The Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, NL

Open 22 March – 20 May 2012

Chopin Weekend March 24-25
Flower Parade:  21 April


Keukenhof
Stationsweg 166a; Lisse, NL
+31 (0)252 465 555
Email: info@keukenhof.nl
Web: http://www.keukenhof.nl/
All the information that you need is on the website in English. DO go to the website and read through the most frequently asked questions… there are some great answers to questions I wouldn’t had thought of asking.


Where:  Keukenhof sits between Amsterdam and The Hague in the Bulb region near the coast. If you’re close to Lisse, you’ll see signs that direct you there. The N207 is the closest main road.

Price:
Parking – 6 Euro
Adults — 14.50 Euros
Children 4-11 — 7 Euros
Children 3 and under — Free

Tickets: Avoid the lines and get your tickets online through the website or at your hotel if they are available there. Parking you can pay for either ahead of time with your ticket or when you leave via cash.

Hours: 8.00 a.m. to 19.30 p.m. daily (ticket office closes at 18.00 p.m.)


Every year there’s a different theme and completely different designs. 

Kids:  Definitely! We spent 5 hours at the gardens with 4 kids and could have easily stayed longer except that it had rained, so the playground equipment was wet. The gardens provide enough space for adventurous kids to run a little (supervised, of course), and there are a lot of little things for them to enjoy like the playground, the petting zoo, the lake with geese and ducks, the stepping stones in the lake that they can walk across, the windmill, large beanbags to lay in, and other random little things sprinkled throughout the park. My kids had a great time. The restaurants do have kids meals and there are plenty of clean bathrooms at .40 each.

Good to know:  The restaurants are good, but expensive. However, the Keukenhof does allow food to be brought in, so this is a perfect place to bring a picnic lunch (corkscrew and all) and have a wonderful picnic amidst the flowers. Really, between the gardens, the display pavillions, and the picnic ability, you really could spend all day here. And, if you didn’t read the kid blurb above, do know that bathrooms are not a problem and they are kept very clean. Just 40 cents.

Keukenhof Facts:

• Keukenhof is unique and famous throughout the world
• It is one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands and has clocked up more than 42 million visitors in the last 58 years
• It is the largest bulb flower park in the world
• It covers an area of 32 hectares
• 4.5 million tulips in 100 varieties
• It is one of the most photographed places in the world
• There are 15 kilometres of footpaths
• It is the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands – full of sculpture and interesting art displays.
• The bulbs come from 93 Official Exhibitors
• 7 million flower bulbs planted by hand
• More than 2500 trees in 87 varieties

Flowers: Not just for tulips, although you’ll see plenty of those in unimaginable varieties, you’ll see flowers you’ve never seen before. Enjoy many bulb flowers including daffodils, amaryllis, hyacinths, blue bells, and orchids. There are wild flowers in abundance and an orchid garden. Bulbs are available to buy and ship worldwide. The bulbs I bought for my neighbor bloomed beautifully and have lasted for years.  If it rains, there are plenty of indoor gardens as well with many inspirational rooms showing creative floral displays for the home.

Photographers, artists, and flower lovers will delight in the vast array of colors and styles.

When to go:  A bulb garden with spring bulbs, this garden is only open during a few weeks each year in the spring and though they plant many varieties that will not all bloom at exactly the same moment, you can plan your trip according to the seasons. If it’s a slow, cold spring, plan your trip a little later towards the end of April or May. If it’s an unusually warm spring, then go early. Of course, there are millions of beautiful flowers, so any time will be enjoyable. We saw some clusters that had already reached their prime and had been clipped. Others were still unopened buds.

Nearby Lodging

Tulip fields near the Keukenhof

Other stuff to do in the area: Beaches, The Hague, Delft, Amsterdam, Gouda, Madurodam…

Tiffsperience:

It’s Cristi Hemmelvaart in Holland and a long holiday weekend for us, so we took the two days and went to see the famous Keukenhof gardens that I’ve wanted to see since I moved here.

Even the drive there was pretty. The gardens lie in the bulb region of Holland where for miles around you drive by brilliantly striped fields of flowers.

I’m not going to ramble too much here, but these are absolutely the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen. Only open for a few short weeks each spring, this spring bulb garden has over 100 tulip varieties amidst many other bulb flowers. In fact, of 7 MILLION bulbs planted by hand here, 4.5 million of those are tulips. Amazing, huh?

We endured rain during which the restaurant was inundated with humanity to the extent of standing-room-only and no tables by the time we’d gotten our 4 trays of food. So I stood there bewildered with my 3 little girls, Tiara, and Kirk and our trays of hot food, wondering what in the world we’d do. Finally we put our trays down on an unused counter area and started to eat there. Seeing the little ones barely able to reach, one of the kind ladies working there told us to go to the wine table. So, there we ate. Standing at a small wine-covered island in the middle of the cafeteria style restaurant amidst people reaching in for wine every few moments. The little girls were finally at perfect height and I stood there holding my plate of hot chicken and rice in one hand and my fork in the other feeling quite conspicuous, but hungry enough not to care.

Umbrellas sold out in the first moments of that deluge. I didn’t bring ours. But, thankfully it passed after a while and the sun eventually shone again.

The rain on the flowers was beautiful anyway, so I was happy. Squares of tulips laid to the side in unison, beaten by the wind and rain. I was a kid in a candy store with so many beautiful flowers and camera always poised. The kids enjoyed the freedom of movement there and the frequent little attention grabbers – kids playgrounds, baby ducks, pieces of art and sculpture… there’s a great mix there.

All in all, we spent 5 hours and would have easily spent more if the playground had not been so wet. But after 5 hours, the girls were tired and needed to rest. Thankfully, our hotel had a fabulous swimming pool in which the girls all got to play. Elise could even touch the bottom with her feet at the shallow end and Arianna finally mastered swimming underwater with her eyes open all by herself – an accomplishment for which she’s quite proud.
 



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About Tiffany

I'm eclectic. Sometimes that's a good thing because I can do bits of everything. Sometimes it's aggravating because I get distracted by so many amazing things. Mostly, I love photography and family, travel and writing, cooking, reading, art, and coffee. Sundays are church days to regroup and refocus. God's in charge here.

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One Response to “The Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, NL”

  1. Keukenhof gardens April 14, 2011 5:31 am #

    In spring we have visited the garden, is just spectacular with lake, fountains and flowers everywhere. The design and the layout of the gardens serve something unique and special to see on every path, the tulips and orchid were really colorful and the daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and the other flowering trees were in full bloom. Overall I am very pleased and satisfied with the trip.

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