Keukenhof and Free Flower Parade – Spring Holiday in the Netherlands

After a dark wintertime in Europe, nothing is more colourful than the flower shows in the Netherlands!

Holland, a west European country located next to Germany and above Belgium, attracts tons of tourists to come to its flower shows every year during springtime. Spring in the Netherlands typically lies between late March and mid-May, while during May holiday (first week of May) is the busiest time for flower show visitors. Spring is also seen as the best time to visit the Netherlands, as weather is much milder and less rainy than summer.

There is an official flower garden – Keukenhof in the Netherlands, while other tulip fields are located outside of Keukenhof. Below are some local tips helping you to enjoy the most from Dutch spring flowers.


Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is the biggest flower garden in the Netherlands, as well as the world’s largest outdoor flower garden. The garden covers an area of 32 hectares, owns around 7 million flowers, 100 different varieties of tulips and is the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands. You can easily spend a whole day there.

Some useful information for your visit:

To get to Keukenhof:

By Bus – there are buses going from Schiphol, Amsterdam Leidseplein, The Hague Central station, Leiden Central station and Haarlem Central station.

It’s also possible to get all-in tickets (tickets including bus fee and Keukenhof entrance ticket) from these departure points. Check their official website for details ( ).

Opening Period:

The opening period of Keukenhof varies every year. For 2011, the opening dates are from March 24 to May 20, including Sundays and public holidays.

Opening Hours:

8:00amto 19:30pm. (Last admission at 18:00pm)

Entrance fee:

Adults & over 65 year-old € 14.50 per person
Children (4-11 years) € 7.00 per person

Other than Keukenhof, there are also other FREE possibilities for you to enjoy the blooming Dutch flowers.

The Flower Parade

During the opening period of Keukenhof, there is a free Flower Parade show (known as ‘Bloemencorso’ in Dutch) strolling down a 40 km route, from Noordwijk, passing through Keukenhof and then all the way to Haarlem, along the so-called Bollenstreek (Bulb’s region) area.

The theme for the flower show varies each other. The theme for last year was ‘Journey through Europe’, while for this year (2011), the theme is ‘Musical Parade’. Floats and vehicles would be decorated in flowers and parade through the route with marching bands.

The flower parade is scheduled on 16 April 2011 (Saturday) this year. If you are visiting Keukenhof on the same day, you can leave the park to enjoy the show and re-enter with the same day ticket.

Check their official website for the best location to see the parade.

Bollenstreek Visit

If you are looking for even more authentic and local ways to enjoy the sea of tulips, get to the local flower fields in ‘Bollenstreek’, the Bulb’s region.

Bollenstreek area covers towns like Leiden, Hillegom, Lisse (the small town where Keukenhof locates) and some other nearby villages. To get there, take a direct train or bus from Schiphol airport to one of the above stations. Renting bikes to get to the fields are also possible. You can take amazing photos there with miles of tulip sea stretching through your lens.

Enjoy a flower vacation in the Netherlands this Spring!