Keukenhof is the world famous tulip and flower garden park – one of the most popular tourist attractions in The Netherlands, normally attracting 1.5 million visitors during springtime.
Keukenhof is the one of the largest flower gardens in the world, set in 32 hectares. The Netherlands is well-known as a leading tulip and flower producer and the gardens help showcase this reputation.
The site originates back to the 15th century, home of the Slot Teylingen (Teylingen Castle) where fruit, herbs and vegetables were grown at the Keukenduin (kitchen dunes) by Countess Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436). The name Keukenhof literally means kitchen gardens.
The Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the estate covered an impressive 200 hectares.
In 1857 the castle gardens were completely redesigned in English style by landscape architect Jan David Zocher and son Louis Paul Zocher, who also designed Vondelpark in Amsterdam.
In 1949 a group of 20 Dutch flower bulb growers came together with a plan to use the estate to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs. Subsequently, Keukenhof opened its doors for the first time in 1950 and received over 230,000 visitors in its first year.
Where is Keukenhof?
The gardens are located in the small town of Lisse about 26km south-west of Amsterdam. This is in the Bollenstreek (flower bulb-growing) area of the country in the South-Holland province.
The following map shows the location of the Keukenhof Gardens with respect to Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, Haarlem and Leiden.
Visiting the Keukenhof Gardens
The Keukenhof Gardens are beautifully landscaped and contain some 7 million flowers – all hand planted by 40 gardeners the previous October-December. Each year brings a new design layout to the park.
There are an amazing 800 varieties of tulips including some from the 16th and 17th century – when Holland went through its ‘tulip mania’ where prices for tulip bulbs reached incredible levels.
The garden also has 2,500 trees with over 100 different species. There are over 100 varieties of cherry blossoms as well.
If you are in Amsterdam or visiting the Netherlands during the spring then you really should consider making a day excursion out to the Keukenhof Gardens park.
Note, it is a springtime flower park and is only open for 2 months. The 75th edition will run from 21 March to 12 May 2024.
Keukenhof is very popular with both tourists and locals and it welcomed 1.1 million visitors in 2022. About 75% of visitors do come from abroad with the top visitor countries being Germany, USA, France and UK.
It is therefore essential to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
When is the best time to visit Keukenhof?
Many say late April is a great time to visit the gardens. At the beginning of the season you will see early bloomers such as daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses and some tulip varieties. Later in the season the larger tulips come into bloom and the trees are beautifully green.
The park is less busy if visiting before 1030 or after 1600; the least busy days are Monday to Wednesday. If sunny, the light is at its very best in the early morning or just before evening closing time.
The annual Bollenstreek Flower Parade (Bloemencorso) running from Noordwijk to Haarlem takes place on Saturday 20 April 2024. Book a VIP Flower parade and Tulip Farm ticket here
Park layout and facilities
The park has large indoor exhibition pavilions named after the Dutch royals – Willem-Alexander, Oranje-Nassau, Wilhelmina, Juliana, Beatrix and Irene.
The pavilions normally host colourful floral displays which change on a weekly basis. For example, the Beatrix pavilion is home to orchid and anthurium; the Oranje Nassau pavilion hosts flowers such as roses, chrysanthemums and daffodils.
There are 15km of walking paths around the gardens and you can easily spend the whole day exploring the park, particularly if the weather is pleasant. You can also cycle around the surrounding fields with various cycle routes ranging from 5 to 25km.
There is a traditional 19th century Dutch windmill, lots of water features and an electric boat ride (45 minutes) past the adjacent bulb fields.
The park also contains a collection of around 100 outdoor artwork sculptures in a wide variety of styles.
There is a special park guide book available for purchase for €5. You can pick up a free Keukenhof map near the entrance to guide you around the park which looks like this:
There are café/restaurant facilities at each pavilion with outdoor terrace seating. There are many benches placed throughout the park where you can sit down and take a break. Free WiFi is available.
For children there is a small petting farm (including goats, rabbits and peacocks), a Miffy (Nijntje) playground, maze and treasure hunt activity.
It is possible to purchase flower bulbs which can be shipped worldwide.
For flower and garden lovers the Keukenhof Gardens is an absolutely must-visit experience.
Opening Times & Dates
|Keukenhof is closed. It will be open between 21 March and 12 May 2024.|
Keukenhof Tickets – Admission Fees (2024 prices)
|€19 for adults, €9 for children 4-17. Free entry for children 0-3.|
The Whisper boat ride costs €10 for adults, €5 for children 4-11.
|Keukenhof, Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse, The Netherlands|
T: +31(0)252 465 555
How To Get To Keukenhof (2024)
You have the choice of guided tour, shuttle bus, public transport or car.
TOURS: The are a number of Keukenhof guided tours available. Book a 2024 Keukenhof entry + tulip farm tour here
SHUTTLE BUS: You can also book a round-trip shuttle bus from Amsterdam.
The shuttle buses depart from Amsterdam North which can be reached by free GVB ferry. You need to check-in at the ‘This Is Holland’ attraction to pick up your tickets. The coaches leave every half-hour from just outside.
The benefits of the shuttle service is that you can book a specific time-slot, unlike public transport. And the coaches are probably a bit more comfortable than the public transport buses. Book your 2024 Keukenhof entry + shuttle bus here
The following map shows the Keukenhof Express bus services run by Arriva which serve the park from various points around the region.
Amsterdam to Keukenhof
During the season, Keukenhof Express bus 852 runs daily from Europaplein bus stop (near RAI Amsterdam in the south of the city) to Keukenhof-Lisse up to 8x hourly. The journey takes about 35 minutes.
To get to Europaplein from Amsterdam Central you can take GVB Metro line 52 to Europaplein station, exit the station and walk across to the bus stop at RAI entrance C. You need to buy a separate metro ticket.
Note, on busy days there can be long queue lines waiting for the 852 bus. If you wish to avoid the queues you may want to consider taking the shuttle bus or a guided tour instead.
The Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket is valid on all public transport in the greater Amsterdam region. This would include metro travel to/from Europaplein and the 852 bus trips.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Keukenhof
Arriva Bus 858 runs daily from Schiphol Airport to Keukenhof up to 6x hourly. The bus leaves from the airport Boulevard, come out of the station hall and walk right. This journey takes about 30 minutes.
The Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket is valid on bus 858, as well as the train to Schiphol Airport from any station in Amsterdam.
Leiden, Haarlem to Keukenhof
Arriva buses run from Leiden station (bus 854) and from Haarlem station (bus 50 and at additionally weekends bus 850). There is also bus 90 which runs from Katwijk, Noordwijk or Noordwijkerhout.
Keukenhof by car
Keukenhof is accessible by car from the A4 motorway (exit Nieuw-Vennep) or the A44 motorway (exit 3, Lisse). From there just follow signs to the park. Note, traffic can be heavy in and around Lisse.
There is a large parking facility with capacity for 4,500 cars. Parking costs €6 for the day.
Last update 15 May 2023 (originally published in 2010).
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