Dutch Culture,  Going Outdoors,  Netherlands

How to make your visit to Keukenhof gardens an amazing day

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I must honestly confess to you that my recent visit to Keukenhof gardens and tulip fields was the very first time for me. When I was looking for the necessary information for my trip, I came across that only 25% of the visitors to Keukenhof gardens are Dutch. So I am probably not the only Dutch person who has never been there (feel a little less shame now). The advantage for you is that I can now share all the information I have looked up. That saves you a lot of time that you can put back into other fun things.

I will give you the best travel tips for Keukenhof gardens and tulip fields to ensure that your visit is a success. Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands is famous worldwide and you should definitely visit this place now that you live here in the Netherlands. If it’s not for this year then go next year but don’t wait as long as I did, it’s well worth a visit.

Is Keukenhof Gardens open all year?

Keukenhof gardens is only open for several weeks every year. In 2022 this is from Thursday 24 March to Sunday 15 May.
The park is open from 8:00 AM – 7:30 PM.

Keukenhof Gardens main entrance

Best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens?

It doesn’t really matter whether you go in the first weeks after the opening or only during the last weeks. There are always plenty of flowering species to see. In the beginning, you mainly see the early flowering species such as crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, and the early tulips. During the last weeks, these are mainly the later bloomers such as the larger tulips.

During the early hours and after 16:00 it is quieter in the Park. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are also a bit quieter than the other days. And if you have the option to avoid the weekends, I would definitely recommend that. There are often long traffic jams to Keukenhof gardens.

Where is Keukenhof Gardens located?

Keukenhof gardens can be found in the province of Noord-Holland in the town of Lisse, which lies between Haarlem and Leiden and not so far from Amsterdam. Lisse is located in the center of the beautiful region that we call Bollenstreek. Amsterdam is about a half-hour drive.

Can you picnic in Keukenhof Gardens?

Yes, you can just bring your own food and drinks to Keukenhof gardens. Then you can enjoy your brought snacks and drinks outside on the grass fields or on a bench. You are not allowed to take them into the restaurants, but that seems logical to me. Of course, you can also buy something in the restaurants and then go for a picnic.

History of Keukenhof Gardens

Its history goes back to the 15th century. Countess Jacoba van Beieren brought vegetables and fruit from the kitchen dune for the kitchen of Castle Teylingen. Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the landscape expanded to an area of over 200 hectares.

Two landscape architects, later also the designers of the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, redesigned the garden around the castle in 1857. This park in English landscape style still forms the basis of Keukenhof.

In 1949, a group of flower bulb growers and exporters devised a plan to create an exhibition of spring-blooming flower bulbs on the estate. The park first opened in 1950. The Keukenhof was a resounding success from the start.

Source: Keukenhof.nl

Keukenhof Gardens inside the Park

The Keukenhof Gardens of today

Nowadays, 100 flower bulb companies and growers show their finest range of spring-flowering bulbous plants. Every year, in consultation with the growers, the Keukenhof garden designers put on a fantastic colorful show. These are beautiful ‘showrooms’ of flowers for the growers. Keukenhof gardens look different every year. The designers of this beautiful flower park always make it a unique experience. I am definitely a fan.

How long to spend in Keukenhof Gardens

To get the most out of your day, I would advise you to leave early so that you can reach Keukenhof gardens before the big crowds. Buy your tickets in advance so that you can also skip that possible line. Upon entering the park, there are maps of the park for you on which you can determine your route and have a bit of an idea about the size of the park. There are beautiful paths to follow and along the way, you will pass some pavilions with flower shows.

You can also take a trip with a whisper boat at the windmill in the park. Enjoy the quiet, typical Dutch landscape around Keukenhof gardens in an electrically powered whisper boat. The boat trip lasts 45 minutes and you can listen to an explanation about the Bollenstreek during the trip! It is best to buy tickets for this in advance so that you are sure of a place. Tickets for this trip are available via this link.

On average you will need 4 hours to see the entire park. If you go early, this gives you the opportunity to do another activity in the afternoon. You can rent a bicycle or, for example, pick fresh tulips yourself on the field. (Read further for more information).

Rent a bike to cycle around the Tulip fields

At the parking lot at the main entrance of Keukenhof gardens, you can rent a bicycle with which you can cycle around the flower fields that surround Keukenhof gardens. You can rent a bike for 3 hours or for the whole day and there are routes of various distances.

Check the website of the Bollenstreek for prices and more information.

Pick your own tulips

If you like to take home a bunch of tulips that you picked yourself, visit one of the nice picking gardens before you drive back. In the village of Hillegom, you will find Annemieke’s Pluktuin. Self-picking is also possible at Tulip Experience Amsterdam in their indoor picking garden. At Tulip experience Amsterdam you have to order tickets online via their website.
Keukenhof Gardens fontain and blossom tree

Instagrammable places at Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip fields

Entering the flower beds is officially not allowed at Keukenhof gardens. That does not mean that everyone adheres to the rules, but it is possible that an employee will kindly ask you to take the photos from the paths. But would you like to have some awesome photos and selfies from between the fields? Then visit the Tulip Experience Amsterdam or The Tulip Barn in Hillegom. For both locations, you have to book your tickets online. In these places, it is allowed to go among the flowers in the fields. Don’t do this in other places. The growers earn their money with these flowers so show them some respect.

You can also visit these places if you rent a bicycle at the main entrance of the Keukenhof and cycle through the fields. Ask the employees which route will pass Tulip Experience Amsterdam.

How to reach Keukenhof Gardens?

You can travel to Keukenhof in your own car. If you order your tickets online, buy a parking ticket immediately so that you can easily leave the parking lot again by showing your parking ticket.

You can also reach the Keukenhof Gardens by public transport. You can buy a combination ticket that is your ticket to Keukenhof and the ticket for your journey with public transport on that day.

There are also various day trips where you travel to Keukenhof by bus from different destinations. You can also add a spring cruise or a visit to Zaanse Schans or a tulip farm to your visit to Keukenhof. Via the links below you can view the various day trips and book your tickets. Even if you travel with your own transport, you can book your tickets for Keukenhof online via these links.

Photo Angelique owner ourexpatlife.com

Hi, I'm Angelique

My mission is to help you get used to your new country a little easier.

I know from experience that moving to a new country and getting used to the culture can be a real challenge. 

I have experienced that all the help you can get in your new country will help you adjust to your new life easier. The Netherlands is our home country, and we have the experience as expats.

I’m going to share as much information as I can, and if there’s anything you’d like to hear about, please let me know. There’s always room for good ideas.

Follow me also on Instagram for great tips, and let me know where you come from. I love to connect with you.

 With love,

Angelique - ourexpatlife.com for expats in The Netherlands

Ps. Don’t forget to download my FREE list op places to visit in the Netherlands for many more ideas to explore your new country.

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