Day Three — Tulips
10:00 — Finally made it to breakfast at Pancakes Amsterdam! We just slightly missed the rush, and were seated quickly. Go before 10:00 if you don’t want to wait! Everyone loved their meals. Helen and I both had gluten-free Dutch pancakes. They are a thin cake that covers the whole plate. They can be made sweet or savory. I ordered apple and cheese (gouda, of course), and Helen ordered bacon, banana and chili pepper. Both dishes were delicious, but Helen’s was the best by far.
2:24 — There was a lot that happened between here and that pancake! Haarlem, a great city to explore, and the Keukenhoff Gardens are an easy trip from Amsterdam if you have a plan!
- From Amsterdam Central take a train to Haarlem or Schipol Airport. But why would I want to go back to the Airport? We decided to visit Haarlem, a new city, AND see the gardens.
- After 15 minutes on the train from Amsterdam Centraal, you will be in Haarlem. Before exiting the train station, use the bathroom, once you exit there isn’t one around. And there is a bus ride ahead.
- Then buy tickets at the book store for BOTH the garden and the boat. This allows you to avoid lines at the park entrance and save money!
- The 50 bus picks up right at the station. Their set-up is incredibly easy to follow. Bus 50 comes every 15 minutes; they will even count down on a small sign to tell you when the bus will arrive next.
- The ride is about 35 minutes, but it’s a lovely tour of the homes and neighborhoods in the area and the buses were exceptionally clean and comfortable.
- Once the bus drops, there is a short walk to the park, but it is lined with fields of tulips. It’s the best.
- You can get a bike outside of the garden to bike the paths or walk right in to the garden if you have a ticket. The gardens are so busy but beautiful. In retrospect, I wish we had biked too because seeing the fields full of flowers is pretty impressive. There are also amazing bike paths running along many of the fields!!
Before leaving the park, find a place to sit and relax for a little bit. Try to find one away from the crowds with a glass of wine. The park is stunning and it’s only open for a few months each year. I wanted to soak it all in and enjoy every minute.
I feel so lucky that we made it there during such a special season in Holland. After we returned to Amsterdam, we learned at the far end of the park there is a castle that Alfred, our Aribnb host, recommended as his favorite stop due to the views of the garden. Making plans for next time 🙂
4:55 — We returned to Haarlem starving. We desperately wanted to get out and explore the quaint city, but needed food. Stopped at Petit Paris for a quick snack. Neither happened. Service was slow but the food was good, and we ate a ton. I had a very flavorful mushroom and onion omelet with frites, with no issues.
7:00 — Back in Amsterdam, we were exhausted and not very hungry. Our tour of Haarlem had been cut short as everyone faded and needed to rest. Tulips can be draining.
Disclaimer: Not all these photos are mine!