If you want to see the prettiest flowers in the world, Keukenhof is the place to go. Open each spring, Keukenhof showcases more than 7 million bulbs and 800 varieties of tulips over 32 hectares of land. Use this guide to learn more about the gardens and how to get there!
Keukenhof means “kitchen garden”. Its history goes back to the 1400s when fruit and vegetables were gathered for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and, in 1857, the castle gardens were redesigned in the English landscape style that forms the basis of Keukenhof’s design today.
In 1949, 20 flower bulb experts came up with the idea of the Keukenhof we see today, and the park opened to the public for the first time in the spring of 1950. The park welcomes about 800,000 visitors in the eight weeks it is open each year.
When to visit
Keukenhof is only in the spring, from late March to late May. I visited in the middle of April and it was almost in full bloom, but not quite. I would recommend visiting in late April to early may in order to see all the flowers and tulip fields in full bloom.
How to get there
Keukenhof is located in Lisse, which is in between Amsterdam and The Hague. Parking is €6.
Traveling by bus is the easiest way to get to Keukenhof. However, arrive at the stop early as there will most certainly be queues.
From Amsterdam: There is no bus from Amsterdam to Keukenhof. You must travel by bus or train to Schipol in order to catch the bus to Keukenhof.
From Schipol: The Keukenhof Express (bus 858) leaves every 15 minutes from the bus station in front of Schipol.
From Leiden: There is a Keukenhof Express from the Leiden bus station in front of the Leiden train station.
Tickets are sold online (prices TBC). You can also buy bus/park combo tickets. Tickets can also be purchased at the park.
Where to stay
While you can get to Keukenhof easily from Amsterdam and any other city that has access to Schipol, I recommend staying in Leiden. It’s a great little city with lots of restaurants and canals for wandering. It’s also cheaper than Amsterdam!
What to do
Well, look at flowers. Keukenhof is huge. You’ll spend hours meandering along all the pathways and marveling at the floral diversity. Each year they also have different special exhibitions. When I went, they had a whole indoor space full of roses with a Van Gogh theme. They also had a lovely orchid exhibition. It is also possible to take a canal tour to experience the tulip fields up close! Unfortunately, the fields weren’t fully in bloom when we went, so we passed on that opportunity.
Food and refreshments
They do a great job of keeping you well fueled at Keukenhof. There are several food halls with a variety of food. You’ll also find stalls selling drinks, strawberries, and ice cream. Yum!
I hope this post makes you want to visit Keukenhof. It is one of my favourite places, as I love flowers. If you just want a day full of beauty in nature, I highly recommend a visit!
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