Are you a lover of tulips, flowers, bright colors, beautifully manicured gardens, and/or Instagrammable locations? If yes, you should really be visiting Keukenhof! Sarah’s taken a trip to see tulips at Keukenhof gardens twice already, and she’ll probably go back this year too. It’s just that beautiful and an easy day trip in the Netherlands. This post has everything you need to visit Keukenhof in 2019, plus – obviously – beautiful pictures of tulips to inspire you to go!
This post was updated in January 2019.
Keukenhof is one of the largest outdoor gardens in the world – it’s almost 80 acres – and is certainly one of the most beautiful. Keukenhof draws about 800,000 visitors during the eight weeks it’s open every year. It is located in Lisse, which is a small town between Amsterdam and Den Haag. Lisse is pretty much known for tulips as it’s also home to many tulip fields.
During our month-long stay in Rotterdam in May 2017, Sarah made a solo trip to see the tulips at the Keukenhof gardens. While Justin is always very accommodating when she stops to take (a lot of) pictures, this trip would have likely tested his patience. She took hundreds of pictures and fully enjoyed getting up close and personal with the tulips to do so. It was truly one of the most beautiful places she’d ever been. So she went back in 2018 – this time as an official Dutch resident!
Tips for visiting Keukenhof
Buy your Keukenhof tickets online to avoid lines
You can buy your Keukenhof tickets online and if you want to spend less time waiting on line and more time looking at the beautiful flowers, we recommend you do so!
Read the flower reports
In 2019, Keukenhof is open from March 21-May 19. But every year the tulips bloom at slightly different times. That’s why we keep track of what’s going on in the fields by subscribing to a weekly flower update from Tulips in Holland. If you have flexibility in when you can visit the gardens, this will be a great help. Of course your trip dates may already be set, but it’s still nice to read what you can expect.
Both times Sarah has visited Keukenhof it’s been pretty late in the season – about a week before closing. At this time, the flower fields in Lisse are empty as the tulips are typically “headed” in mid- to late-April. In 2017, the Keukenhof tulips were in full bloom and quite stunning. Only some were a little past their peak. Last year, though the whole place was still gorgeous, many more flowers were past-peak. For our Keukenhof 2019 visit, we hope to go a bit earlier in the season to see how things look different and to see some full flower fields as well.
Visit Keukenhof mid-week
We strongly recommend visiting Keukenhof on a weekday to avoid massive, soul-crushing crowds. We’ve read about going on a weekend and it sounds like a nightmare. There will always be a lot of people there since the gardens are only open for eight weeks. But if you go mid-week, you’ll definitely be able to enjoy some peaceful moments where it’s just you and the flowers, as well as better photo opportunities.
Take public transportation
You can drive to Keukenhof, but taking public transportation is quite easy. To get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam, take a train to Schiphol Airport and then hop on a bus. If you’re coming from Rotterdam, take the train to Leiden and then a bus. You can check train and bus schedules online.
The Keukenhof website offers combination tickets which include transportation and your Keukenhof ticket – it’s cheaper than what you’d pay buying them separately. Note, you can buy your combination tickets on the Keukenhof website once the gardens are open.
Accessibility at Keukenhof
Keukenhof is a very accessible attraction. Much of it is flat (like most of the Netherlands!) and most of the paths are wheelchair accessible. You can even borrow or rent a wheelchair from the park. The best thing to do in the park is stroll leisurely looking at flowers, so you can definitely go at your own pace.
Bring your own food
There are a whole bunch of food options throughout the park, but for a more economical choice, you can also bring your own food. There are plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy your meal surrounded by flowers – Keukenhof really is the perfect place for a picnic!
Bring your camera!
Because, duh! Did you know tulips came in so many different colors and shapes?!