Keukenhof is a world-renowned flower garden located in Lisse, Netherlands. It is one of the largest and most famous flower gardens in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year. Keukenhof is known for its spectacular displays of tulips, as well as other spring flowers such as daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses.

The garden covers an area of approximately 79 acres and features various themed gardens, pavilions, and winding pathways. It was first established in 1949 and has since become a symbol of the Dutch horticultural industry. Keukenhof is open to the public only during the spring season, typically from late March to mid-May, when the flowers are in full bloom.

Visitors to Keukenhof can explore the vibrant flower displays, take guided tours, participate in flower arranging demonstrations, and enjoy boat rides through the surrounding tulip fields. The garden also hosts various events and exhibitions, showcasing different aspects of horticulture and flower cultivation.

In the space of eight weeks the park demonstrates what the Dutch floricultural sector has to offer. The focus in the park is on the 7 million spring flowering bulbs, 100 flower bulb companies display their products and 500 growers present an enormous variety of cut flowers and pot plants at more than 20 flower shows.

Keukenhof is located in the heart of the Dutch flower-growing region, known as the “Bollenstreek” or “Bulb Region.” This area is famous for its production of tulips and other bulb flowers. Many visitors combine a trip to the gardens with visits to nearby flower farms and the charming towns of Lisse, Haarlem, and Amsterdam.

Keukenhof – The Park

The historic English landscape-style park dates back to 1857 and was designed by Zocher, helps highlight the flowering bulbs. Visitors can personally become acquainted with the most beautiful and best trees, shrubs, plants and cut flowers. Originally the emphasis was on flower bulbs, but Keukenhof has much more to offer.

40 Keukenhof gardeners annually plant 7 million flower bulbs. After the season is over, these are dug up enabling the cycle of autumn planting, spring flowering and summer harvesting to start anew.

To keep changing the park’s appearance, a new design is created every year. 1,600 varieties of bulbs are used of which 800 varieties of tulips. These are combined in such a manner that the park flowers for 8 weeks every spring.

The park inspires its visitors with gardens in various styles in which flower bulbs play a major role. The park features elements from an English landscape garden to a French Baroque one. Other areas of the park provide surprising vistas and exciting views, doing justice to the mature trees.

Scrubs and perennials are combined with bulb crops gone wild at the natural garden and in the Mill Forest. The historic garden focuses on heritage varieties, some of which have been cultivated for four centuries. The flowering tulips introduce visitors to the flower’s history: how it was brought from the mountains of Asia to the Netherlands.

The inspirational gardens provide visitors with ideas for their own gardens. There are a tropical and a romantic garden and thanks to the implementation of flower bulbs in all manner of planters and pots, visitors can see that every garden or balcony is suitable for their own small Keukenhof.

The various species of flowers each have their stage at one of the pavilions. For instance, the heated Beatrix pavilion is home to the orchid and anthurium shows and the air-conditioned Oranje Nassau pavilion showcases flowers including roses, chrysanthemums and daffodils. The pavilions each have their own theme determined in conjunction with the growers. The themes align with occasions that often involve flowers such as marriages, special holidays, and interior design.

There is a maze for children at Keukenhof, a playground and petting zoo as well as a Miffy-themed playground. An informative treasure hunt takes children to all the park’s prettiest places.

The windmill at Keukenhof is over a century old. It was built in Groningen in 1892 and was used as a pumping mill. In 1957 the Holland Amerika Lijn, a cruise company, purchased the windmill and donated it to Keukenhof. Keukenhof also features a wonderful sculpture collection comprising approximately 100 works in a wide variety of styles. Annually, many artists are given the opportunity to exhibit at Keukenhof.

keukenhof holland

Keukenhof’s History

The initiative for Keukenhof was taken by ten bulb growers/exporters who wanted to create a showcase for their trade. In 1949 they picked the ideal location: the gardens surrounding Keukenhof castle.

Jacoba van Beieren has been Keukenhof’s figurehead for years. During the 15th century she owned the area Keukenhof is currently situated. Back then it was unspoilt nature used for hunting and collecting herbs for the castle kitchen. This is where the name Keukenhof (kitchen gardens) comes from.

Countess Jacoba van Beieren was born in 1401 and died in 1436. She reigned over Holland, Zeeland and Hainault from 1417 to 1433. Never a dull moment is perhaps the most accurate description of this somewhat tempestuous lady’s life as she was married four times, spent a number of years imprisoned as well as being (forcibly or not) exiled to England. Warring seems to have been one of her favourite pastimes and she did not spare her former husbands in this respect. In 1433, she was forced to relinquish her counties. She withdrew from the public eye, dying aged 35 of tuberculosis at Slot Teylingen, not far from Keukenhof.

Park Map

Keukenhof Map

Facts & Figures

  • The most beautiful spring park in the world is open for 8 weeks every spring
  • In 2019, Keukenhof welcomed 1.5 million visitors of whom 80% originated abroad
  • In 2022, after two years of being closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, Keukenhof received well over 1.1 million visitors of whom 75% originated abroad.
  • The park is 32 hectares in size and the entire estate, including the castle covers some 240 hectares and features 15 listed buildings
  • 7 million bulbs showcasing over 1,600 varieties are planted annually
  • The flower bulbs are provided by 100 exhibitors: flower bulb growers and exporters
  • Annually well over 7,000 kg of annual grass seed is sown
  • The paths at Keukenhof measure 15 km in total
  • There are over 2,500 trees at Keukenhof representing over 100 species
  • There are well over 100 varieties of prunus (cherry blossoms) that bloom wonderfully
  • Keukenhof is home to approximately 100 art objects by various artists
  • The historic garden features authentic 16th and 17th-century tulip varieties that illustrate the development of 400 years of bulb growing in the Netherlands
  • Inspirational gardens provide consumers with gardening ideas and tips
  • There are a variety of bicycle tours you can take through Keukenhof’s surrounding area
  • Electrically powered boats cruise down the channels between the bulb fields around Keukenhof
  • The windmill, which dates back to 1892, has been at Keukenhof since 1957
  • Carolus Clusius brought the first tulips to the Netherlands in 1593
  • The original design for the park was created around 1865 by father and son Zocher, landscape architects from Haarlem
  • In 1949 a group of bulb growers and exporters came up with the idea to organise an exhibition to showcase the flower bulb trade

Keukenhof Frequently Asked Questions

When will Keukenhof be open in 2024?

In 2024 Keukenhof will be open daily from 21 March – 12 May

What time will Keukenhof open?

From 8 AM – 7:30 PM

When do tickets go on sale?

Tickets should be on sale from October 2023.

Keukenhof – nicko cruises

In 2023, many of our river cruise guests had the pleasure of visiting Keukenhof and in 2024, we’ll be back! We have a selection of 2024 river cruises that visit Holland and offer Keukenhof as an optional shore excursion. Our 2024 programme will launch soon, so keep checking back for updates on sailings that will offer this excursion.

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