The theme for Keukenhof’s showcase in2021 was A World of Colours – a celebration of diversity and different cultures. Unfortunately, instead of being able to open for 8 weeks as they usually do, the gardens were only able to open for a pilot 6 days to test covid safety.
The City Adventurers were lucky enough to take a virtual guided trip around the park in April. We were told Keukenhof were unlikely to be allowed to open to the public until mid-may, when most of the flowers will have finished. So they did not plan on welcoming any more visitors until 2022.
However, if you’d like to see the 2020 display, they have produced the “Keukenhof Spring Series” of videos for Youtube.
Where is Keukenhof?
Keukenhof is located between The Hague and Amsterdam. Originally part of the estate of Teylingen Castle, ‘Keukenhof’ (or Kitchen courtyard) began in the 15th century as a herb garden near the kitchen. Several centuries later, the original ‘Keukenhof’ was used as a basis for the newly designed Teylingen gardens. However, it did not become the centre for tulips until the late 1940s. Keukenhof held their first exhibit of spring-flowering bulbs in 1950 which attracted more than 20,000 visitors.
Now Keukenhof welcomes over 800,000 visitors annually, and, in 2019, 1.5 million people visited the gardens. Impressive, considering they are only open for eight weeks in the entire year!
Keukenhof has a vast array of tulips outside and more tulips arrayed inside giant pavilions. So whatever the weather, you can still have a great time exploring the flowers. There is also a windmill within the park, that visitors can climb and a petting zoo. We were advised that the best time to visit in person (when its safe to do so) is April.
To help visitors navigate their way around the park, everyone is given a map. These are printed on paper made from the previous years bulbs. Once the tulips have flowered, their starch has been depleted and they will not produce good blooms the next year. consequently, the bulbs are recycled into paper production and used to produce the park maps. Ingenious.
Tickets for 2021 are not available. Hopefully visitors will be able to return in 2022.