A world-class airport always has post-modern and futuristic architecture, state-of-the-art technology, sophisticated infrastructure and facilities, top-notch customer services, and incredible network and reliability. A top-ranking airport, on the other hand, could be the busiest in passenger traffic, the largest volume in cargo freight, or the most frequent in flight schedules.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is among the best range over the years but not the top, yet it wins me over with its “user-friendliness” and proximity to the world. First of all, Schiphol offers good coverage of many European destinations, which makes the city a central hub for travelers to hop over from places to places. Second of all, it has an amazing train network connection (Such as Thalys) to neighboring cities in the Benelux area (Belgium / The Netherlands / Luxemburg) and even Paris, Dusseldorf / Cologne, and beyond. Schiphol is only 20 minutes away from the very center of Amsterdam city! Therefore, it’s perfect to just have a short stopover and walk around in the city as a short escape.
The image of boundless colorful tulips (and other flowers), windmills, canals, and nature has always touched my heart. This is my impression of the Netherlands and that’s why I put it on the top of my list when I am in Amsterdam that I simply must visit the beautiful fields and gardens. The Keukenhof is a popular attraction for international visitors and it’s very convenient to get to. The garden is a great spot for visitors to get a taste of the country’s beautiful flower fields.
One time, I stayed in the CitizenM, which is merely a 3-min walk from the Schipol; and there it has a bus-stop to offer a shuttle bus to the Keukenhof. Transportation from Schiphol to the Keukenhof is even closer to Amsterdam’s city center (for just 15 minutes). Known as the “Garden of Europe”, it is the largest flower garden in Europe for visitors to enjoy the blooming of tulips and many different kinds of flower from the end of March to mid-May.
Suggest going to the park early in the morning from Schiphol to avoid the roaring crowd and take nice pictures with the beautiful nature – the garden opens as early as 8am. The best time to view the tulips would be mid-end of April, so make sure you are there during the good season. Keukenhof has a bit of everything for visitors not only to relax and take photos but also to understand more about Netherlands history and culture. Try on a clog, climb up a windmill, greet the helpers dressed in traditional Dutch dresses, look at the old clocks… The garden has an exciting array of features that you could make a day our of your travel itinerary. The garden also has a mindful and well-designed arrangement of flowers in different settings, the walking trails also have a windmill, canals, pavilions, flower-arrangement exhibits, with heart-warming farm barn animals roaming in the fields.
Keukenhof website – http://www.keukenhof.nl/en/
Outside the garden is the long field of tulips and flowers that created the picture every saw from the internet. But if you decide to get active, there is a bike rental place across the entrance of the Keukenhof garden where visitors could rent a bike on an hourly basis. The rental place also provides information and free maps about 4 different routes for you to see the flower fields, dunes (even the coast), and to explore the surrounding areas!
Bike Rental route map – http://www.rentabikevandam.nl/download/RAB_Route_2015.pdf