Amsterdam trip: Keukenhof. The Garden of Europe
Keukenhof, or the Garden of Europe is known as the largest bulb garden in Europe. There are 7 millions bulb flowers, which cover 32 hectares!
Interesting facts about Keukenhof and tulips
- The Garden is open only 8 weeks during a year, from the mid or March, bid the mid of May.
- Keukenhof opened only in 1950 and had immediate success: during the opening period that year it welcomed 236,000 visitors.
- In total there are 800 varieties of tulips.
- On 23 March 2017, Keukenhof opened its gates for the 68th time. Annually the garden visit about 1 million people, 75% of which are coming abroad: France, Germany, Chine, India, United States and United Kingdom.
- “Keukenhof” translates from Dutch as “Kitchen garden“. Why is that? Its history goes back to the 15th century, when the woods of this area provided fruits, vegetables and herbs for the kitchen of Jacqueline of Bavaria’s castle.
- A group of 40 gardeners work in Keukenhof during the whole year.
- There are almost 100 Suppliers who have royal origins.
- Even though tulips tightly associate with the Netherlands, they are actually native to Central Asia and Turkey!
- Tulips were brought in Holland in the 16th century: Carolus Clusius received some tulip bulbs from Turkey and planted them in the botanical garden of the Leiden University. Since then tulips have become highly popular.
- The Netherlands produces 3 billion tulip bulbs every year. 80 % of all flower bulbs that are traded worldwide come from the Netherlands
How to get in Keukenhof
Since Keukenhof is a very popular destination for tourits, there is a lot of opportunities to get there.
- Public transport
- Guided bus excursions and tours
- By car
There’a a good option: combined tickets, which includes transport fees to and from Keukenhof + entrance ticket. It’s possible to buy tickets on the official Keukenhof website.
But, frankly speaking, we didn’t prepare to our Keukenhof trip: we didn’t have tickets and we didn’t know how to get there. We even didn’t know which day we would go there! (Everything depended on weather 😉 ) But in the morning of a day X we received an email with vouchers to Keukenhof. It gave us 4 € discount for every ticket, so we decided immediately 😀 . Company Hop-on Hop-off (vouchers were for Hop-on Hop-off) provides combi-tickets (36 €), which includes transportation to and from, plus entrance ticket. In general, it was cheaper, than buying combi-ticket on the website I mentioned earlier. We bought tickets directly in their office in Amsterdam.
Be careful, if you go to Keukenhof, ’cause the garden is very time consuming! Spare for tripping there at least the half of your day.
If you go to Keukenhof, make your timing carefully
Direct road without changes by bus takes about 45 minutes (~ 90-100 minutes to and from). Plus think about traffic jams there – you are not the only one who want to visit the unique garden 😀 . So it takes time as well.
The garden itself is 32 hectars, it is quite huge, isn’t is? It will take at least three hours to stroll through the garden and see everything. Besides, take into account, there are a lot people, so sometimes you will spend some time waiting to make a photo without people 😉
From my point of view: as you enter the garden and see all those beautiful flowers, you’ll immediately forget about counting time 😀 Be careful!
What to do in Keukenhof?
Keukenhof has utterly big area for walking.
There you will find three pavilions with flower exhibitions, and in some of them you will even be able to buy tulip bulbs, or orchids ♡
While walking through Keukenhof, pay attention to sculptures there: there are over 100 of them! On the territory of the garden there is also a windmill, from which you can observe tulip fields and take couple of photos 😉
If you are getting hungry, don’t worry! There are food pavilions where you can “fuel up” with food and cold/hot drinks and go farther to explore!
As you enter Keukenhof, don’t forget to take a free map! It will help you to navigate 😉