AMSTERDAM – Keukenhof Gardens… Overdosing on flowers and sushi!
Anywho, on one of my Pinterest binges I stumbled across Keukenhof Gardens and within a split second it was already on our ‘MUST GO HERE’ list…
Keukenhof is one of the largest and most beautiful flower gardens in the world, showcasing the distinctive flower of the Netherlands, the tulip, in the forefront of the displays.
It is open for a mere 8 weeks of the year (20th March – 17th May 2015), welcoming over 800,000 visitors, 75% of which come from abroad.
Fortunately our trip to Amsterdam happened to fall in the opening period and we immediately added it to our itinerary.
Keukenhof Gardens are located just outside of Amsterdam and it took us just under 2 hours on public transport from the centre of Amsterdam to get there.
HOW DID WE GET THERE?
197 Bus (Connexxion company) from centre of Amsterdam (Bus stops at Leidseplein, Rijksmuseum or muesumplein) to Schipol Airport
Train from Amsterdam centrale to Schipol Airport
From Schipol Airport take the Keukenhof Express Bus 858 straight to the Gardens.
A combo ticket for travel and entrance to the gardens cost us $23.50 euros which you can purchase at Schipol Airport or Online here.
Not only did we managed to come in the 8 week opening duration of the park but we also managed to come on the hottest day of the year so far.
Of course it attracted the visitors in the thousands but there were plenty of flowers to go around. Infact, i have a fact for you.
Every year over 7 million bulbs are planted here!
Let me show you around?
We had the most beautiful day lounging around the gardens and strolling between rainbows of colour. There are lots of cafes and stalls dotted about the park so as soon as you feel tired, hungry or thirsty – Keukenhof have it sorted for you.
For £18 all in, we had a beautiful day here and if you find yourself in Amsterdam during the opening weeks – I can guarantee even the most basic of photographers will come away with a money shot.
Should you wish to venture further you can hire bikes at an additional cost from the gardens and cycle through the tulip fields. I would have loved to have extended our day to that but it was our last evening in Amsterdam and so we headed back to the center.
Obviously refuelling as soon as we got there.
I had had my eye on this Maoz vegetarian pita bar since we arrived.
If you’ve been to Pita Pit before – you’ll understand the craving.
We walked around the city in the remains of the sun, continously unravelling new corners and attractions. There is honestly such a diverse choice of activities and sights in Amsterdam and I would have had no idea until I got here.
All I had naively associated Amsterdam with before was ‘Coffee Shops’.
I personally felt that I wanted to check out a coffee shop whilst I was in Amsterdam, so late that afternoon we headed to a well known tourist cafe – Smokeys.
Like The Red Light District, the openness and accessibility of cannabis and sexuality felt very… different. Strange if I’m honest.
Here in Amsterdam, the smell of cannabis will waft your way through most street corners, so expect it.
That and waffles of course.
The afternoon soon drifted away from us and our tummy began rumbling again. This time we fancied sushi and so embarked upon a sushi hunt before stumbling upon this absolute GEM of a restaurant…
From the front you would have NO idea the back opens up to a romantic view down the canal and the red light district.
And as for the food. OH MY.
The gyoza were UNREAL. Succulent, intensely flavoursome and combined with the garlic soy – wow. My mouth is watering as we speak.
You must order them.
We enjoyed a range of sushi, edamame beans and sashimi in the most beautiful setting imaginable. We had a lovely Japanese lady that served us endlessly, making the experience very authentic.
If you want to head here (which I highly recommend), it’s called Morita-Ya and is located down Zeedijk street.
Our final morning bought us to one last hotspot before we jumped on the plane back to the UK – Lite/Dark, which is also located on ZeeDijk Street.
We had walked past it a few times but never been hungry enough / ready to enter, so we saved it for last.
We both grabbed a selection of fresh smoothies, juices, protein balls and healthy cookies for the journey home and felt amazing for it.
If you’re fancy indulging in vitamins and anti-oxidants whilst in Amsterdam – this is your place.
Everything is homemade and they do everything from snacks to salads.
That’s it for now Amsterdam, our love affair is over.
But my, what a roller coaster of adventures we have had.