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Keukenhof area in April 2015

My husband and I, along with another couple, will be touring Holland, Belgium, and France in April 2015. After leaving Amsterdam we want to visit the Keukenhof fields and garden for a day by car. I want to know where to spend the night close to the gardens and perhaps near another place to tour the same day. I am wondering if there are any towns famous for cheese near by. From this point our next stop would be Brugges, Belgium.

Posted by
914 posts

I was there in May and after leaving Keukenhof we spent the night in Leiden. Very nice with historic center and university. There's a large windmill with museum and self-guided tour as well. Quite interesting and you can climb to the top. I would imagine there are also walking tours of Leiden's center, but unfortunately we arrived too late in the day for anything guided--just walked around on our own.

Keukenhof is very pretty. I wish it'd been a little less crowded, but everyone was just going with the flow and enjoying a sunny day.

Posted by
27431 posts

Leiden is close and convenient with a nice centre, to say nothing of a large windmill right in town.

Not far away is Gouda. You may recognise the name from cheese, which has a very nice compact town centre with attractive church and very attractive town hall.

Posted by
8889 posts

The nearest town is Lisse, a typical Dutch small town, which does have an hotel. Also Noordwijk, nearby on the coast.
Delft is not too far and worth a visit.

Posted by
5378 posts

As a practical matter, most people visit Keukenhof (which is normally crowded, even on weekdays) from Amsterdam. You might want to stay south of it simply because you will miss so many possible attractions on the long drive to Bruges if you don't: Leiden, Haarlem, the Hague (and its museums), Rotterdam, Delft, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Kinderdijk, Lier, Antwerp, Gent, Mechelen.

Note that while Keukenhof has excellent views of adjacent bulb-production fields, it is primarily a (very, very large) cultivated show garden, not a production facility. If you have even the slightest interest in the global floral trade, or cut flowers at all, you might want to visit the business-day, early morning (indoor) flower auction in Aalsmeer. Although both places are served by bus companies from Amsterdam, it is particularly convenient to have a car to do both in one day. The auction hall has an informal restaurant connected with the visitor's gallery. This is a major tourist attraction, with free parking in a massive facility.

Posted by
2828 posts

A good strategy to visit Keukenhof, if one has a car, is to arrive early, as soon as the park opens, and then head first to the covered/enclosed pavilions that get very busy before the tour buses arrive. That way, you have more room on the most crowded parts of the park, and then you can, later, walk around as the rest of tourists arrive in droves.

Also, pick a weekday over weekends.

Posted by
1711 posts

I did the RS Belgium/Holland tour last May and really enjoyed our visit to the Keukenhof gardens. Get there early to avoid the crowds. I ordered some bulbs from their supplier but my yard stills falls a bit short of their 2M flowers! I'd also recommend a stop at Delft and with a walking tour of the historical sites and pottery "factory". Lots of cute shops and restaurants. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you all for your good suggestions, tips, and experiences. We are looking forward to our trip in April. Presently, we are thinking of driving to Bruges, Belgium after touring Keukenhof.