The Keukenhof Tulip Festival is one of the biggest events in the Netherlands each year. It is internationally famous, and many tourists fly in just to see the tulips bloom. But is going to the Keukenhof really worth it?
Nestled in Lisse amidst stunning tulip fields, you can find the largest flower garden in the world. Stunning displays of tulips can be found at every corner and in every color possible.
Truth to be told, the Keukenhof can be a bit touristic, and organizing a day trip can be a hassle.
I have gone to the show two years in a row, and I’ll give you my unfiltered and honest opinion about this topic. I’ll also suggest a couple of day trips that I think are great further down in this post.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- Is It Worth It Going to the Keukenhof Gardens?
- Keukenhof Tulip Festival: Pros and Cons
- What You Need to Know About the Keukenhof Gardens Before You Go
- Activities in the Keukenhof – With Map
- Perks of Booking a Day Trip to the Keukenhof Gardens
- Day Trips From Amsterdam That Are Worth The Money
- Conclusion: Is Going to the Keukenhof Worth It?
- About the Author
Is It Worth It Going to the Keukenhof Gardens?
First of all, I need to say: ” Yes, it is worth it to go to the Keukenhof.” I went twice and it has been amazing both times.
The flower displays are incredible. It was unlike anything I had seen before. All those colors! I was truly enchanted, and even my husband enjoyed the day.
But there are some downsides to visiting the Keukenhof. It is extremely touristy and crowded, which was surely a bit of a disappointment. If you visit in the evening or the morning, you can avoid the crowds a bit tho.
Another thing I did not expect was the lack of actual tulip fields. I was looking for nice picture opportunities of me walking in one of the tulip fields. However, the tulips in the Keukenhof are usually in very small gardens and they are restricted.
So, if you set your expectations right, you’ll surely love it! If you expect actual tulip fields, you might want to skip the Keukenhof Gardens.
Keukenhof Tulip Festival: Pros and Cons
❤️ Stunning Flower Displays
❤️ Plenty of Photo Opportunities
❤️ Amazing Exhibitions
❤️ Cute Cafés
❤️ Bulb Shops
❤️🩹 Touristic and Crowded
❤️🩹 No Actual Flower Fields (only outside)
❤️🩹 1 Hour Driving From Amsterdam
❤️🩹 Time Slots Need to Be Booked
What You Need to Know About the Keukenhof Gardens Before You Go
The Keukenhof Gardens, also known as the Garden of Europe, is a spectacular sight in the Netherlands. If you visit Amsterdam in Spring, this should be on your itinerary.
Set within a 79-acre park filled with millions of brightly-colored tulips, daffodils, and other flowers, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens. It is a must-see for any garden lover.
But not only garden enthusiasts will love the Keukenhof – it is an amazing place for photographers and Instagrammers as well.
The gardens are located close to Amsterdam in the town of Lisse, and are open from late March until mid-May each year. It takes about an hour to drive from Amsterdam to Lisse.
During this time, you can wander through changing seasonal displays. They feature different varieties of bulb flowers every two weeks.
There are also plenty of activities like guided tours, shopping at the souvenir shops and markets, boat trips along the canals, and more. Cute little restaurants and cafes inside the garden are the perfect spots for a break.
In addition to its beautiful blooms, Keukenhof Gardens is also home to some stunning sculptures and formations that have become iconic symbols of Dutch culture.
Especially the windmill is very beloved among tourists, although I did not find it as spectacular.
Activities in the Keukenhof – With Map
To give you a bit of an overview of what you can expect in the gardens, I have taken a picture of the map from last year. It looks pretty similar each year.
There are lots of activities you can partake in the Keukenhof Gardens:
🌷 Take a 45 minutes whisper boat trip around the Keukenhof and see the stunning flower fields outside the garden
🌷 Rent a bike at the main entrance and cycle around the garden and discover the flower bulb fields
🌷 Check out the flower show at the Oranje Nassau Pavilion, they have a different exhibition every week. These are usually the most impressive flower shows in the whole garden
🌷 The Beatrix Pavilion offers an Orchid and Anthurium show, go check it out! This place is also filled with little Instagram photo spots, so make sure to bring your phone!
🌷 The Willem Alexander Pavilion also showcases different tulips and other flowers. This is in my opinion the least impressive flower show in the garden
🌷 Check out the petting zoo and the maze
🌷 The Juliana Pavilion showcases an exhibition about the history of the tulip and the story of the black tulip
🌷 Inform about a free scavenger hunt for your children through the park
🌷 Have a coffee and a cake in one of the cafes. My favorite one is the one next to the Beatrix exhibitions because there are beautiful cherry blossoms and a lovely outside sitting area.
Perks of Booking a Day Trip to the Keukenhof Gardens
While you may be tempted to plan your trip, joining an organized day trip is a better alternative that offers more value. I have tried both of the options and I found the organized trips much more convenient. Here are some of my reasons why you should choose an organized day trip to the Keukenhof.
Firstly, an organized day trip guarantees that you will have a seamless and stress-free experience. With a pre-arranged itinerary, you won’t have to worry about transportation, tickets, or getting lost there.
The parking space in front of the Keukenhof is huge – and it certainly has its perks that a tour bus can drop you right at the entrance.
The day trip we booked included skip-the-line tickets. When we arrived there it was such a relief to just walk by all these people and go right into the garden.
Thirdly, an organized day trip offers better value for money. By booking a package tour, you can benefit from a bundle of discounts, including transportation, entrance fees, meals, and much more. These offers will save you money, meaning you can spend more on souvenirs and bulbs to take home.
Lastly, when you go by yourself you have to book a certain time slot and then stick to the pre-booked times. If you are in a traffic jam or late for other reasons, you might lose your slot.
Also keep in mind that you can combine your trip to the Keukenhof with other attractions, like the Zaanse Schans. This is a great way to see the country without much effort.
Day Trips From Amsterdam That Are Worth The Money
1. Keukenhof Ticket and Transport from Amsterdam
🥰 4,5/5 (2071 reviews)
This was the trip we took this year. It includes only the transportation to the Keukenhof from Amsterdam Centraal Station and the entrance tickets to the flower garden.
We were extremely happy with the tour, because we did not want a guided tour, but merely organized transportation and tickets. You can choose an option to have a tour guide on the bus tho.
The bus was air-conditioned and had WiFi, and you could even buy water there for the park. The journey was super comfortable and everything was seamless. There were some traffic jams in front of the park, but we still had enough time to enjoy the gardens.
I recommend taking this tour for 5,5 hours. It is enough time to explore the gardens in peace. The tour is also extremely affordable.
Always keep in mind that the weather might be crappy in Amsterdam, so I do not recommend an 8-hour trip – you might be stuck at the gardens in that case.
I love booking my trips and tours with this provider because cancellation is always free in case something comes up. This trip is my first choice when it comes to day trips to the Keukenhof from Amsterdam.
Bonus tip: make sure to actually be there 30 mins before departure time – they leave at that time towards the bus.
2. Keukenhof’s Tulips and Windmills Small-Group Tour With Lunch
🥰 4,5/5 (60 reviews)
This tour is my absolute favorite when it comes to touring the cultural highlights of the Netherlands. In only one day you can see so many of the highlights that this area has to offer.
The tour is limited to only 8 people, which I love. This gives you a chance to talk to your guide and ask all the questions you might have.
Your day will start with a visit to the Zaanse Schans. You will have a local guide that will show you around the windmills. To be fair, I found the windmills lovely, but the area was super crowded and touristy. Keep this in mind.
On this trip, you will also learn how wooden shoes and Gouda are made. And my favorite thing: you can walk inside a windmill.
The tour ends with three hours at the Keukenhof. Three hours is definitely enough to see all the attractions.
The tour takes 9 hours and Keukenhof will be the last stop on the tour. That is a great perk because it means you will have the garden almost to yourself in the evening hours.
I loved seeing all the attractions that this tour offers, so I can recommend it.
3. Private Keukenhof Tulip Fields & Flowers Sightseeing Tour From Amsterdam
🥰 5/5 (12 reviews)
This Private Keukenhof Day Trip is my favorite tour for small groups. This is for sure the most comfortable way to experience the Keukenhof and the surrounding tulip fields.
The perks of this private tour are obvious: it is extremely convenient and very relaxed. The guide will pick you up at your hotel and bring you directly to the Keukenhof. If you wish to stop at one of the magnificent tulip fields on the way to take some pictures it is no problem at all.
With this tour, you can avoid waiting times and save yourself a trip to the meeting point of the tour. Your guide can tell you all about the Netherlands, Amsterdam, and the tulip fields while you drive to the Keukenhof.
The price is a little steeper than with a public tour. However, you can split it with your friends and have a wonderful experience. I found it worth paying a bit more in exchange for privacy and convenience.
Do you need travel insurance in the Netherlands? Yes, travel insurance in the Netherlands is highly recommended. Avoid unpleasant surprises and make your vacation worry-free with EKTA. EKTA offers worldwide travel insurance with 24/7 service and no hidden fees or restrictions.
Conclusion: Is Going to the Keukenhof Worth It?
To sum it up, experiencing the Keukenhof is an amazing opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful gardens in Europe.
Each of the day trips from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof allows you to soak in a unique atmosphere. While there are a variety of activities to partake in at Keukenhof, don’t forget that you can also take a bike tour or take a cruise to truly capture some incredible memories!
Ultimately, if you want a one-of-a-kind experience then visiting
The Keukenhof is more than worth your time and money – trust me on this one! If you have your expectations set straight and are well-prepared for your trip, then you will have an unforgettable experience.
For more wonderful experiences during your trip, don’t forget to check out my blog post about three days in Amsterdam in spring!
The Keukenhof Gardens are open till 7:30 PM. You can find blooming tulips from the end of March to mid-May. I suggest visiting in the evening or early in the morning for the best experience.
No, the Keukenhof is not open in the summer. In 2023 Keukenhof will be open daily from 23 March until 14 May from 08:00 – 19:30.
I suggest planning at least 3 hours in the Keukenhof. That is enough time to stroll through the garden without a rush. You can even have a cup of coffee during that time.
The Keukenhof Gardens are about 40 km away from Amsterdam (Amsterdam Central Station) and it takes about 40 minutes to drive. Keep in mind that it is very busy in that area, so traffic jams are likely.
The best time to visit the Keukenhof is early in the morning or later in the evening. I suggest not going there around noon, since it is the busiest time.
Yes, it is worth it to go to the Keukenhof. Despite it being a bit crowded, the gardens are beautiful and something everyone will enjoy. Visit early in the morning or later in the evening for the best experience.
Day trips from Amsterdam start around EUR 40,00. Depending on how long you go or whether or not the tour is private, prices can be as high as EUR 270,00.
About the Author
Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.
She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.