Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. While clicking these links won't cost you anything, they will help me to keep this site up and running! Check out the full disclosure policy for more details. Thank you so much!
Getting to Keukenhof Gardens is the easiest hub to explore Lisse’s tulip fields from as well as seeing the Gardens themselves, and getting there from the airport is the easiest way since there is a direct bus from airport arrivals to Keukenhof Gardens.
Amsterdam Schiphol airport is a huge hub for flights coming from all over Europe but it’s also a bus hub for buses coming from all over Europe. In April 2019 I took a Flixbus from London Victoria to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport overnight to save money on accommodation - you can read my guide to seeing the tulips in Lisse on a budget here.
If you are looking to take a bus to Amsterdam or Amsterdam Schiphol airport, check out these European bus companies with links all over the continent:
Of course taking a bus isn’t for everyone! So luckily there are countless flight companies flying into Schiphol airport, they do tend to increase the flight prices though during the tulip season so be sure to book early to get the cheapest tickets. Check out Ryan Air, Easy Jet, British Airways, Jet2, KLM, Air France and more from all over the continent for the cheapest prices.
How to get to Keukenhof from Schipol Airport
In the Arrivals area, head to the far end where you see the large Starbucks and exit the doors next to Starbucks. Right in front of you is the bus park and you’ll see the queue and Keukenhof staff directing you to the Keukenhof Express - bus number 858.
You can buy the bus and gardens entry combiticket from here. Even if you are not intending to go into Keukenhof Gardens, you can buy the bus ticket only from here to explore the surrounding Lisse area. Keukenhof is surrounded by fields of tulip farms so I used the Keukenhof Express to get to the area and hire a bike from Keukenhof car park to explore the surrounding area by bike.
The combiticket for Keukenhof Gardens entry and the return bus journey costs 27.50 euros.
The 858 also goes directly back to the airport from the car park outside Keukenhof.
How long does it take to get from Amsterdam Schipol Airport to Keukenhof?
The offical transit time from the airport to Keukenhof is approximately 30 minutes. But if you’re travelling during peak season, I would be prepared to double this transit time. We travelled to Keukenhof over the peak flower weekend in 2019 and it was Easter weekend too. Traffic getting into the Keukenhof Gardens car park was so heavy that traffic was queued for miles down the small single-lane roads and it took us almost double the time.
How to get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam City
Unfortunately (and bizarrely) there is no direct link to Keukenhof from Amsterdam Central Station. I would recommend taking the airport express train from Amsterdam Centraal to Schipol Airport then change at the airport to the Keukenhof Express bus 858 I mentioned above then follow those steps above to get to Keukenhof. The Airport Express ticket costs 10 euros return (correct at time of writing).
If you do want to go from Amsterdam City without going via the airport then there are two locations in Amsterdam to get a bus to Keukenhof:
bus 852 from Amsterdam RAI, approximately 35 minutes
bus 859 from Hoofddorp, approximately 25 minutes
I would recommend taking the train from Amsterdam Central to Amsterdam RAI and changing there to bus 852.
How to get from Keukenhof to Amsterdam
Most websites will recommend taking the 858 bus back to the airport and the Express train from there to the city. Here is the alternative which we used to get from Keukenhof to Amsterdam Central station.
Take bus 859 from Keukenhof to Hoofddorp station (you can use your keukenhof bus ticket on the 859 too which is why I recommend this option).
At Hoofddorp station take the Sprinter train 4 stops to Amsterdam Centraal.
at Hoofddorp if you already have one of the Amsterdam train passes then you can use this
if you want a single ticket, there is no signage and the station has no information which is very unhelpful (we asked at the food kiosk). You need to use the yellow top up card ticket machines but ONLY THE MIDDLE ONE dispenses single paper tickets - so use this one.
You do need a ticket, your ticket will be checked on the train and you can be fined 60 euros for travelling without a ticket.
Alternatively you can buy a single train ticket here: https://webshop.gvb.nl/en_gb/daycard/
We found the transport system very difficult to navigate with limited signage or information points. This website helps explain more about the ticketing system and how to buy.
Please let me know if you use this guide and find it useful!
Like it? Pin it!
Flights: I use Expedia to find great flights and the best deals all over the world, they have regular sales and offers so I always check their website. I also check CheapOair to find cheap deals on round trip flights.
Car Rental: I love the customer service I've always gotten and the variety of options with Rental Cars. But for short notice rentals, I've been using Expedia for the last year, they always seem to have great one-day rates or last-minute rates from the main rental companies.
Accommodation: I prefer the flexibility of booking accommodation with Booking.com so I can cancel or change my reservation without a fee or only pay on arrival for most properties. For longer or more unique stays I prefer AirBnB because you can get the long stay discount, you can also find more unique properties and book experiences with talented locals and businesses. For my budget trips, I always stay in hostels and book through Hostelworld because they have great guarantees if anything does go wrong. If you arrive and your booking is not at the property, they refund the full deposit AND give you $50 extra credit.
Tours and organised trips Although I don’t use tours that often, I do like to book local experiences or day trips once I reach my destination. For that I use GetYourGuide because it has the biggest selection and variety of tour and experience options.
Travel Insurance: For all my longer trips and for the entire year I’ve spent in Australia, my partner and I have always used World Nomads. They cover everything I need and I can buy coverage for a year at a time, they also allow you to purchase cover when you’re already outside your home country. Plus my camera gear and equipment is covered and they also have special cover for when I’m scuba diving too.
My camera gear and equipment: I use a Canon 77D with an 18-135mm lens or a 50mm lens. And a DJI Mavic Mini Drone. For all my gear including laptops, tripods and more camera accessories read my travel photography gear guide.