Who can name the flower that is most typical for the Netherlands? Of course… the tulips. Visiting Keukenhof and the Tulip fields was on my bucket list for a while. Last year I could not see it as I was in Japan around that time. This year I had one weekend off work and decided to go!
These flowers bloom for a certain period each year, depending on the weather, usually going from the last week of March to mid May.
Keukenhof looks like an amusement park for flower lovers. The entrance is 18 euros per adult, and parking is 6 euros, but it is definitely worthy if you enjoy pretty gardens and flowers.
It is only open from the time the plants bloom, so check their site for the yearly dates. Usually it starts nd of March til mid May; Don’t come too early as the flowers might not yet be open. Besttime is to come mid and end of April. The park is open from 08:00 – 19:30. The ticket office is open from 08:00 – 18:00.
Keukenhof is about 32 hectares. But besides the spacious gardens of flowers you can enjoy some spectacular flower shows like flower arranging and unique flower art displays and wonderful events in the several pavilions.
Every year they also have a special theme they work around. The 2018 one was “Romance in flowers”.
There are many restaurants and coffee spots in the park. You can also enjoy some smoothies or the typical caramelized ‘stroopwafels’ cookies from the Netherlands.
The park is great for children and if you want to take your dog with you, you can!
Just don’t forget to get a free park map when you enter!
Ofcourse the tulips are the main attractions. There are about 800 types of tulips in the park. Maybe a full 85% of all of that were displayed (and that I manage to actually see) I have neveeer seen them in my life. And they all were so unique and cool looking.
Check out the photos for a glimpse.
Pro tip visiting Keukenhof:
You can explore the fields first and then enter the park. Or visit Keukenhof park as early as possible and then head to the fields.
It can get SOO crowded that you can’t even move properly or even take normal photos. Especially during weekends you will find yourself lost in the mass (we went on a saturday so we experienced this first hand)
Come early, before 10:30, or in the late afternoon and stay until closing time. The last hour before closing it was so calm, it almost seemed the park was entirely for the couple of people who stayed. You don’t have to worry about getting dark, as around this time the sun goes down after 8 pm already.
pssst: the photos with me in it or no people around were all taken around closing time.
Tulip fields in Lisse
If you are not so found of parks and gardens, you can skip visiting Keukenhof and head directly to the FREE tulip fields.
Rent a Bike
The best way exploring the tulip fields is by far doing it in Dutch style: by bike.
Just a few meters from the main entrance of Keukenhof you can find Rent a Bike Van Dam. Get in queue for buying tickets. It costs € 10 per day and you will get a map with 3 or 4 routes you can follow along the fields. So depending on how many time you have you could go bike for 1, 2 up to 4 hours around the bulb region.
They are open from 9:30 to 19:00. So be sure to be back at 19:00 the latest!
As we only had little time left and the weather that day was a bit rainy and chilly, so we choose to do the purple route, which was the shortest ( and according the people working there the one with the prettiest flower blooming).
Next time I will make sure to come back on a sunny day, skipping visiting Keukenhof and rent the bike for the full day so I can explore more tulip fields!
A big reminder: the fields are actually all farmer terrain. They don’t plant the tulips for tourists (that is what Keukenhof does), they plant it because it is their business to sell the bulbs.
They have signs everywhere that it is not allowed to enter the fields, but people do it anyway. So if you see those signs try to stay in the beginning, don’t go in to deep in the fields. And if there are restriction signs that you can not enter the area, then don’t!
You can always ask the farmers politely if you can take some photos in their fields if you see them working.