Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Thu August 06 2015

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  • Worldwide Scott | August 6, 2015 3:00 AM ET

    How Not To Visit Keukenhof Gardens

    How Not To Visit Keukenhof Gardens

    All photos courtesy of Worldwide Scott

    Keukenhof Gardens is a world famous botanical park on the outskirts of Amsterdam. It opens each spring and treats all who grace its grounds to a sprawling bouquet of the most creative and colorful tulip displays they've ever seen in their lives. 

    In fact, most who visit spend the rest of their days engaged in an attempt to re-capture the magic that the fanciful flowers of Keukenhof bring to all who gaze upon them.

    I wouldn't know, though, because I've never been to the place. 

    I tried really hard to go there recently, but as travel plans sometimes have a tendency to do, everything went sideways.

    As a result, I don't have a flowery report featuring tales of skipping around smelling tulips and walking across a lake on pretty little stepping-stones to share with you. I did come home from my attempted visit with some great tips for how not to visit Keukenhof Gardens from Amsterdam, so I hope that makes up for it.   

    1. Misread the website about the price of bus tickets to Keukenhof Gardens from Amsterdam.

    There is no better way to not visit Keukenhof Gardens than to begin things with a fundamental misunderstanding of how much a trip will cost. Everything pretty much flows from this. After quickly scanning the Keukenhof Gardens website, make sure to fall under the mistaken impression that a combination bus ride from Amsterdam/admission ticket called a "combi" will only cost €23.50 per person. Remind yourself that while 40-plus Euros does seem like a big chunk of change for two people to look at flowers, it's Keukenhof Gardens, darling, and sometimes you simply have to splurge. 

    2. When the bus driver tells you there are no combi tickets to Keukenhof Gardens from Amsterdam, go ahead and board that bus anyway. 

    This is a crucial tip for not visiting Keukenhof Gardens. When you step on the bus in Amsterdam and are told "there are no combi tickets to Keukenhof Gardens from Amsterdam,” continue your journey undeterred. Convince yourself that since the airport is an intermediate stop, somehow everything will be straightened out there by someone more informed than this clearly deranged driver. A delusion involving the €10 you have just paid somehow being credited towards the combi ticket worked well for me. 

    3.  Once at Schiphol International Airport, discover the true details of this elusive combi ticket.

    This is where not visiting Keukenhof really starts to "take off.” At Schiphol International Airport, information is widely available plainly explaining that the €23.50 combi ticket is only good from the airport to the gardens, not from Amsterdam. This is when I recommend doing some quick math in your head to figure out that since you just forked over €10 to the bus driver for a trip to the airport, the return trip plus combi tickets will now cost you €67. Yep, €67 for two people to take in some tulips.  

    4. Lurk around the airport for a while.

    This is the saving face portion of not going to Keukenhof Gardens. Start with approaching the bus about to take off for Keukenhof and ask that driver about the combi ticket in a last-ditch effort to hear a different answer. After you are physically removed from the bus, head up to the airport's panoramic terrace to see some planes take off. It will transpire that the terrace is a bit underwhelming as it mainly just gives you a view of planes pulling into the gate and instead of "oohs and aahs" leads to exchanges like this: "Look kids, the KLM plane is inching its way in!"

    5. Head home €20 lighter.

    Scrape up what you have left of your pride, push past The Runway Buffet and its decomposing pizza with your tail between your legs, and buy bus tickets back to Amsterdam. Before you leave though, pose for a picture with a big promotional Keukenhof sign they have set up and try to convince yourself that you've had a character-building travel experience.

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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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