[ Note : Be sure to also see Elana’s post on Keukenhof for some more great pictures and touring details. ]
The second largest flower garden in the world often referred to as the “Garden of Europe” is located in Lisse, the Netherlands southwest of Amsterdam. The garden is open from mid March until mid May (this year 20 March to 17 May 2015). The park is open from 08:00 to 19:30 every day during the season. The history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century and, in case you were curious, the meaning of the name is “kitchen garden.”
The history of Keukenhof, the name of meaning “kitchen garden”, goes back to the 15th century. Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria, Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436) gathered fruit and vegtables from the woods and dunes her for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641, and the estate grew to an area of over 200 hectares.
Landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, who also designed Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, redesigned the castle gardens in 1857. That park, in the English landscape style, still forms the basis of Keukenhof.
In 1949 a group of 20 flower bulb exporters came up with a plan to use the estate for a permanent exhibition of spring-flowering bulbs, signalling the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park. The park opened its gates tot he public in 1950 and was an instant success, with 236,000 visitors in the first year alone. In 2015 the 66th edition of Keukenhof is taking place, with Van Gogh as its theme. During the last 65 years Keukenhof has grown into a world-famous attraction.
All of the details for a visit can be found on the official Keukenhof Holland website, and if you desire tickets can be purchased on the website (Ideal, Visa and Mastercard are accepted). E-tickets can be used any time during the current season.
If the weather is nice, this makes a really enjoyable and relaxing way to spend a layover at AMS (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol). There is continuous and convenient bus service from AMS just outside of arrivals 4 by the Starbucks (not to be confused with the Starbucks located in arrivals by the airport train station in the Plaza area). Buses run 4 to 12 times an hour, and further details can be found at the 9292 transportation website.
Just exit the doors right behind the Starbucks, which lead directly to the bus departure area.
It is really not necessary to purchase tickets in advance, and the bus trip takes approximately 30 minutes. Your “Combi-ticket bus + Keukenhof entrance” is very convenient and includes bus transportation from AMS and entrance. You can easily purchase right before getting on the bus.
They have even produced an informative video about Bus #858 to Keukenhof.
There are options to take a boat ride, cycle or a guided tour. It really is a sight to behold.
Keukenhof is the international and independent showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector, with a special emphasis on flower bulbs. In the space of eight weeks Keukenhof shows what the Dutch floricultural sector has to offer. The focus in the park is on the 7 million spring-flowering bulbs, in which the 100 participating companies show their living catalogue. In more than 20 flower shows, 500 flower growers present an enormous variety of cut flowers and pot plants.
After exiting the gardens it is easy to find the bus to return to the airport after spending a pleasant afternoon.
If you have a bit more time when you return to Schiphol Airport be sure to check out the observation deck. During the warmer seasons, there is also an outdoor bar and restaurant adjacent to the observation deck (Panorama Terrace). This deck affords some stunning views of airplanes and the airport aprons.
The details at a glance :
Telephone : +31 (0)252 465 555
website (English) : http://www.keukenhof.nl/en/
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment : Visa, MasterCard, Ideal (PIN), Cash