Lisse is small enough to get around on foot, and the Keukenhof is at walking distance from the centre. However, you can also get around the village easily by car or bike.
The Keukenhof is the main reason why foreigners come to Lisse, and well-worth it. It is an elaborate park and floral exhibition, and actually a promotion for the Dutch flower industry. These are the famous tulip gardens surrounded by tulip fields in Netherlands. Keukenhof is open only in the first two months of spring, in 2014 from 20 Mar to 18 May when the spring flowers are in bloom. The best time is to visit may depend on the weather conditions but is usually mid April. For the nine weeks of opening, hundreds of growers, breeders and product groups, in various product shows, join forces in an effort to present a high quality flower exhibition the visitors to Keukenhof.
The park opens as early as 8AM. Be there around that time and enjoy the wonderful combination of a very quiet park with the flowers opening up. Keukenhof can be uncomfortably busy in afternoons. Closing time usually is 7.30PM.
There is no direct bus or train from Amsterdam: instead, travel to Schiphol by bus or by train and then take the 58 or 61 bus. From Leiden Centraal Station, take bus 54, from Haarlem station bus 50 or 51. Combination tickets for the bus ride and entrance are on sale at the bus ticket offices, outside both stations. Bus 58 and 61 run from Schiphol Airport to the Keukenhof: additional services are put on during the height of the season, but crowds of tourists at the height of the season can cause near riots.
In 2012 Keukenhof will be open from March 22th up until May 20th, including all Sundays and public holidays, from 8AM to 7:30PM daily (ticket office closes at 6PM). Entrance fees for 2012: adults €14,50 and children (4-11 years) €7 per person. Parking €6 per vehicle. Tickets can be purchased at the door (but be prepared for a lengthy wait), or online at www.keukenhof.nl. If you buy your ticket online, you do not have to stand in line at the ticket office, but you can walk straight to the ticket inspector. If you come by car, it is wise to buy a parkingticket online as well.
The easiest way to visit Keukenhof is Connexxion’s all-in Combi-ticket. This ticket includes a return bus ticket to Keukenhof and an entrance ticket to Keukenhof. By showing your Combi-ticket you can enter Keukenhof directly, so you don’t have to worry about traffic-jams, parking problems or ticket queues at the park. You can buy this all-in Combi-ticket at Schiphol Airport train station, Leiden Central train station, The Hague Central train station and also online. Prices for the Combi-ticket for 2012: adults €21, 65+ €18 and children (4-11 years) €11 per person.
You can also buy an all-in Combi-ticket at the Tourist Information desk at Amsterdam Central train station and at the Tourist Information desk at Leidseplein in Amsterdam. Prices for this Combi-ticket for 2012: adults €25, 65+ €18 and children (4-11 years) €11 per person.
- Castle Keukenhof,Keukenhof 1, Lisse (right across the road from the Keukenhof flower exhibition; in Lisse follow the signs “Kasteel Keukenhof”), ☎ +31 252 750690 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Despite having the same name, the castle is not part of the park and you can not just visit it as part of your park visit. Guided tours are available on Mondays and Sundays at 1:30PM but you need to book in advance. On other days, the castle usually is not accessible as it is used as a conference and wedding location. The estate comprises the castle but also some 200ha forest, grass lands and a beautiful park. In total, 18 National Heritage Sights have been officially recognized on the estate’s grounds.
Activities at Keukenhof: Guided tours, Lectures, Photography workshops, Boat tours of the bulb fields. For groups you can make reservations in advance. Bicycle tours of the bulb fields: Keukenhof Cycle Route. Distance: 38 or 31 km.
Of course you can also buy many flower bulbs on the spot. Five pre-approved vendors sell bulbs for export. You can visit thier pavilions and select bulbs for shipment to you. Bulbs will be shipped in time for fall planting. Make sure the bulbs you select are approved for your country of export. Major credit card are acccepted. For a lasting reminder of Keukenhof you can shop till you drop at the various souvenir shops spread over the park. Our shops offer a wide variety of Keukenhof and Dutch souvenirs.
Keukenhof park has five restaurants, each with a terrace overlooking the park. These are self-service restaurants where you can get coffee, tea, sandwiches and hot meals. If you want to eat in the village of Lisse, there’s a number of additional options, many in the centre along the Heereweg and the adjoining streets.
- De Vier Seizoenen, Heereweg 224, ☎ +31 252 418 023. Tasty food, French cuisine and good service. One of the most popular places in Lisse. 3 course menu from €31.
- Il Mulino, Heereweg 192, ☎ +31 252 625 420. Descent Italian place with good food and friendly personnel. This is not a place for a pizza, but a good pick if you like traditional Italian cuisine.
- Pannenkoeken restaurant Vrouw Holle, Kanaalstraat 22 a, ☎ +31 252 413 739. Pancake restaurants are popular in the Netherlands. As usual, this one offers both sweet and savory pancakes. The restaurant is located in an old farm. If you don’t like pancakes, they also serve a few salads, soups and mains with both meat and fish. €5-€15.