Keukenhof Gardens Day Trips from Amsterdam

If you are lucky enough to visit Amsterdam in spring you cannot miss the explosion of colors and scents of these unique gardens in the world.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

7 min read

Keukenhof Gardens Day Trips from Amsterdam

Keukenhof Gardens | ©Mario Gogh

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.

Keukenhof, the largest floral park in the world, is a spectacular sight to behold. Would you like to visit it?

The most basic option: excursion to Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof's blanket of colors| ©Boudewijn Huysmans
Keukenhof's blanket of colors| ©Boudewijn Huysmans

If you have little time during your trip to Amsterdam to visit other parts of the country, you can reserve a morning or afternoon of your vacation for a half-day excursion to the Keukenhof gardens.

With an organized excursion to Keukenhof you won't have to worry about finding transportation to get there, as a bus will take you to the entrance of this floral paradise.

Along the way you will see the stunning flower meadows that decorate rural Holland, and your tour guide will regale you with stories about Holland and its flowers to give you an insight into the country's close bond with nature - a little taste of what you will see at Keukenhof Park!

What will you see on this tour?

Upon arrival you will visit the Keukenhof park, along 15 kilometers 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 large mosaic of tulips that, as the guide told us, 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!

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The most complete option: tour to Keukenhof Gardens and Zaanse Schans windmills

Zaanse Schans Windmills| ©Moritz Kindler
Zaanse Schans Windmills| ©Moritz Kindler

If you have enough free time during your trip to Amsterdam to explore other parts of Holland, I recommend a day trip to Keukenhof Gardens and the windmills of Zaanse Schans.

It's 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 will allow 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 Zaan river 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 excursion begins 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.

About the Zaanse Schans tour

At the end of the visit to the Keukenhof gardens you will return to the coach to go to Zaanse Schans, a small town famous for its bucolic landscape full of beautiful windmills superfotogénicos. If you are passionate about photography, you will really 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. Together with the windmills and the tulips it is one of the icons of Holland so it is a very curious thing to see.

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How to book the Keukenhof tour?

Keukenhof Gardens| ©Nicola Pavan
Keukenhof Gardens| ©Nicola Pavan

What was once a simple orchard in the south of Holland, is now one of the most beautiful corners of the country that attracts thousands of travelers between March and May, when this 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 remains open during the year, many people want to access the park and tickets are sold out very quickly.

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What are the Keukenhof Gardens?

Tulips at Keukenhof| ©TangChi Lee
Tulips at Keukenhof| ©TangChi Lee

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 orchard of Countess Jacqueline de Hainaut, a place used for the cultivation of 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 opened 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 world famous and together with other flowers such as hyacinths, daffodils, carnations, orchids, roses, lilies and lilies make up a 32-hectare garden that is the largest in the world. Wow!

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How is the Keukenhof park structured?

The Keukenhof gardens run along 15 kilometers of paths around which there are several 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: the Oranje-Nassau pavilion (with new floral exhibitions every week), the Willem Alexander pavilion (the largest exhibition of lilies in the world), the Koningin Beatrix pavilion (the largest exhibition of orchids in the world) and the Koningin Juliana pavilion (where the history of the tulip is shown).

Another of the most popular areas of the Keukenhof gardens is the large tulip mosaic formed with thousands of flowers whose theme changes every year to surprise visitors with a new composition.

Tips for visiting Keukenhof Gardens

Flowers in Keukenhof Gardens| ©Carlos Román Ruíz
Flowers in Keukenhof Gardens| ©Carlos Román Ruíz

When is Keukenhof Park open?

It is open from the end of March to mid-May. This is the time of year when the flowers bloom and Keukenhof looks 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 a date in between 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 you to reserve a place for the first tour in the morning so you will have time to stroll in peace and quiet in the gardens 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 handicrafts 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 children's playground, a maze, a Miffy house and even a petting zoo - you'll have a blast!

If you like this tour, you might also be interested in

This excursion to Keukenhof Gardens is one of the many activities you can do during your trip to Amsterdam but there are plenty.

Traveling to the capital allows you to visit places of great interest in the Dutch countryside in the same day and even cities in Belgium, the neighboring country. Do not miss the article The best tours from Amsterdam and discover all the amazing excursions you can do on your vacation!

And if it is the first time you visit the capital and you want to know it in detail with a specialized guide so you do not miss anything of this fantastic city, I recommend you to take a look at the post The best tours of Amsterdam or Amsterdam canal cruises if you want to explore it in a different, relaxed and stylish way. You will have a great time!

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