I first learned about Keukenhof last year, when the historic 80-acre park that bursts forth each spring with 70 million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other flowering bulbs was celebrating its 60th anniversary with, among other things, an installation of flowers at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Even to someone who can barely keep a houseplant alive, I liked the idea of seeing acres of Holland’s tulip fields in bloom and of strolling through a park filled with so many perfectly planted display gardens. And once I discovered that you can get to the park by public bus from Schiphol, I was sold.
So on arrival in Amsterdam this week I stashed my bags and headed out to the gardens.
The perfectly tended-do gardens are as advertised: a festival of colors, aromas, and landscapes laid out along footpaths that are dotted with water features, foot bridges, artwork, play spaces and pavilions filled with – more flowers. There’s even a Walk of Fame with flowers named for Donald Duck, Madonna, and other celebrities.
Some of the flowers, especially a few of the unusually-shaped and colored tulips, don’t look real. But, of course, they are. That why, as popular as is it, Keukenhof’s spring garden is only open to the public for eight weeks a year. This year’s closing day is May 16th. So if you’ve got a layover at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport before then, take the #58 bus out to see the gardens. If not, add the gardens to your ‘must see’ list and schedule your next trip with a long layover at Schiphol.
(Keukenhof photos courtesy: Keukenhof)