A guide for visiting Keukenhof in May
Keukenhof is easily the main attraction in the Netherlands for eight weeks between the months of March and May. Thousands of people stream to the park to see millions of flowers, mostly tulips, in bloom. The landscape is transformed into a beautiful painting with all the colours you can think of.
I visited Keukenhof in the first week of May. Here is my experience along with my best tips and tricks to make the most of your day at Keukenhof.
First things first. Buy your tickets in advance online. You can purchase tickets for Keukenhof only, or combination tickets which include entrance as well as transportation to the park. I recommend you purchase the combination tickets as you will save a couple of Euros on transportation.
The tickets you purchase isn’t valid for a specific day. You may use them any day between March and May when the park is open.
If you are using public transportation, the easiest way to reach Keukenhof is to travel to Schiphol Airport first. From there you can take Bus 858 which takes you directly to the park in 22 min (depending on traffic).
Go early to avoid the crowds
This is probably the best tip I can give you. Get up EARLY and be there as soon as the gates open at 8h00. Keukenhof attracts thousands of visitors every year and the park can get quite crowded. I arrived just after 8h00 in the morning and left again by 12h00. Around lunch time the park was flooded with people making it difficult to move about and take beautiful photos.
Also, if you are taking the bus from Schiphol to the park, the queue to board the bus can be quite long during midday. You can easily stand in line for at least 30 min to board the bus. However, if you go early, there is no queue at all. No queues and fewer people – yes please!
The first thing you should do once you enter the gate is pick up a free map of the park. It’s a very handy map to have. It will help you to orientate yourself because the park is huge (32 hectares). It also has some interesting information about the flower shows and things you should not miss while visiting Keukenhof.
Theme: Dutch Design
Each year Keukenhof has a theme and this year’s theme was Dutch Design. Check it out!
My favourite indoor exhibition was the Orchid and Anthurium show inside the Beatrix Pavilion. How gorgeous is this blue orchid?
Eating and drinking
The cheapest way to get by is to bring your own snacks and drinks along with you. However, I didn’t find the prices to be extremely inflated inside the park. A cappuccino costs €2.30 while a meal at the Willem-Alexander Pavilion will cost anywhere from €5 to €10.
My best Keukenhof photos
So Keukenhof is all about the flowers, right? Here are my best photos to inspire you to visit the park.
One last tip
My visit to Keukenhof was everything I imagined it would be. I got all the photos I wanted, except for one. The park is surrounded by tulip fields. I wanted that iconic photograph with tulips fields and a windmill in the background. But the tulips weren’t in bloom anymore. So if you want that iconic shot, visit Keukenhof earlier in the season, perhaps in the middle of April. This is the best photo I could take…
Even if you’re not the gardening type, you’ll still enjoy Keukenhof. All the colourful flowers will make you all warm and fuzzy inside. It felt like I was walking around in an enchanted secret garden (early in the morning).