Keukenhof 2022: 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 a visit to Keukenhof 2022 in the Netherlands. 

Read on for essential information on visiting Keukenhof 2022.

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What is Keukenhof?

Colourful flowers in beds alongside the lake at Keukenhof

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

Known as the ‘Garden as Europe’, it’s not hard to see why. Covering more than 30 acres, and with an estimated 7 million 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 opens to the public for several weeks a year during the spring.

Each year, the garden has a theme. In 2019, when we visited Keukenhof, it was “Flower Power”. The theme for 2022 is “Flower Classics”. It will be the festival’s 73rd year.

You can find more information about the garden here.

Where are the Keukenhof Gardens?

A small blue hut in the Keukenhof Gardens with a small stone path leading up to it

The famous garden is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam in 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).

Why visit Keukenhof 2022?

A circle of pink and cream flowers alongside the river 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 2022.

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 2022 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.

The colours and patterns of flowers at Keukenhof Gardens

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! But what surprised me was just how many varieties 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).  

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 2022 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 the 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 by the canal at Keukenhof - see this on a visit to Keukenhof 2022

If you fancy a break from walking around the garden, you can take a boat ride on a canal. In 2019, this cost 8 euros for adults and 4 euros for children and lasted for 45 minutes.

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

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

Goats at the petting zoo in Keukenhof

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 (tickets are 10 euros for adults and 5 euros for children between the ages of 4 and 17 years).

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.

Keukenhof Castle in Lisse

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….

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

People walking across the stepping stones in the lake at Keukenhof Gardens

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 when visiting Keukenhof 2022?

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 with 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 2022?

Keukenhof 2022 opens on 24th March. It runs until 15th 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, then it’s best to plan to visit later in the season.

Will the flowers be out if I visit Keukenhof 2022 early in the season?

We went in March 2019, during the season’s early days. There were plenty of flowers when we were there, including crocuses, tulips, dafodils, 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.  

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 2022?

Opening hours are 8am until 7.30pm.

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. 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 10.30am or after 4pm.

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 tickets can also be bought at the Keukenhof 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 2022 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.  

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

How much are tickets to access Keukenhof 2022?

Entry is 18.50 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 6 euros for car parking. It is 5 euros to reserve a manual wheelchair (plus a 20 euro deposit).

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 5 euros, 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?

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 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 and timetables.  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 6 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

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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