How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (2024)

I’m obsessed with tulips and one of my favorite parts of living in the Netherlands is going to the tulip fields in Holland each year. I include tips for seeing the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free!

Although most people visit Keukenhof, it’s very easy to see the Dutch tulip fields without a tour or a bike. You can easily visit the fields on a budget, so read for tips on how to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands for free two different ways.

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If you are looking for more in-depth travel advice about Belgium and the Netherlands, I created a guidebook on behalf of Moon Travel about Amsterdam, Brussels, and Bruges. You can find this book on Amazon! How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (1)How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (2)

My advice on how to see the tulip fields in the fields: Skip Keukenhof. You can see the Dutch tulips for free TWO other ways. It’s 29 euros with transit from Amsterdam. If you’re into sculpted gardens, it’s great.

However, I think that it’s overpriced and crowded if you just want to see the tulips in the field. There’s plenty of guides to Keukenhof, however this guide for seeing the tulips in Holland brings you to the freeDutch tulip fields near Keukenhof. To read about more tulip fields in the Netherlands beyond Keukenhof, you can click for my complete guide to tulips in the Netherlands, including a tulip farm!


  • 2 Option 1: Take the bus to Keukenhof and walk to the tulip fields in the Netherlands near Keukenhof for free!
    • 2.1 Step 1: Go to Schiphol Airport by train and exit the airport
    • 2.2 Step 2: Buy a one-way ticket to Keukenhof (the bus station)
    • 2.3 Step 3: Get off at Keukenhof and walk until you see some beautiful Dutch fields
    • 2.4 Step 4: Walk towards Hillegom Station
    • 2.5 Step 5: Take the NS train from Hillegom back to Amsterdam Centraal
  • 3 Option 2: Take the Train to Leiden and rent a bike to cycle to the fields
    • 3.1 Option 2 (Step 2): Rent a Bike
    • 3.2 Option 2 (Step 3): Exercise
  • 4 Enhance Your Tulip Experience with These Amsterdam Tours
  • 5 Have you visited the tulip fields anywhere in the world? Any plans to come to the Netherlands?

Check the Weather & Flower Forecast

You can check the weather a million times, but the weather changes quickly here. So much so that my friends only check it ten minutes before leaving and I have made a habit of wearing a raincoat as my normal coat. Weatherproof yourself and plan to be rained on no matter how much sunshine promises you.

The tulips bloom typically within a set period: late March to early May. It depends on the year, but you’re more likely to see tulips in bloom if it’s in April. There’s quite a few websites that will update in February/March on the season’s prediction for blooms for those planning ahead of time.

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There is a way to check the flower forecast to find out WHEN and WHERE to go. There’s a website called where you can check to see where flowers (not all are tulips) are in bloom within the past week.

You can just enjoy the photos OR zoom into a location to find out where you need to go. There’s not ONE single location and you can’t walk onto ALL of the fields, but it should give an idea of where is a good area to visit.

All of these fields are privately owned by farmers who sell these tulips commercially. I’ve been increasingly seeing signs prohibiting access to the fields as people destroy their tulips by taking photos. Do not pick the tulips!Please respect the signs as you don’t want to trample on any tulips as these are the farmers’ livelihoods! Don’t ruin this for everyone else.

Similarly, you are not allowed to fly a drone over the tulip fields without the permission of the farmers as drones are not allowed on private property in the Netherlands without permission. In some parts of the Netherlands, flying a drone is illegal due to the proximity to airports/helipads.

You have three main options to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands without going to Keukenhof by public transit:

  • Head to Leiden and rent a bike (if the weather is good)
  • Take a day trip from Amsterdam and take the 858bus from Schiphol Airport towards Keukenhof. Instead of going to Keukenhof, you need to just walk about 30 minutes–and you’ll be in the fields.
  • Similarly, drive to Keukenhof and drive until you see the fields. 😉

Option 1: Take the bus to Keukenhof and walk to the tulip fields in the Netherlands near Keukenhof for free!

How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (3)

This past year, I went again to the field with new friends. This is the easiest option for those who are with a family and/or want to have a budget trip to the tulip fields.

Step 1: Go to Schiphol Airport by train and exit the airport

As you exit Schiphol airport, you’ll see a sign for buses. The Keukenhof bus (858 bus) is a bit further to the right (a 10 minute walk) from the Schiphol exit. During tulip season, there’s a friendly employee with a shirt that you can ask as well as signs showing tulips. Easy, I promise.

Step 2: Buy a one-way ticket to Keukenhof (the bus station)

A one-way ticket to Keukenhof by bus is 6 euros. There’s a booth where you can pay for the Keukenhof express bus as well as a line that you’ll need to wait in.

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Be warned that the Keukenhof bus is crowded and far from ideal for those with young children. It’s best to leave first thing in the morning (think 8-9am). It will take some time to get there.

I recommend getting a one-way ticket on the Keukenhof bus as you’ll have less walking if you take the train back rather than the bus back since my route leaves you off next to a train station that brings you right back to Amsterdam Centraal. It also means that you see a cute typically Dutch town surrounded by tulips.

Step 3: Get off at Keukenhof and walk until you see some beautiful Dutch fields

It’s about 5km from Keukenhof to Hillegom. (You can download the map below showing the tulip walking route near Keukenhof where I took these photos). The road is a bit narrow, so watch for cars and bikes!

We found our first field only fifteen minutes from Keukenhof, but the best ones were about a thirty minute walk. We went very slow as we had a blast just enjoying the fields.

Remember these are private commercial tulip fields and the farmers allow people in on the condition that they are respectful, so please don’t pick the tulips. Avoid stepping on any tulips.

Step 4: Walk towards Hillegom Station

How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (5)

We ended up stopping off for a coffee in Hillegom at the one of the many local cafes that we saw. It’s a cute typically Dutch town.

Step 5: Take the NS train from Hillegom back to Amsterdam Centraal

You can buy your ticket at the train station in the machine! You just need a one-way ticket to Amsterdam, which should cost about 5 euros. You might need to transfer in Haarlem for a train in Amsterdam, so it’s best to check google maps on how to get back.

Below, you’ll find a downloadable map for a free Dutch tulips walking route from Amsterdam.

Option 2: Take the Train to Leiden and rent a bike to cycle to the fields

How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (6)

If the tulips are in bloom, it’s a very pretty train ride between Haarlem and Leiden. It’s possible to also bike from Haarlem,however the fields I visited were physically closer to Leiden (10 km) and I found a cheaper bike rental in Leiden.

Click for my guide to Haarlem.You can combine seeing the tulips with visiting Haarlem for one day if you take the train.​

You can save money if you can buy a “Dagkaart” from a store, which means you get unlimited travel on a train for the day for a fixed price (usually 16 euros and under). People who don’t live in the Netherlands will be unable to buy one online, but if they’re being sold in Blokker, Hema, Albert Heijn, Etos, or Kruidvat, you can buy one in cash as long as they don’t sell out (OP=OP!).

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*Just be aware that there are typically conditions about traveling after rush hour or only on a weekend and the valid dates, but it’s good to check with a clerk at the store about the specific conditions of your card before you buy it. The linked website shows day ticket deals on a monthly basis. Click for more budget train travel tips in the Netherlands!

Option 2 (Step 2): Rent a Bike

Do you live in the Netherlands? Use OVFiets, which is the public bike share program. It’s 10 euros a year to pay about 3 euros per 24 hour bike rental, but you will need a personal OVcard or a week to wait for it. You can rent two bikes with one subscription. It’s an amazing deal.

Just visiting? Sorry, OVFiets is NOT an option. I used EasyFiets in Leiden for my rental. It was 7.50 euros for the day with a 50 euro deposit for all three bikes after the guy decided we weren’t likely to steal the bikes. A pretty good deal for only a ten minute walk from the train station.

Option 2 (Step 3): Exercise

It depends on the field. The one I found was close to the one on the map, however it was about 25km round trip. This sounds really terrifying to non-bikers, but it was about 40 minutes each way.

Prone to getting lost? Download beforehand, drop a pin down on your preferred field(s), and follow the signage until you get to the nearest city to your fields. From there, let the map bring you the rest of the way.

A lot of the roads with the tulips are country roads, so watch out for cars/scooters/pedestrians. Not all fields will be accessible as some will have a ditch protecting people from walking onto them, so pick a field close to other blooming ones, just in case your first one fails (like mine). You’ll pass through some cute traditional Dutch towns worth enjoying with some traditional architecture.

How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (7)

Enhance Your Tulip Experience with These Amsterdam Tours

While the tulip fields near Amsterdam offer a mesmerizing sight for free, there are other unique experiences in the city that you shouldn’t miss. As a local, I recommend exploring the Dutch countryside on an electric bike tour, where you can visit traditional farms, picturesque villages, and learn how local cheese is made from scratch. If you’re up for a different kind of adventure, embark on a self-guided Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Game in the heart of Amsterdam. For those who love cycling, the Countryside Bike Tour offers a chance to explore fishing villages, country fields, and learn about the windmill industry of old Holland. Dive deeper into Amsterdam’s history with a guided tour of the Jordaan District, or discover the Port of Amsterdam with a 2-hour cruise. These tours provide a richer understanding of Amsterdam’s culture and heritage, making your visit even more memorable.

How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (8)

Have you visited the tulip fields anywhere in the world? Any plans to come to the Netherlands?

Click for more locations of real tulip fields in the Netherlands,includingfieldsthatyoucanpicktulipsin(forafee).

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How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (9)
How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local (2024)


How to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam for free by a local? ›

Just outside of Keukenhof is where you'll find plenty of gorgeous, sprawling tulip fields – all free for you gawk at. By using public transport to get to Keukenhof, you can then rent bikes there and embark on one of the four marked cycling routes that take you around to different fields.

How can I see tulips in Amsterdam for free? ›

Where to See Spring Tulips in Amsterdam and the Netherlands
  1. Throughout April, travelers can spot tulips for free throughout the city. ...
  2. Exhibits at the Amsterdam Tulip Museum outline the history of the Dutch fascination with the tulip. ...
  3. Keukenhof gardens consists of more than 79 acres filled with 800 varieties of tulips.
Jan 15, 2024

What is the best way to see the tulips in Amsterdam? ›

During the tulip season, special buses run from various train stations to the flower fields. The buses stop at Keukenhof Gardens and from there you can enter the flower park or do a sightseeing tour along the tulip fields. This bus to the tulip fields is an ideal option for traveling to the flower fields in Holland.

How do I get to the tulip fields from Amsterdam? ›

The most easy option to go from Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens is by taxi. You do not have to wait for other travelers and you can quickly get to the tulips. With the Tulip Festival Taxi Transfer you pay a fixed taxi price and you can book your transfer in advance.

Where can I see tulips besides Keukenhof? ›

The Bulb Area (AKA Bollenstreek)

The popular towns/areas within Bollenstreek for tulips are Lisse, Noordwijkerhout, De Zilk, Voorhout, Hillegom, and of course, Keukenhof. I found this handy flower map of all popular places.

Is the Amsterdam tulip Museum free? ›

Museum admission is €5 for adults, €3 for students and €10 for families. I amsterdam cards and Holland Pass are accepted. No admission is necessary to visit the museum shop.

What is the best month to see tulips in Amsterdam? ›

The best time to see tulips in Amsterdam is from mid-April to mid-May. In 2024, the Tulip viewing begins on the 21 March and would last until the 12 May.

What to wear to a tulip field? ›

Contrasting color choice

Primarily, these combinations include purple and yellow, blue and orange, and red and green. You can see how impactful the combination is here with these red tulips and their green foliage.

Is the tulip festival card worth it? ›

During tulip season in Holland, the Tulip Festival Card is an ideal way to enjoy the tulip fields and Keukenhof Gardens from Amsterdam. The Tulip Festival Card combines a day ticket to Keukenhof with a public transport ticket allowing you to travel for 1, 2 or 3 days in Amsterdam and the region.

What do you wear to see the tulips in Amsterdam? ›

If you're thinking of renting a bike to explore tulip and hyacinth fields in Netherlands, then make sure you pack a hat, sunscreen, and comfortable clothes. If you're renting a car, then I'd suggest packing at least 1-2 flowy dresses in white. The tulip fields are too pretty not to snap a dreamy photo or two.

What is the cheapest way to get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam? ›

The cheapest way to get from Amsterdam to Keukenhof is to line 852 bus which costs €6 - €8 and takes 42 min. What is the fastest way to get from Amsterdam to Keukenhof? The fastest way to get from Amsterdam to Keukenhof is to taxi which takes 29 min and costs €95 - €120.

How long is the bus from Amsterdam to Keukenhof? ›

From Europaplein (RAI) Amsterdam you can take the Keukenhof Express (Bus 852) straight to Keukenhof. This bus departs up to ten times an hour and it takes approx. 35 minutes to get to Keukenhof.

How much does it cost to go to Keukenhof? ›

€ 20.00

Where to stay in Amsterdam to see the tulips? ›

Where to stay in the Flower Strip
  • Boutique Suites Lisse. Image from Ministerie van Beeld. ...
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol. ...
  • De Groene Bollenschuur Bed & Breakfast. ...
  • RecreatiePark Aalsmeer. ...
  • House of Tulips Bed & Breakfast. ...
  • Van der Valk Hotel Schiphol. ...
  • Leonardo Hotel Vinkeveen. ...
  • Courtyard by Marriott Amsterdam Airport.
Feb 23, 2024

What city is closest to Keukenhof Gardens? ›

LocationLisse, Netherlands
Nearest cityHaarlem
Coordinates52.271256°N 4.546365°E
6 more rows

Where are the most beautiful tulips in the world? ›

Also known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof is among the largest flower gardens in the world, situated in Lisse, the Netherlands. The garden hsts an incredible collection of tulips. This garden is spread over an area of 79 acres and remains open to tourists from March till May.

Is it worth it to see the tulips in Amsterdam? ›

Absolutely, visiting Amsterdam for the tulip festival is 100% worth it!

Can you bring home tulips from Amsterdam? ›

Should you find yourself purchasing bulbs in the Netherlands to take back to the United States, be sure that they are certified and approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Does the I Amsterdam card include Keukenhof Gardens? ›

The I Amsterdam Card is valid in the city of Amsterdam and also in the nearby region of Amsterdam Area which includes tourist attractions like Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Keukenhof.

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