Netherlands

When is the best time to visit Keukenhof?

image

image

Orange Nassau

'Van Gogh' at work

‘Van Gogh’ at work

image

Vincent Van Gogh self-potraits

Vincent Van Gogh self-potraits

What does one of the greatest painters of the 19th century have to do with flowers?

Everything,..if you are headed to Keukenhof.

This year, the biggest spring garden in the world is themed on Vincent Van Gogh, the famous post-impressionist dutch painter who lived and died in the 1800s. There is a flower bulb mosaic in his honor as well as shows displaying wonderful combinations of thousands of tulips and his paintings.

We’ve come to Keukenhof on the second day of it opening and the weather is not co-operating. It drizzles most of the time with a cold gale of wind whipping about mercilessly; a reminder that though spring is around the corner, instead of doing a dash, it’s hobbling in uncertain steps and stops, with the sun peeking out from the thick grey clouds in a fetching game of ‘hide-and-seek’. Most of the tulips across the fields are simply sprouting.

image

The cleaning lady at the toilets is cheerful, breaking into smiles and similes.

“You shouldn’t have come now,” she sagely states, “It’s not so beautiful, the bulbs are just coming out of the ground like they were placed in yesterday. You should come in April!”

I nod in agreement, as she volunteers where she is from and I where I am from, but we are here and might as well enjoy the day.

What is Keukenhof?

Keukenhof means ‘kitchen garden’, and first opened its gates to the public in 1950. Located in Lisse, a village just a short distance from Schipol Airport, it is the annual international showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector. The emphasis is on tulips and over 100 participating flower companies display their living catalogue of various types of flora, numbering up to seven million spring-flowering bulbs.

Entrance to Keukenhof flower park at Lisse.

Entrance to Keukenhof flower park at Lisse.

How do you get there?

The easiest and cheapest way is to get to Schipol Airport and take the Keukenhof Express bus.

When is the best time to visit?

Keukenhof is open for eight weeks from 20th March to the 17th of May. The most ideal time to visit would be mid-April when the flowers are in full bloom.

If you are on the look-out for special events, I would suggest the following dates:

28/03/2015 – 29/03/2015
Weekend of the marching bands

03/04/2015 – 06/04/2015
Dutch Heritage Weekend

11/04/2015 – 12/04/2015
Girlfriends’ Days

17/04/2015 – 19/04/2015
Keukenhof Flower Market

25/04/2015
Flower Parade

27/04/2015
Kingsday at Keukenhof

29/04/2015 – 03/05/2015
Keukenhof Art Square

02/05/2015 – 03/05/2015
Family weekend

09/05/2015 – 10/05/2015
Romance at Keukenhof

14/05/2015 – 17/05/2015
Shanty choirs festival

image

Schipol Airport, Amsterdam

image

image

image

image

How much does it cost?

It really depends on whether you’d like to go on a tour or on your own; while going by tour is better in that you don’t miss anything, you are bound by time and it is pricier. If you set out on your own,  you can stroll in the park at your leisure. Keep in mind that Keukenhof is open from 08.00 – 19.30 hrs. The ticket office is open from 08.00 – 18.00 hrs.

image

Can I come with kids?

By all means, let the kids tag along. There is a playground for them when you need to take a break. As well, there are an abundance of eating places.

image

Animal pen

Animal pen

image

image

imageimage

image

Is it easy to navigate?

Yes it is! There are maps and signs everywhere. I like the signs which are scripted after the names of the Dutch Royal family and The House of Orange-Nassau.

image

You can buy your tickets here.

 

 

 

 

 

8 replies »

  1. I have seriously been dreaming of going for YEARS! Every year, I think of it when it’s too late!
    Though you’ve now reminded me on time, I won’t be able to go. I think I’ll have to bookmark it in my agenda for 2016!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand..this was my first time in years! Last year wanted to go on the last day in May but was discouraged by a friend who said everything was dead and they were just clearing up! Great that you have it bookmarked for 2016!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s