A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Keukenhof claims itself as the most beautiful spring garden in the world. I couldn’t agree more. My family had the pleasure of visiting and exploring it last year. We were blown away by this unique and unforgettable experience! I hope you can visit and that this post: A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands, will be of help.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands
Main Entrance

Located in Lisse, Netherlands, Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. About 7 million flower bulbs are planted, with a total of 800 varieties of tulips, across an area of 32 hectares.

Keukenhof was established in 1949 to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs to help the Dutch export industry. This heralded the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park. It was opened to the public in the following year attracting more than 230,000 visitors during its first year.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Lisse is a town about 20 miles (32 kms) southwest of Amsterdam. It welcomes hundreds of thousands of local as well as foreign visitors during springtime when colourful tulips and other flowers are in bloom. Today, the town exports massive quantities of flower bulbs to more than a hundred countries around the world.

For almost seven decades, Keukenhof developed into a world-famous attraction. This year, 2018, the park will have “Romance in Flowers” as its theme.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

How to get there

Public Transport

Most visitors to Keukenhof travel via Schiphol Airport, the main international hub of the Netherlands. The airport is located less than 6 miles (9 kms) southwest of Amsterdam.

Book your flights to Amsterdam via Skyscanner.

Non-European resident visitors in Europe may take the train to Amsterdam, book via Eurail. European residents may take the train to Amsterdam, book via Interrail.

Book your hotels at HotelsCombined and your travel insurance at World Nomads.

Visitors coming from downtown Amsterdam, Amsterdam Zuid and Amstelveen can take the trains to Schiphol Airport. The Keukenhof Express (Bus 858) takes you straight to the gardens from the airport. Those coming from The Hague and nearby areas can take the trains to Leiden, then Bus 854 brings you to the spring park. Bus 50 from the train station of Haarlem and Bus 90 from Katwijk/Noordwijk/Noordwijkerhout travel to Keukenhof.

Self-Drive

Visitors who wish to travel to the park on their own transport can do so. The Netherlands has excellent roads so driving on your own is a pleasurable experience. There are plenty of parking spaces at the gardens for a nominal fee of €6.00 for a whole day.

You can rent and book a vehicle of your choice at Rentalcars.

Organised Tours

Visiting Keukenhof without all the hassles is possible. There’s no need for you to buy the tickets for the gardens and worry about your transport arrangements. Everything is taken care of for you by joining organized tours (highly recommended). So you can just relax and enjoy the day.

You can book your Keukenhof tours (and others too) at GetYourGuide or Viator or Tour Radar.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Opening times

Keukenhof is open annually from mid-March to mid-May. The best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, depending on the weather. We went there on 14 April 2017 (which was a Good Friday). Further, we’re part of the record 1.4 million visitors that year. Spending the whole day on this little paradise was indeed a very, very good Friday!

For this year, Keukenhof is open from 22 March 2018 – 13 May 2018 from 08:00 am – 07:30 pm. The ticket office is open from 08:00 am – 06:00 pm.

Please make sure to read visitors’ reviews of the park on its Facebook page to help you plan and to avoid disappointment.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Tickets

Tickets can be booked online or bought at the site.

Adults – online €17.00
Adults – ticket office €18.00
Children (0 – 3 years old) Free
Children (4 – 17 years old) €8.00
Groups (20 – 200 people) – online €14.75
Groups (20 – 200 people) – ticket office €15.50
Groups >200 people Upon request
School children (4 – 17 years old) >10 children €6.00
Guided tours <25 people €135.00

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Map of the Park

A free copy of the gardens’ map is available from the ticket office, information desk or at the entrance. In fact, there are plenty of maps that you can find around the park. Please check the map below to give you a heads up on the park’s layout.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands
Credit: keukenhof.nl

After getting past the main entrance, my recommendation is for the visitor to turn right and work your way to the mill. From there zigzag your way to the park’s opposite end where Wilhelmina Pavilion is. In my opinion, this is the most stunning area of the park. A  small lake and towering trees add to its beauty. Saving the best for last, I may say.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Also, make sure to bring a camera to the gardens. The tulips and the flowers like crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and many more are worthy of your Instagram feeds. I am sure the flowers will keep you busy clicking photos like us.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Activities for the Visitors

At the far end on the right side of the park is a windmill. Nearby is a shop selling souvenir items including the unique Dutch clog slippers. Visitors can climb up the windmill to have a good view of the gardens.

Want to see more windmills and those clog slippers in The Netherlands? Please check out here.

Also, outside the park can be seen long fields of colourful tulips spread like massive carpets. These are mostly privately owned and are not part of the ticket to the spring park.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Boat trips around Keukenhof are also available. The trip through the tulip fields takes 45 minutes. Admission tickets to the park do not include tickets for the boat ride. Tickets can be bought at the mill.

Adults (including 65+ years old) €8.00
Children (4 – 17 years old) €4.00
Children (0 – 3 years old) Free of charge

Advance bookings for the boat trip can be made for a group of 20 persons or more.

Keukenhof is not only a spring park of flowers. It was designed where families can have fun too. There is a playground for children and a maze of neatly trimmed shrubs as tall as an adult. Children will enjoy activities such as treasure hunting, drawing, colouring and others. There are also inspirational gardens around the park including the romantic “Proposal Garden.”

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

A small farmhouse with various birds, ducks and other fowls, animals like goat and sheep keeps the visitors entertained. Some of these animals loved to be pet.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

A small replica of a windmill as well as some sculptures are scattered around the park. Set against a backdrop of trees or around a small lake, these artworks provide distractions from the flowers.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Pavilions

There are five pavilions in Keukenhof housing restaurants which serve local and international dishes. Drinks and snacks are also available and can be enjoyed with countless colourful flowers in full view. However, visitors are allowed to bring their own food to the park.

Free Wi-Fi is available in these pavilions so you can upload photos to your Instagram instantly. Your friends and followers for sure will be green with envy.

Aside from restaurants, two of the pavilions also house different varieties of flowers. The largest orchid show in Europe can be found in the Beatrix Pavilion.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

Over at the Willem-Alexander Pavilion, a colourful explosion of different kind of tulips and other flowers in bloom will make visitors’ jaws drop to the floor.

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

A day out to Keukenhof Flower Gardens like we had is highly recommended. Even a person who does not like flowers that much like me will find it not hard to fall in love with the park and its millions of colourful flowers.

If you can’t make it to Keukenhof but you’re in the US during the month of April, please check this post.

Have you been to Keukenhof? What was your experience like? If you have not been, would you like to visit?

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A Guide to Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands

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24 Comments

  1. Keukenhof looks amazing! It is funny. I grew up in Germany, just next to the Netherlands, yet, I have never seen the tulip blossoms. I have seen individual fields full of flowers, but nothing that was even remotely as impressive as Keukenhof.

    I would love to go one day but now that I moved further away, it is harder. Maybe next year, when I will be back in Germany and have time to leave for a weekend. I am thinking about convincing my parents of doing it as a day trip together, so we can go together with their car. It would be convenient and I am sure they would love the tulips, too.

    Thanks for the great guide! It really made me want to go to Keukenhof to see the flowers.

  2. Thanks for sharing, this is exactly what I needed. I’m visiting Keukenhof Gardens in a few weeks so totally loving this comprehensive guide. A few questions: Which mode of transport did you use getting there? Also, how many hours would you recommend spending there? Thanks!

    1. You’re welcome! When we visited Keukenhof, our base was at The Hague so we took the train to Leiden, then Bus 854 to the gardens. I would recommend a minimum of 4 hours if you have other plans for the day. Otherwise, you can practically spend the whole day there. The best experience to have is to explore the park in your own sweet time and not in a hurried manner. Enjoy!

  3. I just about managed to see Keukenhof before it closed a few years back and absolutely loved it. Did not get enough of it. Wish I could have done the boat ride that you mentioned. Loved your Pics of the full bloom. Cheers and let’s hope I can visit this again

  4. Those flowers are absolutely beautiful. Is an organized tour the only and most convenient way? I was wondering if Klook works there or something that won’t be as expensive 🙁

    1. To get to Keukenhof, it’s either DIY or through an organised tour -whichever is more convenient depends on the individual. Klook offers day tour, if you fancy an organised tour check out others too that offer the same tour to get the best deal.

  5. 7 million flower bulbs and 800 varieties – my head is spinning at the thought! To see in real would be mind blowing. Thanks for the detailed guide for visiting the garden, makes the planning a lot easier. I can imagine the photo opportunity.

  6. Yes, for me the Keunkenof Flower Garden is the most beautiful garden Ive ever seen. I really want to go in a perfect place like this. Those flower in the keunkenof and the lake can be the best stress reliever.

  7. This is a really helpful guide. Every spring I enjoy seeing photos of Keukenhof in bloom, but I’ve never managed a visit myself. It always makes me think of the tulip bubble of the 1600s. The first stock market bubble.

  8. When you first think of Netherlands, the flower gardens are the first thing that comes to your mind. These make the country look so beautiful. I love all the bright coloured flowers at the Keukenhof Flower Gardens. Your guide about them is wonderful.

  9. This is a beautiful article on the beautiful place. I have never been there but my husband brought back whole lot of photographs . Since then I am waiting for a chance to go to Keukenhof. I cannot believe there were so many varieties of tulips!

  10. I’ve heard so much about the Keukenhof Flower Gardens and wanted to visit for a while so this post is well timed! I think flowers such as these are synonymous with The Netherlands, and your photography has captured the colours and the beauty so perfectly! I love the planting style and the shapes created by the flowers, and the many different varieties of tulips!

  11. Keunkenhof Garden is a very romantic place, when I looked at this post I feel so relaxed. It’s a perfect place for couples. Breathing fresh air while walking around the gardens with your loved ones is so relaxing and indeed a perfect moment. Thanks for your wonderful post!

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