One of the great benefits of my job working in the airline industry was travel. I was fortunate enough to see quite a bit of the world. One of the cities I flew to quite often was Amsterdam. Occasionally we would have extended layovers in foreign cities so it would be like a mini paid vacation. A few years ago I had a trip with a whole extra day off in Amsterdam at the end of April. The weather was cooperating so off I went from our layover hotel to downtown Amsterdam to catch the train to the town of Lisse. Keukenhof Gardens is just a short train and bus ride from the Central Station in Amsterdam.
After the short bus ride to Keukenhof Gardens from Lisse you are dropped off at the main entrance. My first impression was amazement at how huge this place is. The gardens cover nearly 80 acres but they are surrounded by fields of tulips and canals. You can even take a boat tour of the fields around Keukenhof.
There are several pathways you can take to wind your way through the property. It will take you all day to cover the whole grounds. One thing you will notice is that everything is immaculate. Each area has a theme and is extremely well thought out. There are woodland areas and several ponds. The paths lead you from shady gardens to wide open spaces with fountains and sculptures. There is even a windmill you can climb up to get a better view of the gardens and surrounding fields.
The gardeners at Keukenhof not only excel at growing flowers but also in creating amazing natural displays. They combine several types of flowers and colors to create lots of texture with the plants. I had no idea there were so many types and sizes of tulips. Keukenhof Gardens advertise that there are 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths blooming at the peak times in the Spring. I believe it.
If you are planning a trip to northern Europe in the Spring make an effort to include Keukenhof Gardens. It really is one of the most beautiful places I have been. One more thing, don’t forget comfortable walking shoes.