by Janis / 0 comments - Orginally published:22nd May 2017

A Dutch spring sensation

Ahh, the enchanting scent of spring flowering bulbs is such a welcoming fragrance.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the pleasure of spotting our first spring bulbs emerging through the soil in our garden; however, the accomplishment of planting over 7 million bulbs in Keukenhof is one tulip too far for me.

It is quite astounding when you wander through the entrance of Keukenhof and see the swathe of magnificent blooms before you. Row after row of meticulously laid out beds reminiscent of a fragrant rainbow.

It’s not surprising that this beautiful garden welcomes 1 million visitors each spring, from near and far, within just an 8-week window.

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Where is Keukenhof?

How to get to Keukenhof

- By Public Transport
It is possible to purchase an online public transport combi-ticket to Keukenhof to include the train and bus from a nearby town/city or Schiphol Airport.

- By Car
There is plenty of parking at Keukenhof, which costs €6 per day. A car park ticket can be purchased on the day or online through Keukenhof with your entrance ticket.

The theme of 'Dutch Design'

Dutch artists Mondriaan & Rietveld
Every year at Keukenhof, a different theme is chosen for the park. In 2017, the 68th year that Keukenhof opened its gardens to the public, the theme was ‘Dutch Design’.
Flowering bulbs of bright primary colours laid out in a bed created in a mondriaan design in the keukenhof gardens in holland

Mondriaan Design

This vibrant modern theme of clean symmetrical lines celebrates the famous Dutch artists and designers Piet Mondriaan and Gerrit Rietveld, both pioneers of the 20th-century.

The beautiful display captures the iconic De Stijl art movement.

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Exploring Keukenhof

Springtime in Lisse
The picturesque Keukenhof gardens are designed for you to meander around as you wish, following no particular route or rules. Grab yourself a free pop-up map when you enter the grounds, and off you go on a voyage of discovery.
A stone path through the keukenhof gardens between mixed flowering beds of different colours tulips and hyacinths.
Select a path and wander

The displays throughout Keukenhof are stunning and so incredibly well-kept and manicured.

The profusion of flowers is painstakingly maintained and cared for to ensure that a spectacular floral parade is continually blooming and looking its best for the eight weeks of the event.

A brightly coloured giant flower constructed from beds of tulips & hyacinths in a woodland scene in Keukenhof Gardens
The wonderful designs throughout Keukenhof
Keukenhof must be one of the most beautiful spring gardens in the world.

Save time arriving at Keukenhof

You’ll want to spend a whole day at Keukenhof, so why don’t you buy and print your e-ticket in advance online from the Keukenhof website. It is valid for one day, just book your timeslot and away you go.

You can also pre-book parking online.

A whole day in Keukenhof

Get lost in the daffodils

You mustn’t underestimate the time spent winding your way around the exquisite gardens at Keukenhof; it is so easy for hours to disappear. You’ll be swept along the snaking scented pathways from one stunning display to another.

To ensure you make the most of your day at Keukenhof, why not bring along a picnic and eat al fresco at one of their picnic tables. That way, you can spend the whole day exploring outside.

An allium-styled water feature in the centre of a pond surrounded by seating at the eating area of keukenhof gardens in holland
An ideal lunch spot

Not only are there an abundance of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths for you to admire, which are waving delicately in the breeze, but you’ll also discover the delightful lake and meandering waterways, which are equally pleasant to stroll around.

Be brave and take a leap of faith across the stepping-stones in the lake.

Stepping stones across the lake at keukenhof gardens in holland
The stepping stones

Heading to the Netherlands from the UK?

How to get to Keukenhof

- By Train
If you're travelling from the UK, it is now possible to let the train take the strain and catch the relaxing Eurostar to Amsterdam. The direct route takes just over 4 hours.

- By Car
There are a couple of choices for getting to the Netherlands; If you’re venturing from the UK, jump on Le Shuttle and tour Holland under your own steam. Don’t forget to take a look at our helpful road trip checklist.

Alternatively, if you're arriving at an airport, it’s so easy to explore on a road trip. Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the best deals that suit you.

- By Air
The nearest airport to Keukenhof is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, about 25 minutes (14mls/22km) from Keukenhof by taxi. Take a browse through for departures from your local airport.

Keukenhof, an assault on your senses

A Dutch sensation
We visited Keukenhof a few years ago, and one of the resounding memories that I have of wandering around the magnificent gardens is the captivating and overwhelming fragrance of the hyacinths.
A close-up of a bed of pink, scented hyacinths in keukenhof gardens, netherlands
Sweetly scented hyacinths

We always knew that hyacinths were nearby as you didn’t need to be upon them to appreciate their presence; their scent was enough and spellbinding.

When driving around the surrounding roads of Lisse, if you park up safely near one of the bulb fields, you’ll always know if hyacinths are close by.

Where to stay near Keukenhof

Carlton Square Hotel

Our accommodation while visiting Keukenhof was in the nearby town of Haarlem at the Carlton Square Hotel.

The Carlton Square Hotel is centrally located and was a pleasant 10-minute stroll into the historic centre. If you are driving, this hotel has a public underground car park at a charge and has direct access to the hotel.

Climbing the Keukenhof windmill

A view across the Dutch bulb fields
A visit to Keukenhof wouldn’t be complete without climbing the iconic Dutch windmill to admire the view across the widespread floral bulb fields.
A traditional wooden Windmill reflected in a canal in the keukenhof gardens in holland
The Windmill
It’s only a couple of flights of stairs up to the circular viewing platform. When you step out and wander around, you’ll also be able to admire Keukenhof park below.
Horizontal bands of tulips growing in a large field, alternating from blush to lavender to pale pink and then purple all under white clouds in a blue sky
The flower fields
It’s at this point in Keukenhof gardens that you are able to hop on the chargeable 45-minute boat tour through the bulb fields.

Our Keukenhof Tip

Although the 45-minute Whisper Boat trip at €10 is very pleasant, I would say that if the bulb fields that the windmill overlooks are not extensively in bloom, then you won’t really see much more on the boat tour.

You’ll get better photographs from the windmill platform, which you can climb for free.

A few more tulips

You can never have too many tulips

If you are anything like us, when you visit Keukenhof, you will be continually taking photographs; we have so many in our collection.

So, just in case you are not all tulip’d out, here are a few more of our favourite shots.

A bed of sweeping lines of tulips in shades of reds and pinks in the keukenhof gardens in the netherlands
Pinks & Reds
A close-up of a bed of pure white fluted tulips in keukenhof gardens in holland
White Flutes
A bed of mixed pink hyacinths and plum-coloured tulips in keukenhof gardens, holland
Mixed bedfellows
A close-up of a bed of orange and red double tulips in keukenhof gardens in holland
The brightest of oranges
A flowing bed of different coloured bulbs in full bloom in the keukenhof gardens in the netherlands
Flowing Colours
A close-up of flowing bands of tulips in yellow, orange, red, yellow & orange again in a Keukenhof gardens display
Bold colours

Tempted to?

Discover more of Holland; you'll be amazed at how easy it is to tour around by car. You can then visit the iconic towns of Edam and Gouda and also see the 19 traditional windmills at Kinderdijk, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.

Keukenhof has something for everyone

There’s even a maze

There is so much to be discovered at Keukenhof, in addition to their spring flowering bulbs.

As you zigzag through the shady gardens, you’ll spot beautiful crimson oriental acers. Near is Keukenhof’s vast walled garden, with manicured Buxus hedging filled with bobbing daffodils.

Shaped flower borders, lined with boxus, and filled with daffodils and mixed narcissus spring planting
The Walled Garden
There’s also amusement to be had for your little budding gardeners; you’ll find a fun-filled playground and a lovely petting zoo.
A game of giant-sized chess being played in keukenhof gardens in holland
A big chess set
And if you have a bit of time on your hands yourself, indulge in a game of giant chess or lose yourself in Keukenhof’s maze.

2023 Keukenhof admission prices

The 2023 Keukenhof garden display opens from 23rd March until 14th May from 8am – 7:30pm.

Adult €19 (Online)
Children 0-3 Free
Children 4-17 €9
Parking €6

Acres of Keukenhof to discover

But first, it’s time for a rest
Visiting Keukenhof gardens was very pleasing because your weary feet were catered for.
A close-up of a pink and white orchid in an enclosed garden in the keukenhof gardens
An orchid from the Orchid house
Plenty of seats were dotted around the park for you to reinvigorate yourself and restore your energy levels, so you were once again as fresh as a daisy.

Although, I think once you have covered Keukenhof’s 79 acres, including their exhibition houses, I’m sure you will have deserved the rest.

We have created a little YouTube video of the Keukenhof Gardens.  Why not take a look?

Also, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

A few interesting facts;

• Every year, 7 million bulbs are planted
• The park covers 32 hectares (79 acres)
• 800 varieties of tulips
• Keukenhof features more than 20 flower shows
• The bulbs are supplied by 100 exhibitors
• Keukenhof has free Wi-Fi

Combine with a Dutch road trip

The Netherlands awaits

We visited Keukenhof as part of our ‘Tulips and Cheese’ road trip of the Netherlands; we based ourselves at Haarlem for a few nights, as Keukenhof was only 11 miles (18km) south.

In addition to Haarlem, our Dutch road trip itinerary included overnight stays in Alkmaar and Utrecht.

If driving isn’t your thing, then you are able to buy combi bus/train tickets from the Keukenhof website.

If you're thinking of heading of to the land of tulips and cheese, then grab this DK Eyewitness guide to help with your planning.

I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

Have You?

Always wanted to see Holland in Bloom? It really is a great way to spend a day, and why not enjoy some Dutch culture too? Have you been? What are your memories?

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