Does Keukenhof ring a bell? I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of the vast tulip field in Lisse which only opens during the Spring season but this post is not all about that. As much as I wanted to see it, unfortunately, I was too late to catch this flower show during my visit last August. This, however, did not stop me and my travel buddy to travel all the way to Lisse to see what remains of this spectacular garden. Eventually, our little heartbreak (or should I say misadventure?) led us to a different secret garden in the heart of Kasteel Keukenhof.
Supposedly, that day, we’re heading straight to The Hague but after contemplating in our two hours and a half train ride, we decided to stop at Leiden Central and took the bus to Lisse. This includes a 20-25 minute walk which feels like forever after we kept on missing turns. All thanks to the ever helpful Google Maps. (Not sure if I’m being sarcastic here or not) The cold weather was also making my agony worse than I expected.
Guess who I stole this oversized jacket from?
Summer in the Castle
Just as we anticipated, the tulip garden was closed. This led us to Kasteel Keukenhof, which (to be honest) is less appealing than the Keukenhof garden, but is still charming in its own way.
I think Castle Keukenhof looks small for a castle. Instead, it looked more like a mansion to me. It also kinda reminded me of Muiderslot Castle during my first trip to The Netherlands. On the other hand, what really caught my attention was the Dahlia garden on its front yard. It’s just a small garden filled with rows of different Dahlia flowers but it was already an eye candy for me.
Entrance to Kasteel Keukenhof
I’m not sure if there are buses traveling to that route during spring season but since it was off-season when we came, we didn’t have any option but to take a long walk from the bus stop to Lisse. We didn’t find it immediately but Kasteel Keukenhof is just right across the famous Keukenhof garden.
Right before the gate, you’ll find a large parking space for those who will be traveling by car. I’m not sure if it happens all year round but when we came, the parking lot was almost empty. Maybe because we came an hour before closing?
Why visit Kasteel Keukenhof in Lisse?
1. It is a great place to relax
The old castle stands beautifully in the middle of the peaceful forest in Lisse which is perfect for those who are looking for a quite and relaxing atmosphere. Most of the times, the thick crowd in the Keukenhof garden can be too much to handle so why don’t you take a relaxing break at the nearby castle afterward?
2. Visiting families with children can enjoy it
The castle also has a flower exhibit and a wide front yard where kids can play. Just be sure to follow the rules in order to avoid getting denied access. It is also not as big as the Keukenhof garden so there’s a lesser chance for unwanted incidents like lost children.
3. Volunteers are maintaining the castle and its garden
Ever wonder how this old castle still looks as beautiful as possible? Well… all thanks to its selfless volunteers who clean and maintain the order of the place. It would be very heartwarming to visit Kasteel Keukenhof knowing that a lot of volunteers are passionate enough to make it look as regal as possible.
4. It is a popular venue for events
From weddings to public events, this castle in Lisse is undeniably a favorite spot to hold special moments. The castle, in and out, definitely makes a perfect wedding venue.
During our visit, there was an outdoor wedding setup in the front yard. It was beautiful!
5. It offers an informative guided group tour
Aside from maintaining the cleanliness of the castle, the volunteers are also giving a guided group tour inside the castle. Unfortunately, we were not able to experience it.
A walk at the Dahlia Garden
Here are some of the pictures I took from the Dahlia Garden:
Behind closed doors of the castle in Lisse
So there you have it guys… a quick tour of Kasteel Keukenhof. It may be a small castle but don’t take it forgranted. It’s always the perfect alternative in case you happen to be in the neighborhood during the off-season. (just like us) Thankfully, we didn’t go home empty-handed because of this castle.