Day Tripping to the World’s Largest Bulbs Park in Lisse, The Netherlands
Keukenhof near Lisse is the world’s largest flower garden park. It is an easy day trip from Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, and other cities in Holland to see the tulips and other flowers.
Keukenhof in the Netherlands claims to be the world’s largest flower park. Each year, Keukenhof is open only two months in spring each year to show off the best of Dutch tulips, crocuses, narcissus (daffodils), and other bulb flowers. The park is an easy day-trip destination from Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, and most cities in Holland. It is popular with visitors of all age groups – from families with small children to tour groups of pensioners that tend to recall that the park was better on a most memorable visit x years ago.
In 2019, Keukenhof will be open from 21 March to 19 May 2019.
Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands
The variety of flowers and colors at Keukenhof are overwhelming – around 7 million flower bulbs are planted in this famous 32-ha (80-acre) garden every year. The Dutch of course know a thing or two about tulips – using a mix of early, regular, and late flowering bulbs, tulips are usually seen for most of the two-month season. Crocuses, narcissus (daffodils), and hyacinths are more prevalent early in the season when Japanese cherry blossoms can also be seen.
The main attraction of Keukenhof is obviously the flowers but the park is truly a destination for visitors of all ages. Small children will enjoy the various playgrounds while a full-scale windmill, public art and performances, as well as special displays add further entertainment to visitors of all ages.
Restaurants at Keukenhof are mostly self-service but budget conscious travelers may bring along their own picnic.
- Several Bloemencorsos (flower parade festivals) are held in the Netherlands. One of the largest is the Bollenstreek parade at the end of April from Noordwijk through the bulb region and past Keukenhof to Harlem.
Keukenhof Opening Hours
Keukenhof’s flower gardens are only open for two months in spring – end March (around the 20th) to end May. During this period, Keukenhof is open daily from 8 am to 7:30 pm. (Ticket counters close at 6 pm.)
In 2019, Keukenhof will be open from March 22 to May 19 daily from 8 am to 7:30 pm. Standard ticket prices for Keukenhof are €18 (€8 for children 4 to 11).
Skip the lines and buy tickets online from Tiqets or GetYourGuide – mobile phone or email printed tickets accepted to go directly to the entrance gate. Mobile tickets may even be bought for immediate use if the queues are long.
- The best time to visit Keukenhof depends on the weather but mid-April to early May is usually the most reliable for tulips. Weekends and school vacations are best avoided. The garden is usually quieter early morning or late afternoon than around lunch time.
Transportation to Keukenhof in the Netherlands
Getting to Keukenhof is easy by car or public transportation. It is an ideal day-trip destination from Amsterdam or even directly from Schiphol Airport. Many guided tours with option to see other sites too are available from especially Amsterdam.
By Car to Keukenhof
The easiest way to Keukenhof is by car – it is near Lisse, a small town situated in the province South Holland between Harlem and Leiden. From highway A4 use exit 4 and from highway A44 use exit 3. The route is well signposted fro Keukenhof once close to Lisse. Ample, reasonably priced parking is available.
Taxi2Airport gives online quotation for pre-booked transfers, which may be convenient and even reasonably priced for small groups.
Public Transportation to Keukenhof
Several public transportation options are available for visitors going to Keukenhof:
- From Schiphol Airport: Bus 858 goes directly to Keukenhof during the season. The bus departs from exit 4 of the arrivals hall (near Starbucks) and takes about 30 min.
- From Leiden: Bus 854 (Keukenhof Express) goes directly to Keukenhof
- From Harlem: Bus 50 pass Keukenhof
- From Lisse: Bus 57 runs to Keukenhof
- From Amsterdam: use a train to any of the above towns or enquire about direct day-trip tours by bus. Bus 197 from Amsterdam Leidseplein, Rijksmuseum and Museumplein to Schiphol Airport and then on by bus 858 is also a good option.
Combination bus and admission tickets for Keukenhof are generally available – the savings are minimal but do cut out the need for queuing multiple times. The combi ticket including bus and Keukenhof admission is around €30 from Amsterdam and €25 from Schiphol, Leiden or Haarlem.
The public transportation and Keukenhof admission ticket combination may be bought online too from Tiqets – show the bus driver the mobile ticket or email printout and go directly to the entry gate at Keukenhof. Day-trip tour buses are faster but slightly more expensive – tours are available from many nearby cities including Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.
By Bicycle to Keukenhof
Keukenhof can easily be reached on bicycle – it is a beautiful ride as Keukenhof is in the heart of Holland’s largest flower build area. Tulip fields can be seen from Keukenhof but exploring the region by bicycle is particularly pleasant – rental bicycles are available from Keukenhof. See Cycling at Keukenhof and the Tulip Fields for more details. Keukenhof admission and bike rental, or guided bike tours, are available from Ticketbar.
- Bicycles may be parked for free outside Keukenhof but may not be used inside the flower park.
Day Trips to Keukenhof from Amsterdam
Keukenhof is a very pleasant day-trip (or rushed half-day trip) from Amsterdam. Several companies will offer guided tours from Amsterdam and other Dutch cities during spring, e.g. Get Your Guide or Tiqets. These tours often call en route at the Aalsmeer flower market near Schiphol airport, which is more a very interesting display of logistics than of the flowers that are sold. Many transportation routes pass through Leiden, the birthplace of Rembrandt. Further pleasant day-trip destinations from Amsterdam include Zaanse Schans and Kinderdijk where historical working windmills can be seen year round.
Don’t miss the Alle Rembrandts (All the Rembrandts) exhibition in the Rijksmuseum from 15 February to 10 June 2019. This exhibition will for the first time ever exhibit together the Rijksmuseum entire collection of Rembrandt works including all 22 paintings, 60 drawings and more than 300 of the best Rembrandt prints.