Welcome to the world of tulip mania in the Keukenhof Gardens. Enjoy endless aromatic fields of color as you walk among thousands of flowers. The incredibly colorful Keukenhof, the name meaning "kitchen garden", covers 84 acres decorated with over 800 varieties of tulips. The colors burst from lane to lane stretching out into the horizon, filling your view with delicious purples, pinks, yellows and blues. A visit to these enchanting gardens is filled with silky petals and fragrant air letting you breathe in that romantic feeling that comes with receiving the perfect bunch of flowers.
It’s all about the bulbs
Keukenhof knows how to capture your attention with its themed gardens, flower festive parades and family-friendly activities. Explore a whole spectrum of magic in bloom with new creations and formations at every turn. Each year a theme is chosen and 2018 is the year of Romance in Flowers, with famous artists and designers as source of inspiration for the flower bulb mosaic.
Keukenhof garden opens its gates on 22nd of March up till 13th of May. If you want to enjoy the early blooming snow whites, you may want to hurry. March is a good time to see crocus and daffodils. However, if you're more interested in hyacinths and tulips, then visit the garden in end of April or May to make sure you can enjoy their beauty and smell to the fullest.
Tiptoeing around the tulips
This park is made for walking and invites you to take a lazy stroll through its pollenated creations. There are even guided tours to give you a deeper insight into the park and the flowers themselves. If you want to add two wheels to your journey, you are welcome to cycle the tracks around the gardens after hiring a bike at the main entrance. Pick a distance from 3 to 21 miles and glide through the blossoming landscape.
There are over nine miles of walking tracks in the gardens so if you prefer a view with a little less legwork, then there are some great alternatives to getting around. Enjoy the serenity and scents of the area while sitting in a Whisper Boat, as you drift along the canals that wrap themselves around the fields. Each boat is electronically propelled, taking its passengers across the still waters in virtual silence. If you don’t mind a little background noise then get a bird’s eye view of the bewitching bulbs on a classic flight over the gardens. Get incredible views as the carpet of color stretches out underneath your seat. It is like seeing a patchwork quilt sway in the breeze.
© Keukenhof Holland
Flower power parades
A trip to this rainbow of petals and stalks is even that much more special when you can catch a show or the flower parade. Throughout the year there are different flower shows where over 500 growers come together and exhibit their best arrangements of all kinds of florets from roses to carnations. Once a year you can also catch the Flower Parade and witness huge, beautifully decorated floats pass through the city on their 24-mile journey.
© Keukenhof Holland
The garden varieties
With so much space, Keukenhof had the means to create a variety of inspirational gardens to get you thinking. The Amsterdam Garden has no space left untouched from balconies to the picturesque tulip water bike. Bring ideas into your kitchen at the Herb Garden or find creative ways to add character to your own green spaces at the Outlet Garden. There are sections for insects, romance and innovations where each is unique, bursting with flaming oranges and milk-touched purples.
Bringing the kids to this botanical beauty
There are a bunch of fun activities to keep the kids smiling when in tulip fields. For the youngest of the bunch there is a Miffy playhouse and playground where they can get their photo taken with Miffy and if lucky be read a story. Meet the adorable four-legged tulip residents at the petting zoo and cuddle with lambs, pot bellied pigs and baby goats, or let the kids enjoy a scavenger hunt. Just collect the free treasure hunt pack from the information desk and watch them explore the park as they learn. This is a perfect way to get the family out into the fresh air.
© Keukenhof Holland
Fun facts about our fragrant friends
Tulips have a fascinating history from being the base of an economic bubble burst to being a food staple for war-ravaged countries in the 1940s. Pocket some fun facts about the bulbs to impress your companions.
- 1634-1637 was the time of tulip mania where the want for these flowers started an economic frenzy and they became the most expensive flower in the world. They were even treated as a form of currency.
- In WWII, during the Dutch famine in 1944, some people had to resort to eating tulips and sugar beets.
- At one point during tulip mania a single Viceroy bulb was sold for eight pigs, a dozen sheep, a thousand pounds of cheese, a silver cup, four oxen, sacks of wheat and rye, a bed, clothing and two oxheads of wine.
A trip around this fantastically fragrant park is a day trip on bucket lists all across the world, so when staying at one of the Radisson Blu Hotels in the Amsterdam area, be sure not to miss it! Don’t forget to take a bunch back to the hotel too, so with each smell you can relive your wonderful day out at the tulip gardens.