by Janis on 9th February 2024 / 0 comments

Blooms, as far as the eye can see

Visiting Keukenhof in springtime to admire swathe upon swathe of vibrant fragrant, flowering bulbs is a must for any garden lover and such a delightful way to put a beaming smile on your face.

I thought planting over 600 bulbs in our garden was a huge challenge; however, the 7 million bulbs planted each year in Keukenhof’s garden truly raised the stakes and the efforts certainly paid off.

Keukenhof is in the Netherlands and not too far from Amsterdam, so you could enjoy a few days exploring the canals and waterways of Amsterdam, then head to Lisse to explore the stunning displays at Keukenhof.

Let’s help Keukenhof celebrate its 75th anniversary.


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Where is Keukenhof?

- By Car
There are a few choices for getting to the Netherlands; If you’re venturing from the UK, jump on Le Shuttle and tour Holland under your own steam.

There is plenty of parking at Keukenhof, which costs €8 per day. A car park ticket can be purchased on the day or online through Keukenhof with your entrance ticket.

- By Train
If you're travelling from the UK, it is now possible to let the train take the strain and catch the relaxing Eurostar to Amsterdam. The direct route takes just over 4 hours.

- By Air
The nearest airport to Keukenhof is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, about 25 minutes (14mls/22km) from Keukenhof by taxi.

It is possible to purchase an online public transport combi-ticket to Keukenhof to include the train and bus from a nearby town/city or Schiphol Airport.

A little background on Keukenhof

From a hunting ground to a glorious spectacle

Keukenhof’s landscape was once a 15th-century hunting ground and a kitchen garden for the nearby Teylingen Castle.

In 1638 the estate was purchased, and within a couple of years, a manor house was built and is now known as Keukenhof Castle. The castle stands on the outskirts of Keukenhof gardens.

A close-up of a bed of pure white fluted tulips in keukenhof gardens in holland
White fluted tulips

Some 200 years later, in 1857, recognised landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher were given the undertaking to redesign the castle gardens.

The English style design still forms the foundations of Keukenhof park today.

A stone path through the keukenhof gardens between mixed flowering beds of different colours tulips and hyacinths.
Select a path and wander

In 1949 a group of bulb growers created a plan to develop a stunning exhibit of spring-flowering bulbs within the estate, and Keukenhof was born. The garden gates were thrown open to the public in 1950, and people have continued to visit year after year.

In 2023 Keukenhof will now hold its annual event for the 74th time.

2024 will be Keukenhof’s 75th anniversary.

2024 Keukenhof admission prices

The 2024 Keukenhof garden display opens from 21st March until 12th May from 8am – 7:30pm

Adult €19.50 (Online) ticket office €23
Children 0-3 Free
Children 4-17 €9
Parking €8

Planting 7 million bulbs in Keukenhof

8 weeks of blooming colour

Keukenhof’s spring-flowering beds are meticulously maintained by around 40 gardeners. Each year from October until early December, over 7 million bulbs are lovingly planted.

Striking designs sweep through the gardens in ribbons of eye-catching colours and hypnotising scents. Every section of Keukenhof is carefully planned out so that the garden is in continual bloom for the 8 weeks that the park is open.

A close-up of a mixed bed of daffodils and tulips in golden orange and yellow tones against a backdrop of dar green foliage.
Golden orange and yellow tone
The bulbs are hand planted in three layers akin to a lasagne, so, therefore, the shallowest bulb will appear first, followed by the next two layers. I actually read about this method in a Gardener’s World magazine. I adopted this style of planting while filling out our patio pots with our spring-flowering bulbs.

Exploring Keukenhof

Follow the enchanting scent
I can guarantee that you’ll want to spend a whole day visiting Keukenhof as there is so much to see within the beautiful gardens.
A bed of mixed pink hyacinths and plum-coloured tulips in keukenhof gardens, holland
Mixed bedfellows

It’s breath-taking when you first step through the entrance of Keukenhof; immediately, your senses are on overdrive, and it’s spectacular.

It certainly isn’t surprising that Keukenhof welcomes over 1 million visitors each spring, from near and far.

Shaped flower borders, lined with boxus, and filled with daffodils and mixed narcissus spring planting
The walled garden
The attractive Keukenhof gardens are designed so well that you’ll be venturing off in all directions. There’s no need to follow a particular route, just pick up a pop-up map and stroll until your heart is content.

A fragrant floral theme

With a touch of De Stijl
Each year Keukenhof choose a different theme to base some of their spring plantings on; when we visited, the topic that was chosen was ‘Dutch Design’.
Flowering bulbs of bright primary colours laid out in a bed created in a mondriaan design in the keukenhof gardens in holland
The Mondriaan design

This vibrant contemporary theme celebrated the famous Dutch artists and designers Piet Mondriaan and Gerrit Rietveld, both innovators of the De Stijl art movement in the 20th-century.

The eye-catching display unquestionably illustrated the iconic lines for which the designers were famous.

Save time arriving at Keukenhof

You’ll want to make the most of your time at Keukenhof, so why don’t you buy and print your e-ticket in advance online from the Keukenhof website. It is valid for one day, just book your timeslot and away you go.

You can also pre-book parking online.

Keukenhof, an assault on your senses

Hyacinths, tulips and daffodils
Hours will be spent winding your way around the exquisite gardens at Keukenhof; you’ll become emersed in the fragrance as you wend your way amongst the twisting pathways from one stunning floral display to another.
Stepping stones across the lake at keukenhof gardens in holland
Stepping stones

To ensure you make the most of your day at Keukenhof, bring along a picnic and eat al fresco at one of the many picnic tables in the park.

As you stroll around the many exquisite sections of Keukenhof, admiring the abundance of tulips and daffodils, and becoming entranced by the gorgeous scent of hyacinths, ensure you visit the delightful lake and wander amidst the meandering waterways.

A few interesting facts;

Every year, 7 million bulbs are planted
The park covers 32 hectares (79 acres)
800 varieties of tulips
Keukenhof features more than 20 flower shows
Keukenhof has free Wi-Fi

Climbing a Dutch windmill

Floral views to behold
During your visit to Keukenhof, ensure you pop into a few of the pavilions which are dotted around the park, as there are some beautiful flower displays inside; we especially enjoyed the orchids.
A traditional wooden Windmill reflected in a canal in the keukenhof gardens in holland
The Windmill
A close-up of a pink and white orchid in an enclosed garden in the keukenhof gardens
A orchid on display

Lastly, a trip to Keukenhof wouldn’t be complete without heading to the iconic Dutch windmill.

At this spot in Keukenhof gardens, you can hop aboard the chargeable 45-minute ‘Whisper Boat’ tour and sail amongst the vibrant bulb fields.

Horizontal bands of tulips growing in a large field, alternating from blush to lavender to pale pink and then purple all under white clouds in a blue sky
Fields of hyacinths
Ensure you head up the windmill, It’s only a couple of flights of stairs to the circular viewing platform. You’ll catch a stunning view across the far-reaching pin-striped bulb fields when you step out and wander around in one direction. On the other side of the windmill, you can admire a view across Keukenhof park.

Have You?

Always wanted to see Holland in Bloom? It really is a great way to spend a day, and why not enjoy some Dutch culture too? Have you been? What are your memories?

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