How long to visit Keukenhof gardens?

Mar 18th, 2014, 02:03 PM
  #1  
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How long to visit Keukenhof gardens?

In early May my friends and I will visit the fabulous gardens of Keukenhof. We are moderately interested in flowers and gardens – not intensely fanatic, not anti-garden.

How much time should we budget for a solid visit, not counting time we will spend for lunch?

And which entrance is better – Lisse or Half Weg?

Thanks so much.
Geonev is offline  
Mar 18th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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Avoid weekends is my advice - I went on a Sunday and it twas mobbed, understandably with locals.

For your wishes I'd say 3 hours for seeing not including eating - I found I had to wait to get into some of the hothouses - most of the flowers are indoors it seems - each horticultural mega company sponsoring a different type of bloom inside.

Leave time to tiptoe thru the tulips though I suspect they may be gone to market before that - but tiptoe thru the flower fields that swirl around the Keukenhof - just go out the west side and walk a wee ways north - directions may not be that accurate and you'll be surrounded by miles of pulchridtudinous undulating blooms of all hues and colors.

I can't see why it would matter what entrance you enter - I only recall one actually so I guess I can't say.

Best way there by public transit - train to Leiden special shuttle bus waiting in front of station.

For variety hop bus #100 (unless number has changed) to Haarlem as this goes right thru the heart of the flower fields and Haarlem is a really REALLY nice city to putz around a few hours - get off the bus at the southern end of the pedestrian shopping zone (VVV or tourist office there for city maps - the Frans Hal House/Museum is a major sight as is an Anne Franck type house used to hide Jews during the Nazi Reign of Terror.

Haarlem's train station is at the north end of the town center - perpetual trains leaving for the 20-minute ride to Amsterdam.
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 18th, 2014, 04:43 PM
  #3  
 
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Did this last April and took the bus from Leiden. I'm not a huge flower person either but between the pavilions and walking outside amongst the various gardens I'd say we spent around 5 hours and know we didn't see everything. We were there on a Thursday and often had to wait for the crowds to clear in the pavilions to get some good photos ops.

We also did a canal ride through the tulip fields which were very interesting. I had a bad knee at the time so did stop several times for a rest. If your group is fit I'm sure you would be fine with 3-4 hours.
Mars123 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2014, 08:05 AM
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Into biking at all? You could rent a bike in Amsterdam and buy a Fiets (bicycle) ticket to take it on the train - you put it on yourself - and then go via Haarlem to Hillegom train station just south of Haarlem.

Start biking from here and you will not tiptoe thru the tulips or flowers but bike thru miles and miles of flower fields - it is not that far to the Keukenhof because I actually walked from Hillegom train station to the Keukenhof - by bike you could then ride from Keukenhof to Lisse, nice smallish town for a rest and food and then end up your biking at Leiden and put bike and self back on train to Amsterdam.
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 19th, 2014, 08:12 AM
  #5  
 
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If you are getting the bus from Amsterdam then you will be dropped at the main entrance. You can buy a combi-ticket - bus and entrance online already.
If it is a nice day, and not to windy if there are still blooms in the fields you can always rent a bike when you get to Keukenhof. You can't ride through Keukenhof itself but can ride through the fields around it.
hetismij2 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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If you want to see the majority of the displays AND have something to eat, I think that 4-5 hours is probably about right. The gardens are quite extensive and it seems that they add a new area every year or two.

give yourselves plenty of time to see it all - on a sunny day the displays are very attractive. amazing to think that every year they dig up all the bulbs and start all over again.
annhig is offline  
Mar 19th, 2014, 09:32 AM
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The nearby tulip fields are incredible, a riot of colors.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Mar 19th, 2014, 10:26 AM
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Yes, it's always spectacular. However, by early may the flowers will have gone. Especially because it's so unseasonably warm this spring.
menachem is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 12:33 PM
  #10  
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Thanks, everyone, so much! Based on advice I will allow about 4-5 hours, including lunch, and not hurry. Some of my friends may want to bike; others will be OK with strolling.
Early May is the time I have available, but forgot to say – it is May 2015! So perhaps not such a warm spring and maybe there still will be flowers.
Most grateful for all the advice.
Geonev is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 01:46 PM
  #11  
 
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Geonev on Mar 21, 14 at 4:33pm
Thanks, everyone, so much! Based on advice I will allow about 4-5 hours, including lunch, and not hurry. Some of my friends may want to bike; others will be OK with strolling.


I would bike to Keukenhof but not in it, though I think biking inside is allowed late in the day. Here is a photolog of my bike trip from Haarlem http://tinyurl.com/5nwqzp. I suggest an afternoon visit on a sunny day. I would not eat there, except maybe a cake and coffee. If you would rather not bike PalenQ's suggestion of a train to Hillegom and a stroll from there is good. But make sure your train stops at Hillegom. The "station" is a platform out in the fields just west of the village of Hillegom.
spaarne is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 04:35 AM
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Yes, it's always spectacular. However, by early may the flowers will have gone. Especially because it's so unseasonably warm this spring.>>

Menachem - I'm interested in what you say about the early spring - here in the south west of the UK, although there has not been much very cold weather, we had several months of temperatures that hovered between 5-7 C, with very little sun, lots of rain, and many storms.

I am certainly not finding that flowers in my garden are particularly advanced, OTC, many spring flowers seem later than usual.

but it's a good point that the OP cannot be guaranteed to see the tulips at their best at the beginning of May, even in 2015.
annhig is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 05:39 AM
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and again there are many many other flowers a blooming in those fields throughout spring apart from tulips, which are a minority I believe of all the various flowers grown here not only for blooms but bulbs to export toe the rest of the world.
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 08:08 AM
  #14  
 
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driving back from Falmouth this afternoon, i lost track of the number of fields i saw that were bright with mainly yellow daffodils, grown both for the cut flower and the bulb trade, which is a big part of the economy here in Cornwall. Lots of the verges have lovely displays as well.

I know it's slightly off topic, but you don't have to go to Holland to see lovely spring flowers. I must confess though that we have nothing like Keukenhof in the UK, despite my best efforts in my back garden!
annhig is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 08:14 AM
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"Daffodils" (1804)
I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Written in the Lake District when the poet saw all the daffodils annhig talks about on his Rydal Mount estate

a 1000 saw I in a single glance, tossing their heads in sprightly dance are the lines I love the most!

Would love to see Cornwall's daffodils - ours are still under ice and snow!
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