Weather :

Timings : Open only from mid-March to mid-May (8 AM to 7:30 PM)

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : Adult - 18 EUR; Children (4-11 yrs) - 8 EUR; Children (below 3 yrs) - Free entry

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Keukenhof, Amsterdam Overview

Overviewing millions of visitors each year, Keukenhof is one of the largest flower gardens in the world located in the town Lisse of South Holland, Netherlands. This park opens annually every spring just in time when Dutch flowers bloom. With picturesque landscape and more than 7 billion flower bulbs showcased each year, Keukenhof is one of the most lively places near Amsterdam during springtime.

Keukenhof (Dutch for Kitchen Garden), also called the Garden of Europe, covers a portion of about 79 acres when it opens its doors for visitors around mid-March. One will be amazed to witness a broad spectrum of flowers including daffodils, orchids, hyacinths, carnations, roses, lilies, 800 varieties of tulips and many more flowers in their bloom at Keukenhof. Along with enjoying the view of these beautiful flower fields, people can also expect to witness some remarkable art, flower shows and events at these flower gardens.

One of the best aspects of Keukenhof is that 100 royal suppliers put their best variety of spring flower bulbs on display at this park. There are several other activities that visitors can enjoy during their visit to Keukenhof such as riding on a canal cruise or taking their children to play in giant playgrounds, petting farm or the maze at the Keukenhof. Also, the Flower Bulb market at the park allows visitors to buy freshly grown spring flower bulbs from the growers directly while seeking their tips on how to successfully grow them at their home.

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Open Timings for Keukenhof

  • Keukenhof is open for visitors from 8 AM to 7:30 PM; though the ticket office shuts down at 6 PM, so visitors are required to reach before then if they are going to buy tickets at the venue.

  • Keukenhof is opened for visitors from mid-March to mid-May each year. Though the exact dates may vary every year, the exhibit lasts roughly for about eight weeks.

  • The theme for Keukenhof 2020 is ‘A World full of colours’ and will start from 21 March and end on 10 May.

Tickets for Keukenhof

  • Entry to the park is free for children up to 3 years old

  • Ticket price for an adult is 18 EUR

  • For children from 4 to 11 years old it is 8 EUR.

  • There are also many combo tickets available online like Combo (entrance and travel from Amsterdam) for 30 EUR or access and travel through direct transfer from Amsterdam at 39 EUR.

  • One can also rent a bike to travel through the fields of Keukenhof easily at 10 EUR.

Things to Do at Keukenhof

1. Relish a Peaceful Ride on the Canal Cruise

People enjoying the cruise tour with the beautiful view of tulip fields at Keukenhof
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Keukenhof offers 45-minute long canal cruise rides for its visitors so that they can enjoy the beautiful scenic view of flower fields and Dutch landscape while sailing in the peaceful electrically powered whisper boats. The tickets for the cruise rides are available at the windmill at Keukenhof and cost 8 EUR for an adult, 4 EUR for children aged between 4 and 11 years, and the ride is free for children below 3 years. Also, it is a good idea to carry your camera along with you during your ride so that you can capture all the picturesque views with it.

2. Enjoy the Amazing View of the Fields from the Dutch Windmill

Dutch Windmill at the Keukenhof
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The Dutch Windmill is one of the popular attractions at the Keukenhof and offers a great view of not only the Keukenhof but also of the tulip fields in the surroundings. Though the Dutch Windmill is usually packed with a lot of people aiming to get stunning pictures of the fields, it is a must-visit spot if one is visiting the Keukenhof.

3. Buy Flower Bulbs from Local Shops and Keukenhof Flower Bulb Market

Flower bulb shop at Keukenhof
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Keukenhof has many flower bulb shops put up by various cultivators from all over the country featuring a large assortment of spring flower bulbs; even covering some rare, unique varieties of flower bulbs. There is also a flower bulb market put up at the park on some days people can visit several flower stalls and talk to the growers themselves to know more about the flower that they wish to purchase.
 
Buyers can even take some tips from local gardeners to ensure that they are successfully able to plant the flower bulbs at their home. Though only cash is accepted at the market and Keukenhof doesn’t have any cash machine, so visitors should always carry some money in hand when visiting the park.

4. Flower Shows and Exhibitions

Flower show at Willem-Alexander Pavilion at Keukenhof
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Along with their outdoor displays, Keukenhof is also known for its indoor flower shows and exhibitions that are held at the three indoor pavilions at the park. One can expect to witness unique and colourful floral displays that are changed every week at the Orange Nassau Pavilion. Host to the largest lily show of the world and thousands of tulips is the Willem-Alexander Pavilion at Keukenhof. The Beatrix Pavilion is the place where one can find a large variety of anthuriums and orchids.

5. Various Fun Activities for Children

Petting farm at the Keukenhof
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Along with being mesmerized by endless gardens with various kinds of flowers, children have numerous other activities that they can take part in to entertain themselves during their visit to Keukenhof. There are many bridges and small streams with stepping stones where kids can walk or jump on to have fun. Amusing themselves by playing a game of treasure hunt, having a picnic with their friends and family, playing in the giant playground, maze or petting farm are some other activities that kids can do in this park to make their day into an incredible adventure.

Different Gardens of Keukenhof

Different garden styles observed at Keukenhof
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Visitors can expect to witness several flower gardens with different garden styles and a variety of flowers on display such as tulips, daffodils, rodes, orchids, etc. at Keukenhof. So, for instance, the English landscape garden is marked with winding pathways and unforeseen see-through points, that were created by Zolcher, the famous garden architect of Vondelpark, Amsterdam, in the year 1830. 

The nature garden incorporates a water garden blended with shrubs, perennials, and bulbous plants. Housing many different kinds of old bulbs, Historical garden is also one of the attractive spaces of Keukenhof. Lastly, this flower garden also has a Japanese country garden, which is a non-traditional garden situated in a natural habitat. 

Keukenhof Castle: A Country House with an Exquisite Historical Collection

Kids engaged in a combat in front of the Castlefest Castle in 2011
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Situated on the same estate where the Keukenhof gardens are located, Keukenhof castle was constructed in the Golden Age and served as a country house for the former commander of the United East India Company- Adriaen Maertenszoon Block in the 17th century. The castle now hosts a variety of exquisite collection ranging from furniture to portraits; some of which are from the collection by the famous artist of the 17th century, Nicholas Maes. One can now visit the castle by booking for guided tours at certain times.

Another reason why Keukenhof castle is greatly visited is the three-day medieval fantasy festival called Castlefest that has been taking place at the castle every year since 2006 during the first weekend of August. On top of the standard Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the festival has been starting with an opening night on Thursday since 2011. From various folk bands performing to amazing activities such as body and face art gathering, Castlefest has gradually gained 35,000 visitors (as of 2015) as opposed to 3,500 visitors that attended the first edition of this fest.

Tips for when you visit Keukenhof

  • Avoid visiting on weekends or public holidays at any cost as this is the time when the park is the most crowded and you can expect at least a couple of people if not more to photobomb your pictures.

  • Also, if you go during the weekend, you can expect to stand in long queues near the ticket counter and even at the windmill.

  • Though Keukenhof is a tourist-oriented place and it will remain busy all the time with people from all across the world coming down to witness the colourful flower fields, visiting the park at around 8 AM (as soon as it opens) on a weekday will be a good idea. Without wasting a second, it is advised that you go to the area near the pond and the windmill where you will be able to get the most beautiful pictures.

  • It is a good idea to carry your picnic basket with you as the food joints at Keukenhof is said to be very expensive, and moreover, you will save a lot of time that you would otherwise be spending standing in long queues of food joints. There is a designated area near the windmill, especially for picnics.

  • If you have time, then you should visit Lisse tulip fields situated near Keukenhof to take full advantage of your trip.

History of Keukenhof

Countess Jacoba van Beieren welcomed by her husband, Frank van Beieren,  upon landing by a helicopter which was followed by a horse ride on the grounds of Keukenhof on 24 April, 1952
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The history of Keukenhof goes as far as to 15th century when Jacqueline of Bavaria, Countess Jacoba van Beieren, used to gather fruits and vegetables from the kitchen dunes (Keukendin) for Teylingen Castle’s kitchen. The estate of Keukenhof further was extended to cover an area of more than 200 hectares when Keukenhof Castle was constructed in 1641. The park was further reconstructed in English landscape style in 1857 by landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher.

It was then in 1949 that Keukenhof became a spring park when a group of top-tier growers and exporters of flower bulbs came together with the plan of exhibiting spring-flowering bulbs. The spring park became a massive success with 236,000 visitors in the very first year when it allowed access to the public. Over 69 years since its opening, Keukenhof has gained a name among one of the most famous attractions of the world and recently marked its 70th edition in 2019 with its theme being ‘Flower Power’.

How To Reach Keukenhof

By Own Vehicle: 

  • If one is travelling by car, they can easily navigate by putting in the address of Keukenhof: Stationsweg 166A, Lisse. The parking ticket at Keukenhof can be bought online for €6 to avoid standing in long queues upon reaching the venue. 


By Bus:

  • Bus lines 852, 859, 858, 854, 50 and 90 can be taken from 6 main locations namely Amsterdam Europaplein (RAI), Station Hoofddorp, Schiphol Airport, Leiden station, Haarlem station, and Katwijk, Noordwijk, Noordwijkerhout stations to reach Keukenhof for 30 EUR and 25 EUR.

  • Direct transfer bus lines 397, 341, and 300 can also be used from Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam South station, and Amstelveen bus station to reach Keukenhof at 30 EUR.


By Train:

  • Visitors can also take a train from Amsterdam to Leiden Centraal Station and change to bus line 854 (Leiden-Keukenhof express) to reach Keukenhof. Here, the cost of a return ticket from Amsterdam is 19 EUR.

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