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.
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.
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.
How to get there
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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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