Keukenhof itself is one big tourist trap, year after year attracting busloads of tourists like one of those flesh-eating tropical plant dupes insects into landing inside its flowers only to trap and devour them.
A bunch of flowerbeds spread out over quite a vast surface, without any coherence or theme, are there clearly just to lure people into buying tulip bulbs from the souvenir shops and keep the shamelessly overpriced cafeteria in business.
Without a single photogenic view in sight, I ended up photographing the plants, some of which are very lovely, but so are artichokes and amaranths that my Mother grows for food and she does not charge a EUR13.50 entrance fee and 50 cent every time you take a pee.
Fun Alternatives: If you are a big tulip buff, you will definitely get a much bigger kick driving around sprawling tulip fields in the area. Vibrantly multicoloured under the relentlessly blue Dutch sky, they are the real beauty and best kept secret of Holland. And you are free to pee around anywhere, no fee charged.
Keukenhof 2008 - Floral Letdown Of The Year
Keukenhof park was filled with tourists when I visited. It was a glorious day. It was my first visit to Keukenhof even though I live here. Why is that? I wondered. I asked around. Lots and lots of Dutch people that I know have never been. Is the Keukenhof perhaps a tourist trap for Dutch people? It may well be so. Reactions that I got were: it's too neat. It looks artificial. Too touristy. Keukenhof is for tourists, not for us. We don't need to go to Keukenhof to see lots of flowers and flower fields.
In general I think we Dutch find flowers almost too normal. The weekly markets and flower shops in big and small towns and village have an abundance of flowers on offer. At low prices too, if I compare to other countries. Many towns and villages have flower displays along their streets and squares. Gardens are well kept usually, with lots of flowers. Many people from any walk of life or income and in any neighbourhood find it a must to always have fresh flowers in the house (not just a bunch, more like bouquets!).
Unique Suggestions: The above is all true. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go. You'll find amazing tulip species and the very best of our world famous flower produce.
Fun Alternatives: Rent a bicycle or tour the area with a car and go and see the flower fields outside Keukenhof.
Or even in other areas of our country. Wherever the soil is sandy, that's usually near the coast.
Unfortunately, the map of Keukenhof is interactive but not printable.
When you enter the park, you will see one or two women in historical dress, selling the park brochure and map for € 3.00.
I find that a bit of a Tourist Trap but on the other hand the map is useful.
Unique Suggestions: Don't buy one per person.
Fun Alternatives: Don't buy the booklet and map at all, just roam on without it and use the map boards in the Keukenhof (near the various entrances) to locate yourself.
There are toilet facilities at all entrances and at the pavilions. It costs 40 cents to have a pee. Now you could call that a Tourist Trap, but the toilets are clean!