The Netherlands is home to some of the most beautiful sights in Europe, but if you’re in the country during peak blooming season, you simply can’t miss the sight of Keukenhof Gardens. Between April and May every year, the 'Garden of Europe’ is brimming with multicoloured tulips and is a real spectacle. Whether you’re in Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague during spring, the famous tulip fields of Keukenhof is a trip for the bucket list. Ahead of your visit to the prettiest spot in Holland, here’s all the info you need from what they are to how to get there. This is our ultimate guide to Keukenhof Gardens.
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What are the Keukenhof Gardens?
Located in the Dutch town of Lisse near the country’s west coast is one of the largest flower gardens in the world. Keukenhof Gardens date all the way back to the 15th century when Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641, but it's only been open to the public as a spring flower exhibition since 1950.
The gardens are only open for 8 weeks of the year when the bulbs are in full bloom, making it even more of a sought after sight for people around the world. Over 7 million spring-flowering bulbs are planted in Keukenhof Gardens to come to life between March and May. The park covers 79 acres of land packed with crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and, of course, masses of tulips including a huge field with rows and rows of them separated by colour. The theme for 2020 is a World of Colours so look out for some insanely eye catching flower shows in the pavilions across the park.
When is the best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens?
Deciding on the best time to see the tulips at Keukenhof Gardens is easy because the park is only open when it's looking just like the incredible images you see online. It’s not open all year, only for 8 weeks between the end of March and May. In 2020, the doors to Keukenhof Gardens open from 21st March and close on 10th May including Sundays and public holidays.
If you’re wondering what time or which day of the week to visit, we recommend aiming for a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday either before the crowds arrive at 11am or when the masses leave after 3pm.
How much does Keukenhof Gardens entrance cost?
Buy your tickets online in advance for a discounted price of €17,50 per adult ticket rather than €19 on the door. Otherwise you can buy a combi-entrance ticket which includes your public transport for €32,50 (see below for more info).
How to get to Keukenhof Gardens from Amsterdam
There are a few different options for getting to Keukenhof from Amsterdam, but the combi entrance ticket is by far the most convenient while being good value at the same time. For €32,50 via the website you can buy your entry ticket to Keukenhof Gardens as well as your return ticket via public transport (bus or metro) from Amsterdam included.
We suggest taking the M52 metro from Amsterdam Centraal to Europaplein metro stop - although note that you will need a separate metro ticket for this part of the journey. At Europaplein, the Keukenhof Express bus (line 852) comes 8 times an hour to pick up and drop off at the entrance to Keukenhof Gardens in about 35 minutes. The Keukenhof Express is included in your combi-entrance ticket.
What is there to do in Keukenhof Gardens?
You can stay and explore the fields of flowers and make the most of the activities all day if you wish, however most people tend to spend about two to four hours wandering through. Aside from simply soaking in the atmosphere, spotting the different types of flowers and getting stunning photos for Instagram, there are a few activities to take part in, too.
The Whisper Boat ride costs €9 on top of the entry fee and is a 45 minute tour around the flower region by an electric-powered boat. For €17,50 extra you can delve deeper into the gardens’ history, inspiration, gardening techniques and more by booking onto a guided tour. You can also hire bikes from Keukenhof (just be sure to sort this in advance) and cycle around the surrounding area of the park exploring the explosion of colour on two wheels or by tandem!
Follow the walking path through the gardens and stop in the pavilions for the incredible flower shows and events inside each one at different points throughout the park’s opening. There’s a Rose Show, a Alstroemeria and Lisianthus show, a Lily Show and much more on in 2020.
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