Famous for flowers, and especially tulips, the Netherlands draws in huge crowds of tourists every year just to see the massive fields of blooms stretching out to the horizon. While it’s possible to see fields of tulips in a variety of towns across Holland, one particular place stands out from all others: Keukenhof. This large park dedicated to tulips and other spring blooms is not a farm or a field of tulips, but rather a series of sculpted gardens.

Keukenhof, Netherlands

What is Keukenhof?

Nestled in the heart of the Netherlands, Keukenhof is a world-renowned flower garden located in the town of Lisse, which is approximately halfway between Amsterdam and The Hague. Commonly referred to as the “Garden of Europe,” Keukenhof is celebrated for its breathtaking displays of vibrant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other springtime blooms. Spanning over 32 hectares, the park features meticulously landscaped gardens, enchanting flower shows, and winding pathways that beckon visitors to immerse themselves in the kaleidoscope of colors and scents.

Keukenhof Tulips

The history of tulips in the Netherlands is deeply intertwined with the country’s cultural heritage. Introduced to the Netherlands in the late 16th century, tulips quickly captivated the imagination of the Dutch people, eventually becoming synonymous with the nation’s identity. During the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, tulip bulbs were highly coveted commodities, leading to a speculative frenzy known as “Tulip Mania.” While the economic bubble eventually burst, the love affair with tulips endured, cementing their status as cherished symbols of beauty and prosperity in Dutch culture.

Visiting Keukenhof

A guided tour is not a requirement. It’s possible to reach Lisse and Keukenhof with public transit from anywhere in the Netherlands. The trip takes around an hour with public transit from nearby major cities. And with your own vehicle, it’s even quicker. In fact, during the spring blooming season in which hundreds of thousands of people visit, special express buses run to Keukenhof from nearby cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. All of these locations are well connected to the rest of the country (and Europe) by fast and efficient train services.

Keukenhof, Netherlands
You’ll find plenty of amazing flower displays at Keukenhof, and it’s not just about the tulips.

Tickets to Keukenhof cost around €20, or €8 for children, with additional costs if you park your car or take one of the Keukenhof Express buses from one of the previously mentioned cities. It’s also possible to rent a bicycle for a few hours to explore the nearby tulip fields! You can buy your tickets from the official Keukenhof website.

If you don’t want to hassle with public transit, numerous tour operators offer guided excursions from Amsterdam and other major cities, providing hassle-free transportation and expert insights into the park’s highlights. Visitors can stroll through the themed gardens, marvel at the intricate flower arrangements, and capture memorable photos amidst the sea of blossoms while guides keep everything organized. Additionally, special events such as flower parades and floral design workshops offer unique opportunities to engage with the park’s vibrant atmosphere.

Where to Stay

For those seeking accommodation near Keukenhof, the picturesque town of Lisse offers a range of hotel options to suit every preference and budget. From charming bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels, visitors can find comfortable lodging within close proximity to the park.

Alternatively, nearby cities such as Haarlem and Leiden also provide convenient bases for exploring Keukenhof and other attractions in the region. But with such convenient public transportation options around the Netherlands, you really don’t need to stay right in Lisse or another nearby town. Since it only takes around an hour to reach the park from Amsterdam or one of the other major cities, all of this can be done as a day trip. So, you can find your hotel in Amsterdam and still enjoy the tulips along with everything else Holland has to offer.

Keukenhof, Netherlands

Tips for Visiting Keukenhof

On my recent journey to the park, I was caught off guard by a few things. Most notably, the weather took me by surprise. Now, I impart my wisdom on to you:

Prepare for the Weather

In case you haven’t heard, it rains a lot in Holland. The spring season is a mix of fantastic warm and sunny weather along with cold and wet weather, so you just never know what you’re going to get. During Keukenhof’s opening season from mid-March to mid-May, the weather is very uncertain. During your visit, prepare for rain but hope for the best. Bring umbrellas, rain jackets, and plastic bags to protect your cameras.

Unfortunately, during my visit, it rained most of the afternoon. While I had the morning to enjoy the scenery, the occasional shower forced me to keep my umbrella at the ready. After lunch, the rain picked up even more. To be honest, this type of weather is common here. A gorgeous day of full sun with the flowers in full bloom is a rare treat, so make the most of whatever type of weather might arrive.

Where to Eat

Keukenhof has a number of places to eat inside the park. In the center and around the edges of the park are half a dozen buildings serving a variety of food from sandwiches to pasta, plus desserts and coffee. Prices range from just a few Euros for a simple cheese sandwich to nearly €20 for a large meal of pasta and soup or salad. Each of the food areas offers slightly different menu options. The quality is not bad, but not amazing either.

Food truck in Keukenhof

Also, a few food trucks are found in the park. I had a delicious hamburger for about €8, and other quick options looked tasty, too.

In the town of Lisse, you’ll find plenty of restaurants offering a variety of fare at a variety of prices. A few of the best include De Heerekamer, Funky Moose, and FreQuent. It’s possible to walk into the heart of town from the park in about 30 minutes.

Be Ready to Walk

The park is quite large, so you’ll be walking around. Those of you counting your steps will be quite pleased! However, plan for a break every so often at one of the many benches around the park. Your legs and feet will thank you towards the end of the day. Take the time to just enjoy the scenery, because that’s why you came. Also, don’t miss the boat ride around the fields, as it not only offers a gorgeous view, but gives you a chance to sit for awhile, too. It departs from the dock behind the windmill.

Keukenhof, Netherlands

Enjoy the Tulips!

A visit to Keukenhof offers a captivating journey through the enchanting world of tulips and springtime blooms. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and abundance of floral delights, Keukenhof continues to enchant visitors from around the globe, making it a must-see destination for flower enthusiasts and travelers seeking the beauty of the Netherlands in full bloom.

Make your plans to see it on your next trip to the Netherlands if you’re visiting in the spring season. And you can plan your trip along with all of the costs on our Netherlands Travel Costs page here or on our Netherlands Tour Costs page here.

And don’t forget, if you have a car or rent a bike, you can easily get out to the nearby tulip fields in the area around Lisse. Furthermore, you can find plenty of other tulip fields in locations around the Netherlands such as in the northern or southern agricultural regions.

Keukenhof, Netherlands
If you have a car or bike, you can easily get to the nearby tulip fields from Keukenhof.