Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam in Bloom: Visiting Holland in Spring

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

I hope you don’t have allergies, because if so, you’re very well going to need a box of tissues by the end of this post.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandAchoo!

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandEven though I lived in Holland temporarily (in 2005), it was one of the ports I was most excited to return to on this Enrichment Voyage for two reasons, 1) it’s always fun to re-visit somewhere that’s very familiar and 2) we were arriving at the tail end of tulip season!

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandIn all of my trips to the Netherlands, none of them have coincided with Holland’s famed tulip season—and it wouldn’t have this year had Europe not experienced such a dreadfully cold and rainy spring. This was the one time over the past six weeks that this finally worked in our favor.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandThis was my first day feeling semi-healthy again after five days of being bed-ridden with a nasty stomach bug, so my good friend Layne and I set out with one of the ship’s day trips to the nearby tulip fields.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens are just 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam by bus in Lisse and are only open approximately eight weeks of the year, a schedule which changes annually depending on the weather. Nearly one million visitors hit the park each year during this tight window. You can easily hop on a tour group out of Damrak in Amsterdam, but you can just as easily save a few bucks, take a bus out from Schipohl for a couple euro and pay the entrance fee of 15 euro (half price for adults).

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandEven though the whole place is a bit like Disneyland, we didn’t care. It was insanely gorgeous, and I couldn’t have imagined just how much I would have loved this tourist theme park.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, Holland

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandWith 32 hectares—and more than seven million flowers—you need a solid few hours to see everything worth seeing. Layne and I just had two and didn’t even make it to half of the park.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandI also had no idea there were this many species of flowers, in this many rich, bold hues. Did you?

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandHolland’s “tulip season” is a bit misleading as tulips are far from the only flowers making an appearance in the fields.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandWhile there, we experienced sporadic bouts of precipitation, so we dodged in and out of patches of pelting rain, using the leafy trees for solace.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandIt was the perfect way to spend a recovery day when I didn’t have energy to do much of anything besides stroll at a leisurely pace, stopping every eight feet to snap a few photos. And because I’ve never been in a more photogenic spot in my life, you get approximately 700 more pictures of ridiculously pretty flowers.

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, Holland Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, HollandKeukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam, Holland

  • June 5, 2013

    These days the park includes 7 inspiration gardens (ideas for you to try in you own, somewhat smaller, plot at home!); bronze sculptures by Dutch artists scattered around the place; changing exhibitions of flowers; and tents or kiosks from local bulb growers where you can order your favorites, which will then be delivered around September when the bulbs are in their deepest hibernation, gathering strength for next year. Every year about three billion (that’s 3,000,000,000!!) tulip bulbs are produced in Holland.

    • June 5, 2013

      That is insane! I think I probably only saw 30,000 of them in my brief time there 😉

      Thanks for the added facts!!

  • June 5, 2013

    OMG!! I need to go back with my new camera! We went to Keukenhof in 2006 and had a marvelous time though with a very crappy camera!

  • June 5, 2013

    We, too, got to see the flowers in bloom, and they were gorgeous! Though Keukenhof was amazing for the sheer number and variety of flowers, I enjoyed our bike ride to and from the gardens better than the gardens themselves. We rode from Haarlem, and there were so many fields along the way, and I loved seeing them with the towns and canals and such as backdrops or with farmers walking through them. Plus the hyacinths made it the best-smelling bike ride I’ve ever been on. Heavenly!

  • June 5, 2013

    Gorgeous! A friend of mine is an artist who specializes in painting oils of tulips, this reminds me of a lot of her work.


  • June 5, 2013

    So much color almost boggles my senses. Glad you were healthy enough to enjoy this.

  • June 6, 2013

    Thanks for all the great photos. I was in Amsterdam in early April and couldn’t make it out to the gardens. That was my biggest regret, and seeing your photos makes me want to get back sooner rather than later.

  • June 6, 2013

    So, so, so, so, soooooo very pretty and colourful.

  • June 6, 2013

    Wow–this looks incredible! Such amazing colors. No idea this existed. Now, I’m going to have to keep it in mind for future travels!

  • June 6, 2013

    Best time of year to visit the Netherlands! Did you to see the black tulips?

  • June 7, 2013

    Wow, love the colours, really been meaning to go back to Holland because I blooming LOVE it 😉

  • June 7, 2013

    The best blog ever! Love your photos! 🙂

    Check this: Blog about traveling, lifestyle and good life 🙂

  • June 8, 2013

    thanks SO much for the great pictures of Layne!!

  • June 9, 2013

    The colors are gorgeous! This has always been on my bucket list. We have some flower fields near our house in San Diego, but they aren’t tulips and they don’t let you walk in the flowers to take pictures, which is clearly the reason everyone wants to visit flower fields. 🙂

  • June 10, 2013

    LOVE these pics, there is just too much beauty!

  • June 10, 2013

    so pretty!

  • June 10, 2013

    I really like your pictures, they are really beautiful.

  • June 10, 2013

    So gorgeous! Sigh.

  • June 11, 2013

    i visited amsterdam is bloom a couple of years ago… towards the end of the season, and it truly is a marvellous sight to see… loved Keukenhof Gardens too!

  • June 12, 2013

    Hi Kristin,

    This post made my day. NYC has been pretty gloomy lately and I needed a huge dose of flowers. So pretty!

  • June 13, 2013

    Beautiful! My mom and I went to Amsterdam a few years ago to see the tulips but the fields had already been cut. The region was experiencing a freak heat wave and all the flowers had bloomed much earlier than normal. Talk about disappointment! We’ll just have to try again 🙂

  • June 16, 2013

    Oh I am so glad I don’t have allergies of any sort. The tulips are all so amazingly beautiful. It is like you are in paradise of flowers.

  • June 16, 2013

    Looks incredible – tulips are my absolute favorite flowers – they’re just so beautiful!

  • June 18, 2013

    Wow what amazing photos! My hubby and I went to Amsterdam last July and LOVED it! Its such a beautiful city. It was the wrong time of year however for the tulips. And we are going again this year, August this time but still not the right time for the blooms. Next year we will definitely go again and this time during the right season!

  • June 21, 2013

    Loooooove these tulips! It’s very much alive than what I found in Singapore (for sure!).


  • June 23, 2013

    Seeing beautiful flowers like in the picture makes me happy.

  • June 24, 2013

    We are in Amsterdam in August, unfortunately not the right time of year. We will have to make it there at the right time next time to see the tulips as they look beautiful.

  • July 5, 2013

    I am really intrigued by these shots. I am now motivated to try something similar. Thanks!

Leave a Comment

+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook