Spring in the Netherlands means one thing – a visit to Lisse!
Lisse is a town in the Netherlands and is home to Keukenhof, also known as ‘The Garden of Europe’. Keukenhof is one of the largest flower gardens in the world, with roughly seven million flower bulbs planted there annually. Although it is open year-round for festivals and private events, it’s only open to the public for eight weeks in spring from mid-March to mid-May.
So, last weekend, my friend Emmie and I decided to spend an afternoon there.
During the eight weeks that it’s open to the public, Keukenhof gets thousands of visitors per day, which makes it hard to pick the best time to visit the garden. Nevertheless, it’s probably not a good idea to go there as soon as it’s open, as a lot of people are most likely planning to do the same. But don’t leave it too late, either. So, a trip to Keukenhof in mid-April is your best bet.
Seeing as I’m based in Leiden, I got a bus to Keukenhof from Leiden train station; while Emmie - who was in Amsterdam at the time - got a bus from Schiphol. You can also get a bus to Keukenhof from Haarlem train station. To my surprise, I had to queue for almost an hour before I could board the bus as there were many people going there from Leiden, too. Emmie had a similar experience at Schiphol, and she ended up arriving in Lisse at least an hour after I did!
I regretted wearing my light spring coat as it was quite chilly that day. It also drizzled on and off throughout the day, so it would be a good idea to carry your umbrella with you if you’re visiting Lisse in the spring.
As soon as Emmie arrived, we started planning our afternoon. We were both more excited about visiting the tulip fields in Lisse than seeing the garden, so we rented bicycles at a nearby bike rental stand for about €13 each and cycled to the fields together. We stopped at two fields – the first one was filled with white flowers, while the second one was filled with red and pink tulips. The fields weren’t as crowded as the garden was, which allowed us to take a couple of nice pictures there.
Afterwards, we made our way back to Keukenhof and took a quick tour around the garden before it closed.
To access the garden, you’ll need to buy a ticket. Tickets for adults cost €18.50 each, while tickets for children cost €9 each. They can either be pre-ordered on the Keukenhof website or bought at Keukenhof on the day you plan to visit. If you’re visiting the park as a group of between 20-200 people, you may be entitiled to a discount on each ticket.
We were both hungry and, therefore, thrilled to find out that there are snacks on sale inside the garden. Emmie bought herself a hot dog from one of the vendors, and I had a waffle – both under €10 each.
Afterwards, we made our way to the bus stop to queue for our bus back home. Thankfully, the queues were much shorter this time around, as most visitors to the garden had already left. We were both going back to Leiden, so we got on the same bus and happily rode back home, having had a successful trip to Lisse.
I’d highly recommend visiting Lisse when you’re in the Netherlands. It’s a unique experience that you wouldn’t want to miss. And if you’re looking for a bit more of an adventure, be sure to rent a bike and cycle through the tulip fields while you’re there.🚲
I also included a few pictures of our visit below. Hope they give you an idea of what it's like. 😊