• Ankitha Prakash

The Keukenhof Gardens 🌷: Holland, Netherlands, 2017

When you are at Keukenhof tulip gardens, you can already get the happy vibes as you enter through the gates. This trip to Keukenhof was more like an icing on the cake for me because Amsterdam was so overwhelming already. The best time to visit Keukenhof is during the spring when the garden is open for 8 weeks, attracting millions of tourists. Make sure you come here on a weekday to avoid the tourist hustle and bustle.

The garden is located in Lisse and is about 45 minutes from Amsterdam. Try booking your tickets online and also a guided tour if possible as it saves a lot of time and gives you better insights on the various aspects of the garden.

Keukenhof literally means, Kitchen Garden and after looking at the size of it, you'd say that it is an understatement considering the massive size of the garden. It spans at about 80 acres and I happened to take a guided tour, that turned out to be a good decision. The tour started by picking us up at Schipol bus stop in Amsterdam. En route to Keukenhof, as we were reaching Lisse, we could see many Tulip gardens already (let's talk about this in detail later) and my face was gleaming. Our tour got us to visit s a private garden where the gardeners explained how tulips literally come to life. We also got to see a video about how the Netherlands became the worlds largest exporter of Tulips. We also got to know how gardeners use various techniques to get multiple colours and shades in tulips. The gardeners were a couple and they made it look so romantic that I couldn't wait anymore to go and run like a child into the garden, enjoying the colours and smells of the tulips. Finally, they let us see their gardens and yes this was the time I fell in love with this country again. The garden with its mesmerizing tulips was a treat to my eyes and one has to be there to experience this aura. 

After this exclusive tour, we boarded the coach and left for Keukenhof gardens. The tulips in Keukenhof gardens were so beautiful that when they swayed with the gentle breeze, it seemed like poetry in motion. The place looked divine!!

There are four pavilions in the garden and make sure you plan accordingly. These four pavilions have different types of flowers and you can learn about how they are grown. You could also get to know how tulips were brought into the Netherlands and also how the flower became the national symbol. Apart from tulips the garden also showcases various other flowers like lilies, daffodils, hyacinths and many more.

I'd recommend you to visit all the pavilions and have a look at various sculptures made out of flowers, that are sculpted in accordance with the theme for the year while some other sculptures are just abstracts. Try to venture a bit deeper into the garden and you'll be surprised to see that you are all by yourself amidst of these amazing flowers and their fragrance. Try to click as many pictures as possible because this place is so beautiful and picturesque in so many ways that even an amateur photographer could end up with breathtaking images. 

The huge garden offers a lot of places to visit for tourists to enjoy, sit and relax. The Dutch windmill is one of the most crowded places where tourists flock to get on top of it to enjoy the view of tulips from up there. Make sure you do get on top of it and click pics. This windmill was used to drain water from land and pump it into the rivers. You could also take a boat ride in one of these rivers and enjoy the view from the boat. 

Like I mentioned earlier, let me tell you more about the tulip gardens in Lisse. Away from the crowded Keukenhof gardens is the real production of tulips and huge fields where you can see the world-famous flower fields like you used to see in movies.

These fields are best explored on a bicycle with a local guide. You can get to enjoy the bliss all by yourself while you experience the serenity of these fields. Our guide Ryan was very humble and showed us around a lot of the fields and also explained about the flowering and we also got to see how the tulips were cut to be exported all over the world. We cycled till our feet were sore and finally sat in one of the grass fields under the shade of a tree and with an amazing view of tulip fields in front of us.

After a few snacks accompanied by the mouthwatering Dutch cheese, we bid adieu to Ryan and the fields. The last part of my journey was like a cherry on top of the cake. I hope to visit this beautiful place once more!!