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TULIPS-- Keukenhof or where?

Is Keufenhof all it's cracked up to be, or too touristy an experience?
Is there another place one can get the tulip essence, somewhere, riding a bike off in the country?
We land May 17th in AMS.
Thanks for your comments!

Posted by
8940 posts

Keukenhof is ultra touristy, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Everything at Keukenhof is well presented and fun. However May 17 is the day before the complex closes for the season, and there will be very few actual tulips on display, they will have peaked a couple weeks beforehand. But Keukenhof isn't all tulips, I have visited twice on the last day it was open and there was more than enough things to do and see to make interesting and worth your time. Like orchids, carnations, rose, perennials, hydrangea etc. There also lots of non-flower activities like bird or prey demonstrations, petting zoo, funky sculpture gardens, and arts & craft.

Posted by
25532 posts

The tulip fields are not for the production of flowers - they are a by product - but for the development of the bulbs. When they have grown sufficiently the tulips get a haircut and the bulbs are lifted, leaving behind the grey sandy loam.

By your arrival date it is likely that virtually all bulbs in the fields will have finished, particularly since we have had such a mild winter and spring.

Posted by
918 posts

We were just there on April 4th. As Nigel said, they have had a mild winter and many of the flowers were in bloom. There will likely be plenty of flowers in bloom, but there may not be any (or many) tulips. It is still a very beautiful place and they have a windmill overlooking some commercial fields. Another suggestion is to go to the flower auction in Aalsmeer. Make sure you arrive no later than 9 to ensure that the auction is still going on. The building is absolute enormous! After the auction, you can watch all of the action as the workers prepare orders for shipment around the world. It's a very impressive sight!

Posted by
25532 posts

I was there 2 weeks ago and the displays at Keukenhof were fabulous. Virtually all the varieties I saw were "late" or "double late" varieties and there were some gaps where even the "late" varieties had finished. Crowds midweek on a warm slightly overcast day were moderate and the displays well worth going for.

In the commercial bulb fields almost all the flower cutting was complete, with a few strips not yet cut but final cutting was happening in front of us.

I would expect few intact flowers in the fields by now.

Posted by
161 posts

I am disappointed that the 17th is the last day for Keukenhoff, in terms of the tulips displays. I understand there are other flowers in bloom there, but am wondering if any of you have found places further off with tulips growing, where one might bike?

Thanks,
Laurel

Posted by
25532 posts

Laurel,,

I understand your disappointment but unfortunately none of us can control the weather and this spring and winter have been very warm - just as warm in Europe as the US has been cold.

Once the bulbs come up and flower there is nothing that can be done. The fields are harvested when the crop (the bulbs - not the flowers as described above) is ready.

Unfortunately you are too late this year. I'm sorry.

Posted by
433 posts

I enjoyed Keukenhof, sensory overload at every turn. I was also there on April 4th :-)

Well worth the time with a wide variety of flowers, it might be crowded so go early.
http://www.keukenhof.nl/en/now-in-the-park/flower-shows/

You can rent bikes right outside Keukenhof to ride around the fields but thebpark will have flowers.