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Keukenhof Garden Guide

Plan Your Visit

Best Time to Go

Keukenhof Garden is only open in the spring and it varies slightly depending on the weather each year. The best time to visit Keukenhof Garden is usually in mid to late April as that is when you will see the most variety of spring blooms in the park. 1.5 million people visited Keukenhof Garden in the 2019 season.

Guide to Keukenhof Garden Tickets - Tulips with small windmill in the back at Keukenhof Garden
Guide to Keukenhof Garden

It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands and very busy during the few short months that it is open. Your best chance to beat the crowds is by going during the week, early or late in the season, and early in the morning. Try to avoid Easter Weekend and Kings Day, as those are some of the busiest days.

Keukenhof Garden Opening Hours: Daily 8 AM – 7:30 PM

Keukenhof Garden is a very popular attraction in the spring, so you should plan your visit well in advance, especially if you want to stay at a hotel nearby. But even in Amsterdam, hotels during this time sell out fast and get expensive, so book well in advance.

Blue wood cabin surrounded by trees - "Flower shop in Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands"
Flower shop in Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands

Keukenhof Tickets and Tours

As already said, Keukenhof Garden is extremely popular and you should get your Keukenhof Garden tickets in well in advance.

Keukenhof Ticket Prices

Adults: 19 Eur
Children (0-3): Free
Children (4-11): 9 Eur
While you can get Keukenhof tickets at the door, we recommend buying a skip the line ticket to avoid waiting in line and avoid the crowds.

Keukenhof Garden Tours

Colorful spring blue flowers in holland garden Keukenhof, Netherlands
Keukenhof Gardens Holland

Hotels Near Keukenhof Garden

To take advantage of your visit to Keukenhof Garden, we recommend staying nearby. That way, you can be at the park when the gates open and get there before the day-trippers and coach busses arrive from Amsterdam and other places.

Things to do in Keukenhof Garden

Boat Tours

You can go a whisper boat ride along the canals of Keukenhof Garden and enjoy the flower fields pass by as you enjoy the break from walking. There is nothing more relaxing. You can buy Keukenhof tickets for the boat ride at the Mill in the park.

Ticket price: 4.50 EUR (children 4-11) & 9 EUR (adults)

Explore by Bicycle

You can also rent bicycles and explore the gardens. This is a perfect way to cover as much ground as possible and see some of the less crowded areas of the park. It is also fun for families traveling with kids and anyone who wants to get some exercise and burn off some of the delicious stroopwafels.

Cyclists walk their bicycles past beds of Tulips
Things to do in Keukenhof Garden

Guided Tours

If you want to make the most of your visit and really want to learn about the various flowers, you should definitely take a guided tour.

Keukenhof Garden Restaurants

There are several restaurants in the park, as well as vendors that sell local and international snacks.

Keukenhof Gardens – Photo Essay

If you plan to travel anywhere in or near The Netherlands from March through late May, a day-trip to the Keukenhof Gardens is a must. The Keukenhof is the largest garden in the world and no matter if it is rainy or sunny, cold or warm, you will be rewarded by an opportunity to see a plethora of vivid, blooming plants.

Entrance to the Keukenhof Garden
Entrance to the Keukenhof

We traveled there as part of our AMA Waterways Tulip Cruise experience. The weather was actually pretty nice for the end of April, in the low 60 degrees and very little rain. But, due to a long, hard winter, many of the tulips were not in bloom, at least not in the outdoor beds. Instead, we were treated to Daffodils, Narcissus and lots of colorful Hyacinths. The three pavilions, however,  were well stocked with hydrangea, alstroemeria, roses, and yes…lots of tulips.

Hyacinths in Bloom
Hyacinths in Bloom

Each of the pavilions is dedicated to a particular flower show which changes periodically. And, they offer a variety of arrangements and planting designs by local growers. In the Willem Alexander Pavilion you will find nearly 100,000 tulips displayed throughout the season. This was a breathtaking exhibit. I found so many unique tulips that I could barely tear myself away.

Parrot Tulips at the Willem Alexander Pavilion
Parrot Tulips at the Willem Alexander Pavilion
Fancy Tulips Abound in the Willem Alexander Pavilion
Fancy Tulips Abound in the Willem Alexander Pavilion

The  Keukenhof features more than 32 hectares of flowers, walking paths, fountains and sculptures. We were amazed by the sheer size of the place and the meticulous care  given to keeping the grounds spotless and flower-filled.

A Narcissus Path
A Narcissus Path

Many of the paths will take you to sculptures or other artworks on display; there are more than 100 works of art ensconced at the Keukenhof. The combination of art and nature contributes greatly to what makes this garden so spectacular.

Sculpture in the Keukenhof
Sculpture in the Keukenhof

As you stroll along the walking paths, you will find plenty of benches to sit upon and take in the splendor before you. Open air cafes and restaurants are also available for a quick meal or drink while you take a little rest before resuming your walk.

Pavilions at Keukenhof
Pavilions at Keukenhof

On site, there is a fairy-tale looking windmill from which you can reach the second floor to get a 360 degree view of the garden and the tulip fields beyond. This is an easy climb worth taking.

Great View from the Keukenhof Windmill
Great View from the Keukenhof Windmill

All in all, a visit to the Keukenhof is a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon. If you love spring flowers, you will love the Keukenhof.

For more information, including opening dates and times, visit the official Keukenhof website.

Written by Terri Fogarty and photos by Bill Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com

Keukenhof: Holland in Bloom

Keukenhof, Dutch for “kitchen garden”, is the world’s largest flower garden. With over 7 million flower bulbs planted in the 70-acre garden annually, it is easy to see why this massive park has been called the ‘Garden of Europe’. Opened in 1949, the grounds were designed by the same architects that designed the Vondelpark in Amsterdam.

It was originally a hunting area that contained the herbs used for cooking in the nearby castle, hence the name Keukenhof. While tourists mostly expect this to be a tulip garden, there are a variety of types of bulbs planted to make the dazzling display. There are plenty of tulips, though – well over 1,000 types planted in every size, shape, and color imaginable.

Purple Hyacinths at the Keukenhof
Purple Hyacinths at the Keukenhof

Touring the park takes at least a couple of hours, as the park grounds include various landscaped areas, Europe’s largest fountain, greenhouses, art displays, and even a sculpture park. There are children’s playgrounds, a petting zoo and various restaurants and cafes to encourage visitors to linger just a little bit longer.

Should you feel inspired by the displays, you can purchase bulbs to take home for your own garden – be sure to check with the shop staff regarding import regulations for your home country. Important to note that guided tours are not available except for groups, although, with your Keukenhof tickets you’ll find a map to guide you around the extensive landscape.

Keukenhof is open every year from late March to late May; the best time to visit is late April when most of the flowers are in bloom. The grounds are easily accessible from Amsterdam via train to Leiden. Frequent bus service especially branded for the park departs from the train station.  For more information, including opening dates and times, visit the official Keukenhof website.

Written by Andy Hayes for EuropeUpClose.com

There’s nothing as encouraging as seeing the first spring flowers pop out of the ground after a long, cold winter, their colors a first hint that warmer times are on their way. But just imagine seeing millions—yes, millions—of them spread out over fields and lawns and in wooded parks. You can witness a natural spectacle like that in the Keukenhof Gardens in the western Netherlands.

Every imaginable color is represented in the Keukenhof Gardens
Every imaginable color is represented in the Keukenhof Gardens

The Netherlands, as the undisputed world capital of flowers, honors its reputation in this magnificent spring garden—truly one of the greatest gardens in the world. And you can only visit it in spring. In 2019, the Keukenhof Gardens will be opened to the public from March 21 through May 19. You have about a month and a half to explore this extraordinarily “flowerful” park.

But let’s backtrack a little bit and take a look at the park’s location, history and what it stands for.

The History of the Keukenhof gardens

Located near the popular college town of Leiden in the province of South Holland, just a short distance from the North Sea coast, Keukenhof is set in the heart of the appropriately named “Dune and Bulb Region.”

Bordered by historic cities such as The Hague , aforementioned Leiden and Haarlem, and the sand dunes along the coast, this region is literally covered with flower fields. In spring, the entire region is a palette of all colors imaginable, from red tulips to blue hyacinths to yellow daffodils.

Bright spring flowers in the Keukenhof Gardens
Bright spring flowers in the Keukenhof Gardens

The name Keukenhof is Dutch for “Kitchen Garden”, which refers to its former use as the herb garden of the Teylingen Castle Estate. Its history begins in the 1400s, when Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria and her staff gathered vegetables, herbs and fruit in the dunes and woodlands that surrounded her castle. The current Keukenhof Castle was constructed in 1641, after which the estate expanded to an area of more than 200 hectares (494 acres).

Fast-forwarding two centuries, the castle gardens were redesigned in 1857 by renowned landscape architects Jan David Zocher and Louis Paul Zocher, a father-and-son team. They, incidentally also designed the well-known Vondelpark in Amsterdam. Their English-style landscaped gardens are essentially still the design of the Keukenhof Gardens today.

Spring flowers lining a picturesque canal in the keukenhof gardens
Spring flowers lining a picturesque canal

The Keukenhof Gardens Today

The park’s current use as a spring attraction began as an idea from twenty local bulb growers who wanted to use it as a place to exhibit their various cultivars of spring flowers. Keukenhof Gardens opened its doors as a spring flower park in 1950 and became an immediate success—more than 230,000 people visited the park in its very first year.

hyacinths in the Keukenhof Gardens
White, pink and purple hyacinths
in the Keukenhof Gardens

Nowadays, the Keukenhof Gardens are renowned around the world for their overwhelming flower displays, exhibits and beds. Showcasing the very best Dutch flowering bulbs, this 32-hectare (79-acre) park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each spring.

Tulip rock garden, Keukenhof Gardens
Beautiful tulip rock garden

The spring flowers in Keukenhof are supplied by nearly 100 flower-growing companies. Each company can exhibit their flower varieties and cultivars in a specific area designed by the park’s garden designers—together, the companies and designers create the best possible flower beds, according to colors, flower heights and flowering times. The gardens of Keukenhof are home to no fewer than 7 million (!) flowering bulbs each year.

In addition to the flower beds spread out across the lawns and in the woodlands, there are also about twenty indoor flower displays, where an additional 500 flower growers can display their work.

The Keukenhof Garden's windmill is a popular attraction
The Keukenhof windmill is a popular attraction

This sheer abundance of spring flowers—millions upon millions of tulips (800 different varieties of them), daffodils and hyacinths—makes this one of Europe’s greatest spring destinations. It truly is a spectacle unlike any you’ve ever seen before.

In addition to the flower displays, the park also features a number of food stalls, children’s playgrounds and information boards. It wouldn’t be in the Netherlands if there wasn’t a network of pretty canals that crisscross the park, while a beautiful windmill makes it seem even more Dutch.

After you’re done exploring the park and its colorful gardens, be sure to go for a ride in the surrounding countryside as well. Bicycles can be rented at the park. This countryside is almost as spectacular as the park itself, a region that is simply covered with spring flowers. From mid-March to mid-April, this is arguably the most colorful region on earth, featuring flat fields of tens of millions of flowering bulbs. This is a landscape that’s nothing short of breathtaking.

If you want to explore more of Holland in the Spring, you can also take a river cruise from Amsterdam.

flower fields surround and supply the Keukenhof Gardens
Expansive spring flower fields surround and supply the Keukenhof Gardens

More information on the Keukenhof Gardens

Written by and photos by Bam Reusen for EuropeUpClose.com

Keukenhof Garden Guide – Pin for Later:

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[…] spring cruise so that we would be sure to see a good selection of  blooms when we went to the Keukenhof Garden. But, Europe experienced a late, cold winter this year and although we traveled in late April […]

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