The Tulip is one of the main cultural icons of the Netherlands among others such as their windmills and clogs.

Every spring time, people from around the world will travel to see the spectacular colourful tulip fields in Holland and across the whole of the Netherlands.

Keukenhof Gardens

The Tulip is my favourite flower. I personally like the elegant simple beauty of this flowering bulb. So it is only right to see the beauty of tulips during its season in the Netherlands.

History of tulips and its journey to the Netherlands

Tulips were originally found in the Tian Shan or the Mountains of Heaven, a part of the Himalayan mountain range in Central Asia.

yellow tulips in keukenhof gardens amsterdam

In the 11th Century, the Seljuks of the Ottoman Empire brought these flowering bulbs to Turkey and they were then embraced by the Turkish culture.

In the 16th century, tulips managed to find their way to Europe and into the Netherlands due to trading and the boom of the Dutch Golden Age.

Tulips instantly became popular and fashionable during this era and the tulip has become widely used in art.

The hype for these beautiful flowering bulbs caused the Tulip Mania (Tulipomania) where they used tulips as a form of money to pay for the basic commodities and it caused the Dutch market to crash in 1637.

The Dutch culture embraced tulips as their country’s symbol and livelihood.

Lots of tulip farmers are still trading their tulip crops in the local and the international markets.

The Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof gardens in Lisse, Netherlands is the perfect place to visit to see the magnificent display of various types of tulips and other Dutch floricultural displays.

Known as one of the most beautiful spring gardens in the world, Keukenhof gardens opens its door for 8 weeks from:

22 March  – 13 May 2018 as its 69th Anniversary with a “Romance in Flowers” theme.

For 2019, Keukenhof gardens will be open again on 21 March – 19 May 2019.

Keukenhof beginnings

In the 15th Century, Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria owned the state and castle where the current Keukenhof gardens are located.

Keukenhof gardens tulips field

Keukenhof literally translates to “kitchen garden” as this is the place where they grew their crops for the castle household.

In 1949, the local tulip farmers had an idea to start exhibiting their crop to showcase the beauty of the flower bulb industry, and that’s when the annual Keukenhof garden started.

Each year millions of visitors both locals and international pay a visit to see the beautiful landscape of the tulips in Keukenhof gardens.

Around 7 million flower bulbs and 1,600 different types of varieties are planted around the Keukenhof park from almost 100 exhibitors from the Netherlands.

The highlight for 2018 is the “Romance in Flowers” bulb mosaic that depicts the theme of the garden this year. The mosaic was created using 2 layers of 50,000 flower bulbs!

There are four indoor pavilions (Beatrix, Willem-Alexander, Oranje Nassau and Juliana/Tulipomania) that showcase the various flower shows and exhibitions by the local flower bulb farmers.

Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields Tour from Amsterdam

How to go to Keukenhof gardens from Amsterdam

On my visit to Keukenhof gardens, I did stay in The Hague which is not far from Lisse and drove to the gardens.  However, if you are visiting the Keukenhof gardens from Amsterdam, here is some info that you may find useful.

There are various tulip tours from Amsterdam that includes Keukenhof garden tickets and bus transportation from Amsterdam Centraal.

Alternatively, you can catch the Keukenhof Express bus from Schiphol airport.

The Keukenhof Express bus departs from the bus stop outside the Arrival hall 4. Follow the signs to the Keukenhof Express queue.

The bus tickets typically cost around €6.50 for one-way and €10 return.  You can also buy the Keukenhof garden combi-tickets (includes the garden tickets and transportation) which cost €24.50 from the bus driver.

You can check the Keukenhof bus time tables here.

If you are taking the local buses to Keukenhof, these bus lines will be able to take you directly to the Keukenhof gardens:

From:

Schiphol Airport (Bus 858)

Leiden Central Station (Bus 854)

Haarlem Station (Bus 50)

Katwijk / Noordwijk / Noordwijkerhout (Bus 90)

Alternatively, you can also purchase the Keukenhof garden tickets at the main entrance of the park.

If you are driving to Keukenhof gardens, it is located in Lisse and clearly signed posted from the motorway A4.

Just put this address on your satnav:

Keukenhof, Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse, Netherlands

As for the car parking, there is a vast car parking space in front of the Keukenhof gardens two main entrances.  You have to pay €6.00 for the whole day.

Keukenhof Gardens Tickets:

There are various ways to purchase Keukenhof Gardens tickets. They are widely available from all the tourist information offices in Schiphol airport or city centres.

You can also purchase them from the Keukenhof Express bus drivers as I mentioned earlier in this post.

Or you can also get them online from various tour guides or directly from the Keukenhof gardens website.

Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields Tour from Amsterdam

What’s in Keukenhof Gardens 

Visiting the Keukenhof Gardens is a perfect day out especially for families.  Here are some of the things that you can do while you are in the Keukenhof tulip gardens.

Here check this copy of the Keukenhof garden map.

Flower parade

Flower parade in Keukenhof Lisse

The annual flower parade is also known as the Bloemencorso. It is the day when various beautiful floats made of flowers march at the streets of the local towns nearby Keukenhof gardens.

It was held last 21nd April 2018 and if you are planning your 2019 visit, it will be on 13 April 2019.

You can check the Flower parade route map here.

Please be warned that this day will be very busy and hectic as this is one of the highlights of the tulip season in Holland.

Flower float with dutch windmill
Flower float with iconic dutch apartments
Flower Parade in Keukenhof float with dutch clogs

The Tulip Fields

Of course, Keukenhof is the home of tulips in the Netherlands.  Other than the beautifully manicured gardens inside the Keukenhof gardens, there are also a number of tulip fields in the surrounding area.

tulip fields in netherlands

Also, please make sure to be a responsible tourist, DO NOT PICK OR COME CLOSE TO THE TULIPS in the fields. They are tulip crops of the farmers so please be respectful to the locals.

There are various warning banners to inform the visitors but then again it seems like this is sometimes being ignored!

Flower exhibitions

The four exhibition pavilion inside the Keukenhof gardens exhibits various flowering bulbs and arrangements by the local farmers.  You can also find historical exhibitions like the Tulipomania, where they showcased the history of Tulips in the Netherlands.

Toilets, shops and restaurants are also typically located in and around the pavilions.

Bike ride around Keukenhof gardens

Bicycles are another iconic symbol of the Netherlands.  They are considered as the king of the road!

Biking around Keukenhof gardens

I highly suggest to give it a try and cycle around the surrounding areas of Keukenhof gardens so you can fully immerse yourself in the Dutch way of life.

Located at the main entrance of the Keukenhof gardens, you can find the bike rental, Rent-A-Bike Van Dam.

There are various routes to follow depending on how much time you have, you can check the bike routes around Keukenhof here.

Boat ride

Near the Keukenhof garden windmill, you can find the Whisper boat tours to and around the tulip fields around Keukenhof gardens.  The boat tour typically run for 45 minutes.

You can book your tickets to this boat tours just in front of the windmill, for €8.00 for adults and €4.00 for Child (age 4-11), and Child ( age 3 and younger) are free.

Keukenhof castle

Located outside the Keukenhof gardens, the Keukenhof castle and its grounds are also worth visiting for its different historical exhibits and beautiful gardens.

 

Overall, it was a great day well spent in Keukenhof gardens.  I highly suggest visiting this place when you travel to the Netherlands during the spring season.

Oh!  Don’t forget to bring your anti-histamine in case you have any hayfever due to the pollen

Have you been to Keukenhof gardens too? 
I would love to know your experience!

 

Keukenhof gardens spring
Keukenhof gardens Netherlands travels

Special thanks to Keukenhof Garden PR Team for welcoming us to feature the Keukenhof gardens. Some images provided by the Keukenhof gardens for this featured collaboration.  Words and opinion on this article are my own.

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