The Garden of Europe is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, situated in Lisse, Netherlands. Literally translated from Dutch Keukenhof means ‘Kitchen garden’. For 2018 the gardens are open from 22nd March to the 13th of May. Typically the best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, depending on the weather. This winter has been so cold, and according to reports it is the coldest March in Northern Europe for 30 years! I knew it may be too early in this season to visit, however the sun was shining it seemed like a perfect day to go.
Access and parking is easy and well organised, there are lots of stewards around to show you the way. Coach rides are available from several locations across the Netherlands, you can pay for these in combination with the park tickets. The lady at the kiosk said the blooms were in fact 3 weeks behind due to the cold weather. We also knew reading online that the tulip fields would not be in full flower yet. However Keukenhof did not disappoint, a perfectly kept array of wonderful blooms. There was so much to see and extremely peaceful walk considering the amount of people visiting.
The main highlight for me was the Willem-Alexander Pavilion, which houses over 100,000 of the most breathtaking tulips. Everywhere you turn there is more stunning colour and beautiful arrangements. During the last 12 days of the season they also have the world’s largest Lily show, I am sure that is a true sight to behold. The orchids were another highlight which are the Beatrix Pavilion, the flowers in there are so romantic and reminded me of my wedding bouquet.
There are several inspirational gardens including the English landscape garden and the Hipster garden. My favourite from all of the varities was the Delft Blue garden.
The park was well laid out and organised, I knew it would be busy but it didn’t feel suffocating. Expect to spend a few hours strolling around. The gardens are spotless with plenty of places to rest and eat. I thought the prices within the cafes were reasonable and the choice of refreshments were good. Next time I would definitely take a picnic and spend more time at the gardens than the three hours we were there.
I was completely in awe of how the gardeners and landscape artists do their job to make the gardens stay so tidy. There is also a traditional windmill which you can climb up and get a good view across the tulip fields. Even though it wasn’t completely ready it was still impressive to see the bold red and vibrant yellow.
There is a large play area for children, which was well maintained and suitable for all ages. Children can also participate in a scavenger hunt, giving them tasks and things to find across the park. A truly wonderful experience for all and well worth the money. Every year Keukenhof gets 1 million visitors from over 100 countries. I’m very lucky that I live only thirty minutes away. I can’t wait for my next visit! Im already planning to go again before the season ends to explore that changing landscape and new flowers in bloom.
I wore this really beautiful sky blue coat from Zara, lightweight, warm and perfect for spring.
All images Daniroselife