Keukenhof 2024: essential information for your day out

You know it’s spring when flower buds start to appear, stems start peeping out from their winter beds and colourful petals are blooming here, there and everywhere.  

And there’s no better place to realise that spring has arrived than at the beautiful gardens of Keukenhof 2024.

A visit here is a perfect day trip if you’re in the Netherlands. It’s a popular attraction that you should definitely put on your sightseeing list and the best place to visit if you love flowers.

Read on for essential information on visiting Keukenhof 2024.

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What is Keukenhof?

Colourful flowers along the river bank at Keukenhof

Keukenhof is a flower garden in the Netherlands.  But it’s not just your average garden.

Known as the ‘Garden of Europe’, it’s not hard to see why. 

Covering more than 30 acres (it’s really more of a flower park than garden given its size), and with an estimated 7 million flower bulbs that will bloom, Keukenhof is an incredible sight.

It’s essentially a flower festival and one of the most popular attractions in the the Netherlands.

The garden is open daily to the public for several weeks a year during the spring.

Keukenhof 2024 runs from 21 March to 12 May 2024

Where are the Keukenhof Gardens?

A small hut in the garden at Keukenhof

The famous garden is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam in the town of Lisse.  

And because the Netherlands is a small country, this means that it’s easy to combine a short break to the country with a day or afternoon visit to the Keukenhof Gardens.

You can explore the day trips you can take to the gardens here.

We combined our visit with an overnight trip to Leiden. This is only a 25-minute bus ride away. Its proximity meant we had a lovely weekend combining a visit to Keukenhof with exploring the city, including a sightseeing trip on the canals.

Other nearby places if you want to combine a trip to the Netherlands with a visit to Keukenhof 2022 include Haarlem (20 km away), The Hague (33 km away), Amsterdam (43 km away), and Delft (49 km away).

Amsterdam Schipol Airport is also close by. During the festival, a special bus (the number 858) will run that will take you from the airport to the garden.

Why visit Keukenhof 2024?

Flower beds at Keukenhof

Keukenhof is a wonderful place if you love flowers. With an estimated 7 million bulbs that will bloom, you won’t feel shortchanged.

Every year, over a million people visit Keukenhof, making it a key tourist destination in the Netherlands.

You can book a guided tour here.

Here’s why I think you should consider visiting Keukenhof 2024.

The gardens

The Keukenhof gardens are beautiful. Really beautiful. Visit and you’ll lose track of the number of immaculately tended flower beds you walk past. 

This is one of the first things that struck me – how neat, tidy and ordered most of the garden is.  The flowers have mostly been planted into beds and follow a set pattern and route. The upkeep of these must be phenomenal. 

The flower beds are of all shapes, sizes and colours – long narrow strips, wide sweeping displays, circles of flowers linking to yet more circles, long swathes following the river bank…

The colours

The brilliant and vibrant colours you will see while visiting Keukenhof 2024 is part of the appeal.

There are reds, yellows, pinks, purples, oranges and whites, along with whole patches of beautifully striped flowers. It really is a burst of spring time from all angles.

Some of the striped flower beds at Keukenhof

The flowers

As well as crocuses, hyacinths, and daffodils, a large proportion of the flowers when we visited were tulips. This is hardly surprising given we were in the Netherlands and it’s tulip season! But what surprised me was just how many varieties of tulips there are.  

To name just a few, we saw “Black Hero”, “Purple Prince”, “Double Flag”, “Angelique” , “Spryng Break” and “Yellow Pompenette”. The list went on… (having read up on tulips since coming back, there are apparently 75 varieties).  

White crocuses
Coloured tulips

So if you’re a lover of flowers, this place is for you.  

Although note that very little of the garden is wild. So if you are looking for wild flowers, you unfortunately won’t find many here.

Is a visit to Keukenhof 2024 just about the flowers?

Keukenhof is, above all else, a garden. As a result, the primary appeal for most tourists to Keukenhof will be to stroll around the garden and see all of the lovely flowers blooming.

But there’s much more tucked away than meets the eye.

The atmosphere

The first thing that strikes you when you go to the Keukenhof Gardens is the festive atmosphere. On the day we visited, a brass band marched throughout Keukenhof park playing music.

There are also various spots around the garden with other music playing (including a fairground type organ slightly incongruously belting out Ed Sheeran!). 

In the main hall by the entrance, we also saw a folk ensemble performing and dancing (I chuckled when I realised they were singing “Tulips from Amsterdam,” – it was a little cheesy, but perfectly in keeping with the sunny spring time day out we were having.)

The canal, windmill and animals

The windmill at Keukenhof

If you fancy a break from walking around the garden, you can take a boat trip on a canal.

There’s also a windmill for you to climb. The views from the top of this out across the flower fields are wonderful.

And for children visiting Keukenhof there’s a playground and a petting zoo.

Keukenhof Castle

Another attraction in Lisse, but literally just a stone’s throw from the gardens, is the 17th century Keukenhof Castle.

The striking building houses a variety of art collections which you can visit as part of a guided tour.

You can also visit the castle gardens, and it is free to do this. The gardens are landscaped with a terraced section and sculpture garden.

The castle at Keukenhof

The river and streams

The gardens at Keukenhof are a peaceful location to walk about at your own leisure. It has a tiny river running through it with a fountain….

The stream running through the Keukenhof Gardens
A fountain in the lake at Keukenhof Gardens

…..for a bit of fun try out the stepping stones. 

People walking across the stepping stones in the river at Keukenhof

There are also little streams and waterfalls tucked away, and a variety of spots where you can sit and take in the lovely surroundings.  

And there is also a scattering of greenhouses where you can look at further varieties of flowers. These include some of the more exotic and delicate ones that need to be housed indoors. 

If you’re in need of a pitstop and a bit of rest and relaxation, there are several cafes to stop in and gorge on some tea and cake.

So there’s all sorts of other things to see and do here – not just flowers. There’s definitely something for everyone.  

What is there for children at Keukenhof 2024?

Adults will undoubtedly be delighted by the flowers. However, youngsters will find a lot to appreciate as well.

There is a playground and a small petting zoo. When we visited there were goats, sheep, rabbits, a pig and a large majestic peacock strutting its stuff. 

Children will also undoubtedly love climbing the windmill and having the chance to ride a boat on the canal. 

When can I visit Keukenhof 2024?

Keukenhof 2024 opens on 21 March. It runs until 12 May.

What is the best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens?

Between March and May, you’re likely to experience relatively pleasant spring-like days. The temperatures probably won’t be overly warm, especially at the start of the period, but it’s very possible to have clear bright and sunny days, perfect for a wander through a flower garden.

In terms of the flowers, when you visit might depend on what you want to see. Lots of flowers will be blooming at the start of the festival (we can vouch for that!). However, according to the Keukenhof website, if you want to see the larger tulips and flowers in full bloom, then it’s best to plan to visit later in the season.

And if you visit on Saturday 20th April, you will get to witness the famous Bloemencorso Bollenstreek Flower Parade that will go through the gardens during the mid afternoon.

Will the flowers be out if I visit Keukenhof 2024 early in the season?

We visited Keukenhof towards the end of March, during the season’s early days. There were plenty of flowers when we were there, including crocuses, tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.

It is true that we did find that there were some beds that were quite sparse and some with only a small sign of life from the tulip bulbs.  

We were advised, however, that this might happen throughout the season. Because different blooms open at various times throughout the season, there will always be some (many!) to see, as well as some beds that are yet to bloom or that have already blossomed.

With over 7 million bulbs planted in the gardens every year, there will be something for everyone, regardless of when you visit.

What are the opening times for Keukenhof 2024?

Opening hours are 8 am until 7.30 pm.

How long should I spend in Keukenhof Gardens?

We stayed in the gardens for about half the day. But you could easily spend a whole day here, especially if the weather is nice, and make the most of your free time.

There’s plenty to see and do and several places where you can buy some food and drink and have a break.

The park also allows people to bring their own food and drink in if that is your preference.

So it’s a place where you can make a day of it.

However, note that if you want to time your visit for the quieter times of the day, the Keukenhof website advises arriving before 10.30 am or in the late afternoon, after 4 pm.

It also says that Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays are quieter days.

How do I buy Keukenhof tickets?

You can book a guided tour of the gardens here.

Keukenhof entry tickets – that give you a specific time slot – can also be bought at the Keukenhof official website. You can also buy tickets at the time of your visit from the on-site ticket office.

Alternatively, you can buy tickets on dedicated buses that run from other towns to the gardens – these cover the cost of the journey plus your Keukenhof ticket (ask for a Combiticket).

Keukenhof 2024 garden tours

There are also organised tours to the Keukenhof Gardens. Many of these are from Amsterdam to Keukenhof and often include other things that you may also want to see on your day out.  This includes trips to tulip fields, Delft, and windmills.  

So if you want to see a variety on things on your day out, booking a tour might be the best way to do this.  

This link will give you ideas for tours that will take you for a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens.

How much are tickets to Keukenhof 2024?

The entrance ticket is 19.50 euros for adults. For children between the ages of 4 and 17, the cost is 9 euros.  Children under 4 can enter for free.  

There is also a charge of 8 euros for car parking. It is 5 euros to reserve a manual wheelchair (plus a 20 euro deposit).

You can also book a guided tour or a private tour which will include skip the line tickets, a good option on busy days.

Are there any accessibility issues when visiting the Keukenhof Gardens?

The majority of Keukenhof is flat (or, if not, on a gentle slope) so mobility should not be an issue. There are accessible toilets on site.

For an extra cost, manual wheelchairs may be rented and reserved in advance (a 20 euro deposit also needs to be placed).

How can I get to the Keukenhof Gardens?

It’s really easy to get to Keukenhof by public transportation. We visited on a Sunday morning, having spent the night in Leiden, and getting there couldn’t have been easier.  

It was a 25-minute journey on a dedicated local bus that had been put on to take visitors directly to the gardens. This ran from the bus station outside the train station directly to the main entrance of Keukenhof. 

You can even buy your ticket before boarding to allow you skip the queues when you arrive (ask for the Combiticket).  I’d recommend this as the queues were considerable when we arrived.

The Keukenhof website has information on the buses you can catch to the gardens depending on your departure location.  As we did, you can buy a Combiticket that covers both your journey and entrance to Keukenhof.

If you book an organised tour to the gardens then you will not need to worry about transportation (see above for a selection of tours or click here).

If you choose to drive, parking is 8 euros. There are charging stations for electric cars to use.

Can I download a Keukenhof map before visiting?

Yes, you can download a Keukenhof map to help you plan out your visit. Click here and scroll down the page to access this.

More ideas for short Europe breaks

I hope you enjoy your visit to the Keukenhof tulip gardens. If you enjoy short breaks to Europe or UK day trips, you may also be interested in some of my other posts.

Below is a selection, but see my main website for more ideas.

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