Keukenhof Gardens, The Famous Tulip Fields in Holland, worth it or not?

Are Keukenhof Gardens worth it?

I have to admit that Amsterdam is one my least favourite European capitals – don’t judge me! Even if I enjoyed a lot my time there (being lucky enough to experience the celebrations of the King’s Day in April dancing in the parades and wearing orange colour as everyone else!) I had an ehmmmm feeling afterwards about the city. So I was very sceptical of travelling in the Netherlands again for the Keukenhof Gardens, especially around the same time of the year as April- May happens to be the best time to see the tulips in Holland! But then I found out a bus from London to the Hague (that is very close to Lisse, the town of the gardens) and I thought, as always, why not? It is just a cheap and *quick* 11-hour bus ride hoho! Well, let’s talk about the important issue: is travelling to Keukenhof Gardens worth it or not?

red tulip Holland
you may think you can observe this creature in every garden…

The short answer is YES! The long is that it depends on your interests of course but the gardens are not only a good opportunity for interesting photos and instagrammable (I HATE this word! Who invented it?) spots. As one of the biggest gardens worldwide and an ideal home for over… 7 million bulbs (and later on… tulips!) every year this massive piece of land has lots to offer to the visitors. It is not only the colourful flowers and the amazing colour block patterns the tulips create but also the artistic exhibitions the Papillion holds every year, the windmills, the boat ride which takes you around the gardens, the knowledge-bites the attraction offers, the special events… do I have to keep writing?

tulip garden holland

If the flowers are not your cup of tea you might get bored after a while but you can always face it as a day in the park (and what an uncommon colourful tulips park!) with some additional perks included such as the history of tulips (how did they end up in Holland?!) or the art installations and the special events. Personally, I got super fascinated by the colours, the motifs and the flower “carpets” but, if you know my obsession with colours, I may not be the most objective person for this particular review! The 45-minute boat ride is also a nice experience but it comes at an extra cost unfortunately (8€ the adults price) ; it was enjoyable, relaxing and we got the chance to observe endless hectares (OK, I over-stress it here!) of the tulips fields -photo below- but some people find it too lengthy and rather boring.

tulips boat ride
millions of colourful tulips surrounding the main gardens, I personally loved them!

Ok, it sounds like a park then, how much does it cost?

The adult ticket costs 17€ online and 18€ on the door. Extra discounts may apply for groups of people but keep in mind that the parking is not free! For a not-that-cheap country (yes, Holland I am talking for you!) I found the price reasonable, considering also the thousands working hours having been spent beforehand and the detailed and thoughtful design of the gardens, the historical parts and the exhibitions. For more information and offers regarding the tickets you can have a look at the official website.

tulips fabric Netherlands
These tulips look like fabric but, guess what, they are real!!

More Practical Info

Can I visit the tulips gardens without a tour?

Absolutely! To be honest it is so easy to get there that you don’t even have to re-think about it! The tours are usually over-priced but if you feel uncomfortable without one you can opt for the combo ticket (transport + entrance) that the official website suggests which is at least 10€ cheaper than most of the usual tours! Since the gardens even provide free lockers you dont have to worry where to keep your extra stuff!

tulip patterns Holland

Fantastic! How can I get to Keukenhof Gardens DIY then?

The exact address is Stationsweg 166A , 2161 AM Lisse and I am pleasant to confirm that the public transport is excellent! From Central Amsterdam (which is is the most popular route) hop on the bus no. 397 and change at the Hoofddorp Station for the bus no. 859 that heads directly to the gardens. From Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol) even easier: just one direct bus, no. 858! Direct buses can be found also from Harlem station (No. 50)  , Leiden (No. 854), Europaplain metro station (No. 852) etc. For me, coming from the Hague (which, by the way, was much nicer than Amsterdam for me) I had to do a quick train ride to Leiden where I hopped on the before mentioned bus! No hassle!

keukenhof tulip patterns

Are the gardens open all year round?

Unfortunately (but understandable) nope. For the year 2019 the Keukenhof Gardens will be open  21/3 – 19/5 but the best period to visit them (tulips bloom guaranteed!) is roughly around 15/4 – 5/5! The latter the warmer (and tulips will reveal all of their colours and smell) but even the sunnier days can be chilly- don’t underestimate the Dutch weather in May!

colourful tulips Holland
Colour Pandaisia

Got it! But since it is open for such a short period of time, it should be very crowded, right?

That’s very true, sorry! But you can still beat the crowds! Avoid the half term, the school/ public holidays and the weekends- the golden rule for anything popular anyway! The official website suggests the visitors to pay a visit Monday till Wednesday and to arrive either very early and/or stay till the very end! We did both and it indeed got crowdy around lunchtime / afternoon but, as you can see from the photos, that random Tuesday worked really well!

keukenhof tulip decoration
These blue / purple hues… I am simply falling for them!

Should I have to queue then?

If you grab your tickets online (did I mention that each ticket gets a garden map for free?) you are likely to skip the entrance queue. However, at some iconic places for photos, in the little boats and for the windmill it may be trickier to avoid. That Tuesday we didn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for the boat ride and that was the longest queue we had to deal with the entire day- not that bad!

giant drops Keukenhof
two of the iconic sculptures in here

What kind of exhibitions / events should I expect?

Since, in fact, Keukenhof fields are an independent  platform for the Dutch floricultural sector ( practically, this means that you participate in a live exhibition of flowers from approximately 100 Dutch companies!) you can expect pretty much everything that can be related to flowers and the Dutch culture.

Clogs shoes in Keukenhof

Dutch wooden clogs

My date of visit was selected on purpose as that year some handmade flower-inspired shoes were showcased (amongst other exhibitions) so it is definitely worth checking if they present anything that could be extra special for you. For instance, this year (2019) “Flower Power” is the core theme as the gardens celebrate their 70th year anniversary and what’s better than vibes and hippies from the 70’s, connecting-people tulips, bright colours, happiness, peace, love and music?! A list for the current events can be found here. I have to admit that I am having itchy feet again!

Keukenhof Exhibition Shoes

Keukenhof Leather flower shoes
even if this type of shoes is not my favourite one to design (and currently outdated) the leather flowers technique is indeed valuable and inspiring!

Restaurants, coffee shops and souvenirs stores can be found inside the park. There are also kid-friendly activities, wheelchairs accessibility (you can even book a wheelchair in advance) and disabled toilet facilities. Overall, the Keukenhof Gardens visit is worth it 100% as it is a quite unique experience, well-priced, easy to reach and it is very unlikely that you can find larger and so well-planned gardens globally. The tulips are incredibly beautiful and you can learn a looot here; moreover, let’s admit it, you can take some fabulous photos with the tulips!

a day in tulips garden Holland
No, this is not one of them!

Have you been to the Keukenhof Gardens? What is your opinion about them? If not, would you visit this place? As always, please comment below!

Does a visit in the Keukenhof Gardens worth it?

How, when and where you can find the most beautiful tulips in Holland

 

You like my post as much as my shoes? Sharing is caring!

12 Comments

  1. Mayi Mac

    Ah, I wanted to see these lovely flowers so much. Sadly, I will be going to Amsterdam this month but won’t be able to see the flowers as I won’t be in the country anymore when Keukenhof Gardens opens. Maybe another year!

  2. Kelly

    Honestly, Amsterdam is lovely but definitely not my fave city. But I am.so glad that you enjoyed the gardens. I would love to visit even though an 11 hour bus ride seems pretty intense. Thanks for sharing because this is on my bucket list.

  3. Pia - Nextstoptbc

    The photos are awesome! I wish I’d known about this place when I was visiting Amsterdam in the beginning of May but looks like a good reason to return 🙂

  4. Carrie Ann

    Oh, your photos bring back memories! I visited the Keukenhof in late April 1998, when I was pregnant with my daughter…sometimes she looks through my old travel photos, and I tell her she was with me on that trip even though she couldn’t see anything! I definitely think it’s worth visiting. I’d actually like to go back someday. I’ll have to bring my daughter (again) so she can actually see the beautiful tulips! 😀

  5. Sharon

    So glad you figured out how to skip most of the lines. The gardens are an amazing sight. I was scheduled to visit a couple of years ago but had to postpone the trip to the fall. I did really enjoy Amsterdam but missed tulip season. Maybe another time . . .

  6. Kartha

    I love this place! I had been to Keukenhof gardens way back in 2000 and absolutely fell in love with the place so I agree with you! One of my most memorable journeys so far…

  7. Eva

    Wow, just wow! I am not a plant person, I can even make cacti die, but I just love flowers. I am so unable to take care of them, but I appreciate their colours. Those fields of colour are just beautiful! Definitely worth experiencing!

  8. Albína Mrázová

    This is actually something that has been on my bucket list for a very long time and I’m dying to go to Netherlands and see the tulip fields. Thank you for sharing this. Your pictures are making it even better!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *