Keukenhof Flower Park
Imagine 34 hectares of fields covered in a mirage of colourful tulips and hyacinths under the glow of the spring sunshine. Just 30 minutes from Amsterdam, at Keukenhof this is a reality. A team of committed gardeners begin the pain-staking task of planting around seven million bulbs each autumn, with such precision that is no less than a work of art. A few months later, the result speaks for itself. Keukenhof, otherwise known as the ‘Garden of Europe’ opens its doors between March and April each year to around 800,000 visitors.
Although many varieties of flowers are on display, the tulips certainly steal the show. These meticulously planned and landscaped flowerbeds and lawns are nestled amongst mature trees, glistening lakes and fountains. There is also a windmill or two, another national treasure of Holland. All of this can be viewed from 15 km of paths that lead you around the park.
Vibrant Tulip Fields
Extending further than the main park are rows upon rows of vibrant tulip fields, a sight that is not uncommon to natives, but is rather spectacular for visitors. There are several ways to view the fields. Bikes are available for hire and are an easy way to explore the surrounding area around the park.
Alternatively, take to the meandering canals by boat. Sail around Keukenhof, the tulip fields and the idyllic Dutch countryside. For a unique perspective, absorb the sheer magnitude of the park and take to the air on an exclusive tour. Step back in time on a DC-3 Dakota plane and fly 450 metres above sea level across this stunning landscape. This will be an experience never to forget.
Back on firm ground, there are events each weekend the park is open. Keukenhof Park has an annual theme and many of the events are built around it. Examples include music, heritage and culinary events. During the season over 30 flower shows are held, each dedicated to different flowers and shrubs.
The main event is the annual flower parade. The procession travels along a 40km route through the neighbouring villages of Noordkijk and Haarlem. It goes without saying that flowers are the main attraction and each float, whatever its shape or size, is heavily decorated showcasing them.
If there is one thing that the Dutch do best, it’s flowers. You cannot go far without finding tulips or bulbs on display or for sale, but to see them in all their glory make sure you visit Keukenhof Park. From the Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
, it is just a 20 minute journey so it is an ideal way to spend your time during an airport stopover.