The sweet smell of spring welcomed us to Keukenhof, the worlds largest spring garden. With over 7 million bulbs planted in autumn to bloom in spring Keukenhof sure does know how to give a show.
Just a quick 30 min bus ride away from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Keukenhof Gardens are a sight to behold. Keukenhof is more than the worlds largest spring garden, it’s a collaborative effort between different exhibitors for them to showcase what bulbs they have grown putting together a colourful themed display. This years theme was romance and I felt thoroughly romanced at every corner.
The disadvantage of going to a popular place is that you're not the only one who is there at that particular time. With frequent bus services running from the airport and the different tours that are offered, a lot of people have tulips on their mind. We used this as an opportunity to walk away from the crowds and find our own little gems. Another great way of avoiding the crowds is to get there early or stay out late. We found that at around 5pm the crowds were thinning.
In adition to the displays that they had in the gardens, there were some inspirational gardens that were created with the purpose of providing the visitors ideas on how they could grow their gardens and what kind of plants would work together. I love that they don't want to just showcase their bulbs they want you to go home and plant some. As such you can order the different bulbs that they have and when the season ends they send them to you. How's that for a souvenir.
Walking around Keukenhof was a beautiful experience because you don't just get inspired to have your own garden, but creativity bursts from inside you. I found myself thinking about the next 10 posts that I was going to write, and captions that I was going to share with my Instagram posts. So if you are stuck for the next song or book that you are writing head over to Keukenhof.
So lets make it happen :
- Fly to Amsterdam - from London there are frequent flights and if you book far in advance you can get a great deal. My current favourite is looking at Google Flights and using the calendar option to see when the cheapest flights will be.
- Buy your tickets to Keukenhof online from their website. Your ticket is valid from the time you buy it till the end of the season. So if you don't manage to go on the same day, it's not a show stopper.
- Unless you are driving there from the airport, I recommend getting the combined ticket. It's the best value and you get transport to and from the gardens. In fact I highly recommend getting the bus. There was a time when cars were being turned away from the gardens due to it being very busy. You don’t want to have a wasted journey.
- Enjoy your day. Take a picnic if you want to and make a proper day out of it. Make sure you go and see where tulips came from (China and Turkey !) and see the book of tulips. If you have children, or are a child at heart, there are many activities to keep them entertained with my favourite being the petting farm.
Once you've explored the vast gardens in Keukenhof, explore beyond that. As the bus approaches Keukenhof you have a beautiful view of the fields. You can hire a bicyle (I'm learning how to cycle - it's a long process) and cycle along the area and explore the fields. Remember to respect the area, don't trample on the flowers, and if it says stay out - please be nice and do just that.
Another way to explore the area is through a boat ride. We didn't have enough time to wait for it but it was €5/person which isn't that bad so if you have time, go for it.
Being in Keukenhof showed me a glimpse of what being inside a rainbow would look like. The colours are vivid, you’ll walk around the place many times and each time it will be different. So what are you waiting for ? Book mark this page and add it to your - must see in 2019 and go !
Till next time