Europe Sightseeing Wildlife & Nature

Keukenhof: Discovering Amsterdam’s Tulips

Temperatures might still be close to freezing, but we thought now would be a great time to inspire you with some fresh travel ideas for spring. Last year, we had the pleasure of visiting the Keukenhof Botanical Gardens. It is situated in Lisse, just outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Also known as the Garden of Europe, this magical place may be one of the most spectacular things we have ever seen. One of the world’s largest flower gardens, it boasts over seven million individual tulip bulbs.

History…

The history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century when it was the site of the Keukenhof Castle. The park as we see it now however, was founded in 1950 when a group of flower bulb growers came together to turn the estate into a spring park with early flowering plants. It was an instant success, over 230,000 visitors came in that first year. This has now grown, and during the 8 weeks that Keukenhof is open, it expects upwards of 800,000 visitors through its gates.

In 2018…

This year, the gardens are open from 22 March until 13 May. This short window of opportunity ensures that visitors can experience the tulips in all their glory. The theme changes annually, and the 2018 theme is Romance in Flowers. The park is split into different areas, so plan to spend at least four hours meandering through the gardens. Some have a more natural layout, with small cascading streams running through them. Others are sprawling fields of vibrant colours. There is the iconic Dutch windmill which makes the perfect picture for your Instagram feed. The indoor areas host over 100 suppliers who sell different species of tulips and complementary flowers. Don’t miss the annually changing tulip mosaic, which features over 50,000 tulips.

Getting There…

Depending on where you’re based, we found the easiest way to get there was by shuttle bus from Schipol Airport. We bought our Keukenhof entry ticket there too; the price was €24 per person. There is a dedicated and very well organised bus service which runs continuously between the airport and the gardens. The bus fills up, then leaves. We had to wait for the third bus due to the length of the queue, but it took no more than 20 minutes of standing around. Getting back to the airport was just as easy. If you do have your own car, there are large car parks available at the site but they can be very busy. In true Dutch style, you can make like a local and jump on your bike. Cycling from Amsterdam city to Keukenhof will take close to two hours for most people.

 

Are you inspired? Amsterdam is an easy hop from anywhere in the UK or Europe. It represents good value for money, making it a perfect city break destination. Check out available hotels at Booking.com or look for free places to stay by signing up to Couchsurfing. Happy travelling! 

 

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