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Tickets to Keukenhof Gardens in April, 2018

I was on the website to purchase 2 tickets for Keukenhof and it appears you buy a ticket but not for a specific date, am I correct? Rick Steves' guidebook does not mention tickets with a date and/or time.
Thanks for any advice. We are staying in a hotel in Haarlem and will purchase the combi ticket that includes transport to Keukenhof. Also, I have read in trip reports and Rick's travel articles to go later in the day. Do you agree? We want to go on Tuesday, April 24th.

Posted by
920 posts

Hi Judy - Not sure about the ticket purchases but when we were on the RS tour, out guide got us there right when they opened. We stayed til about 2ish. It was crowded but no issues at all. it is a huge place, crowds were not an issue to us.

Kim

Posted by
2143 posts

Kim,
I went back to the website and opened up the FAQs page!! Tickets are undated but the park stamps or validates your ticket when you arrive. So, you arrived when they opened in the morning? I will keep that in mind.
Judy B

Posted by
7261 posts

you are correct it is not for a specific date; they scan the TICKET:
The e-tickets are valid from 22nd March to 13th May 2018.

  • The e-tickets are not personal.
  • The tickets are valid for one person for one specific day of choice during the opening season of Keukenhof 2018.
Posted by
381 posts

We arrived around 2PM and the crowds were very light. A friend told me later she had gone in the morning and it was packed with huge crowds and busses.

Posted by
28107 posts

It looks like everything is now understood?

The weekends are always busier than weekdays.

Posted by
2143 posts

Nigel, Jazz, stmurray, Thanks for you replies!

A different question: It appears from the website, I am able to purchase tickets to the gardens only and take Bus #50 from Haarlem to :Lisse at the bust stop Vreewijk. From there, it is a 15-minute walk to the entrance.
Or, I can purchase Combi-tickets which includes round-trip bus tickets and the admission price to the Gardens. Arriva bus service is the provider. I think it may take you directly to the entrance and you skip the line? Any advice?

Posted by
5567 posts

I don't remember the entrance line being a problem on a weekday, but the garden was very crowded. The worst "line" was the traffic on the access road, which the bus cannot avoid. It was also hard to get a place in the many cafes. It is definitely a worthwhile visit, but you should not pursue a strategy to find the place quiet and reflective-the prospect of success is small. I found the crowds similar (proportionately ... ) to Disney World. You might want to check whether there are any special events (like small concerts or lectures or whatever) that appeal to you on the days you are thinking of going.

Posted by
7261 posts

Based on where I was staying I bought the roundtrip combi from Schipol Plaza. That worked fine.
There was not really a skip the lines as there are 4 or 5 lines sort like when you enter a stadium with people scanning the ticket.
The line you skip is the one at the ticket booths formed where people show up without tickets

Posted by
28107 posts

There is no security line, (never has been but with the state of the world today you can't predict tomorrow), just a bank of windows selling tickets which you can skip and a row of ticket checkers which you enter straight away having skipped the ticket selling windows.

The best time saving plan is to have worked out the layout of the park - look at practical information on their website and click on the map to get a full sized PDF - and have an idea of a couple of routes. That way you won't be like the hordes who get just inside the entry gates and become like frozen deer in the headlights. Plan also when and what you might like to eat and try to do that when the hordes haven't thought of it, either early or late but not right at noon, please. You don't have to eat in a pavillion, there are stands here and there, and maybe a band or organ here or there, and I usually find eating outside fun if the day isn't too cold or wet.

If you look at the map, upper left corner between the Willem-Alexander pavilion and the Wilhelmina Pavilion there is a lake. The dots on the map to the north of the island and the fountain are stepping stones where you can get great photos (actually you can get great photos all over but the stepping stones are special).

If the crowds on the main paths are too thick just do like you would do in Venice and head for the smaller paths. You never know what you may find. Eyes peeled for strange sculptures too.

Posted by
2143 posts

Thank you, Tim, Jazz & Nigel!

I bought my combi-tickets after reading the website - I believe this will work well, especially since we can decide which day to go, depending on the weather, etc. We will go during the week, Tuesday or Wednesday. I like the idea of the bus from the center of Amsterdam or Haarlem where we are staying. Several people have said to go after 2 pm or first thing in the morning. This will give us a lot of flexibility.

Nigel, I will keep your tips in mind, to scope out the café we might want to go to and I will print out the map of the garden as well. If the hordes swell to huge numbers, I will look for a side path and keep an eye out for strange sculptures! I had to do that in Pompeii when the cruise ships disgorged thousands on the Sunday I was touring there! We just stepped off the beaten path, used Rick's guidebook and had a terrific time.

Posted by
118 posts

Thank you for posting! I'm also interested in hearing about what the food options at Keukenhof are :)

Posted by
28107 posts

Each pavilion has a food counter and tables. Most also have tables outside. There are also stands for take away around the park and some stationary wheeled carts. If you have a few Euro in your pocket you won't starve.

Save a little room for Poffertjes - a pile of tiny dessert pancakes with powdered sugar and butter.

Posted by
3936 posts

I'll 2nd or 3rd the later afternoon advice. We went last year, arriving around 1pm (my husband is not an early riser). A few days before I overheard a fellow saying they had taken the advice to arrive first thing and he said the crowds were horrid. (It's the pavilions that get so you can barely move, I believe.)

We grabbed some fries for a quick lunch, then headed over to the Rent a Bike Van Dam and took some bikes for a spin past the tulip fields for a few hours (I highly recommend this - it was so beautiful. I'm not much of a bike rider, but it was mostly flat and easy). I don't think we actually went into Keu until about 4pm or so and stayed a few hours, judging from my photo time stamps (we were really getting tulip-ed out by the end of it). There was hardly a soul in the flower pavilions. It was great. The parking lot had really emptied out as well. They are open until 7:30pm.

https://www.rentabikevandam.nl/en/

Posted by
2143 posts

Nigel,
I will try the Poffertjes, they sound delicious!

Nicole P,
You confirm my impression that the crowds will likely be lighter later in the day. I think we will go about 3 or 4 pm.

So excited!

Thanks everyone for the great ideas.

Posted by
2329 posts

I visited Keukenhof in mid-April last year on a Sunday--very easy with the combi-ticket from Amsterdam, the buses at Schiphol rolled in about every 5 minutes, same with the return trip. It was a damp, chilly day and I arrived around 1 pm, crowds were scattered here and there and did get lighter as the afternoon progressed. I didn't eat in the restaurants but in an outlying area, near a huge windmill, they had a sort of food truck court set up where I had an incredibly delicious pulled pork sandwich on a fabulous light but crusty roll with slaw. Other food options, too, but I can't recall what they were.

Posted by
2143 posts

Christa,
Glad to hear about your experience after lunch time with lighter crowds and the frequency of the bus. Also, seems like most everyone agrees afternoon is better.

This forum is so helpful! Thanks everyone.

Posted by
2490 posts

Unclear on this, and when I contacted Keukenhof with this question they gave me a non-answer.
When we went in 2014, we knew in advance that we could buy the combi-ticket on the spot in Leiden, where we stayed. This year, we have the chance to go, but only two days to pick from and don't want to do it if the weather stinks and thus don't want to buy the tix online. And we cannot tell from the website if one can buy the combi-ticket from the VVV off Centraal in Amsterdam, so as not to get caught in the crush at Schiphol.