Every year, tourists from all over the world flock to the 22,000-strong town of Lisse in South Holland, situated just 40 minutes by car from Amsterdam. The reason? It’s none other than the mighty Keukenhof, one of Europe’s largest flower gardens. It truly comes to life during the spring, when the flowers are in full bloom. Looking through the pictures, it’s easy to see why the locals have to put up with huge crowds of people coming to their otherwise fairy quiet town – and why the town has earned its place as a true Flower City!
Towards the end of March, things slowly start to come to life. Parts of Holland turn into seas of flowers – crocuses first, then daffodils and hyacinths, before the long-awaited tulips finally make their appearance.
The most popular place to go and see the flowers – and indeed one of the Netherland’s most popular tourist attractions – is the Keukenhof in Lisse. It’s home to more than seven million flowers and 800 different types of tulips spread across 32 hectares. In fact it’s one of the largest flower shows in the world, and it’s a fantastic way for the Netherlands to show off their mighty gardening prowess. Once you get there, you’re best hiring a bike as it’s a lovely way of getting around. Try to get to the gardens as early as you can since it can get unbelievably busy during the afternoon. Keep your eyes peeled for what events and exhibitions are going on as well. You’ll find spectacular flower shows, plenty of gardening inspiration and events such as the Romantic Roses Festival, the Fairy Tale Festival and the Dutch Heritage Weekend.
Keukenhof 2018: Opening times, prices and events
The Keukenhof will be open from the 22nd March until the 13th May, with the park open from 8am until 6pm. You can get tickets online with prices started from €14.75 when booking as a larger group (min. 20 persons). Single tickets for adults cost €17, and children and teenagers from 4 – 17 cost between €6 – €8. This year features the special “Flower Romance” theme, so you’ve got colourful shows and varied tours alongside that magical, romantic atmosphere. I’ve put together a small overview of all of the events for 2018 that have been announced so far.
24/03 – 25/03: Hello Spring! Celebrate the season’s arrival
28/03 – 13/05: Fairy Tale Festival
30/03 – 02/04: Dutch Heritage Weekend
06/04 – 08/04: Keukenhof Flower Market
12/04 – 15/04: Romantic Roses Festival
21/04: Flower Parade
28/04 – 29/04: All You Need is Love – event with small surprises for couples
03/05 – 06/05: Blooming Romance Festival
12/05 – 13/05: Romance at Keukenhof
22/03 – 13/05: Several flower shows on particular dates
To give you a better idea of how gorgeous the Keukenhof gardens are, be sure to take a look at the video below!
Generally speaking, the best time to visit the Keukenhof is any time from the mid-March until the end of April. However, much like the weather there’s no guaranteeing when exactly all the flowers will be in full bloom at any one time as it’s different every year. Saying that though, people I know who’ve gone to Keukenhof in mid-April were not disappointed at all by what they say! And should you fancy seeing even more flowers during your time in the Netherlands, then there are loads of other places to check out where you see proper tulip fields. The countryside along the coast from Den Haag, Leiden and Alkmaar are also other popular choices.
Plan your trip to Keukenhof!
Combine your trip to Amsterdam with a colourful day trip to the wonderful Keukenhof. It’s a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam’s busy streets and enjoy lovely strolls through some of the most gorgeous flower parks in the world! Even younger guest will have loads of fun at the Keukenhof – there’s everything from mazes and playgrounds to even a small petting zoo! Doesn’t that sound like the perfect family holiday? :)