One of the Netherlands’ most popular tourist attractions, the flower-filled Keukenhof Gardens really is a treat to visit. Here are 12 tips on how to make the most of your time amongst the tulips.
One of the world’s largest and most beautiful flower parks, Keukenhof Gardens, located just outside of Amsterdam, is a magical place to explore and is definitely worth visiting if you have the chance!
Every year around seven million colorful tulips, daffodils and roses are planted in the park dubbed the Garden of Europe.
Keukenhof opens March 21, and as it’s one of the country’s most popular attractions, it can fill up so it’s well worth planning your visit in advance. To help you out, here are some tips on how to make the most of your time amongst the tulips.
1. Plan your visit in advance
As the Keukenhof Gardens sprawl over a huge 32 hectares, it is a good idea to plan your route in advance. This is so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing fountains, sculptures, pavilions and, of course, flowerbeds that lie along its 10 miles of hiking trails. Make sure to pick up a map at the entrance!
2. Visit at the right time of year
If Keukenhof is on your bucket list (and it definitely should be!), then you’ll want to visit the Netherlands between mid-March and mid-May. This is the only time of year that the park is open as this is when the flowers are in bloom.
3. Keep up to date on how the flowers are doing
As the weather and temperature understandably vary from year to year, it is well worth checking if the flowers are in bloom before you visit. A quick Google search can keep you in the loop.
4. Visit at the right time of day
Remarkably over 1.5 million people now visit Keukenhof each year and this means it can get terribly busy, particularly at the weekend. To avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit on a weekday, either during the early morning or early evening. The gardens are open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
5. Research how to get there beforehand
Keukenhof is located in the small town of Lisse which lies 30 kilometers to the southwest of Amsterdam. To get to the gardens from the capital you can either hop on a bus or train, take the car or even cycle there if you feel like it! As the nearby roads and car parks can get quite full as well as the buses and trains themselves, many people opt to take a tour to avoid all the hassle.
6. Buy your tickets in advance
Another great way to save time and make the most of your visit is to buy your ticket online and avoid the queues. Some combination tickets also include public transport alongside the entrance fee. Check out our options here.
7. Give yourself enough time
Keukenhof Gardens is really special so you’re going to want to have enough time to see as much as possible. With so many beautiful flowers and stunning landscapes on display, you can easily spend half-a-day or more ambling peacefully along its scenic paths.
8. Don’t miss out on everything else
While its endless flowerbeds are understandably the main draw, a number of wonderful fountains, sculptures and pavilions can be found dotted about the gorgeous gardens. This makes the park feel and look like an outdoor art gallery. Lovely!
9. Watch one of the flower parades
Keukenhof also hosts a number of flower shows and heritage weekends as well as a fabulous flower parade. Try and time your visit to coincide with one of these magnificent flower-filled events. While the park is quite crowded at these times, the sight of the floral arrangements is unforgettable.
10. Take a tour
With so much going on, it can be very easy to miss out on something incredible. To avoid the hassle of planning everything yourself and skipping a key part of the park, it is well worth taking a guided tour – particularly if you are pressed for time.
11. Rent a bike
If tour groups aren’t your thing then you can always rent a bike and explore the tulip fields around Keukenhof yourself! While they are not part of the park, they make for just as mesmerizing a sight and the added bonus is that you’ll escape the crowds and get to see yet more pretty flowers.
12. Family fun for everyone
Keukenhof really has something for everyone to enjoy. Accessible to all ages, there is a petting zoo, maze and play area for youngsters and restaurants, cafes, and picnic areas.