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Keukenhof Gardens – A Perfect Day Trip in Amsterdam

By Trips and Books

Have you ever dreamt of wandering through the colours and fragrance of million gorgeous flowers? then Keukenhof is the perfect place for you, your dreams can come true here! With more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths stunningly spread across 32 hectares of park area and fountains, Keukenhof is the most beautiful spring garden in the world.

Located just about 20minutes away from the Schiphol International Airport, Keukenhof makes one of the most favourite day trip attractions from Amsterdam. The garden also features 30 different flower shows and hundreds of aartworks– with unique themes every year.

Sounds Interesting? Keep reading then..., Here’s all you need to know about the magical garden.

What is Keukenhof: A brief history of the name

The whole Keukenhof garden and fields outside (about 80 hectares) used to be a domesticated forest, from where the “castle of Jacoba van Beieren” collected herbs and vegetables for their kitchen. After the death of Jacoba van Beieren, the whole landscape was designed into a beautiful park around his castle, that made the base for today’s Keukenhof gardens.

The Dutch word “Keukenhof” refers to the history of the park as a “kitchen garden” (“keuken” means kitchen, and “hof” is translated to a sort of a courtyard garden).

Do you wonder how to pronounce the word Keukenhof? You don’t want to want to know how I used to pronounce (massacre!) in the beginning days and confuse others. Now, my understanding/pronunciation is much better and probably can suggest you try “ko-ken-hof” with hof sounding like “off”. That’s not exactly the right pronunciation, but that’s the best I can describe, and people will definitely understand what you mean.

Ok, I’ll end the Dutch and history lessons here😊 and move on to how to get there.

How to reach Keukenhof?

Keukenhof is situated between Amsterdam and Den Hague (The Hague) in a town called Lisse. It is easily accessible by car and well connected by public transport from both Amsterdam and The Hague.

By Car: Follow the clearly marked signs to Keukenhof from the highway, or just set your GPS to Stationsweg 166a , 2161 AM Lisse. Look for the sign of “P-Extra”, It’s huge parking area, you can leave your car for about €6 per day.

Please note that the parking will be closed within one hour after the Keukenhof park is closed. Don’t miss the timing, otherwise, you’ve to wait until the next day to pick-up your car!.

By Public Transport: If you are starting from Amsterdam / north part of the Netherlands, there is a direct bus from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (bus route# 858) – which will be approximately 20mins travel. If you’re coming from South/by train, then Leiden Central is the nearest train station, from which you have a direct bus (route# 854) to Keukenhof – that will also be the same 20 mins travel.

💭 Note: If you're planning on public transport, you may look at the “Combi-ticket”, which includes the roundtrip bus from Leiden/ Schiphol combined with the entrance to Keukenhof. The ticket is usually €24 for adults and €12.50 for children 4-11 years old. You can buy them online from the Keukenhof website.

By Bike: If you’re feeling strong enough!!, you may bike all the way to Keukenhof in an hour. There’s a beautiful biking route from Schiphol, about 19 Kilometers long.

When is the best time to visit Keukenhof?

Keukenhof Garden and the tulips fields are available only during the “spring” period, from end-March to mid-May. (This year, it’s open from 22 March 2018 - 13 May 2018). There will be beautiful flowers throughout this period, but so far what I have seen/heard, the best time to visit the park is: 2nd/3rd week of the April – this is the time when all the bulbs will be in full bloom and tender fresh.

Keukenhof garden is open all days (in spring) from 08:00 – 19:30 hours, but I would STRONGLY advise you to avoid weekends and public holidays; there will be a huge crowd on holidays. Always buy tickets online so that you can skip the long lines and visit on a weekday and as early as you could make it in the morning.

What can you do in Keukenhof (in addition to tulips)

Probably, you don’t need anything more than those stunning 7 million flowers and gorgeous garden. But, your kids may ask more and Keukenhof has something for them too.

⇨ There is a treasure hunt for the children, a petting farm, a maze, and a playground.

⇨ There are various exhibitions and flower shows with demonstrations that can keep the kids more engaged.

⇨ You can also take a boat trip through the beautiful flower bulb landscape.

⇨ This is something you must try; you can rent the bikes from the entrance and go all over the beautiful fields around.

What you can NOT do in Keukenhof (Park regulations)

You’re free to walk around and take pictures, but don’t walk on the grass. Most of the visitors are not aware of it (or pretend), but it’s strictly forbidden, you might face some serious yelling from the housekeepers.

It’s a huge park so you may plan to bring your bike/kick scooter, but please be aware: they are restricted as well. They might stop you at the entrance itself.

Ticket Details

Finally say: If you like flowers and beautiful gardens more and won’t mind the crowds, then yes, Keukenhof is sure for you. You'll like in a paradise. If you like flowers & nature but cannot bear the crowds, then you should plan to be there really really early; or alternatively, you can skip the Keukenhof park and explore the beautiful tulip fields around.


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