Keukenhof Gardens 2023 is the home of the Amsterdam tulip festival in the Netherlands. It takes place each spring in the small town of Lisse, an hour south of Amsterdam.
This guide to Keukenhof includes dates, opening times, how to get there, how to buy Keukenhof tickets and the best time to visit.
It was always a dream of mine to visit Amsterdam to see the tulips and the festival didn’t disappoint.
While walking around the gardens, you’ll see expansive flower beds of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and many other flowering bulbs. Special tulips and orchards are located in the indoor pavilion.
Keukenhof Tulip Gardens
Keukenhof Gardens 2023 runs from the last week in March to mid-May.
Dates: 23rd March to 14th May 2023.
Is Keukenhof 2023 open? Yes, every day from 8am to 7:30pm.
- Tickets are only available online. They are valid on a fixed date in a predetermined time slot. You can’t visit at another time and you can’t purchase a new ticket on arrival.
- You don’t need to print out your ticket, just show it on your phone when you arrive.
- Tickets can be cancelled up to 4 days before your arrival but not after.
- You can either purchase the Keukenhof tickets on their own (and find your own way to the gardens), or book a ticket and transportation combo that includes a bus transfer from Amsterdam.
- Ticket and public transport combi tickets are the best way to visit on a day trip from Amsterdam.
Hotels near Keukenhof Gardens
Keukenhof is located in the small town of Lisse, Netherlands. Read my full guide to hotels near Keukenhof Gardens in 2023.
There are plenty of places to stay but the areas near Keukenhof do book out earlier.
I recommend staying at the Boutique Suites Lisse as this is within walking distance to Keukenhof.
However, most visitors prefer to visit Keukenhof on a day trip from Amsterdam and in that case, I recommend the Sir Albert Hotel due to its excellent location and helpful staff.
You might also consider staying in Leiden, where there are more hotel options than in Lisse. Leiden is a 20-minute drive from Keukenhof and less than an hour by train. Hotel Steenhof is a good option in Leiden.
I suggest booking Keukenhof hotels well in advance if you want to stay close to Keukenhof, as the best hotels book up quickly, often months in advance.
When is the best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens?
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 thousands were indoors. I feel like a couple of weeks later would have been the best time to visit.
Best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens: From mid-April to early May, before 10am or after 4pm.
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.
Amsterdam Tulip Festival
If you love tulips or flowers or gardening in general, you’ll love the Amsterdam tulip festival at Keukenhof Gardens, especially in 2023 when the event is expected to be bigger than ever after a quiet couple of years.
- The Amsterdam tulip festival (sometimes called the Dutch flower festival) and botanical gardens in Keukenhof is open from 23rd March to 14th May 2023.
- The best time to visit Keukenhof to avoid the crowds is early April (and to see the hyacinths and daffodils).
- You’ll have a better chance for nice weather in late April or early May and this is also the best time to see the outdoor tulip blooms and bulb fields.
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.
Each year at the tulip festival in the Netherlands, new varieties of tulips are on display, so you can visit multiple years and see different tulips each time. I’m looking forward to my next visit to Keukenhof.
Dutch Flower Festival
If you visit Keukenhof tulip gardens in April, you’ll also see many different colours of sweet-scented hyacinths, an underrated flowering bulb, in my opinion. I love them, even the cute little grape hyacinths I’d never seen close up.
The pavilion has flower beds filled with pink, white, blue, yellow, and mauve hyacinths and different pot varieties. This changes all the time, so expect to see all kinds of new and heirloom flowers.
These are good plants to buy at Keukenhof as they are easy to grow in pots and perfect for a desk or windowsill.
I was surprised to see there is also an indoor area for orchids, something I wasn’t expecting before I went. I have never seen such a huge variety of orchids before. If only I could grow these myself. I tried once, but they never flowered again after the initial bloom. They are incredible and so delicate looking.
Don’t miss this section of the flower festival; they are located in one of the larger pavilions separate from the indoor tulips.
You can buy some tulip bulbs to try to grow at home if you like. You can get them directly at the Keukenhof garden in Lisse or at the floating garden centres on the canals in Amsterdam. Just make sure your country allows you to bring home plants.
Don’t forget that there are massive fields of tulips around Keukenhof’s botanical garden. These are almost better than the festival itself and it’s not unusual to see tourists stopped by the side of the road trying to get photos, often just for Instagram.
When booking your trip, reserve enough time to explore the area outside of the gardens to see the famous tulip fields. Try to visit for sunrise or sunset if you want the best photos.
Sunrise and sunset times in Lisse in spring 2023.
It can be a pain to get up for sunrise, but it’s 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. Staying in Leiden is also a good option for this reason.
Ride a Bike Around the Tulips
For a classic Dutch experience, you can cycle around the tulip fields in Lisse. This is a fun way to see the colourful tulips fields and take photos away from the crowds at Keukenhof.
Keukenhof bike tour: Book this 3-hour guided tour.
You can hire a bike from the bike rental station at Keukenhof or take a tour with a local guide. The guided tour is a nice way to go, as you’ll get to hear about the history and culture of tulips in the Netherlands and how Keukenhof came to be.
Your guide will show you all of Keukenhof’s best spots and the most beautiful tulip fields.
Drive an Electric Car Around the Tulip Fields
If you’re not feeling up to riding a bike or mobility is an issue, a unique way to see the tulip fields is by driving yourself around in a mini electric vehicle.
Drive yourself tour: Book your electric buggy online before you go.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen them before, but Renault came out with a little 2-person car called a ‘Twizy’. It’s actually more like a golf buggy than a car and you can hire one to drive yourself around the tulip fields in an environmentally friendly way.
Don’t worry if you’re normally not confident driving in a foreign country; this is a self-guided tour on a set trail. You follow the road through the Keukenhof forest and around the tulip fields.
You can stop and take photos as often as you like. You are given a GPS, but you can’t get lost, they make it really straightforward.
The tour goes for 90 minutes and pick-up is in Lisse. Note that you need to have your driver’s license for at least three years to drive these buggies.
This is a great way to explore the tulip fields, as you can stop whenever you want and you have an audio guide with information and tips.
The tulip festival and fields is a fun day trip from the Amsterstam or you could include your visit as part of a longer Netherlands road trip.
No matter when you visit, there will always be 1000s of bulbs flowering throughout the gardens.
If you can’t be in the Netherlands during the Keukenhof festival, National Tulip Day is held in Amsterdam each January.
This year, National Tulip Day takes place on 23rd January 2023.
This is the start of Amsterdam’s tulip season and there’s a temporary tulip garden in Dam Square where you can pick a tulip for free.
If you’re still not sure when to go, this post on the best time to visit the Netherlands might help you decide.
For more information on Keukenhof, visit the official site.
That’s it for my review of Keukenhof tulip gardens. It has been a while now since I visited, but it’s a traditional event that doesn’t change that much. Brand new varieties of tulips are on display each year, but that’s the biggest change you’ll find from year to year.
Responsible Travel Tips
Many of us are increasingly concerned about climate change and sustainability. Here are some ideas for how we can travel more responsibly when visiting the tulip fields and Keukenhof in the Netherlands:
- Stay in hotels that are energy-efficient and use renewable energy sources.
- Minimise food waste by only purchasing what you will be able to eat and taking leftovers with you to eat later. You can use leftovers by having a picnic in one of Amsterdam’s beautiful parks or by the road near the tulip fields.
- Limit consumerism by only purchasing necessary items and supporting local businesses in the area. For example, if you want to buy some tulip bulbs to take home with you, buy them from a small local supplier rather than from a big chain store.
- Consider adopting a sustainable diet that includes locally-grown, seasonal produce and plant-based proteins. This is very easy to do in Amsterdam, where many cafes and restaurants provide sustainable foods at a reasonable price.
- Consider the environmental impact of any activities you participate in and choose options that have a lower impact. Be particularly careful and respectful when visiting the tulip fields to avoid damaging flowers. Please don’t pick the tulips. These are grown using considerable resources and contribute to local livelihoods.
- Use sustainable modes of transportation, such as trains, buses, and bikes, instead of flying or driving. I recommend getting the train or bus to Keukenhof and riding a bike to get around when you’re there (if you’re able).
Keukenhof is all about the tulips! Countless varieties are on display each year throughout the gardens and in the indoor pavilion.
Keukenhof is located in the town of Lisse, south of Amsterdam. You can easily visit on a day trip from Amsterdam.
Keukenhof is 35km from central Amsterdam. It takes around 30 minutes to arrive by car, but I recommend taking the train.
The train is the most convenient and eco-friendly way to get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam. You can arrive comfortably in an hour or so and enjoy the views from the train as you go. Intercity trains run every 30 minutes to Lisse from Amsterdam Centraal. If you want to travel even more sustainably, you could cycle to Keukenhof in less than two hours. A great way to travel in the Netherlands! You could also buy your Keukenhof ticket online, choosing the option which includes a bus transfer from Amsterdam.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in the Netherlands. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.