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Guide to Keukenhof Gardens 2014

Posted March 20, 2014 24 Comments

keukenhof panoramic

image by quantz on flickr

About Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof is the world’s largest flower garden, located in Lisse, Netherlands, about 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam city center. The park was once a hunting area, then Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut’s herb garden, after her death is was passed over to wealthy merchants who hired landscapers to intensify the beauty of the area, currently the estate is owned by a Foundation. In 1946, the mayor of Lisse at the time and prominent bulb growers held an open air flower exhibition, which since then occurs annually and has become the Keukenhof Gardens as it is today.

Keukenhof Gardens covers 80 acres of more than 7 million blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, freesia, hydrangea, gerbera, daffodils, roses, and many more spring bulbs with 15 km of pedestrian paths for visitors to fully discover the beauty of the park.

Each year the theme of Keukenhof is different, the theme of 2014 is “Holland”. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about visiting Keukenhof…

Keukenhof Gardens Calendar and Best Time to Visit

Keukenhof Gardens 2014 dates: March 20, 2014 – May 18, 2014

Opening Hours: open daily from 8am – 7:30pm (including Sundays and local holidays)

Keukenhof Prices:

  • Adults €15
  • Children (4-11 years) €7.50
  • Children (0-3 years) Free
  • Park Guide €5
  • Parking €6

Tip: Buy Keukenhof tickets online ahead of time to skip the lines.

The best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens greatly depends on the weather and what you would like to see as there are activities going on everyday which you can consult in the Keukenhof calendar. If you want to see tulips the best time is around mid-April. If you are looking to avoid the crowds then the best advice is to go early when the park opens or the hours before the park closes.

Keukenhof Gardens Location

KEUKENHOF
STATIONSWEG 166A
2161 AM LISSE
THE NETHERLANDS

Keukenhof Express – public transport

keukenhof bus

image by algenta101 on flickr

The easiest way to get to Keukenhof is by the Keukenhof Express buses which provide non-stop service. The journey takes 25-35 minutes and they leave about every 15 minutes from the following locations:

  • Schiphol Plaza – bus 858 outside of Arrival Hall 4, last bus leaves Keukenhof 7:47pm
  • Leiden Central Station – bus 854 located on town centre side, last bus leaves Keukenhof at 7:51pm

Important tip Amsterdam to Keukenhof: to get to Keukenhof from the center of Amsterdam take the Connexxion bus service 197 to Schiphol and transfer at Schiphol Plaza to the Keukenhof Express.

Price: buy ticket on the bus for €6 (one-way) or use your OV-Chipkaart public transport pass

Low cost tip: buy a Combi-ticket which includes the bus ticket and entrance fee:

Combi-ticket Prices

  • Adults €28 (from Amsterdam center) €23 (from Schiphol / Leiden / Haarlem)
  • Children (4-11 years) €12.50

Keukenhof Events:

See all events here.

Indoor flower shows

Flower growers present their flowers in unique arrangements as viewers vote on the most beautiful flower of the show.

See the shows in the following locations:

  • Oranje Nassau Pavilion – a different flower is featured every week and flower-arranging demonstrations every day
  • Willem Alexander Pavilion – more than 75,000 tulips in over 600 varieties; Lily Show (May 8-18)
  • Beatrix Pavilion – orchids

Rent a bike

rent a bike keukenhof

image by Miguel Vicente Martinez Juan on flickr

You can not cycle inside Keukenhof park itself, but you can outside of the park on 4 different routes from 5km-25km long or the more advanced “Bulb Route” which is 35km long.

You can rent a bike at the Main Entrance parking daily from 9:30am to 6pm (maximum time to reture bike: 7:30pm)

Price: €10/day (cash only)

Go on a “whisper boat” ride

keukenhof whisper boat ride

image by MissTessmacher on flickr

A boat trip around the Keukenhof bulb fields and Dutch landscape. You can rent them at the dock near the Windmill in Keukenhof park.

Duration: 50-75 min

Price: Adults – €8; Children (4-11 years) €4; Children (0-3 years) Free

Fly over Keukenhof in a DC-3 Dakota

From April 12 – May 5 you can book your flight to get a bird’s eye view of Keukenhof Gardens on a DC-3 Dakota plane.

The plane leaves from the Amsterdam Schiphol-East airport at the KLM Jet Center

Price: €125/person

Tip: Flights fill up fast so book online ahead of time.

Flower Parade

flower parade netherlands

image by Geoff Coupe on flickr

The annual Flower Parade starts on Saturday May 5, 2014 at 9am and goes until 9pm. The parade covers 40 km from Noordwijk to Haarlem.

Price: free!

Tip: The parade does not actually pass through Keukenhof but visitors will be allowed to leave the park and re-enter to see the parade. The parade will pass Keukenhof around 3:30pm.

Eating at Keukenhof

There are plenty of places to eat in Keukenhof, but like most tourist attractions, prices are not cheap. To go for a low cost trip to Keukenhof bring your own food and drink with you.

So now that you know all you need to know about visiting Keukenhof Gardens, all you need now is to book your flight to Amsterdam!