Keukenhof is the home of the Netherlands’ annual flower festival and the most well known tulip festival in the world. Located just south of Amsterdam in the small town of Lisse, it’s a fun day trip from the capital for flower and garden enthusiasts.
Keukenhof has always been a dream destination for me and I was overwhelmed by the stunning flower displays when I visited in early April. Early spring sees mostly hyacinths and daffodils in flower but there were 1000s of early flowering tulips on display too.
Hyacinths are one of my favourite flowers and you can pick up their sweet smelling scent as it wafts throughout the gardens. If you love hyacinths, be sure to visit Keukenhof early in the season.
Hyacinths are great but the main attractions are the tulips gardens. There were mass displays of mixed colours and many smaller plantings too. All were beautiful.
More tulips will be in flower in the outdoor beds as the season progresses but the massive indoor tulip pavilion has every tulip colour and shape imaginable all festival long.
These feathered tulips were so pretty and one of my favourites.
You can also see the much sought after black tulip.
I was surprised to see there is also an indoor pavilion for orchids. I have never seen such variety before. If only I could grow these myself somehow.
It goes without saying I took an awful lot of photos so here are a couple more of my favourites.
How to Get There
Keukenhof is located near Lisse, not from from Amsterdam to the north and Leiden to the south. Buses run regularly from Amsterdam and Leiden or if driving there is plenty of parking at the event.
Where to Stay
I stayed in Lisse at the modern Hotel de Duif for the convenience of being able to walk to the gardens. Many visitors choose to stay in Amsterdam or Leiden and then do a day trip to Keukenhof.
When to Visit
The Keukenhof flower festival is open from the 22nd March til 20th May in 2012. Check the Keukenhof site for 2013 dates. I would recommend visiting in early April to avoid the crowds and to see the hyacinths and daffodils or late April til early May for the chance of better weather and to see more of the outdoor tulip displays. No matter when you visit there will always be 1000s of flowering bulbs throughout Holland’s Keukenhof gardens.