The Keukenhof Experience

I heard about Keukenhof Gardens a year ago, when I saw the amazing photos of a friend who had recently visited the gardens. Being an avid tulip fan myself, when deciding to travel to Amsterdam this Spring, we deliberately chose a date in which we knew the gardens of Lisse would be open.

white tulips in Keukenhof Gardens

white tulips in Keukenhof Gardens

colorful tulips in Keukenhof Gardens

colorful tulips in Keukenhof Gardens

  • Isn’t it open all the time?

Unfortunately, no. Keukenhof Gardens is open every year between mid-March and mid-May – the exact dates this year being from the 20th of March to the 17th of May. The best time to see the largest amount of tulips in bloom is mid-April, and the annual Flower Parade is held on the 25th of April.

  • What is Keukenhof Gardens exactly?

Keukenhof, also called “the Garden of Europe”, is the second largest flower garden in the World! Covering an area of 32 hectares (!), there have been 7 million flower bulbs planted in the garden, most of which are tulips (that come in more than 800 varieties). Before you visit, get prepared for the abundance of colors that covers the whole area.

Keukenhof Gardens tulips

Keukenhof Gardens tulips

  • So what can I do here? 

Besides admiring the lovely flowers and colors, you can do plenty of other activities here!

-> enjoy lunch in a scenic location in one of the many restaurants of the park

-> check out the flower shows in the specially arranged Pavilions

orchid show in Beatrix Pavilion

orchid show in Beatrix Pavilion

orchid show in Beatrix Pavilion

orchid show in Beatrix Pavilion

orchid show in Beatrix Pavilion

orchid show in Beatrix Pavilion

-> shop in one of the 17 souvenir shops located on the premises

-> relax next to the lake

relaxing in Keukenhof Gardens

relaxing in Keukenhof Gardens

-> rent a bike and explore the surrounding, colorful fields

-> admire the flower bulbs from above by climbing up a real Dutch windmill

windmill at Keukenhof Gardens

windmill at Keukenhof Gardens

-> admire the artwork

-> get close to Vincent can Gogh

  • What kind of artwork are we talking about?

Every year, Keukenhof encourages artists to display their artwork (paintings, sculptures) among the flower arrangements. These pieces not only contribute to the general atmosphere of the gardens, but can also be purchased – see the complete list here.

Tulip painting at Keukenhof Gardens

Tulip painting at Keukenhof Gardens

  • What does van Gogh have to do with this?

2015 marks the 125th year since the death of the great Dutch artist. To honor his memory, Keukenhof Gardens dedicated this year’s exhibition to the Post-Impressionist painter. In the Oranje Nassau Pavilion you can find a whole saloon dedicated to his work. You can sit and pose in front of huge posters of his paintings, and actually be a part of them, whilst surrounded by colorful flowers. There is a separate outdoor Selfie Garden, where you can grab a photo frame and pose with van Gogh. There will also be a 250 square-meters Flower Mosaic in the garden, depicting one of van Gogh’s iconic self-portraits (it wasn’t in bloom on the 23rd of March)

road leading to the Oranje Nassau Pavilion

road leading to the Oranje Nassau Pavilion

The Vincent van Gogh saloon

The Vincent van Gogh saloon

posing in the Selfie Garden

posing in the Selfie Garden

  • What do I do with my kids?

Keukenhof is a family-friendly place, and they’ve made sure that your children won’t be bored for a second while you’re walking between the multicolored arrangements. There is a petting farm with cute farm animals, a playground and a maze the kids can get lost in. The park also organizes a treasure hunt to help guide the children in the park, a fun way to explore the whole place and get around.

  • What was the most impressive thing?

The whole place. Really, It’s extremely impressive what the gardeners have done here. The grass is perfect, and the flowers/tulips are even more so. I especially liked (and was in awe of) the Willem-Alexander, the largest of the pavilions, which housed an immense flower show. Seriously, the battery from the camera got exhausted here, as we were trying to capture as many of the flowers on display as possible.

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

Expo in Willem-Alexander, Keukenhof

  • So, how can I visit Keukenhof Gardens?

You can easily access the gardens by car. The public transportation system is also well-developed, with Keukenhof Express buses coming from Amsterdam, Leiden, Haarlem and den Haag – see here for further details. You can save a few euros by buying a Combi-ticket, which contains not only your transportation, but also the entrance ticket as well.

So, how do you like the gardens? Would you like to visit Keukenhof?

Note: This article was brought to you in collaboration with Keukenhof Gardens. As usual, all opinions and photos are my own.

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The Keukenhof Experience

18 Responses to “The Keukenhof Experience

  • What a beautiful place! Thank you for the virtual tour. I hope to make it there in April 🙂 After seeing your pictures, I’m even more looking forward to it!!

    • Thank you for your comment Lucy!
      I will be looking forward to seeing the gardens through your lens! April is said to be the best time to visit so you will probably love it! 🙂

  • Wow, such a beautiful place! I bet it smelled incredible there 😀 Sadly, when I visited The Netherlands, the tulips were well past their time 🙁

    • Yeah, it smelled and looked amazing 🙂
      And from what I heard, in April there are even more flowers, which is probably even more awesome!
      It was the 3rd time for me in the Netherlands so I was extremely happy to finally get to see some real Dutch tulips “face to face” 🙂

  • Love the flowers. So many different kinds with beautiful colours. Looks amazing! Love when spring comes. I do not have green-fingers at all. I wish I I did though, so I could have a beautiful garden with many flowers, like here.

    • Thanks for your comment! 🙂
      I fear that the gardeners of Keukenhof have become such masters of gardening (at one point I was actually looking for weeds between the tulips and didn’t see even one) that I could never even come close to their level :)). But I too want a garden of my own, even if it won’t be so perfect 🙂

  • I went there last year, and had an amazing time ! We also visited the tulip fields nearby. That was so nice ! i hope to go there again this year 🙂

    • You are lucky! 🙂 The tulip fields weren’t in bloom yet on the 23rd. But still we had an awesome time. I especially liked the smell of all kinds of flowers when I stepped into a Pavilion. I think it is a must-see place in the Netherlands, especially if you’re a fan of tulips like I am 🙂

      • I agree, it’s a must do if you are around ! I was there for the tulip season, but I would love to visit during the hyacinth season as well. And with a blue sky.. last time, it was grey and raining… 🙁

  • I adore this park. I visited it 4 times already. And, I am planning to come this year again! I can’t wait when I will see it. I advise to everyone who loves flowers to visit it at least ones. Even if you are not big flower lover, I bet you will not be disappointed.

    • Thank you for your comment Tanya!
      I agree, it can’t be compared to any park or botanical garden because of its uniqueness – so it’s a must 🙂

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