One of the world’s most spectacular horticultural sights lies on the borders of historic Lisse, the centre of the Netherlands’ flower-growing region. Found to the south-west of Amsterdam, the Keukenhof Gardens open for seven weeks every year with a spectacular canvas of daffodils, hyacinths and – of course – tulips on offer.
A remarkable assault on the senses, the festival celebrates its 70th anniversary from 21 March till 19 May 2019 this year with an arresting collection of more than 7 million bulbs in bloom, including 800 varieties of Holland’s most distinctive flower. There’s little wonder it’s referred to as the Garden of Europe.
Keukenhof Gardens in 2019
2019’s theme is ‘Flower Power’, which will transport you back the the 1970s. The theme has been chosen with the hope of bringing people together through a shared love of flowers, and will include plenty of bright colours, music, and a fun hippy vibe.
History of the Garden of Europe
Literally translated as the ‘kitchen garden’, the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens were originally hunting grounds, but gained their name when used as a source of herbs for Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria in the 15th century. Over the following decades, the estate grew dramatically in size and was redesigned by the acclaimed landscape architects behind Amsterdam’s iconic Vondelpark in the 1850s.
Today, Keukenhof is a world-famous attraction, renowned as both the best showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector and a stunning tourist site that draws in more than a million visitors each year.
Things to do at the Keukenhof Gardens
It’s not all about tulips though, with the Willem-Alexander Pavilion hosting a fantastic selection of lilies towards the end of the season. If you happen to be in the Netherlands on 13rd April, the Flower Parade is a must-see. Awash with an incredible spectrum of colours, a number of flower-adorned floats make their way from Noordwijk to Haarlem past the Keukenhof Gardens accompanied by a live band, and the route passing alongside the gardens.
Finally, the Romantic Garden makes for the perfect place for a couple’s stroll, so perch on one of the surrounding arbours and add your message of love to the collection.
If this has inspired you, book your Hull to Rotterdam crossing today and start planning your perfect trip to Keukenhof Gardens today.