The highlight of our spring break trip (at least for me) was our visit to Keukenhof.  Keukenhof, located near the town of Lisse, is the world’s largest flower garden, with 7 million flower bulbs planted, by hand.  This year was the 60th anniversary of Keukenhof, and the theme this year focused on the historical relationship between The Netherlands and the United States (particularly New York).  Keukenhof was beautiful!  It was still early in the season, so not everything was blooming yet.  The gardens are only open from the latter part of March until the latter part of May.  I read that April in Holland is better for daffodils and May for tulips, and it did seem that a lot of the tulips weren’t blooming yet and some had just recently opened.  It was still really pretty.

We got there early, just after the 0800 opening time, and nearly had the place to ourselves for a while.  We wandered around and Rebecca and I practiced taking photographs, including close-up shots of some of the flowers.  The website says Keukenhof is the most photographed place in the world, so we did our part!

Keukenhof has a windmill; we went up inside it and watched the man adjusting the sails.  At the top of the windmill, we also had a really good view of the flower fields surrounding Keukenhof.


Rebecca really enjoyed the playground and the petting zoo.  Beware of llama and the little goat that wants to eat your pants!  They also had a few animal exhibits around, although you couldn’t see much of the animals, like the raccoon.  I think the animals were part of the theme, as they seemed to be mostly “American” animals. 

Rather like the two big tour groups we saw coming in; looked like Sun City visits Keukenhof, as everybody in those groups looked at least 70!  One lady was really enjoying herself; they had a big calliope playing early 20th century American music and this lady was dancing and having a great time.

Another part Rebecca really liked was the stepping stones in the little lake.  The swans in the lake grouped around all the people on the stepping stones; I think they were probably looking for a handout.

Unfortunately, it was much chillier that day than the previous two days; we wished we had our heavier jackets.  About mid-morning it started to sprinkle, and then around noon it started to really rain.  We grabbed some lunch, did a short visit to the indoor flower show, took a few more quick photos, and then headed back to Amsterdam to visit NEMO, the science museum.

I’d really like to visit Keukenhof on a warm day in May, with the sun out, but if all you have is a chilly day in April, it’s still worth a visit!

  • Prague - December 2008


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