18 things I did at Keukenhof 2018

This year's Keukenhof festival didn't disappoint, and I'm here to tell you why.

Every year, shocking shades of red, pink and green take over Lisse’s sprawling fields at Keukenhof, the Netherlands’ number 1 tulip extravaganza. 7 million tulips take center stage with exhibitions, special shows, and the odd left-out clog, giving its 800.000 yearly visitors a veritable feast for the eyes (and nose).

If you’re already considering a trip next year, see the following 18 reasons why 2018’s expo was well worth a visit.

1. Hang out at your flowery home away from home

Keukenhof makes you feel welcome from the get-go. Act like a proud homeowner and show people how happy you are to be here.

Keukenhof 2018

2. Smell the love in Cupid’s Garden

All that was missing from the “Cupid’s Garden” exhibit was Cupid himself. Nods to this year’s theme, Romance in Flowers, ranged from subtle flower arrangements…

Keukenhof 2018Keukenhof 2018Keukenhof 2018

… to not-so-subtle printed cushions and giant signs.

Keukenhof 2018

Keukenhof 2018

3. See the rare “black” tulip

The color black doesn’t actually exist in nature; it’s an intense red or purple. While the market for these dark beauties is a little on the low side, you can still see a wide range of them at Keukenhof.

Keukenhof 2018Keukenhof 2018

Keukenhof 2018

4. You can make lifelong friendships with farm animals

Beware, it may be a one-sided friendship. There’s no guarantee these adorable animals will remember you next year, so don’t be too quick to give them your unconditional love.

5. See the latest in bridal umbrella trends

You can’t account for the weather on your special day, so a killer umbrella should be a key piece in your wedding accessories. Take inspiration from Keukenhof’s hourly fashion shows – you’ll be praying for rain by the end of it!

You can get even more inspiration for your wedding, home and garden at Rob’s Oriental Romance, where Rob Verlinden did his best to showcase a 2018 Pinterest board IRL.

6. Have a romantic stroll through the Holiday Romance Garden

The love is strong with this display. Take the romance outside by snuggling in loveseats, cuddling by the lake or smooching in front of one of the many mirrors as passersby shake their heads in disapproval.

7. Decide whether these wacky garden ornaments are tacky or fabulous, darling

If the flamingos and poodles don’t do it for you, there’s always the giant Dutch windmill option.

8. Get thinking about YOUR favorite flower!

Fact: everyone loves flowers. Some try to hide it, but Keukenhof brings everyone’s plant-fanatic sides to the surface. It’ll even bring a smile to the moodiest of boyfriends!

Example of a moody man turned flower happy.

If you need more time to think, run a bath and gather your thoughts.

9. Learn about the history of clogs

Where there are tulips, there are bound to be some clogs lurking nearby. Learn all about the fascinating history behind the Netherlands’ most uncomfortable footwear. Or…

10. Put on a pair of giant clogs

Or…

11. Sit in a giant clog!

Sadly there’s no larger option. I’ve already cast a clog-shaped swimming pool vote for next year.

12. Learn how to turn your broken down car into a massive flower bed

13. See how riveting tulip history really is!

That’s right, my friends were really that excited to learn about the origins of their country’s favorite flower. Did you know the Dutch export around three billion of them each year?

14. Try breaking and entering into a fake Amsterdam canal house

Spoiler alert, you probably won’t succeed. Pretend you were posing for a photo so people don’t witness the dramatic end of your failed thieving career.

Keukenhof 2018

A casual lean is a perfect way to hide your guilt. Keukenhof security was none the wiser.

16. Be shocked by the price of tulips in the 1600s

Tulips were once the most expensive flowers in Europe. And in the 1600s, they were even said to cost 10 times more than a working man’s average salary in the Netherlands, making them more valuable than some homes.

17. Buy a swanky tulip handbag

Bring some of that old world tulip wealth to the present with your very own tulip-shaped handbag. If you missed out, don’t panic – you can still get one on the official Bylin webshop.

18. Last, but not least, get lost in the tulip beds. They really are absolutely beautiful


Did you happen to be at Keukenhof 2018? Planning a trip for 2019? Let me know in the comments below! If you want more on Amsterdam lifestyle, check out my Amsterdam Life and Amsterdam Foodies pages for more Dutch capital delights.

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