The Keukenhof, located in the small town of Lisse in the Netherlands, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, with more than 7 million bulbs planted every year. Known as the Garden of Europe, the Keukenhof is a popular tourist destination, attracting over a million visitors each year. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at what makes the Keukenhof such a special place and why it’s worth a visit.
The Keukenhof has a long and rich history. It was originally a hunting ground for the nearby castle in the 15th century. Later, in the 17th century, the land was turned into a garden for growing vegetables and herbs for the castle’s kitchen, which is where the name Keukenhof comes from (keuken means kitchen and hof means garden in Dutch).
In the 19th century, the castle was demolished, and the Keukenhof was transformed into a landscape garden. In 1949, the mayor of Lisse came up with the idea of turning the Keukenhof into a flower exhibition to showcase the Dutch flower industry. The first Keukenhof flower exhibition was held in 1950 and has been an annual event ever since.
The Keukenhof is home to over 800 varieties of tulips, as well as a wide variety of other spring bulbs, such as daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses. The garden is divided into several sections, each with its own unique theme and design.
One of the highlights of the Keukenhof is the Tulipomania exhibit, which showcases the history of tulip cultivation in the Netherlands. Visitors can learn about the tulip’s origins in Turkey and its rise to popularity in the Netherlands in the 17th century. The exhibit also features a wide variety of tulip species, including some rare and exotic varieties.
Another must-see attraction is the Beatrix Pavilion, which houses a wide variety of orchids and other exotic plants. The pavilion is named after Queen Beatrix, who opened the Keukenhof in 1980.
In addition to the flowers, the Keukenhof offers several other attractions, including boat rides, a maze, a playground, and a petting zoo. There are also several restaurants and food stands where visitors can sample traditional Dutch cuisine.
The Keukenhof is only open for eight weeks each year, from late March to mid-May, when the flowers are in bloom. The best time to visit is usually mid-April, when the tulips are at their peak. However, the exact timing can vary depending on the weather, so it’s always a good idea to check the Keukenhof’s website for the latest information.
The Keukenhof is located about 35 kilometers southwest of Amsterdam and is easily accessible by public transportation. There are direct buses from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and from Leiden Central Station. Visitors can also take the train to Leiden and then transfer to a bus. Parking is available at the Keukenhof, but it can be crowded during peak times.
The Keukenhof is a truly unique and beautiful destination that should not be missed. Whether you’re a flower enthusiast or just looking for a beautiful place to spend a day, the Keukenhof offers something for everyone. So next time you’re in the Netherlands in the spring, be sure to add the Keukenhof to your itinerary!