About Keukenhof Tulip Gardens | The Largest Gardens in Europe
The Keukenhof Gardens are the world’s largest flower gardens. Also called the “Garden of Europe,” they cover an area of 32 hectares (79 acres). Each year during the Tulip Festival in the spring the garden witnesses the blooming of over 7 million flowers, including over 800 species of tulips. Read on to find out all you need to know about the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens.
Keukenhof Gardens Overview
The Best Tulip Garden in Amsterdam - Keukenhof Gardens
With more than seven million flowers, Keukenhof is not your regular park! Meaning ‘Kitchen Garden’ in Dutch, the 32 hectare Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam are one of the world’s largest flower gardens. The garden was opened in 1949 to display the flower produce of the Netherlands, then a fledgling industry, the country is now the world’s leading exporter of flowers.
Located in the town of Lisse in the region of Bollenstreek, a short ride of 40 minutes or less will take you to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens from Amsterdam. Open only for a short duration during spring the garden hosts exhibitions, landscaped flower beds, installations, and sculptures to showcase the best of the tulip season in Amsterdam.
Why is Keukenhof Gardens Famous?
The Keukenhof Gardens are known all over the world for their tulips. Each year, over 7 million flower bulbs are planted across the gardens' 32 acres resulting in a stunning display of spring flowers. The riotous colors created by the tulips, as well as daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations, and hyacinths is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Keukenhof also hosts an annual Tulip Festival between March and May which features flower shows, parades, musical events, and more. It attracts over a million visitors each year and is a highlight of the Dutch calendar.
History of Keukenhof Gardens in a Nutshell
- Keukenhof dates all the way back to the 15th century, when it was part of the hunting grounds and kitchen garden (which is keukenduin in Dutch), of the Countess Jacoba van Beieren at Teylingen Castle.
- The estate was purchased by a naval commander, Adriaen Maertensz Block in 1638, and he built Keukenhof Castle in 1641, whose grounds covered 200 hectares.
- In 1857, the owners of the estate Baron and Baroness Van Pallandhired landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, to redesign the castle gardens. This was done in the English style, and they still remain the foundations of Keukenhof.
- Keukenhof as you can see it today was established in 1949 by a group of flower bulb growers and exporters. It was meant to exhibit their spring-flowering bulbs.
- The garden opened its gates to the public in 1950 and was a big hit, welcoming 236,000 visitors in its first year alone.
- Over the past 72 years, Keukenhof developed into a world-famous attraction and sees millions of visitors each year.
- After being closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 will be the 73rd edition of the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens.
Keukenhof Gardens Today
Today, Keukenhof Gardens is both a tourist site and a showcase for Dutch floriculturists. Each year 100 flower bulb companies and growers (the exhibitors) display a range of the best spring-flowering bulbs in their catalogs.
The garden’s designers create special designs for each of these companies and their flowers, to best feature their colors and contrasts.
Keukenhof also serves as a nice location for artists who want to display sculptures and other works of art. This gives the park an added dimension of creativity.
Additionally, 500 flower growers also present a wide variety of cut flowers and pot plants at the many flower shows organized throughout the season.
Highlights of Keukenhof Gardens
The Tulip Gardens are the most famous attraction at Keukenhof. They are open during the Tulip Festival in the spring. Each year, over 7 million flower bulbs are planted by hand in the autumn. And in the spring over 800 different tulips come into bloom. There are also flower shows, surprising inspirational gardens, unique artwork, and other events.
Indoor Flower Shows
Once you're done walking around the tulip fields, step into the indoor pavilions brimming with flowering bulbs, cut flowers, and pot plants. Inside these pavilions, you can see over 500 growers presenting their prize blooms for leading flower arrangers to use in their unique shows. These include hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations, and irises.
It is also possible to explore Keukenhof Castle. Built in the 1600s and expanded over the years, this castle is full of interesting rooms and historic tales. Also called Kasteel Keukenhof, the entrance to the Castle estate is free (except during special events). You can also opt for a guided tour which costs around € 10.
Keukenhof Castle Gardens
Apart from the tulip gardens, Keukenhof also has a number of other gardens. These include an English landscape garden with winding paths, a walled garden with historical plants, and a Japanese Country Garden. Additionally, there are also four pavilions that feature displays and flower exhibits.
The landscaped gardens, pavilions, and exhibits are the main attractions of the Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam. But your trip needn’t end when you are done with seeing them all; you can choose to go on a boat trip through the canals that cut across the endless tulip fields surrounding the park. This 45-minute boat ride promises to be spectacular.
Keukenhof Rental Bike
Another way to explore the flower fields is to rent a bike and ride alongside the flower fields. A bike costs €15 for 3 hours or € 20 a day. You can book your bike online and get a FlowerCard with your online purchase. The FlowerCard gives you a digital magazine about the surroundings of Keukenhof, tips for the best hotspots, great discounts and much more.
The Tulip Festival in Amsterdam
24 March - 15 May 2022
The annual Tulip Festival that is held in Amsterdam during spring brightens the town with tulips in various vases and pots adorning the streets. The Tulip Festival that goes by the motto — ‘A Tulip for every citizen of Amsterdam’ — strives to protect the iconic Dutch flower that has been witnessing depleting numbers.
The annual event involves enthusiastic locals planting almost 800,000 tulips every year in during fall which end up blooming right during the festival in spring. The month-long Tulip festival hosts various enjoyable events that bring the town together. Some of which include a Carnival for children, Cruise Tours, Dutch dance workshops as well as several open-air concerts that bring life to the festival.
The Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands also organizes several flower shows during the spring season.
Inspirational Gardens at Keukenhof
If you plan to visit the Keukenhof Gardens, make sure you visit these themed inspirational gardens. Each year there are different themes depicted, and these are the themes at Keukenhof in 2022.
The Reconnection Garden is made using sustainable materials. The whole idea of it is to appreciate and give back to nature.
Tropical Beach Garden
Enjoy a tropical atmosphere under palm trees right here at the Tropical Beach Garden. This one exudes full-on beach vibes with beautiful flowerbeds, boats, hammocks, and sand. It’s the perfect place to relax and chill out with your friends or family.
Green Tea Garden
The Green Tea Garden boasts a wide range of herbs like mint, lemon balm, chamomile, aniseed, and several other plants. Sit back and enjoy a fresh cup of tea or coffee at the greenhouse inside the garden.
The Cottage Garden is the perfect spot to relax after a hectic day outdoors. Find yourself in the company of indigenous wild plants and flower bulbs right here in this garden.
Red Romance Garden
Go for a walk with your loved ones at the most romantic spot in Keukenhof – the Red Romance Garden.
Delft Blue Garden
See the best of Holland in this garden. You can walk among lots of blue and white spring flowers, water, and, of course, windmills.
Events at Keukenhof
There are a number of events that take place in the Keukenhof Gardens and the grounds of Castle Keukenhof.
- Tulip Festival - a display of spring flowers, especially tulips. In 2022 this will be from Thursday 24 March to Sunday 15 May.
- Romance at Keukenhof - this event celebrates the late spring blooms and features classical music, orchestras, and dances. It takes place during the Mother’s Day weekend. In 2022, this is on 7 and 8 May.
- Dahlia Summer Gardens - an event to celebrate the blooming of the Dahlia gardens at Keukenhof Castle. Held between 1 August and 27 October.
- Christmas Market - traditional winter market with stalls, decorations, and delicious seasonal food
Design & Landscape of the Keukenhof Gardens
The first gardens at Keukenhof were designed by landscape architects J.D. Zocher and his son. However, in 1949 a section of the gardens was repurposed to exhibit tulips and other spring flowers. In 2016, a new main entrance and gatehouse were constructed by Dutch architects Mecanoo. It features an open roof made of timber triangles that create a spacious and light atmosphere and a fence with a tulip motif.
Inside the gardens, each year seven million flower bulbs are planted across 32 hectares in new and innovative designs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Keukenhof Tulip Gardens
A. The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens are is the world’s largest flower garden. Each spring over 7 million tulip bulbs burst into bloom, along with a variety of other flowers. It also hosts several events and activities, attracting visitors from all over the world.
A. It is located around 35 km south of Amsterdam in the small town of Lisse.
A. Tickets to Keukenhof Tulip Gardens are available starting from €33.
A. Yes, a visit to the Tulip Garden is absolutely worth it. Each year, the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens is only open for 60 days, and during this time, the Keukenhof Tulip festival is held. You will be able to view 800+ different varieties of Tulips, apart from other flowers, spread over 79 hectares.
A. The gardens are open daily from 24 March 2022 to 15 May 2022, from 8 AM to 7:30 PM.
A. Yes, the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens hosts Holland’s Tulip Festival in the Netherlands during the spring.
A. The Tulip Festival will be taking place from 24 March 2022 to 15 May 2022 at the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens.