When you’re planning a trip to The Netherlands, you probably heard of visiting Keukenhof. In this article, we’ll tell you all about what makes Keukenhof the world’s most famous flower garden. And why it is a must-visit while you’re in The Netherlands.
Keukenhof is the largest flower garden in the world, with over more than 7 million flower bulbs that are planted every year. A variation of Tulips, Orchids, Roses, and many other flowers create a unique pallet of colors. Keukenhof is often reffered to as the sea of flowers. Every year Keukenhof opens its doors during the flower bloom period between April and May.
When you’re planning a visit to Keukenhof, there are a few things you’ll need to know. The yearly changing opening weeks is one of them. In this article, we tell you all the important facts about Keukenhof, let’s read on!
Keukenhof Famous Facts
70 years of Keukenhof
Keukenhof opened its doors for the first time in 1950. 2019 was the 70th edition of Keukenhof. Every year Keukenhof welcomes around 1.5 million visitors coming from all over the world.
7 million flower bulbs
Keukenhof is the largest showcase platform for the Dutch flower industry. Every year 7 million flower bulbs that bloom in the spring are planted by one-hundred different companies. These companies showcase their best products via Keukenhof. It is like a living catalog.
Keukenhof is not only one of the biggest tourist attractions of The Netherlands, but it is also an important business event for the flower growers that participate.
Fun Fact; The 7 million flower bulbs are a gift to Keukenhof from the 100 participating Dutch flower producers.
800 different Tulips
A large part of the 7 million flowers that are on display in Keukenhof is the Dutch Tulips. The most famous flower of The Netherlands. You’ll find Dutch Tulips in all kinds of variations and colors.
The renowned Tulip gardens are the most famous in Keukenhof, but you’ll also find gardens in other themes with different flowers. Each year there are seven inspirational gardens with a new theme. And there’s a Japanese garden, an English landscape garden, a historic garden, and a natural garden.
Flower shows with Royal names
The different pavilions where the flower shows in Keukenhof are hosted all named after the Dutch Royal Family.
World’s Largest Lily Show
Keukenhof also hosts the world’s largest Lily show. Which takes place during the first ten days after the yearly opening.
The gardeners from Keukenhof and tulip farmers come up with a new theme for Keukenhof every year. Last year’s themes were Flower Power (2019), Romance in Flowers (2018), Dutch Design (2017), The Golden Age (2016), Van Gogh (2015).
The Keukenhof theme of 2020 will be World of Colours, referring to the millions of yearly visitors that travel from all over the world to visit Keukenhof. Keukenhof opens in 2020 between the 21st of March – the 10th of May.
Did you know that Keukenhof employs 30 full-time gardeners year-round? They are responsible for planting flower bulbs in different designs. The planting period takes about three months of work.
History of Keukenhof
Keukenhof first opened its doors for the public in 1950, which was an outstanding success. 263.000 visitors found their way to Keukenhof in the first year. However, the history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century, when fruit and vegetables grew on the location where we find now Keukenhof gardens.
Keukenhof Castle and the castle gardens were built-in 1641. A few years later, in 1857, the castle gardens were redesigned by the famous Dutch landscape architect family Zocher. Father and Son Zocher, a famous duo who also designed the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, redesigned the Keukenhof gardens. This design is still the basis that is used today.
The Famous Dutch Tulips
Tulips and The Netherlands, they are inseparable. It is one of the famous images of Holland. When you think of The Netherlands, you think of Tulips, the color orange, windmills, walking on clogs, eating herring, cheese, and much more weird facts. But a tulip is probably the first image that you think of while thinking of The Netherlands.
The Tulip is official the national flower of The Netherlands, and we’re proud of it! But did you know tulips aren’t a Dutch invention? Tulips came to Holland in the 16th century. Sultans of the Ottoman Empire brought them on their journey to Europe. The popularity of the Tulip increased after Carolus Clusius, one of the most influential botanists of that time, wrote a book about the Tulip.
Tulip Mania – The first recorded speculative economic bubble
During the Golden Age, when the economic growth of The Netherlands was on its high, the country developed at rapid speed. Tulips became more and more popular and were often used in paintings and during festivities.
Everyone wanted to have the famous tulip bulbs. Owning tulips became a status symbol. Prices of different tulip bulbs reached extraordinary heights. Tulip bulbs were sold for around 4000 guilders (the Dutch currency before the Euro) per bulb. During that period, the yearly wage of a ordinary craftsmen was around 300 guilders!
The Tulip Mania collapsed in February 1637, after an outbreak of plague which caused labor shortage. Many tulip holders and traders went bankrupt overnight.
Visiting Flower fields
Keukenhof might be the most famous and popular flower garden in the world, in the nearby area of Keukenhof you can visit a lot of flower fields during the bloom period.
The bulb-region (in Dutch; Bollenstreek) is a region roughly between Amsterdam and The Hague, where the farmers and gardeners grow en produce their different flowers. In this region, you’ll find not only tulip fields but also various flower fields like hyacinth and roses.
Another great region to visit flower fields is the province of Flevoland. In the area, specifically Noordoostpolder, you’ll find the most tulip farms in the country.
The best time to visit the flower fields is between April and May. Most of the time midway April, the Tulips and flowers are at their best. The bloom season is roughly between the end of March and May. Visiting the sea of flowers during the bloom period is absolutely amazing. The bright colors and pleasant smell are a unique experience.
When you’re visiting the flower fields, we recommend to go early morning during sunrise, or in the evening during sunset. It is less busy, and perfect light from the sun to make the most stunning pictures.
How to reach Keukenhof
Keukenhof is located in Lisse, between Amsterdam and The Hague. Keukenhof is in the heart of Bulb-region. The famous flower garden is easy to reach by car via the A4 or A44.
From both The Hague and Amsterdam, it is around 30 minutes’ drive. However, traffic in The Netherlands can be hectic. So it is not recommended to travel during rush hour when there are a lot of traffic jams. Public transport is also a great option to reach Keukenhof. Several buses are connecting Keukenhof with the cities The Hague, Amsterdam, and Leiden.
When you’re planning a trip to Keukenhof, we recommend booking an organized tour for your visit. These tours include transport and entrance ticket, which is more convenient.
Best places to stay while visiting Keukenhof
Visiting Keukenhof takes at least a full day. When you plan an organized tour, it is recommended to stay in one of the neighboring cities, Amsterdam, The Hague, or Leiden.
Every city has its charms, and there are many accommodations to find where you’ll have a pleasant time. But I recommend you to book an accommodation in The Hague, which is for me the best city in The Netherlands! But how should I know, except for the fact that I was born in The Hague, and lived there all my life before we sold our house and started traveling 😉
When you want to visit the flower fields surrounding Keukenhof, we recommend you to book a stay in Lisse. There are many places to find via Airbnb, where you can stay in the small town or nearby towns of Lisse.
Staying here is convenient because you get the opportunity to get up early and visit the flower fields when it is not swamped with tourists visiting arriving from the cities.
Annual Flower parade (Bloemencorso)
Every year there are many related flower events organized in The Netherlands. The most famous one is the Annual Flowerparade. In Dutch, we call this event; bloemencorso.
During the flower parade, over 40 fully decorated cars and trucks follow a route between Noordwijk and Haarlem, also passing Keukenhof. The flower parade originated after the Second World War was ended. It was one of the many events where the Dutch celebrated their freedom. It started as a small event for the local community. Today it’s grown to one of the biggest festivals of The Netherlands with international fame.
In 2020 the Annual Flowerparade will be organized on the 25th of April.
What is the best time to visit Keukenhof? Keukenhof opens every year between the end of March and May. In 2020 Keukenhof opens from the 21st of March until the 10th of May. The other months of the year, Keukenhof is closed.
Where can I buy tickets for Keukenhof? You can buy tickets via the official website of Keukenhof. You can also plan an organized tour which includes transport and entrance ticket. We recommend using GetYourGuide to plan an organized trip to Keukenhof.