As the days get longer and the weather improves, you’ll likely want to make the most of every opportunity you have to be outside to make the most of the fleeting Dutch summer. If you’re looking for things to do or places to go aside from your local park or a busy beach, why not head to one of the Netherlands’ many beautiful gardens?

5 gardens worth visiting in the NetherlandsLooking for an activity to enjoy with friends or family? Look no further!

1. Keukenhof Starting things off with an oldie but a goodie, Keukenhof is easily one of the most famous gardens in the world, known internationally for its gorgeous array of tulips. People come from far and wide to witness what the Dutch do best: flowers. 

Keukenhof welcomes over 1 million visitors every season, and covers an area of 32 hectares. In total, there are around 7 million flowers on display – everything from daffodils to roses as well as the iconic tulips, of course. Keukenhof’s season kicks off every March, when the park opens its doors for just eight weeks before closing again in mid-May. 

Keukenhof isn’t located in one of the main Dutch cities, but it is easily accessible by car, public transport and even by bike!

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2. Clingendael’s Japanese gardenAs the name suggests, the Japanese Garden at the Clingendael Estate features a number of rare plants and trees originating from Japan. In the spring, visitors can marvel at the beautiful azaleas, rhododendrons and Japanese cherry trees, and during the autumn months enjoy the stunning colours of the various Japanese maple trees. 

Located between The Hague and Wassenaar, the garden was founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Marguerite M. Baroness van Briene, who journeyed to Japan several times and brought back a number of items when she returned home to Clingendeal, including various sculptures, little bridges and stone lanterns. 

As the garden is the only one of its kind and age in the Netherlands, it has exceptional historic value to the country and has been declared a national monument. The Japanese Garden is free to visit, but is only open for a total of eight weeks a year – four weeks in the spring and another four weeks in the autumn.

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3. Palace gardens at Paleis het LooPaleis het Loo is one of the better-known Dutch palaces, but did you know that it also has beautiful palace gardens? Dating back 335 years, the gardens were commissioned by the first resident of the palace, Willem III and Queen Mary. 

The gardens at Paleis het Loo are well maintained and stunningly cultivated, featuring many unique plants, trees, fountains and statues – each of which has its own story. Throughout the year, the gardens also act as the perfect backdrop to various events, including Spirit of Winter and Prince and Princess Days.

You do have to buy tickets to visit Paleis het Loo and the palace gardens, but once you’re there don’t forget to check out the palace’s roof; it offers magical views of the gardens and the rest of the palace grounds!

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4. Hortus Botanicus Haren-GroningenAlongside the various parks and flower gardens to be found in the Netherlands, there are also a number of botanical gardens, some of which specialise in plants from specific climates or regions. 

Some of the more famous botanical gardens include those in Amsterdam, Leiden and Utrecht, but did you know there was also one in Groningen? In fact, Hortus Botanicus Haren-Groningen is one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in the Netherlands; with a history dating all the way back to the 17th century, today the gardens cover an area of over 15 hectares!

At Hortus Botanicus Haren-Groningen, you can find a wide range of different (botanical) gardens, including an authentic Chinese Ming garden with a Chinese tea house, a herb garden, a rock garden, an apiary, and even a butterfly garden!

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5. Family Park Mondo VerdeLast but not least, we have Mondo Verde – a park and garden which opened back in 2007 and is designed to allow visitors to explore the flora and styles from across the globe. Visit countries such as Italy, Australia, Morocco and the UK, all during just one day at Mondo Verde! 

As if that wasn’t enough, the park also doubles as a small zoo and a theme park, and so has various animals on display as well as a couple of playgrounds, roller coasters and water rides.

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Great events for garden loversJust can’t get enough of all the rich and beautiful flora? Not to worry; these are perfect events for anyone out there looking to explore more of the many gardens on offer in the Netherlands.

Hidden Gardens RotterdamRotterdam is known for its many things, and its gardens aren’t really one of them. The city does, however, have plenty of enchanting gardens and for one weekend a year they are all open to the public. 

During Hidden Gardens Rotterdam, you have the chance to go on a journey through the lesser-known world of hidden paradises which can be found across the city. Whether you’re looking for nature inspiration for your own garden, feeling green-fingered or simply in the mood for discovering urban horticultural curiosities, Hidden Gardens is an event that shouldn’t be missed!

Open Garden Days Like Hidden Gardens in Rotterdam, the Open Garden Days in the Dutch capital allow the green-fingered and garden enthusiasts among us to explore the hidden and often private gardens that are located across Amsterdam. 

The theme of the event changes every year, but at the end of the day this event is the perfect opportunity to see a completely different side to the city that can regularly be bustling with busy crowds. For three days during the summer, you get the chance to enjoy Amsterdam at its most peaceful – and perhaps even most beautiful.

Soak up some nature at a Dutch garden! There you have it; our picks for some of the must-see places and must-do events for all the flora (and fauna) lovers out there. Got any other tips for fellow gardeners and garden lowers? Be sure to share them in the comments below!

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