From the last weekend in March to mid-May, Keukenhof hosts the world's largest flower garden with approximately seven million flower bulbs in the park which covers approximately 32 hectares. It is located in the town of Lisse, to the southwest of Amsterdam and is accessible by train and bus.
Keukenhof was established in 1949 with the idea to present a flower exhibit for growers who could show off their hybrids and help the Netherlands export industry as it is the world's largest exporter of flowers. Keukenhof has been the world's largest flower garden for over fifty years.
There are a number of outdoor displays as well as a number of halls displaying all sorts of bulb flowers as well as a hall which is dedicated to orchids.
During its opening period, it is open daily from 08:00 – 19:30. Its worth taking some time to check out the website to see at what stage the display is - the earlier your visit, the less likely that the bulbs will be in full flower.
Sharing these information which is consolidated from all helpful VT folks!
Keukenhof is a MUST-VISIT if you are in Amsterdam in spring! I was there in end March 2009 and was told that it is even more beautiful in mid-end April where the tulips are at full bloom.
My transit time in Schiphol was 9 hours. If you have more than 5 hours transit time, you can go for Keukenhof. Here is a quick hassle free (also budget) guide to Keukenhof from Schiphol:
1. Upon exiting immigration, go to the VVV Tourist Information Centre * to buy the combi ticket
2. For Euro 20, you get the 2-way transportation Schiphol-Keukenhof and entrance ticket to Keukenhof:
- Take Connexion bus no. 58 (enquire VVV centre to find out where u should wait). Busses are very regular, refer ** for below.
- The bus driver will stamp on your ticket, pls keep it for your bus ride back. The journey to Keukenhof takes approx 30 minues.
- Upon reaching Keukenhof, proceed to the entrance gate and show your combi ticket where they will there off the entrance ticket portion.
- Allow 30 min for the journey back to Schiphol and at least 1 hour to go through airport security back in departure hall so you will not miss your flight.
I spent about 3.5 hours for a slow walk in the entire garden - this is sufficient to admire and take pictures of the beautiful tulips and flowers.
* VVV center is in arrival hall 2: http://www.schiphol.nl/web/show/id=99011/langid=42
** Timetable for the buses: http://www.keukenhof.nl/images/fck/File/Connexxion%202009/lijn%2058%202009.pdf
In 2009 there is a new activity that you can do besides cycling, it is a 1 hr boat ride. I did not go for this option as the tulips were not at full bloom at my time of visit.
2009: 19 March to 21 May
Daily from 08:00 – 19:30.
(Ticket office closes at 18:00).
As suggested above, if you are there before May 18, you should definitely go to the Keukenhof (http://www.keukenhof.nl/nm/english.html). And Delft is beautiful city easily walkable within a half-day and about 30 min away from Amsterdam
During the end of April/beginning of May, this is a must see. I'm not much of a flower person, but this place was amazing. It definately exceeded all my expectations, as I was being dragged here. You can spend a few hours wandering around the gardens and the colors are unbelievable. I suppose you have to time your visit to balance the crushing crowds, with the flowers in full bloom. We got there early in the day, and the crowds were not bad until we left.
We did a day trip out of Amsterdam. It was a beautiful April day and the colours of the flowers were everywhere we could see. It's an excellent way to spend time with the family, especially with toddlers. It can take up to 5 hours to see everything. There is a restaurant on site.
See all 5 attached photos.
For a magically breathtaking and intoxicating afternoon experience, I highly recommend a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse Holland. This incredible collection of the Netherlands best and most beautiful flowers wonderfully showcases the legendary Dutch expertise handed down through the generations. Mere photos cannot accurately portray the amazing size and spectacular beauty of the blooms you see as you wander through grounds. I included a photo with a friends hand next to the blooms to attempt to illustrate the scale of the blooms, but it is truly something you must see to believe!
In 1949 the then mayor of Lisse, Mr. W.J.H. Lambooy, together with ten leading bulb-growers conceived the idea of a permanent annual open-air flower exhibition. In the 15th century, the 32 hectares of the present park were part of the enormous estate belonging to the castle of Slot Teylingen. This was ruled from 1401 to 1436 by the Countess of Holland, Jacoba van Beieren. Using part of her estate as an herb and vegetable garden, the countess personally gathered the fresh ingredients for her kitchen. It is to this that the present Keukenhof, which literally means Kitchen Garden, owes its name.
Due to the seasonal nature of spring flowers, the Keukenhof regrettably only operates for about 8 weeks. In late May 2005 I visited and the tulips were already done. Since the focus of the bulb growers is to hasten propagation and not the flower itself, once the bloom has passed its prime, the very top of the flower is cut off leaving a naked green stem. It is somewhat surreal to see fields of beheaded tulips! I just returned from Amsterdam the first week of April 2006 and due to the colder than normal spring, only the daffodils were in bloom. If you are specifically planning your trip around the tulip fields, I would surmise that a mid-late April timeframe would most likely prevent disappointment.
2006: 23 March until 19 May
2007: 22 March until 20 May
Just outside of Amsterdam is the Keukenhof, the famous Dutch flower gardens. Here you can see miles and miles of flowers. There are more than 6 million bulbs in bloom each year. The tulip gardens are only open two months of the year. From the end of March until the end of May the flowers are in full bloom and there are numerous daytrips from Amsterdam to Lisse or you can find your own way there. During the summer the Keukenhof is also open, but tulip season is over by then. There is still a large variety of flowers in bloom, such as anemaones, dahlias, lilies, begonias, roses, and cannas.
If you are in Amsterdam during the months of mid March to mid May, then this is the great place to visit. Check out my Keukenhof page for more details
Don't waste your time at other gardens, this is the only one necessary. Acres upon acres of flowers, they have a windmill too.
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