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Keukenhof 2020: seven million tulips and other flowers

Keukenhof flower garden
On one of our visits to the Keukenhof gardens we heard a young boy exclaim, “Look ma! Fireworks made with flowers!”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Keukenhof

Keukenhof will not open at all during the 2020 season.

The Keukenhof garden — which is normally open for just eight weeks a year — was scheduled to open from March 21 through May 10. However, due to measures taken by the Dutch government in the fight against the Coronavirus, meetings of more than 3 people are forbidden. As this measure is not expected to be cancelled any time soon, Keukenhof will not open at all this year.

Visit Keukenhof Online

You can still see the millions of tulips and other flowers by paying a virtual visit to the Keukenhof YouTube channel. Like so:

A virtual visit to the Keukenhof

See the Corona Virus updates on our front page.

Keukenhof Gardens Skip-the-Line Tickets

Keukenhof 2020: 7 Million Spring Flowers
Keukenhof is open just 6 weeks: April 1 — May 10, 2020
Keukenhof 2020 Skip-the-Line Tickets
From AmsterdamSkip-the-Line Ticket + Transfer
From Schiphol AirportSkip-the-Line Ticket + Transfer
Entrance OnlySkip-the-Line Ticket

The vast majority of visitors on a day trip from Amsterdam prefer to buy a combination Amsterdam-Keukenhof transfer and skip-the-line ticket ( Most popular!)

The bus to Keukenhof leaves from behind the This is Holland attraction (next to the A’Dam Tower) — a short, free ferry ride across the River IJ at Central Station. (Tip: Come a bit early so you can enjoy what we think are Amsterdam’s best french fries at the Pont Neuf kiosk just a few steps from the ferry landing).

Hotels Near Keukenhof

In the 8 weeks a year that the Keukenhof garden is open to the public, it welcomes some 1.5 million people.

If you want to beat the crowds you should know that Keukenhof is least busy before 10:30 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. Tour buses usually arrive and leave between those times.

Therefore savvy travelers book a hotel, apartment, or bed & breakfast near Keukenhof.

See, for instance, Bed & Breakfast De Vier Seizoenen in the town of Lisse, an easy 15-20 minutes walk from the Keukenhof tulips garden.

Combine your stay with pre-purchased Skip-the-Line Keukenhof Tickets for a perfect head start.

What is Keukenhof?

Known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof is the second largest flower garden in the world. 1

Keukenhof is renowned for its splendorous displays of tulips. But you’ll also see daffodils, crocuses, narcissuses, hyacinths, and many more spring flowers — 7 million flowers, from 800 varieties!

The garden is open just eight weeks a year. Yet it remains one of the most popular day trips from Amsterdam, and one of the top excursions in the Netherlands.

Where is the Keukenhof garden

Keukenhof is located in the town of Lisse, in the province of South Holland, western Netherlands. That is 40 kilometer (25 miles) by car or coach from Amsterdam.

Surrounded by flower bulb fields, Lisse is the center of Dutch floriculture. The region — known as Duin- en Bollenstreek (Dutch for ‘Dune and Bulb Region’) — is the largest of several flower bulb districts in the Netherlands.

It is also home to the world’s largest flower auction, in Aalsmeer.

During the Spring, visitors from around the world come to see the flower fields (not just tulips, mind you), the annual flower parade, and the Keukenhof flower garden.

More about the Bollenstreek / Flower fields

Keukenhof Opening Times

The Keukenhof garden normally is open just eight weeks a year.

In 2020 Keukenhof was scheduled to open from March 21 through May 10.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, Keukenhof will not open in 2020.

Opening hours: 8:00 — 19:30 (8 a.m. — 7:30 p.m.)

Keukenhof is also open during Easter Sunday and Monday (April 12-13, 2020), King’s Day (April 27, 2020), and Liberation Day (May 5, 2020).

Keukenhof 2020 Theme

This year’s theme is ‘A World of Colors’ — celebrating the fact that people from every country and culture meet at Keukenhof to enjoy the spectacular Dutch flowers.

Best time to see the tulips at Keukenhof

Keukenhof
When visiting the Keukenhof garden keep in mind the park-like setting. Depending on the weather you’ll want to dress in layers. Photo by Cszmurlo2

Each year Keukenhof plants 7 million flower bulbs, in such as way that all visitors get to see an amazing array of flowers regardless of when they visit.

Usually the best time to see the tulips in bloom is from about mid April through the first week of May.

Much depends on the weather. If sunny and warm spring-like weather starts early enough in March — as if often does — flowers are in bloom earlier than when it has been colder.

The weather in the Netherlands is notoriously fickle, and can differ vastly from one year to the next. But the effects of global warming are much in evidence here. A mild winter (such as we’ve been having thus far in 2020) means tulips bloom early in April, or even at the end of March.

Tip: Check the weather before you go, as you may have to dress in layers. There can be quite a spread in temperatures during the course of your visit.

Our March, April, and May weather pages are updated throughout those months.

Bollenstreek: Bulb region — Flower fields

Tulip fields are concentrated in the Dutch countryside between Haarlem and Lisse. This area is known in Dutch as the Bollenstreek (bulb region).

bulb fields Netherlands
Bulb fields in the Netherlands. Well, clearly by now they’re flower fields.

Some flower fields can also be seen in the north of the province of Noord Holland, in the province of Friesland, and in the Oostpolder. But the most popular fields are those in the Bollenstreek, with the Keukenhof as its crown jewel.

Can you see the flower fields at Keukenhof?

The Keukenhof garden is bordered on one site by flower fields. There are various vantage points, including a windmill, from which to take photographs.

However, for the best views of the flower fields you will have to tour the area surrounding Keukenhof.

How much time to spend at Keukenhof

You’ll want to take your time to take it all in. The garden is 32 hectares in size. Here’s an easy way to picture that: Most sports fields are one hectare in size.

Map of Keukenhof tulip garden
[Click image to view or download a larger map] Map of Keukenhof — 32 acres of tulips and other flowers

While not everyone wants to see every single flower, the fast majority of visitors spend about 4 hours in the park.

Mind you: realize that the park includes 15 kilometers of footpaths. Even if you return to the park on another day (which many visitors do, if not the same year than the next), you can always take another route.

Keep in mind that the Keukenhof also includes various indoor flowers shows and exhibitions3, as well as a fine collection of art. There are activities and events, such as the 72st edition of popular Flower Parade (Bloemencorso) on April 13.

Keukenhof Statistics

In the 2019 season the park was open 60 days — a little over 8 weeks. During that time 1.5 million people visited the park.

Most came from the Netherlands (20%), followed by Germany, America, France, the UK and China. As in previous year, there an increasing number of children visited Keukenhof.

There were four days in which there were over 45,000 visitors. Keukenhof says they “were welcomed in a structured, smooth manner.” Gorgeous weather drew many visitors, not just to the garden but also to the surrounding flower fields.

At times, Keukenhof took to Twitter to let people know their parking lot was full:

Bloemencorso: Annual Flower Parade

The annual Bloemencorso (flower parade) — known as Bloemencorso Bollenstreek — is not the only flower pageant in the Netherlands, but is one the oldest and largest in the world.

In 2020 the 73rd edition of the parade takes place on Saturday, April 25.

Keukenhof is part of the 40 kilometer (25 miles) parade route. You will be able to see the parade when it passes the front entrance.

If you plan to visit Keukenhof on that day, make sure you arrive before 11:00 a.m. Many roads surrounding the garden are closed after that time, and the main parking lot will be inaccessible.

What does Keukenhof mean?

Literally ‘kitchen garden’. In the 15th century was a source of herbs and vegetables for the kitchen of a nearby castle.

The land was part of the large estate of Castle Teylingen.

The castle’s hunting grounds were full of dunes and untamed bushes. In the 19th century the castle’s rich merchant owners invited landscape architects J.D. and L.P. Zocher — who later also designed Amsterdam’s beautiful Vondelpark — to redesign the garden in an English landscape style. The result still forms the basis for today’s Keukenhof.

In 1949 the then mayor of Lisse, together with a number of leading flower bulb growers and exporters organized an open air flower exhibition here. The idea was to promote the region’s flower export industry. The exhibition became an annually recurring event, which continues to this day.

keukenhof flower garden posters
Some early Keukenhof flower garden exhibition posters. Detail of a commemorative poster issued for the garden’s 60th anniversary (in 2009)

Get your Skip-The-Line Keukenhof Tickets here.

Notes:

  1. The world’s largest garden is the Dubai Miracle Garden, but face it… Dubai cannot hold a candle to the Netherlands
  2. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
  3. There are over 20 of these shows, at which renowned floral designers present wonderful creations that include the best flowers contributed by some 600 flower growers.
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Category: Excursions
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Last updated: Monday, April 13, 2020 at 8:05 AM, Central European Time (CET)   
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