Considering a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens but unsure if it is as captivating as promised or all hype? This is a common dilemma for many potential visitors.
As a Dutchman living near the Keukenhof and having visited it numerous times, I can tell you what to expect in The Keukenhof, when to see the Keukenhof, or when you should enjoy our blooming tulips somewhere else in The Netherlands.
So, let’s explore together what Keukenhof truly offers, helping you make an informed decision.
The Keukenhof is worth visiting because it offers a spectacular display and variety of 7-8 million blooming flowers and blossoming trees like nowhere else in the world. The vibrant colors and beautiful landscaping provide visitors with unique photographic opportunities.
Every year, the Keukenhof is only open for 7-8 weeks, but around 1.4 million tourists visit the Keukenhof annually in those few weeks. That makes the Keukenhof the most popular tourist destination in the Netherlands during spring.
Tulips are among the most famous Dutch icons, and we are proud of our colorful nation at that time of year.
There is no better place to enjoy The Netherlands and our tulips than in those beautiful spring weeks in the Keukenhof.
Best Trip to the Keukenhof
The Keukenhof is the most popular tourist attraction in The Netherlands during the 7-8 weeks it opens annually. As a result, entry tickets for the Keukenhof rapidly sell out, and you should book well in advance.
I recommend booking an entry ticket with transportation if you have not come to the Netherlands in your car.
There is enough (paid) parking space next to the Keukenhof entrance for those who come in their car.
The Keukenhof is so popular that it can become quite crowded. For example, I was there in April 2023 on a beautiful sunny Sunday with more than ±50.000 other tulip enthusiasts, which was too much.
The Keukenhof is open every day of the week, but Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are the quietest days to visit the Keukenhof.
The Keukenhof opening hours are from 8:00 to 19:30 hours, and I recommend booking as early a time slot as possible for you.
Keukenhof opening 2024
The Keukenhof only opens eight weeks every year.
In 2024, the Keukhof will be open from Thursday, March 21, until Sunday, May 12, every day from 8:00-19:30 hours.
Check the Keukenhof website for more details.
Best Period To visitMay 12kenhof In 2024
The early bloomers are the crocuses, daffodils, and hyacinths that will start blooming in early spring, around mid-March. Consequently, the Keukenhof opens every year around the middle of March.
The Keukenhof will be open from March 21 until May 12, 2024.
However, the majority of flowers at the Keukenhof are tulips. The tulips blossom from March to May but are at their prettiest at the end of April or the beginning of May.
The best period to visit the Keukenhof in 2024 is from mid-April to mid-May.
You may want to combine a visit to the Keukenhof with a visit to the flower parade in this area, one of the Netherlands’s largest and best flower parades.
Reasons to Visit the Keukenhof
Spectacular Display of Flowers
Keukenhof is home to more than seven million tulips, creating a breathtaking sea of color during the spring bloom. There is no other place in The Netherlands where so many blooming flowers are concentrated in such a small area.
If you are only staying for a few days in The Netherlands, the Keukenhof is the place to go and enjoy our blooming flowers because it is one of the best possible day trips in The Netherlands.
Variety of Flowers
Besides tulips, Keukenhof showcases a variety of other flowers, such as tulips, crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, and lilies, adding to its floral diversity.
The gardeners of the Keukenhof plant the bulbs in the so-called lasagne method to ensure an ongoing wide variety of flowers throughout spring. Late-bloomers’ bulbs (like tulips) are planted the deepest with a layer of earth on top of them.
Mid-bloomers are then planted on top of the late-bloomers, with another layer of ground on top of these bulbs. Finally, bulbs of early bloomers (like crocuses) are grown on these other two bulbs.
This is the secret trick of the Keukenhof gardeners to ensure a wide variety of blooming flowers throughout the opening of the Keukenhof.
The vibrant colors and beautiful scenery make Keukenhof a paradise for amateur or professional photographers.
Honestly, I have never seen this many people taking selfies or pictures of each other and sending them back home to their family and friends.
Keukenhof’s design is a work of art featuring tranquil ponds, tree-lined paths, and well-manicured lawns. The Keukenhof is a spectacular sight, and you should take advantage of the opportunity.
The garden is renowned for its innovative and artistic flower arrangements, often presenting unique themes each year.
Pavilions and Exhibitions
Keukenhof hosts various exhibitions in its pavilions, showcasing flower art and offering insight into the horticultural industry.
The flower art is quite varied, and it is pleasant to walk into a pavilion because you realize there is even more to enjoy in the Keukenhof after all the beauty outside.
Keukenhof is easily accessible from major Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, making it a convenient day trip for tourists. The Keukenhof is located just above Leiden.
The Keukenhof is only 32 km (20 mi) away from the center of Amsterdam and 30 km (18.5 mi) from the center of The Hague.
Things To Do Around The Keukenhof
Flower parade: In flower parades, large wagons or boats are beautifully decorated with flowers for a festive parade. Each flower parade has its character, charm, and annual theme.
Many cities and regions in the Netherlands hold flower parades every year. However, the largest flower parade in The Netherlands is the flower parade of the area around the Keukenhof.
Bike Rentals: Keukenhof is in Lisse, known for its beautiful flower fields. Rent a bike and extend your floral tour beyond the park.
Windmill and Boat Tours: The garden’s windmill offers panoramic views of the area, and boat tours on the nearby canals provide a different perspective of the Dutch landscape.
The biggest disadvantage of going to the Keukenhof is that it can be very crowded, sometimes even extremely crowded. That means long waiting lines to take that perfect shot and get coffee.
Fortunately, there are other ways to enjoy tulips in The Netherlands and alternatives, such as tulip tours in countryside tulip regions in The Netherlands.
An overview of these other tulip regions in The Netherlands is provided somewhere else on this website.
Tip: the countryside region around the Keukenhof is the most crowded tulip region in The Netherlands, but fortunately, other more quiet Dutch tulip regions also exist.