Keukenhof is a world famous landmark of the Netherlands, not to be missed when visiting the country during spring. Admire the 7 million Keukenhof tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, lilies and other bulbs. On 32 hectares (79 acres) in Lisse, in the province of Zuid-Holland each year 1.5 million visitors come to see the Keukenhof gardens. When visiting this landmark, don’t skip the Delta Works another landmark of the Netherlands, both perfect to include on road trips. Another perfect route to see tulips is on the tulip route Goeree-Overflakkee.
Before exploring what there is to see and do at Keukenhof Netherlands, some background on how it came to be.
In the 15th Century all the yields from the Keukenduin (Kitchendune) were for Slot Teylingen, think about fruit, vegetables and game. In 1641 a castle, called Keukenhof, was built in the Keukenduin. It was rebuilt several times until it became the castle that’s still there today.
In 1857 the landscaper Zocher and his son redesigned the garden around the castle, into a English landscape style. These gardens are the basis for the present flower show.
In 1949 the first flower show was held on part of the estate. The initiative came from the local mayor, bulb-growers and bulb exporters. W. van der Lee, a landscape architect, took the lead in the design. In 1950 the park officially opened and was a success straight away with 236000 visitors. In 1957 the Keukenhof Mill got it’s place on the terrain.
What to see
Keukenhof is famous worldwide for its tulip gardens and other beautiful flowers on display. 100 Bulb-growers supply the show with flowers each year. They deliver 7 million (!) spring flowers each year. In between the flower décor sculptures and art objects are on display.
The park is divided in 7 area’s: Wilhelmina, Juliana, Beatrix, Irene, Willem-Alexander, Oranje Nassau and Mill. Each area has it’s own flower shows.
There are 5 different pavilions in which flower shows and demonstrations of flower arranging are being held.
We loved strolling around all the beautiful flowers in bloom. They’ve gone out of their way to make the displays as stunning as possible and not repeatable. Although famous for the tulips, I loved the orchids the most.
There are 7 inspiring gardens on the estate:
- Reconnection garden: Made with sustainable materials and with the idea of reconnecting with nature.
- Tropical Beach garden: An Ibiza lifestyle garden for relaxation.
- Culture garden: Theme of the garden is that flowers and colors belong to parties and rituals in each culture all over the world.
- Green Tea garden: A tea garden with all sorts of herbs in a glasshouse. You can enjoy a cup of tea (or coffee) here.
- Cottage garden: A forest garden with indigenous plants and flowers.
- Mystical garden: A garden revolving around mindfulness.
- Red Romance garden: This garden has its focus on romance.
How to explore
You can simply walk from garden to garden and admire them yourself, or take a guided tour. We explored the park on our own back in May 2007.
There’s also the possibility to take a tour with an electrical whisper boat. The tour duration is 45 minutes and is guided.
Explore the surroundings of the Keukenhof, there are many more flower fields nearby. You can rent a bike at the park and set out to explore.
There’s also plenty to do for kids. They can undertake a scavenger hunt, explore the maze, visit the petting zoo or play at the Nijntje (Miffy) playground.
Unfortunately the park has been closed for two years in a row now, but you can take a Keukenhof virtual tour from the comfort of your home.
Tickets for Keukenhof are €18.50 for adults, €9.00 for 4 till 17 years old. Below 4 are free to enter. How and when exactly Keukenhof can open again next year is not provided yet. Due to the pandemic the park was closed in 2020 and 2021. Normally the park is open from March till May. In 2022 this will be March 24th till May 15th.
For a tour with a whispering boat adults pay €9.00, kids aged 4 till 11 pay €4.50 and below 4 are for free.
There are 2 shops on the terrain where you can buy your own bulbs for at home.
There’s ample parking space. Parking will set you back €6.00. The parking lot closes at 7.30 pm. There are charging points for electrical vehicles. You can park your bike or scooter for free.
You can get a combination ticket (Combiticket) for public transport and entrance to the park, valid for one day.
How to get there
The address: Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse.
You can reach the park by means of public transport, by car or bike. There are 4 departure locations for the Keukenhof Express bus: Haarlem station, Europaplein (RAI), Schiphol Airport and Leiden Central Station.
From Amsterdam it’s 40 minutes by car, from Rotterdam 50 minutes and from The Hague it will take 45 minutes.
Where to stay
If you want to stay more than one day, NH Hotel Schiphol Airport, is a good idea. Other options in Lisse itself are Boutique Suites Lisse-Schiphol, Hotel Restaurant de Engel and Bed & Breakfast De Vier Seizoenen.
Where to eat
There are several restaurants In the park where you can eat. Like poffertjes, a Dutch traditional food, which are available near the Miffy playground. Other options nearby for dinner are Hotel Restaurant Lowietje, Hofboerderij, Brasserie Hemels, Eetcafé Lef or Het Tussenstation Lisse.
Go and visit the beautiful Keukenhof
The tulips and other flowers are beautiful. It’s a joy to stroll around the gardens.
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