This month we took a trip to the Netherlands to visit the famous Keukenhof Tulip Gardens. With spring only a few days away, we thought taking a stroll amongst seven million colorful tulips was the best way to celebrate its arrival!
A little history
The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens have a history that dates back to the 15th century with countess Jacoba van Beieren gathering fruit and vegetables for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. It was only in 1641 that the Keukenhof castle was built.
Fast forward to 1949 when a group of 20 flower bulb growers made plans to turn the estate into a spring-flowering bulbs exhibit. The gardens officially opened to the public in 1950.
Fun Fact: did you know that the famous Dutch tulips are not actually native to the Netherlands? They were imported from Turkey during the 16th century during a particular craze known as ‘Tulip Mania’.
Known as the ‘Garden of Europe’, the Keukenhof is probably the more popular tourist attraction in the Netherlands. The gardens open to the public for a few weeks every year, usually between the end of March to mid-May. The dates for 2021 have still not been confirmed.
The gardens are an impressive 32 hectares covered by over 7 million tulip bulbs. Although the tulips are the main attraction, the Keukenhof is also filled with azaleas, daffodils, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, and an indoor orchids exhibition.
The flower festival centers the exhibit around a specific theme each year. 2021 will be: “A World of Colours” and it will be the 71st year.
Within the gardens you can also find seven inspirational gardens:
- Reconnection garden
- Tropical beach garden
- Culture garden
- Green Tea garden
- Cottage garden
- Mystical garden
- Red Romance garden
Not To Miss
Make sure to make a stop at the Keukenhof Molen and explore the inside of a Dutch windmill. The viewing platform at the top will give you a stunning view of the Lisse’s tulip fields from above.
Did you know you can take a 45-minute tour of the surrounding tulip fields by boat? Sit back, relax and enjoy a tranquil boat ride whilst you learn more about the flower region.
The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens are a fantastic place for kids! You have plenty of activities to pick from between the playground and scavenger hunt to the petting zoo, and the maze, you will struggle to get them home at the end of the day.
The Keukenhof Castle originally constructed in 1641 is located close by the gardens and it is open every day for visits to its private collection and gardens.
How To Get There
The gardens are located in the town of Lisse, a small town in the Dutch countryside, making them an easy day trip from Amsterdam, Leiden, or Haarlem. The Keukenhof is easily reached by either public transport or car. Why not experience the gardens as a local and take a bike ride to get there?
You may enjoy these other garden articles from Bébé Voyage:
Loved to learn that Dutch tulips actually come from Turkey! Shows how interconnected the world is and has been for a long time. It also explains why on Iznik tiles (from Turkey) you see so many tulip patterns!