We live in an era of narcissism fuelled by sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Many people post images of themselves amongst the tulip fields surrounding the famous spring gardens, de Keukenhof and this often involves traipsing through and destroying farmers’ crops. One such tulip farmer, Simon Pennings claims to have sustained 10,000 euros of damage through tourist vandalism. It may not be intentional but the consequences are the same. Read more about selfie-madness in this Guardian article.
Simon Pennings, a grower near the town of Noordwijkerhout in the bulb region of south-west Netherlands, was the first to erect a barrier in his field, emblazoned with the slogan of a pilot campaign backed by the local tourist board: “Enjoy the flowers, respect our pride.”
During the Easter Bank Holiday roads around the Keukenhof were gridlocked and even visitors with reservations were advised not to come (by car) because of the congested car parks and roads.
My very first blog showed photos taken at the Keukenhof in 2012 and this year I visited again with friends from England. It was busier than I was used to as mid-April is the peak season for the surrounding tulip fields to bloom. Even so, the paths in the garden are fairly wide and people behaved amicably towards each other so that it wasn’t a stressful visit.
Top Tips for visiting the Keukenhof
Go on a week day and avoid Bank holidays if you can.
Park at the additional entrance rather than the main entrance.
Take sandwiches and water because the food on offer is only the unhealthy kind, and overpriced.
Get there before 11 am as that is when the coaches arrive from either Schiphol or Amsterdam.
Take photos of the surrounding fields but resist the urge to trample into the middle of the crop. Better still hire a bike and dodge the tailbacks.
Be mindful that this is not an authentic experience of the country. Dutch people tend to avoid the Keukenhof like the plague!
Some photos of my 2019 visit. The theme was flower power!