up with traffic too in peak session and late morning and early afternoon.

Tulip Fields

No doubt, however, you’ve also seen pictures of classic tulip fields. Like these ones here:

Field of tulips outside Amsterdam
Tourists in a field of tulips near Amsterdam. They're taking photos

These fields are private farms. If you buy a ticket to Keukenhof and expect to see these iconic rows of tulips you’ll be disappointed. What you get at Keukenhof are the manicured flower beds pictured above.

The area around Keukenhof has plenty of these fields. However, they’re not really accessible by foot. At a pinch you could rent a bike from the Keukenhof parking lot and explore that way, but ideally you should have your own car. You don’t need to worry about finding them – if you’re at Keukenhof, just drive some backroads and you’ll find them.

These fields are all private property. If the farmer hasn’t closed off the field, they’re okay with visitors being respectfully on the edge of the field. The three fields pictured above are not in the Keukenhof area. They’re in the Beemster region about 35km north of Amsterdam. We’re friends with tulip farmers up there and have permission to enter their fields. We can even take visitors deep into a row of tulips because we’re trusted.