It's a zen-like experience doable a scant nine weeks of the year: Keukenhof, where seven million blooming tulips, daffodils and hyacinths have attracted 800,000+ spring visitors for 60 years. Covering nearly 80 acres, the stunning display is the world's most renowned tulip festival, with expansive flower fields and gardens planted in intricate color patterns, plus dozens of flower, plant and gardening shows, horticultural displays and works of art.
Set in Lisse, a tiny village just south of Amsterdam, the annual attraction is an easy day trip from the capital. Take the train from Central Station to Leiden, where bus 54 runs directly to the park. Keukenhof also is easily accessible from Schiphol Airport by bus 58. If you want to spend a few more euros to avoid public transport, travel by coach on an organized day trip from Amsterdam, easily booked from numerous companies. If you're driving, there's plenty of parking at the attraction.
However you get there, Keukenhof will be open daily, March 20–May 18, 2014, providing the weather cooperates. The 2014 theme is "Holland" from its traditional beginnings to modern times. Visit in April when crowds are sparse and fragrant hyacinths, as well as orchids in an indoor pavilion, are in bloom. Come in May for warmer weather and more flamboyant outdoor tulip displays. Whatever you do, don't forget your camera, as Keukenhof is paradise for photographers as well as garden enthusiasts.