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Tulips at the Keukenhof in 2009
Castle Keukenhof

Keukenhof (English: "Kitchen garden"; Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkøːkə(n)ˌɦɔf]), also known as the Garden of Europe,[1] is one of the world's largest flower gardens, situated in the town of Lisse, in the Netherlands. According to the official website, Keukenhof Park covers an area of 32 hectares (79 acres) and approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted in the gardens annually.[2][3] While Keukenhof is most known for its tulips; hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations and irises can also be seen.[4]

Keukenhof is located in the province of South Holland, south of Haarlem and southwest of Amsterdam in the area called the "Dune and Bulb Region" (Duin- en Bollenstreek). It is accessible by bus from Haarlem and Leiden train stations as well as Schiphol.

Keukenhof is open for just 8 weeks from mid-March to mid-May. The best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, but this is dependent on the weather during the growing season which can vary year by year. In 2019, 1.5 million people visited the Keukenhof.[5] By comparison, the Rijksmuseum receives an average of 8000 visitors per day, the Efteling receives 14,000 visitors per day but Keukenhof receives 26,000 visitors per day.[6]


Keukenhof is situated on the 15th-century hunting grounds of Slot Teylingen and was also the kitchen garden (in Dutch: keukenduin) for that castle, providing the inhabitants with a plentiful source with game, fruit and vegetables. The most famous inhabitant who benefitted from the spoils of the kitchen garden was Countess Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436).[7] In 1638, the estate was bought by VOC captain and governor Adriaen Maertensz Block and in 1641 he had a large manor house built which he named Keukenhof, now known as Castle Keukenhof.[8][9]

In 1857, Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt, owners of the estate at the time, tasked the landscape architect Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, both also the designers of Amsterdam's Vondelpark, to restructure the park and grounds around the castle. The parks, designed in English style, are still the foundations for the gardens today.[10][11]

Keukenhof as it is known today was established in 1949 by a consortium of bulb growers and flower exporters to showcase their products and help the export industry. The garden first opened to the public in 1950 and was deemed an instant hit with 20,000 visitors in its first year alone.[12]

Panoramic view of the Keukenhof


Tulip Hà Lan 8.jpg

Each fall, 40 gardeners plant the 7 million bulbs donated to the park by over 100 growers.[13] Planting starts early October and is usually completed by December 5th, around Sinterklaas.[14] The flowerbeds are designed to take into account different flowering times of the bulbs but also to ensure a constant floral bloom throughout the duration of parks 8-week opening.[15] To ensure the tulips are always in bloom, three bulbs are planted on top of each other. The shallowest bulb will bloom first for three weeks and the subsequent layers bloom for the weeks after.[16]

Aside from the tulip gardens the Keukenhof features a variety of different garden styles. The English landscape garden has winding paths and unexpected see-through points. The historical garden is a walled garden where many of the historical strains are still grown annually. The nature garden is where shrubs and perennials are combined with bulbous plants and the Japanese country garden is a non-traditional garden in a natural environment.[13] Four pavilions house rotating shows and flower exhibits.

Opening times[edit]

The grounds of Castle Keukenhof[17] are open all year long and are frequently used for festivals such as Castlefest, the Ladies Winternight,[18] and the Christmas Fair.[19] The castle also hosts classical music concerts.

In 2017 a record 1.4 million visitors entered the Keukenhof gardens.[20] Only 20% of the visitors are Dutch, while 40% are from neighboring countries Germany, UK and Belgium. The number of visitors from the USA (10%) and China (8%) has grown considerably over the years.

Governance and Economy[edit]


Keukenhof falls under a charitable foundation of Count Carel De Gaaf van Lynden (Stichting Graaf Carel van Lynden). As of January 1, 2016, the foundation owns both Keukenhof and Castle Keukenhof plus the surrounding estate.[21]


year visitors   year visitors
2008 835,000 2014 1,020,000
2009 850,000 2015 1,175,000
2010 800,000 2016 1,143,000
2011 884,000 2017 1,400,000[22]
2012 875,000 2018 1,400,000[23]
2013 849,000 2019 1,500,000[24]

Visitor breakdown by nationality for 2019 season:[25][26]

Country % visitors
the Netherlands 20%
Germany 15%
United States 10%
Chinese 4%


The Keukenhof does not receive any subsidies from the government. All revenues are generated from ticket sales and the exploitation of F&B license on the premises. In 2019 Keukenhof generated €25million in revenue.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The 'Garden of Europe' is in full bloom in The Netherlands". ABC News. ABC News Internet Ventures. April 30, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Keukenhof website - About Archived 2015-02-19 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ 5 facts and figures (in English)
  4. ^ "Keukenhof". Visit Holland. Dutch Tourism Board. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  5. ^ "Visitor numbers to the Keukenhof in the Netherlands". Statista. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  6. ^ (in Dutch)"De Bloemen van de Keukenhof hebben geen marketing nodig". De Volkskrant. DPG Media. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  7. ^ Tinsley, Claire. "The Greatest Flower Show on Earth: The History of the Keukenhof". Smithsonian Journeys. Smithsonian Journeys. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  8. ^ (in Dutch) Landgoed Keukenhof Archived September 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,
  9. ^ "GESCHIEDENIS VAN DE KEUKENHOF". Is Geschiedenis. Pepijn Dobbelaer. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  10. ^ (in Dutch)"Historie van de Keukenhof". Anton Nijssen. Anton Nijssen. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  11. ^ Keukenhof website - History. Archived.
  12. ^ (in Dutch)"Geschiedenis van de Keukenhof". Is Geschiedenis. Virtumedia BV. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Presentation". Keukenhof. Keukenhof. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Plantseizoen Keukenhof van start: zeven miljoen bloembollen de grond in". Omroep West (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  15. ^ "Visit Keukenhof Tulip and Flower Gardens, South Holland". European Traveller. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  16. ^ (in Dutch)"Plantseizoen Keukenhof van start: zeven miljoen bloembollen de grond in". Omroep West. Omroep West. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  17. ^ Castle Keukenhof website Archived 2011-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ (in Dutch) Ladies Winternight Keukenhof
  19. ^ Christmas Fair Archived 2013-02-22 at
  20. ^ (in Dutch) Keukenhof sluit topseizoen press release
  21. ^ "Fusie Keukenhof is bekrachtigd". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  22. ^ "Keukenhof- Visitors 2018". Van Doorne. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Number of visitors to the Keukenhof in the Netherlands from 2011 to 2019 (in 1,000s)". Statista. Statista. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Number of visitors to the Keukenhof in the Netherlands from 2011 to 2019 (in 1,000s)". Statista. Statista. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  25. ^ Klopper, Roy (20 May 2019). "Record: 1,5 miljoen bezoekers Keukenhof". De Telegraaf. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Keukenhof sluit een succesvol seizoen |". Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  27. ^ Reijn, Gerard (17 March 2019). "De bloemen van de keukenhof hebben geen marketing nodig". De Volkskrant. Retrieved 8 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°16′17″N 4°32′47″E / 52.271256°N 4.546365°E / 52.271256; 4.546365