Keukenhof Gardens 2017: Holland’s Flower Festival

April 28, 2017

Keukenhof can confidently boast being the world’s biggest flower garden, and certainly one of the very best. Every year this serene landscape bursts into colour and life with around 7 million flower bulbs spread over 79 acres, including plenty of Holland’s famous tulips.

Each year provides a unique experience for visitors as a special theme is chosen for each spring opening, with the planting designed accordingly. This year the theme is Dutch Design, which includes a whole range of industries from graphic design to fashion.

When to go

The gardens are open from 23rd March to 21st May when the spring flowers are in full bloom. Anyone visiting the Netherlands in spring will naturally want to see plenty of tulips, so this is the time of year to go. There are events at Keukenhof throughout the season, too, so you can plan your visit to coincide with everything from concerts to kid’s activities.

14/04 – Fun for Kids

This would be a great time to go with young children, with Easter eggs hunts, falconry shows, and a whole series of fun activities from, rather unexpectedly, Shaun the Sheep!

22/04 – Flower Parade

One not to be missed – the Flower Parade is in its 70th year and features incredible floats covered in thousands of blooms representing the annual theme. The parade route goes from Noordwijk to Haarlem, and you can leave the gardens to watch it and still get back in afterwards.

06/05 – Food and Flower Festival

Perfect for food lovers, this weekend event brings together all sorts of local food and drink vendors. You can sit among the flowers any enjoy many different tasty treats. The live music only adds to this already amazing atmosphere.

What to see

Keukenhof is a big place, with plenty to see besides the beauty of the flower beds. A good way to make sure you’re not missing anything important is to take an official guided tour. The 60 minute jaunt will give you a potted history of the gardens, tell you about the theme, and go into some of the technicalities of planting.

You can also hop on a bike and explore one of the garden’s signposted cycling routes, with options ranging from 5km to 25km. If you don’t have your own, you can hire bicycles from the car park at the entrance to Keukenhof. For the less energetically inclined, a boat tour can guide you serenely around the colourful landscape, providing lots of great photo opportunities.

Find out more about the iconic tulip at the Tulip Mania exhibition in the Juliana Pavilion, and how this foreign flower came to be such a fundamental part of the nation’s identity.

How to get there

Keukenhof is conveniently situated in Lisse, near to Haarlem and Amsterdam, with fast links from the A44 motorway. There is also plentiful parking available at the gardens, making it an ideal destination when travelling to Amsterdam by ferry with a vehicle.

 

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