A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Before coming here, the only images that I have for the Netherlands are pretty much restricted to tulips and windmills. Oh and the Dutch lady (which happens to be a very popular milk brand in Vietnam owned by the Dutch multinational corporation Friesland Campina). So whenever the country’s name is mentioned a picture immediately pops up in my head: a Dutch lady standing in a tulip field, and far behind there’s an windmill. How typical is that?
Thus it’s pretty understandable why tourists fly from all parts of the world to the Netherlands in spring so that they can visit the famous garden of Keukenhof which is only opened once a year. Tulip, lots of tulips! Windmill, there is one! Dutch lady, if you’re lucky she will be checking your ticket! This is undoubtedly the most popular travel destination when you come to the Netherlands.
That said, it can be quite touristy. I mean, of course you will be able to take loads of nice photos, but no offense, it will just look exactly like hundreds of thousands of photos that people have already taken here. Nonetheless, you just have to go, as solid proof that you have been to this holy land of tulips.
Again, you probably hear stories about Keukenhof everywhere, so I’ll just write down some tips.
– It’s always better to go on a sunny day.
– Best time to go is from mid-April to early May.
– Buy the ticket beforehand here so that you can save time queuing at the entrance. The combi ticket includes bus+entrance fee and from Leiden it costs 23,50 EUR, which is quite convenient.
– To avoid the crowd you should go early. Or you can rent a bike a visit the tulip fields outside the garden in the morning and then come back in the afternoon, because that’s usually the time when people finished sightseeing inside the garden and head out for the fields.
– Pack your own lunch. They do sell food there, but it’s just… really bad, and pricey, and nothing much to choose from.
– There’s free wifi inside the garden.
– Check out the upcoming events to have a more interesting trip. For example there will be a flower parade this coming Saturday!
And who cares, just bring your camera and become a tourist for a day!