Keukenhof 2016: Amsterdam’s Tulip & Flower Festival

Keukenhof Dutch Tulip Festival

Keukenhof is the home of the Holland’s annual tulip festival and the most well known tulip festival in the world. The Dutch festival is located just south of Amsterdam in the small town of Lisse. It’s a fun day trip from the capital for flower and garden enthusiasts or you could include it in a road trip around the Netherlands.

Holland's Tulip Festival - Visit in 2014

I’ve always wanted to go to Holland to see the tulips and the festival didn’t disappoint. Walking around the gardens you’ll see colourful flower beds of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and so many other flowering bulbs.

 

The festival runs from late March to mid May (2016 dates: 24th March – 16th May 2016 – book a tour here) and depending on when you visit you’ll see different flowers in bloom. When I went in early April the tulips were just starting to flower in the outdoor flower beds and there were thousands inside.

Tulips in early April

Some of the best and most interesting tulips are in the indoor pavilions. The pavilions are where you’ll see just about every tulip colour and type imaginable and these are in flower for the entire festival. They’re always experimenting with new colours and types of tulips. You’ll find singles and doubles in the most amazing colours. If you love tulips or flowers or gardening in general you’ll love Keukenhof.

Pretty Dark Tulips

My favourite was probably this blue and pink fringed tulip. Such a special tulip. It’s very cool to see something like that in person. The black (or near black) tulips are unique and unusual too.

The Prettiest Tulip at Keukenhof

If you visit in April, you’ll also see many different colours of sweet smelling hyacinths. Hyacinths are underrated in my opinion. I love them, even the cute little grape hyacinths! There are flower beds filled with pink, white, blue, yellow, and mauve hyacinths and there are different varieties in pots in the pavilion.

White Grape Hyacinths at Keukenhof

I was surprised to see there is also an indoor area for orchids. I have never seen such variety before. If only I could grow these myself somehow. They are incredible! Don’t miss this section of the festival.

You can pick up some bulbs to try to grow at home if you like. You can get them at the Keukenhof gardens or at the floating garden centres on the canals in Amsterdam. Just make sure your country allows you to bring home plants.

Orchids at Keukenhof

Don’t forget that around Keukenhof there are massive fields of tulips. These are almost better than the festival itself. I would reserve enough time to explore the area outside of the gardens to see the famous tulip fields. Definitely try to visit for sunrise or sunset if you can.

Sunrise and sunset times in Lisse in spring 2016.

I know it can be a pain to get up for sunrise but it’s totally worth it. You’ll need to allow plenty of time to scope out a location which is another reason to stay in Lisse, it’ll give you plenty of time to take photos of the tulip fields.

How to Get To Keukenhof

Keukenhof is located in Lisse in Holland. The event is an easy day trip from Amsterdam or Leiden. Buses run regularly from both cities or if driving there is plenty of parking at the event.

Avoid the queues by buying your ticket online in advance.

If you prefer to do a tour from Amsterdam, I recommend this one:

This tour runs multiple times per day starting from central Amsterdam.

Where to Stay

I stayed in Lisse at the modern Hotel de Duif for the convenience of being able to walk to the festival but some of the rooms are quite small. Most visitors prefer to visit on a day trip from Amsterdam and in that case I recommend the gorgeous Art’otel Amsterdam or the more affordable Sir Albert boutique hotel.

Find the best hotel rates for your trip here.

For something a bit different, stay in a typical Dutch apartment in Amsterdam.

I suggest booking hotels well in advance if you want to stay in Lisse during Keukenhof as there aren’t that many options within walking distance.

Skip the Line – Buy Your Ticket Now

Keukenhof is a hugely popular event. If you want to avoid long queues I suggest ordering your ticket before you go.

Order your Keukenhof ticket here.

Tickets are sent by email. It’s the most convenient way to get them.

The Best Time to Visit in 2016

Holland’s tulip festival in Keukenhof is open from the 24th March to 16th May in 2016. I would recommend visiting in early April if you want to avoid the crowds and to see the hyacinths and daffodils but you’ll have a better chance for nice weather in May and this is also the best time to see the outdoor tulip displays. More details can be found on Keukenhof’s official site.

No matter when you visit there will always be 1000s of bulbs flowering throughout the gardens.


RELATED: Keukenhof: An Explosion of Colour


Visiting Keukenhof – Summary

  • Keukenhof is open from 24th March to 16th May in 2016.
  • Tulips are in flower during the entire festival.
  • You can also see hyacinths, daffodils, crocus, orchids, and other spring flowers.
  • Stay in Lisse if you’d like to be walking distance to the event.
  • Stay in Amsterdam if you’d prefer to do a day trip.
  • List of the top restaurants in Lisse.
  • List of the top restaurants in Amsterdam.
  • It’s easy to reach the festival by car or public transport.
  • Skip the line and buy your ticket online.
  • Book a tour if you don’t want to organise your own visit.

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Keukenhof Festival

Tulips at Keukenhof in the Netherlands

About Andrea

Andrea Anastasakis is the founder and author of road trip blog Rear View Mirror. She is currently driving her Fiat 500 around Europe. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram.


Comments

  1. I’ve visited this town 20 years ago and I see that it’s still as charming with all these tulips. They’re not my favourite flowers, but they are quite impressive seen in groupings the way they do over there

  2. ashfaq ur rehman says:

    i really love tulips i will dependently go and enjoy i love EU comming soon

  3. I love to visit there upon my tour to Schengen States.How could I travel there by bus from Effes a Fresnes (France) or from any nearby bus station to Keukenhof in the early morning of Apr.18.2013 and return back in the evening of the same day or early morning of Apr.19? Thanks 🙂

    • Sorry but I don’t know. if you contact the bus companies in France (like Eurolines) I’m sure they’ll let you know how to get to Keukenhof from France but I would think it would be easiest to take the train.

  4. Beautiful photos of the tulips! I’m hoping the tulips are still in bloom and I have a chance to see them this year, though I don’t arrive in Holland until mid-May.

    • Are you going before TBU? I think you’ll be fine then but I’m guessing they’ll be on their way out if you wait until after the conference. I’ll be looking out for your photos!

  5. samir shroff says:

    My scheduled tour to Amsterdam is on 21st May
    will I get to see tulip garden

  6. Hello every one. my three days tour is fixed in first week of April. Will I able to see any blooming tulip or beautiful flowers in Keukenhof garden. Thanks in advance for reply. Sam.

    • Yes, you will definitely see tulips and other flowers in bloom at Keukenhof in April. The photos in this post were taken at that time.

  7. Bob Francis says:

    We will be in Amsterdam May 6-9 and plan to visit the Keukenhof Gardens on the 7th. I know the festival runs until May 17th, but our main interest is in seeing the tulips. Will they still be in bloom on May 7?

  8. Sylvie says:

    We are visiting Europe with Amsterdam on the list July 18th or so, what can we expect for flowers?

  9. Aisyah Gill says:

    What if in August… Ay tulip flower in holland

  10. Hi, We’ll be visiting the Netherlands from June 15-18, 2015. Should we still go visit Keukenhof? Anything worth to see? Thank you!

  11. I’ve 5 days to travel from Amsterdam to Belgium before taking evening flight from Amsterdam airport back. what are the places you would recommend to visit? I prefer scenic places rather than museums.

  12. I am planning to visit Amsterdam from 14th to 16th of May 2016. Will it possible to get me full broom of tulips.