You have an 8 hour layover in Amsterdam. What do you do – stay in the airport, or venture into the city?
With never having been to Amsterdam, I researched all the things people have recommended doing + seeing who have been there before. With a large list made and probably only around 5 hours available to explore (considering customs, security, finding my way around the airport to my next gate) I knew I probably wasn’t going to be able to cover all of it – so I chose one area to visit and focus my time on that. Ultimately, I chose to go to Keukenhof Gardens.
One thing I’d recommend doing if you’re someone considering visiting Keukenhof Gardens, is that you purchase the train tickets + entry ahead of time. (https://tulipfestivalamsterdam.rgi.ticketbar.eu/en/ticketbar-amsterdam/public-transportation-and-keukenhof-entrance-/). I initially wasn’t going to, but as I was looking up info about the garden I found a link that allowed me to purchase everything online, which ultimately saved me so much time in the long run once I arrived at the airport to the moment I got on the bus. Once I got on the bus, it was about a 20-25 minute ride to the garden.
The bus comes every hour, so plan ahead if you need to be somewhere at a certain time. Just a heads up: the bus picks you up at Arrivals hall A, next to Starbucks – which is on the other side of the airport. This is something I didn’t know, so I spent a good chunk of time trying to find it myself before I asked for help (another pro tip: always ask for help. It’ll help you get to your destination much faster!).
Another tip: wear good walking shoes! & possibly bring a phone charger on the go. I didn’t realize how big the garden was. I spent four hours there and didn’t even cover half of it! My phone died towards the end of the four hours – due to the amount of pictures I took I’d assume. You have the option of renting bikes for 10€ a day or taking a boat tour as well.
Just a heads up – this is a VERY popular tourist place. I had assumed that going in, but I didn’t realize just how busy it would be. Everyone is taking pictures, some walk slow & take their time – so be respectful and maybe offer to take someone’s photo and they’ll be willing to take yours!
If you’re in Amsterdam during a layover, I highly recommend visiting the gardens if you have the time! Here are a few photos: