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Review: Keukenhof and Flowerfields

Escorted Tour - Coach

An expensive bus ride - too late in the season for touring the bulb fields

  • By SilverTraveller yorkshirecat

    76 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Apr 2014
  • Husband

21 people found this review helpful

We enjoyed a lovely city break in Amsterdam in ApriI 2014 and had planned to visit Keukenhof using a combi-ticket: 23 euros for the 858 bus from Schiphol and entrance fee to the gardens. However, I was persuaded to pay 45 euros for the Lindbergh 5 hour "Keukenhof and Flowerfields" excursion as it included an "extensive tour through the spectacular Dutch bulb fields". Sadly, on the day of our tour – 30 April – the flower fields were a mere shadow of their former glory. The daffodils and narcissi appeared to be long gone and tulips had mostly been beheaded – their petals carpeting the ground between the rows. This was very disappointing. The tour guide was very pleasant and provided a reasonably interesting commentary throughout the journey in three different languages, but I wished I had saved my money and taken the public bus.

When we arrived at the gardens, our tour guide took us to the entrance and left us to our own devices for 3 hours. After a thankfully short wait in the queue, I had to source a wheelchair for my partner who was, by now, beyond being able to walk any distance. Lindbergh ask you to arrive at their city centre offices 30 minutes before the tour, but there is nowhere to wait: we had to stand around on the pavement dodging the stream of people exiting Amsterdam Centraal Station. After half an hour of this, an employee holding a sign aloft, set off at speed through the busy streets with a large group of us trotting along behind. When we eventually reached the coach, it only had space for half the group and we had more standing around waiting for the next coach dodging cyclists and pedestrians on a thin strip of pavement. Those with poor mobility were exhausted before the tour began.

With my partner comfortably ensconced in a very smart, free wheelchair, I then had to search for the free map of the gardens (after being barked at by the assistant in the souvenir shop for merely touching a guide that was NOT FREE!) and work out a route around the gardens. By the time we had made our way through the pathways to the windmill and found the queue for the boat, there was insufficient time to fit in the boat trip or browse all of the indoor exhibitions. The grounds and flowerbeds were beautiful, as I have explained in my other review of the gardens, although some beds were past their best. The coach returned to Amsterdam via a direct route rather than meandering back through the somewhat desolate flowerbeds. Had we travelled a week or two earlier when the surrounding bulb fields were in their full glory, this excursion might have been worth the expense. Had we been given a map of the gardens whilst on the coach to help us plan our visit, it might have helped us make best use of our time. had we not experienced an uncomfortable and lengthy wait before getting on the coach, my husband might have enjoyed it more. As it was, I do not feel we received a tour – just an extremely expensive bus ride to and from the gardens. Whilst Lindbergh cannot control the weather, I believe they should offer a discounted rate when there is no longer anything worth seeing in the flower fields.

21 people found this review helpful

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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