Dutch Language Blog

Tourism for iedereen at the Keukenhof Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Dutch Language

Last week I went to a place in the Netherlands where most Dutch people have never set foot:  the Keukenhof, a huge, heavily landscaped flower park outside of Amsterdam.  At the entrance, a Dutch flag hangs alongside a German one, and inside the last thing you are likely to hear is the sing-songy tones of our favorite subject, here – the Dutch language.

I imagine that for some of the more far-flung visitors to the Keukenhof, the floral treasures inside are a sheer exotic pleasure: if you’re visiting from India or East Asia, a single tulip, not to mention thousands of them, is likely to be a kick.  If you walk to the edges of the park, you can look out over the fields full of tulips that are harvested for their bulbs.  These blankets of color are one of the loveliest things Holland has to offer, but they are short-lived.  By now most of the color is gone.

The Keukenhof is an odd tourist attraction in some ways:  after all, they’re just flowers.  But the space is pleasantly designed with a typically Dutch sense of tidiness and order.  Brush, sculpted into cones and mazes, gives a bit of an Alice in Wonderland feel to the whole thing, aided by patches full of African violets that you can sort of imagine springing to life and breaking into song.  Big warehouse-like greenhouse spaces, named for members of the Dutch royal family, hold orchids and strange accompanying set-pieces, like mannequins dressed in evening gowns and wearing pageant sashes naming them for species of orchid.

I’d recommend the Keukenhof to tourists, but it seems like they are already getting the message, so I will recommend it instead to Dutch readers of the blog, who may have stayed away out of that special stigma that keeps natives far from those sights that, for whatever reason, cry out to be seen.  This floral paradise might be just the way to while away a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, perhaps with your dog, who will be happy to be allowed inside.


Tags: , ,
Keep learning Dutch with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it


  1. Judith Tordoir:

    Hi There Folks,

    It is so true about more tourists visiting The Keukenhof Gardens!! I’m married to a Dutchman whose family dates from the 16th century!! My husband visited the Keukenhof for the first time with me in 2009!!! “D I really find it hard to believe that so many Dutch people don’t realize what a gem the Keukenhof Gardens is!!! Anyway, since we moved from Amersfoort to Almere, it was a real pleasure to find fields of Tulips beside a Nature Park just at the Lelystad-Zeewolde border, not far from where we live!!! Now my husband just appreciates Tulips even more!!! Me… I just love the beauty of Holland!!! I am from Penang, Malaysia, a very touristy island north-west and we have hundres of Dutch tourists who come back every year!!! It’s hot and sunny with rains in between all year long, but I love the chilly winds of Almere!! Call me crazy, “D

    Love to all,


  2. Jeanine:

    Same here. My husband is a Nederlander and his first trip to Keukenhof was upon my request. He was surprise how large it was, how many flowers were there & their indoor garden. I didn’t even have a chance to tell his parents about our day trip because he just kept talking & talking. And neither of them have ever been. Guess that’s like an Arizonian that’s never been to the Grand Canyon?