Keukenhof Park

The Keukenhof park is a popular tourist destination and a true spectacle of nature, where millions of tulips explode in bright colours.

Keukenhof (literally ‘Garden’), also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the most beautiful flower gardens in the world. It is located in Lisse, not far from Amsterdam, in the Zuid-Holland region. According to estimates published on the official website of the Keukenhof park, around 7 million flowering bulbs are planted each year. The park covers an area of 32 hectares and is one of the most popular destinations in the Netherlands.

The greatest difficulty in visiting Keukenhof is the fact that the park only opens for a little less than two months of the year, in early spring, the time when the flowers sprout from the tulip bulbs. For this reason, the public attendance is always very high: during the eight weeks it is open, the park is visited by almost a million people, mostly foreign tourists.

Origins

Keukenhof was part of the Dutch hunting grounds until the 15th century. It was later used to cultivate fruit and vegetables by Countess Jacqueline of Hainaut. Hence the name Keukenhof, or vegetable garden, as the plants grown were used in the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. In 1641, a castle was then built within the park.

The design of the garden dates back to the 19th century when Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt commissioned two landscape architects to create it.

The Inauguration

The park was officially inaugurated in 1949. The initial idea was to create an exhibition space where growers from the Netherlands and all over Europe could showcase their hybrids and also help the development of the Dutch bulb export industry: consider that the Netherlands is the world’s largest exporter of flowers.

Keukenhof today

Even today Keukenhof is still the largest international and independent showcase for the Dutch flower industry. In just eight weeks each year Keukenhof shows what the Dutch market has to offer. This is why the park has strong links with all the relevant organisations in the floriculture sector.

Within the Keukenhof park there are several gardens, each with its own particular style. There are, for example, English-style landscape gardens, a natural garden consisting of a body of water with shrubs and perennials, the Japanese garden and many others, all of which are full of tulips and flowers in general.

Each year an area of the Keukenhof is dedicated to a particular theme related to the Netherlands, and is set up with a beautiful and huge flower arrangement representing it. Some interesting themes in recent years have been ‘the great Dutch discoveries’, ‘Dutch design’, ‘Dutch canal houses’ and many others.

The Keukenhof does not have huge fields with expanses of tulips, as one might expect. There are tulip meadows outside the garden, mostly private, which can be visited but by purchasing separate entrance tickets, but can still be photographed by climbing up to the mill terrace at the east end of the park.

Keukenhof Park Entrance Tickets

Due to the large number of visitors to the famous Dutch park, we recommend that you buy your ticket in advance: choose between a single entry ticket or a guided tour from Amsterdam that includes admission.

Keukenhof skip-the-line tickets

If you plan to visit Keukenhof on your own, either by public transport or by car, you can purchase the entrance ticket only. Due to the high turnout, we recommend that you get it as early as possible.

Tickets + transfer from Amsterdam

Alternatively, you can take part in a guided tour that also includes bus transport from Amsterdam – certainly the most convenient option if you are based in the Dutch capital.

Tulip Festival Card

If you plan to travel to Keukenhof by public transport and perhaps visit other locations around Amsterdam, with the Tulip Festival Card you get both the entrance to the park and the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, which is also valid for transport in the centre of Amsterdam, buses to and from the airport and, of course, the bus to Keukenhof.

Admire the tulips from above

A very interesting idea to admire the tulips in their full bloom is certainly to fly over the fields in a helicopter; you can thus enrich your experience on the ground with breathtaking views and unique colours from above!

Park opening hours

Keukenhof is open every year from mid-March to mid-May. The exact dates are announced well in advance on the official website, and vary from year to year.

In 2023 it will be open every day from 23 March to 14 May, from 8 am to 7.30 pm.

The best time to see the tulips in full bloom is around mid-April, always taking into account the weather variable, which has a rather high variance at these latitudes.

Keukenhof Castle, on the other hand, is open all year round. Festivals such as Castlefest, Winter Night and the Christmas Fair are organised there, as well as classical music concerts.

Keukenhof Park Map

If you are about to visit Keukenhof, you might find the map of the park useful: download it by clicking on the button below.

Keukenhof Park map PDF

How to get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam

Getting to Keukenhof from Amsterdam is quite easy with public transport: from Schiphol Airport, bus number 858, called the Keukenhof Express, runs continuously. The line is operated by the Arriva company and the bus departs from Schiphol Plaza exit number 4, next to Starbucks, and arrives at Keukenhof in just over 30 minutes, although with the high traffic around the park the time can even double.

It is possible to buy a combined ticket in advance via the Internet, which entitles you to entry to the park and return transport from Amsterdam, either by bus 858 or, for a surcharge, directly from the centre of Amsterdam, using bus 197, operated by the Connexxion company, which stops, for example, at Leidseplein, the Rijksmuseum and Museumplein. The terminus of the 197 is Schiphol Airport, from where you then need to change and take the 858.

Watch out

At weekends the queue for the 858 bus during rush hours can become hundreds and hundreds of metres long, and you have to wait up to three hours before you can board. It is better to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Reaching the park by private vehicle

Arriving at Keukenhof by hire car or even by bicycle (it is 35 kilometres one way, for a ride of about a couple of hours through the beautiful Dutch countryside) can be a winning choice: first of all, there is no need to waste precious time in the queue waiting for the 858 bus, in a wait that can even become nerve-wracking, but above all, the freedom of your own vehicle allows you to stop around the park to take fantastic photos of the blooming tulip fields, the most typical and splendid postcard of the Netherlands, which unfortunately you can only skim from the bus.

Of course, the flipside of arriving at Keukenhof by car is the difficulty in finding parking: although organisation in these parts of Europe is at an all-time high, the park during its short annual opening is literally swamped by visitors, and it is only natural that queues of several kilometres form near the entrances.

Useful information

Address

Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse, Paesi Bassi

Contacts

TEL: +31 252 465 565

Timetables

  • Monday: 08:00 - 19:30
  • Tuesday: 08:00 - 19:30
  • Wednesday: 08:00 - 19:30
  • Thursday: 08:00 - 19:30
  • Friday: 08:00 - 19:30
  • Saturday: 08:00 - 19:30
  • Sunday: 08:00 - 19:30

Where is located Keukenhof Park

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