Keukenhof isn’t the tourist trap I thought it was……

I apologize for not posting about Keukenhof sooner. This was actually from my visit back in 2022, but the garden is open right now and welcoming visitors. Of course, I thought it was still appropriate that wrote down my thoughts on the place here  and so that you can start planning your trip now or for next April. Airline fares and award tickets are always easier to come by 8-12 months out.

During our trip, we spent about half a day visiting the famous Keukenhof Gardens, aka “the Garden of Europe” in Lisse, Netherlands. I’ve always thought of places like this as “tourist traps” and so I had no particular interest in going to the garden because I had plans to see the tulips out in the Dutch countryside. After all, why should I pay money to see some tulips I can see elsewhere in their natural environment?

Booking the Tickets

Of course there are always those of us in the group who want to check all the boxes and that ended up being my sister this time around. She insisted we had to go to Keukenhof just simply because “that’s what everybody did.”

Dreading the crowds that would surely be there, I hopped online to buy our tickets. It’s always good to have tickets in hand for popular attractions as lines may be long for ticket counters and it ensures you will be visiting a certain place when you want to.

Tickets cost 19.50 Euros per adult, 9 Euros per minor, and parking costs 8 Euros (Note: the 2022 ticket prices were 18.50 Euros for adults and 6 Euros for parking). At the time of booking there were only a few time slots left on our desired date. I chose Tuesday as the day we would be visiting because I assumed the weekends would be even more packed than normal.


Keukenhof is located about 20 minutes from the centre of Amsterdam in the town of Lisse. The area is well known for its commercial farms and tulip fields, many of which you can actually see on descent into Amsterdam during the month of April:

a aerial view of a field


In fact there is a decently sized tulip field right across from the parking lot as you pull in:

a field of orange tulips

It’s Okay to be Late!

Fast forward a week to the day we were visiting. Both my uncle and I were driving separate cars to the garden (we were a group of 7) and my dad somehow navigated their car to some tulips in Noord-Holland instead of Keukenhof. Our designated time of arrival was between 3 pm and 3:30 pm so given that my uncle, aunt, and parents had driven off 40 minutes in the opposite direction, it didn’t look like they would make it. Let me just say that I’m usually a stickler for being on time and so I was pretty annoyed by this delay. I’m the last person you want to ask to run and hold the flight as I feel a bit embarassed to say that someone in my party is late.

At the time of booking, the website made it seem like entry was strictly based on the time slot you reserve. However on the day of our visit, no one was really checking for the time stamp. So when my sister asked if it was ok, the ticket guy said it was fine that the parents were late. I don’t know if this was really because they weren’t too busy on this partcular day or that this was official policy, but we were grateful that in our case.

The Garden:

Our visit was actually during the beginning of April so both the tulips and the cherry blossoms were in bloom. It was a little late for cherry blossoms to be at their peak, but it was beautiful nevertheless.

If you are like me and flee from crowds of people,  don’t run away as soon as you see the row of tulips with cherry blossoms right at the front of the park. In my experience, this was perhaps the most crowded area of the entire garden and as you go further in, the crowds really seem to dissapate.

a group of people standing under a tree with many flowers

Every inch of the park is straight out of the movies, almost seemingly ageless. There are so many Bollywood and Tollywood songs which actually feature the park like this, this, and this. And I believe there are even tours in Holland to go to the sites where many of these songs were shot.

a field of tulips in a park with Keukenhof in the background

And no the park isn’t all about the legendary Dutch tulips, there is plenty of other flora to see.

The designs that were made with the various flowers were really beautiful.

a field of flowers

However if I were being honest, there is not a single botanical garden you can visit that’s beauty is comparable to that of Keukenhof.

a field of tulips in a forest with Keukenhof in the background

So don’t be that person that just walks in and takes a couple of selfies and leaves. Walk around and take it all in. There is so much to see and photograph, it’s absolutely mindblowing.

a field of flowers in front of a tree

We hung around in the park for a couple of hours so we got to see it until just before they closed the gates.

a group of colorful tulips

And toward the end of the day, the park is actually almost empty so it’s the perfect time to grab those pictures without the tourists.

a field of tulips by a lake

a garden with many flowers

Bottom Line:

Keukenhof may seem like just another tourist trap, especially when you’ve already been to the gorgeous tulip fields in other parts of Holland. Yet, a visit to Keukenhof is indispensable. Sure, you can find tulips elsewhere, but what sets Keukenhof apart is its meticulously curated floral arrangements. From the moment you step in, surrounded by rows of vibrant tulips and cherry blossoms, you’re transported into a world straight out of a dream.

There’s a bit of irony to my statement because most tourists to the Netherlands only go to Keukenhof and skip out on the many tulips farms strewn across the country 🙂


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