Just half an hour from Amsterdam, between Hillegom and Lisse, is located a beautiful orchard that in spring lives an explosion of colors when the flowers bloom.
A spectacular spectacle for the eyes called Keukenhof, the largest floral park in the world. Would you like to know about it?
1. The most basic option: an excursion to Keukenhof Gardens
If you have little time during your trip to Amsterdam to explore other areas of the country, you can reserve a morning or afternoon of your vacation to take this half-day excursion to Keukenhof Gardens.
With this organized excursion to Keukenhof you won't have to worry about transportation to get there as a bus will take you to the entrance of this floral paradise.
On the way you will see the breathtaking flower meadows that decorate rural Holland and the tour guide will entertain you with stories about Holland and its flowers to show you the close bond between Holland and nature - a little taste of what you will see at Keukenhof Park!
It is fortunate to have the explanations of a guide because in such a large garden (no less than 32 hectares!) it would be easy to miss some detail, but this way you make sure not only to know the history of the place, the plantation and its care but also to follow their recommendations to see absolutely everything.
What will you see on this tour?
Upon arrival, you will take a tour of the Keukenhof Park, along 9 miles of paths among millions of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses surrounded by beautiful fountains and ponds.
As a curiosity, at the entrance of the park, there is a great mosaic of tulips that, according to the guide, changes every season to surprise visitors with a new and different theme. It is beautiful and surprising to see the laborious work done by gardeners to create this ephemeral spectacle!
What does this tour include?
- Transportation by air-conditioned coach.
- Professional guide.
- Entrance and guided tour at Keukenhof Gardens.
- Live commentary on board.
- Duration: 5 hours and 30 minutes.
- Languages: English.
2. The most complete option: excursion to Keukenhof gardens and Zaanse Schans windmills
If during your trip to Amsterdam you have enough free time to see other corners of Holland, I recommend a day trip to Keukenhof Gardens and Zaanse Schans windmills.
This is a fantastic experience! Not only will you have the opportunity to see the largest floral park on the planet but also to visit Zaanse Schans, the home of the windmills.
Why I like this tour
This is a very complete activity that allows you to explore two beautiful places in rural Holland in one day, aboard a comfortable bus and accompanied by a guide.
On the one hand, you will discover one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe with more than 7 million flower bulbs and a total of 800 varieties of tulips. Amazing, isn't it? This spectacle of colors and scents in Keukenhof is fascinating.
On the other hand, you will walk through the streets of Zaanse Schans, a small village on the banks of the river Zaan famous for its windmills, a collection of more than 600 of which are still in operation! Get your camera ready because its bucolic landscape seems inspired by a fairy tale and you won't be able to stop taking pictures.
About the visit to Keukenhof
The tulip is the Dutch national flower and spring is the perfect time to enjoy the blooming of this species and other specimens for which the Netherlands is famous all over the world.
This tour starts early in the morning, with a visit to Keukenhof Park, the largest flower garden in the world, which is a spectacle of colors, scents, and shapes.
During the itinerary through its 32 hectares, you will listen to the guide's stories about the origin of this park that began as a small vegetable garden (Keukenhof means "the kitchen garden") as well as the care of the plantation and all the varieties of flowers it has.
The Keukenhof park is divided into several pavilions and gardens but among them stands out especially a great mosaic of tulips at the entrance whose theme, shape, and composition changes every season to surprise visitors. It's a wonder!
About the visit to Zaanse Schans
At the end of your visit to the Keukenhof Gardens, you will return to the coach to go to Zaanse Schans, a small village famous for its bucolic landscape full of beautiful super-photogenic windmills. If you are passionate about photography, you will enjoy this part of the tour.
In addition, during the visit to Zaanse Schans, you will make a stop on the way to enter a clog workshop where the master clog maker will show you how they are made. Along with the windmills and tulips, it is one of the icons of Holland so it is something very curious to see.
Another emblem of the Netherlands is its exquisite cheeses. If you've always wondered what the secret of their success is, during this tour, you'll go to a real farm to see firsthand how these world-famous Dutch cheeses are made. And best of all, you'll get to taste some of them! I'm telling you, you won't be able to resist eating just one piece.
What does this tour include?
- Air-conditioned coach.
- Expert guide.
- Live commentary on board.
- Entrance fee to Keukenhof Park.
- Pick up and return from designated meeting points.
- All taxes, fees, and handling charges.
- Duration: 9 hours
- Languages: Spanish
How to book the Keukenhof tour?
What was once a simple, sprawling orchard in the south of Holland is now one of the most beautiful corners of the country, attracting thousands of travelers between March and May, when the park opens its doors to visitors. Keukenhof is a special place, a sea of beautiful colorful flowers worthy of knowing and photographing.
My advice is that if you want to include the Keukenhof gardens in your trip to Amsterdam, book your ticket online as soon as possible because due to the limited time it is open during the year, many people want to access the park and tickets sell out very quickly.
What are the Keukenhof Gardens?
With more than 800,000 visitors a year, the Keukenhof Gardens have become a popular tourist destination every spring.
Located in the south of the country, in Lisse, Keukenhof was originally the kitchen garden of Countess Jacqueline de Hainaut, a place used for growing fruits and vegetables that were later used in the aristocrat's home kitchen. Hence its name means "the kitchen garden".
But don't think that this park always looked like an Eden. Things have changed a lot since then and in 1949 the mayor of the city inaugurated Keukenhof to showcase the flowers grown by local growers and help expand this industry.
Today the cultivated plants (over 7 million flower bulbs!) are no longer used in kitchens but are largely exported. Dutch tulips are famous all over the world and together with other flowers such as hyacinths, daffodils, carnations, orchids, roses, lilies, or lilies make up for a 32-hectare garden which is the largest in the world. Wow!
How is the Keukenhof park structured?
The Keukenhof gardens run along 9 miles of paths around which are diverse gardens of different floral inspiration: the English garden, the Tea garden, the Japanese country garden, the Cupid garden, the Hipster garden, the Rebel garden or the Health garden, among others.
In turn, Keukenhof Park is divided into four large areas named after the Dutch Royal Family: Oranje-Nassau Pavilion (with new floral exhibitions every week), Willem Alexander Pavilion (the largest exhibition of lilies in the world), Koningin Beatrix Pavilion (the largest exhibition of orchids in the world) and Koningin Juliana Pavilion (where the history of the tulip is shown).
Another of the most popular areas of the Keukenhof gardens is the great tulip mosaic formed with thousands of flowers whose theme changes every year to surprise visitors with a new composition.
You will be amazed by the variety of vibrant colors that carpet the grounds of Keukenhof Park as well as the aromas released by its millions of flowers. It is a unique place with a special charm!
Tips for visiting the Keukenhof Gardens
When does the Keukenhof park open?
It is open from end of March to mid-May. This is the time of the year when the flowers bloom and Keukenhof is at its most beautiful.
When to visit?
Although this park has advanced cultivation methods the course of nature depends on the weather, so if you visit too early some of the planted bulbs may not have bloomed yet. If, on the other hand, spring is already well advanced, you may find more cut stems than you would like to see.
In this sense, since the Keukenhof gardens are open to the public about eight weeks a year, my recommendation is that you look for an intermediate date in this period to be able to see the park in all its splendor.
What are the opening hours?
The Keukenhof gardens are open from 8 AM to 7:30 PM. I recommend that you reserve a place for the first tour in the morning so that you have time to stroll around the gardens in peace and quiet when there are fewer people.
What to wear?
Although you will not walk through the 32 hectares that make up the Keukenhof park, you will walk quite a bit from one side to the other so my advice is to wear comfortable shoes and comfortable clothes.
What to buy during the visit?
The Keukenhof park has the typical souvenir store to buy some souvenirs of the visit but I recommend that you first see the crafts of the pavilions where you will find artisans exhibiting their own creations with flowers. There are some amazing designs!
Is it suitable for children?
Absolutely. In addition to enjoying the colorful gardens, Keukenhof Park also has a playground, a maze, a Miffy house, and even a petting zoo - they'll have a blast!
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