Popularly known as the ‘Garden of Europe’, Keukenhof is a 32-hectares garden, located in the town of Lisse in the Netherlands. People often say, spring in the Netherlands actually means tulips and to see the flowers in their best version, you have to visit Keukenhof once in a lifetime.
This largest flower garden in the world is home to more than seven million flowers like hyacinths, azaleas, daffodils, rhododendrons, carnations, lilies, roses, orchids, irises besides tulips - all spring flowers in every imaginable colour on earth.
Along with the vibrant scenario of flowers, the garden also includes lakes, sculptures and naturally decorated pavilions, that will surely set up your mood to dive into the sea of graceful nature. In its current form, the garden is treated as the independent and international platform to showcase the Dutch floricultural sector.
There are around 100 suppliers, who supply their top-notch spring flower bulbs for the exhibitions at the park every year. Keukenhof is considered as a platform for the growers to network and meet several business contacts. The tulip garden remains open for only eight weeks in the spring from late March to May and witnesses more than 25k visitors a day.
Tourists, who want to enjoy the tulip season in Keukenhof can schedule a day trip from Amsterdam, as it is located at a short distance from the capital of the country.
How to Reach Keukenhof
At the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, you can find the Bus No. 858 or Keukenhof Express, which will take you to the Keukenhof. The ticket costs €10 for a round trip. However, in the tulip season, the queue is found very long.
Unfortunately, there is no railway station at Keukenhof. However, you can take a train to reach Schiphol Railway Station and then take the bus from there.
You can reach Keukenhof via road in about 35 mins from Amsterdam Airport or from Central Amsterdam. A44 (exit 3 Lisse) and A4 (exit Nieuw - Vennep) are the two widely used motorways that pass through Lisse. You can easily reach the destination using the navigation for the address: Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse and avail the parking facility at the park that costs €6 for a day.
Best Time to Visit Keukenhof
Keukenhof garden is open to the public only during the spring or tulip season in Amsterdam. The garden caters to the delight of the viewers over a limited period of eight weeks from mid-March to mid-May. Viewing season comprises two halves - early springtime and a peak springtime.
Mid-April to Mid-May: This is the peak time of the season and the prime time to visit the Keukenhof garden. The bright sunny days are perfect for blooming the subsequent layers of the bulb. These days are also perfect for capturing fantastic photographs. However, it is the most crowded time as international tourists visit the garden during this time.
Mid-March to Early April: The early season visit will spare you from the huge influx of tourists which means better memories to carry home. However the showstopper of the park, the tulips would only have started to bloom. Viewers can enjoy the kaleidoscopic beauty of daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths in early spring.
What Not to Miss at Keukenhof
Places to Visit near Keukenhof
1. LAM Museum:
This place is recommended to experience paintings, photos, videos and digital art for visitors of all age groups. Tourist will receive a personal tour on the smartphone or tablet over the Wi-Fi upon arrival to this place
2. Castle Keukenhof:
Keukenhof garden is a part of Castle Keukenhof, which remains open throughout the year. The castle opens daily from 9 AM and tourists can take guided tours to explore the place till 5 PM.
3. The Black Tulip Museum:
Located a short distance from the Keukenhof garden, this museum remains open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM. The place offers a vivid story on flower bulb culture over the five centuries, various art objects related to bulb growing, collection of over 400 flower glasses and many more.
4. Huys Dever:
A small castle built around 1375 by Reinier Dever, Huys Dever now houses an archaeological museum. It is open for exploring from Wednesday to Sunday from 2 PM to 5 PM.
Things to do in Keukenhof
1. Visit the Keukenhof Tulip Garden:
Schedule a plan to delve into the different types of tulips and other flowers during the peak season in spring. Also, do not forget to click a selfie with the KeukenhofMolen, the old big windmill in the garden.
2. Participate in the Amsterdam Flower Parade:
It is a mega event in Amsterdam and takes an entire day to participate. Tourists can also watch this from Haarlem, Voorhout and Hillegom, the connecting railway stations to Amsterdam.
3. Try authentic Dutch cuisine:
Keukenhof is surrounded by a number of eateries, from where you can try authentic Dutch cuisine, comprising of the foods like Stamppot, Hutspot, AVG je and many more.
Other Essential Information About Keukenhof
Location: Keukenhof is located in the town of Lisse in Bollenstreek, in the western Netherlands. It’s known as the Bulb region, famous for its flower cultivation.
Opening Hours: Keukenhof, is exclusively open during the spring in the Netherlands including Sundays as well as holidays. It remains open from 8 AM in the morning to 7:30 PM in the evening. However, tickets are sold until 6 PM.
- Adults: €17.50
- Children: €9
Photography: This place is a photographer’s paradise. Though this place has no restriction whatsoever on photography it is highly recommended to be an early bird in this park to avoid crowds and image spoilers.
Some of the facilities you can find within the park are:
1. Free Wi-Fi around the pavilions
2. Free map from the ticket office
3. Lockers to safeguard luggage
5. Wheelchair access (€20 cash deposit, refundable)
6. Toilet facilities for disabled people
Distance From Amsterdam Airport: Keukenhof is located at a distance of around 40 km from the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The distance can be covered in about half an hour by a car.
History of Keukenhof
Keukenhof park was the kitchen garden of the 13th century-built Slot Teylingen, the Dutch castle. The garden was used to serve as a place for playing games and growing fruits and vegetables for the inhabitants of the castle. In 1857, the park and the area around the castle were restructured by the famous landscape architect Jan David Zocher along with his son Louis Paul Zocher.
It was done under the command of Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt, who were the owners at that time. The park was redesigned in the English style and still serves as the foundation for the garden. Keukenhof garden, which is known today as the world’s largest garden was established by a group of flower exporters and bulb growers in the year 1949 and it first opened to the public in 1950.
Types of Flowers & Landscapes in Keukenhof
Tulips are the main attraction of the garden. There are 800 different breeds of Dutch tulips and some of them are - Couleren, Rosen, Violetten and more. Apart from the tulips, visitors can also find flowers like hyacinths, azaleas, daffodils, rhododendrons, carnations, lilies, roses, orchids, irises.
1. Hedge Maze:
Surrounded by thick bushes and sculptures, it offers a zoo with cows and horses. Hedge Maze is highly recommended for kids.
2. The Windmill:
The old windmill of the garden offers a panoramic view of the garden if you climb up there. You can also take a look at the nursery where the tulips were planted before they were moved to the gardens.
3. Japanese Garden:
Apart from the tulip gardens, there is a Japanese garden, where you can walk on the fake lily pads under the water. This is an artists paradise where scene and landscape would make you pick up a canvas.
Places to Dine in Keukenhof
1. Restaurant Keukenhof:
Located at a distance of 300 metres from the Keukenhof park, this restaurant is a nice place to eat delicious Dutch, European and international foods after a long tiring day in outdoor seating.
2. Het Oude Dykhuys:
This restaurant can be reached in just eight minutes by a car from the Keukenhof park. Elegant backdrop, contemporary food and quality wine would greet you in this place.
3. Tante Kee:
Surrounded by water, Tante Kee can be reached via ferry, which is available for 24/7. Tourists can taste authentic French cuisine served with local organic products.
Places to shop in Keukenhof
The Maandagmarkt is the nearest place to fill your bags with the authentic cheese of Holland. This place is a conglomeration of individual shops located just a mile away from the Keukenhof garden.
2. Free Tulip Flower Market:
This place is as astounding as Keukenhof itself. It’s sprawling tulip fields along the province of Flevoland would let you purchase huge varieties of bulbs that can be exotic, to say the least.
Tips for Visiting Keukenhof
For the tourists, who are planning to visit the Keukenhof garden for the first time, the following tips will be helpful.
1. Stack your luggage at lockers either at the Schiphol Airport Railway Station or use the lockers of Keukenhof Tulip Gardens.
2. Do not schedule your flights on the day of Amsterdam Flower Parade, as the roads are overcrowded.
3. Try to visit the garden before 10.30 AM in the morning on weekdays like Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
4. Visitors can bring their food to the park as it has an arrangement for picnics.
5. Visitors can buy souvenirs from the farmers in the tulip bulb stalls that carry a quarantine certificate, mandatory for shipments to the USA, Australia and Canada.