Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is the world's largest flower garden, covering an area of 32 hectares (79 acres). It is one of the prime attractions of any trip to the Netherlands (in season). The gardens attract more than a million tourists from the Netherlands and elsewhere every year.
Keukenhof is situated on what used to be hunting grounds in the 15th-century. The nearby castle was once the residence of Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut, whose staff collected herbs for the castle's kitchen - hence the name Keukenhof, which means "Kitchen Garden" in Dutch.
The park opened in 1949 as a project by the local mayor to exhibit hybrid varieties of tulip growers from all over Europe. According to the official website for the Keukenhof Park, there are approximately 7 million flower bulbs planted annually.
The best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, depending on the weather. Late March and early April is normally the best season for the crocus and narcissus (daffodils, jonquils), which are also famous in the Netherlands.
Opening Hours & Admission
The gardens are open from late March to mid-May. Check the official website for the exact dates.
Opening hours are from 8am to 7:30pm (tickets sold until 6pm). The admission fee is 13.5 € per adult (12 € from 65 years old), or 6 € for children from 4 to 11 years old (free under 4). Parking cost an additional 6 € per vehicle.
How to get there
The gardens of Keukenhof are located in the village of Lisse, between Leiden and Haarlem. By car, take the E19 motorway from Amsterdam, The Hague or Rotterdam, until exit 4 for Lisse. Follow the N207 until the gardens. If you are coming by public transports, go to Leiden by train, then take the bus for Keukenhof in front of the station.
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