If the long and dreary winter has given you a touch of cabin fever, you may be yearning for springtime with loads of anticipation. Once spring has sprung, there is no better place to be than in Lisse, Netherlands. An overwhelming abundance of colors and fragrances awaits visitors from all over the world. CNN has recently voted the Netherlands as one of the world’s top destinations to visit in 2012.
What to See
When admired from the above, the extensive tulip fields of Lisse almost appear as a large canvas crafted by a contemporary artist. Multicolored lanes of blooms alternate for miles, providing an unforgettable sight. Keukenhof Park is at the center of attention, boasting blooms and all the pleasant amenities spring brings in all its glory.
Make sure to climb the old Keukenhof windmill just across the bridge. Here, you will find a shoe maker crafting wooden shoes. Afterward, try to catch the boat for a ride among a kaleidoscope of colors.
2161 AM LISSE
Phone number: +31 (0) 252 465 555
Keukenhof Castle is located just across the entrance to Keukenhof Park. Its splendid interior showcases a complete encyclopedia from the late 1700s, a nice collection of portrait paintings, and furniture of different dates and styles; the castle may be booked for special events. In August, a medieval event known as Castlefest is held for three days. The event in 2011 attracted more than 24,000 visitors. The entrance fee to the castle is 6 euros per person.
A flower parade is scheduled to pass right by Keukenhof Corso Boulevard on April 21, 2012. Colorful floats and vehicles covered in flowers offer artwork of unprecedented beauty. Musical bands lead the parade, which travels for 40 kilometers. The event is free of charge.
If time permits, it would be a great idea to combine a visit to Lisse with a visit to Floridae, held in Venlo. Floriadae is a world horticultural exposition held once every 10 years. This flower show is expected to attract approximately 2 million visitors. The best flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs are showcased during the event, which is open between April 5 and October 7, 2012. Make sure not to miss it; the next event will be held in 2022!
Where to Sleep
The De Nachtegaal Hotel is located within walking distance from Keukenhof Park. Its restaurant serves dishes made with the freshest ingredients and sustainable products. Guests may enjoy the sauna and solarium and can rent bikes or even boats.
De Nachtegaal Hotel
Heereweg 10, Lisse 2161, The Netherlands
Phone number: +31 (0)252 433030
Where to Eat
Savor some French cuisine with a touch of Eastern influence or stay local and enjoy some dishes representing the Dutch cuisine. Restaurant De Vier Seizoenen changes its menu four times a year so as to boast products at peak season – hence its name, which when translated means “four seasons.” Meals can be enjoyed on the terrace, in the garden room, or in the19th century-inspired dining room. Best of all, portions are quite abundant – leave space for dessert!
Restaurant De Vier Seizoenen
Heereweg 224, 2161 BR Lisse
Phone number: +31 (0) 252-418023
Other attractions include the Huys Dever Castle, a 14th-century restored castle, and the Museum De Zwarte Tulp, which portrays the origins and the development of bulb culture.
Anybody who loves flowers will be ecstatic in Lisse this year just strolling along the stunning fields of tulips. Make sure you bring your camera along to capture the most colorful blooms and immortalize their vibrant hues. There is ultimately no better place than Lisse to celebrate spring and nature in its entire splendor.