Do you want to know how to visit Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands? I bet you wanted to see and experience the colourful tulip season in Holland. 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.
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 their season in the Netherlands.
In case you also want to visit the Netherlands but would require a visa, you can read this Schengen visa guide.
History of tulips and their 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.
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 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 international markets.
Why visit 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 from:
For 2023, Keukenhof gardens will be open again on 23 March – 14 May 2023.
The Keukenhof history
In the 15th Century, Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria owned the state and castle where the current Keukenhof gardens are located.
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 by almost 100 exhibitors from the Netherlands.
The highlight of the Keukenhof theme is yet to be confirmed. 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.
How to get to Keukenhof gardens from Amsterdam centre or Schiphol airport
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.
Address: Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse, Netherlands (Show on map)
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 Public transport guide here.
If you are taking the local buses to Keukenhof, these bus lines will be able to take you directly to the Keukenhof gardens:
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. You can also get them online from various tour guides or directly from the Keukenhof gardens website.
What to do 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.
The annual flower parade is also known as the Bloemencorso. It is the day when various beautiful floats made of flowers march on the streets of the local towns nearby Keukenhof gardens. 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.
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.
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!
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!
I highly suggest giving it a try and cycling 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.
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 these boat tours just in front of the windmill, for €8.00 for adults and €4.00 for Children (age 4-11), and Children ( age 3 and younger) are free.
Located outside the Keukenhof gardens, the Keukenhof castle and its grounds are also worth visiting for their different historical exhibits and beautiful gardens.
Where to stay near Keukenhof gardens
If you would like to try the trusted AIRBNB, you can sign-up here to get a FREE €39 travel credit for any accommodations.
On a shoestring budget? Check here for the best hostels near Keukenhof gardens
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More posts about the Netherlands
Read more of our travel stories and guides if you want more inspiration about the Netherlands.
Looking for more inspiration on other destinations, you can visit our WORLD DESTINATIONS page.
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 about your experience!
Special thanks to Keukenhof Garden PR Team for welcoming us to feature the Keukenhof gardens. Some images are provided by the Keukenhof gardens for this featured collaboration. The words and opinions in this article are my own.