Our Day in the “Garden of Europe”, the Dutch flower paradise in Lisse. Winter in Amsterdam is over, Spring has finally arrived in The Netherlands and most parts of Western Europe. Birds start singing early in the morning, the days are getting longer, and the early flowering plants and trees start blossoming. Our home country, the Netherlands, is also known as the world’s largest exporter of flowers. Spring means, it is time to visit the Garden of Europe Keukenhof, to see the beauty of nature with tulips, crocuses, hyacinths, and all the other colorful flowers. Enjoy our photo story of a wonderful spring day in the Netherlands and see the Keukenhof in South-Holland through a couple of men‘s eyes.
This Mid-April weekend it was finally time for us a gay couple travelers to visit Keukenhof Tulip Blossom Holland, just one hour by car away from Amsterdam. The Keukenhof, a former kitchen-garden from the 15th century, is one of the most magical places in the Netherlands. LGBTQ+ travelers can discover a big part of the Dutch cultural heritage including a historical windmill, wide and colorful tulip fields, several flower exhibitions in different pavilions throughout the area and a boat trip around the flower fields.
Spring in Holland: Tulips & early flowering plants
Bikes, cheese, canals and, of course, tulips. Introduced to the north-western part of Europe in the early 16th century, tulips are strongly connected to The Netherlands, reportedly since the Dutch Golden Age (17th century). Back then, they became an important part of the Dutch culture, including famous paintings now exhibited in the Rijksmuseum. The tulip bulbs rapidly become valuable, up to worth a whole house, until a massive crash during the so-called Tulip Mania in February 1637. Since then, the professional cultivation of tulips made the Netherlands known as the world’s largest exporter of flowers. Today, the Dutch people and travelers from all over the world enjoy the tulip season that lasts, as a guide, from the end of March to mid-May, depending on weather conditions, of course. But even if you miss the peak season period of the tulips, the crocus season at the end of March followed by hyacinths in mid-April is not less colorful.
The Netherlands is known for its cheese, bikes, and of course, its tulip and flower fields. Additional to the Dutch capital, the German neighbor offers a variety of exciting cities and islands along the west coast of Europe. Read all about Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Den Hague, and the Dutch island Vlieland.
Plan your day: Tips for the Garden of Europe
>> NEWS: Keukenhof will finally open again in 2022! <<
Now it is time to start planning your own Keukenhof adventure:
- Opening hours Keukenhof: Open from 24th of March to 15th May 2022 usually from 8 am to 7:30 pm. The ticket office is open from 8 am to 7:30 pm.
- How to get to Keukenhof: From Schiphol Airport (Keukenhof Express (Buses 858 or 854) | Haarlem Bus 50 | Katwijk Bus 90 Plan your journey >
- Tickets & Parking: Adults €18.50 online, Children 0-3 years old free, Children 4-17 years old €9, Car parking €6 Book tickets here >
- Practical Tips: Boat tours through tulip fields & rental bikes bookable on site | Food, Drinks & Toilets open all day long | Free maps available on-site
The Dutch capital is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. By legalizing same-sex marriage as the first country in the world already in 2001, the Netherlands and its capital offer a diverse LGBTQ+ friendly cultural program throughout the whole year. The highlight of the Summer is (Gay) Pride Amsterdam.
Most famous Tulip regions in The Netherlands
There are even more regions where gay, lesbian, trans and queer travelers can enjoy the Dutch tulips regions and experience the early flowering plants and trees. The Keukenhof, for example, is part of the so-called Dune and Bulb Region (Dutch: “Duin- en Bollenstreek”) along the west coast of The Netherlands just in the south-west from Amsterdam. This area is particularly charming with its combination of windmills, traditional villages, and wide and colorful flower fields, especially in spring. One of the highlights during this period is the annual flower parade, called Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (check the website for updates). This Dutch event turns the streets of the Dutch towns and villages into floating colorful flower carpets. The Bloemencorso Bollenstreek normally starts on Saturday in Noordwijk and ends in the city of Haarlem the day after covering a total distance of ca. 40 km.
If you are looking for an additional adventure, we suggest exploring the Tulip Festival and Tulip Route in Noordoostpolder in Flevoland. The route consists of approximately 100 km of roads with signage and nearly 2500 acres of flowering tulip fields, ideal for a road trip through the Netherlands in spring. The tulip route in Noordoostpolder is considered as the longest and most colorful route in the Netherlands. Last but not least, we would like to mention the north of the Netherlands, the so-called Kop van Noord-Holland. The region north of Amsterdam is known for being a traditional Dutch region, including the biggest single flower bulb field in the world and the Dutch city Den Helder. A great area of North Holland to take a bicycle ride or hiking tour.
How to experience Tulip Blossom in Holland the best way
The National Tulip Day marks the beginning of the annual flower season. Therefore, the city of Amsterdam brings over 200.000 tulips from North-holland on Amsterdam’s most famous square, the Dam Square annually on the third Saturday in January. Until 1 pm you can embrace the first floral colors of the year attractively ensembled in gigantic flower boxes. From 1 o’clock on, the audience is able to pick their very own 13 tulips to take home, for free. Our tip: Be on time, you are not the only flower lover! The next National Tulip Day is on January 19th in 2019.
Additional to the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek and the Tulip Festival Noordoostpolder we mentioned earlier in this article, the Flower Days Anna Paulowna (Bloemendagen) will take place in Hollands Kroon showcasing the plentiful harvest in colorful mosaics along the route. Last but not least, you should take the chance to discover the Tulip Route Dronten biking, hiking, or driving through the beautiful countryside of Dronten, Lelystad, and Zeewolde. The tulips and flowers are waiting for you!
Keukenhof Tulip Blossom Holland – the Dutch Tulip Paradise
Keukenhof Tulip Blossom Holland – After a long, grey, dark winter time, the best option to start the warm and sunny period of the year is to bring the first flower bouquets in the house. An even better solution is to go outside and actually see the wide flower fields of blossoming tulips, narcissus, and hyacinths. The Netherlands, the world’s largest flower exporter provides locals and travelers perfect opportunities for that. Now it is time for you to book your stay in North Holland or South Holland or in Amsterdam and enjoy the colorful spring months in Holland!
Karl & Daan