Spring in Holland only really begins when the flowers in Keukenhof are in full bloom. The beautiful flowerbeds with tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other bulbous plants are a spectacular sight and draw thousands of visitors every year.
Flowers and flower bulbs are 2 of Holland’s most famous export products. Combine the two and you get Keukenhof: a yearly flower exhibition located in Lisse, in the middle of the Bollenstreek (Dutch for: bulb region) south of Amsterdam. Keukenhof started out as an outdoor flower exhibit in 1949, which was such a great success that it grew out into a yearly recurring event. The exhibition is the ultimate must-see spring destination and every photographer’s dream.
Today the park is one of the most visited attractions in the Netherlands. Every year the park plants new flowerbeds according to a specific theme. In the past, the Brandenburg Gate, the Big Ben and the St. Basil- cathedral have all been immortalized in flowers. With the arrival of spring, approximately 7 million flowers blossom in the park. The endless variety of colours and species is truly unique; there are more than 700 species of tulips alone on display.
More than 30 different flower shows are displayed at the location. Over 600 flower growers offer their most beautiful flowers and renowned floral designers create spectacular arrangements. Each show features an impressive floral creation that highlights a specific type of flower. The show gives an overall picture of what can be done with flowers; at the end of the event, there is an award for the flower grower with the prettiest flower. The shows take place throughout the day in the various Keukenhof pavilions.
The amazing display of flowers is not confined to the Keukenhof displays. Rent a bike to explore the surrounding area. Every year in April, the Bollenstreek Flower parade (Bloemencorso) also takes place. The event counts approximately 20 floats accompanied by musical bands that follow a 40-kilometre route from Noordwijk to Haarlem. You can also visit Castle Keukenhof: this fairy-tale-like mansion is set amidst beautiful gardens and the interior is open to the public as well. At set times, the castle offers guided tours to learn more about the large collection of Japanese and Chinese porcelain and the special artwork by Nicolaes Maes.
Visitors inspired by the beautiful flowers can stop by the gift shop to purchase flower bulbs that meet the import regulations for Asia and the USA. That way you know your purchase can be safely taken home. Keukenhof is open from March through May, when the flowers are in full bloom.
Keukenhof, Keukenhof-Noord 1, Lisse, Netherlands