Need trip ideas? Check out our curated collections of destinations around the globe.More
On arrival in Lisse in springtime, you will be in no doubt that this is the center of the Netherlands' biggest tourist attraction, with bumper-to-bumper tour buses and weaving cyclists overwhelming this provincial town. In the 17th century, like its neighbors Sassenheim and Hillegom, it was surrounded by country estates, of which just one remains (the rest were dug over for bulbs). The estate's
former garden is the main attraction, but Kasteel Keukenhof (0252/750–690 www.kasteelkeukenhof.nl) is also open to the public. If you want to include this in your visit, ring first to check opening times; you can see inside only by guided tour, for which you need a reservation. Another escape from the crowds is the tower directly south of the gardens. Built by a knight-cum-forester (an important position back then), ‘t Huys Dever (0252/411–430 www.kasteeldever.nl) is an atmospheric 14th-century keep.
A small town just north of Schiphol Airport, on the edge of the Westeinder Plassen, it's no exaggeration to say this is one of the flower capitals...
The camera doesn't lie when it comes to Kinderdijk, and the virtual tour on the website gives you a clear idea of exactly what to expect. Touristy...