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Museum de Zwarte Tulp flower exhibition
Image from Museum de Zwarte Tulp

Art and culture in the Flower Strip

With a history stretching back centuries, the flower region is rich in art and heritage. There are fascinating flower museums, spectacular gardens, and industrial monuments. Whether you’re visiting on a rainy day or want to know more about the region’s history and background, there’s plenty here to satisfy culture seekers.

Cruquius Museum

Pumping station De Cruquius from 1849 is one of the three pumping stations with which the Haarlemmermeer was pumped dry between 1849 and 1852. It is the largest steam engine in the world. The pumping station was never modernized after that and was put out of operation in 1933. It belongs to the Top 100 of Dutch national monuments.
Image from Pema Prima Photography (@pema.prima)

Built in 1849, the Cruquius pumping station is a unique industrial monument. The steam-powered pumps were employed to pump parts of the Haarlemmermeer lake dry, leaving the Dutch polder landscape behind. The pump was officially decommissioned in 1933 and now houses an informative museum. The Cruquius Museum looks at the history of reclaimed land, polders and drainage, as well as current water management techniques in the Netherlands.

Museum De Zwarte Tulp

Museum de Zwarte Tulp
Image from

Located in the centre of Lisse, Museum De Zwarte Tulp (Black Tulip) museum examines the history of the flower region, the origins and evolution of bulb culture and the science behind the development of new varieties of tulips. Through interactive exhibitions using pictures, photography and videos, the museum paints a picture of the remarkable bulb-to-flower-to-bulb cycle. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum hosts several special shows throughout the year.

Keukenhof Gardens

Expert Trip Keukenhof 

The Keukenhof is a flower park northwest of Lisse, in the Dutch province of South Holland, where bulbous plants from horticultural companies from the bulb region are exhibited every spring.
Image from Pema Prima

In spring, the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse come alive with a spectacular show of blossoms. Throughout the flower season, you will find a host of special activities, shows and performances – especially at the weekend or on public holidays. And be sure to check the latest event schedule for the traditional costume show, the fabulous annual flower parade and plenty of special events during the Easter weekend.

Fort van Hoofddorp

Fortress of Hoofddorp.
Image from Koen Smilde

This fortress island has undergone a large-scale renovation in recent years. With the redesignation, Fort van Hoofddorp has been transformed into a unique meeting place with space for hospitality, landscaping and cultural activities. Here you will find a restaurant, terraces, a wine bar, an open-air theatre and an education centre.

Kasteel Keukenhof

Two women and a child walking next to Keukenhof Castle.
Image from Koen Smilde

Located straight across from the world-famous gardens, the Keukenhof Castle boasts an impressive history with 17th-century roots. It was built in 1641 by Adriaen Maertensz Block, an administrator for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The house and its collection can be viewed on guided tours, where visitors will learn about its history and previous owners through portraits, furniture and décor. Alternatively, head outside to view the unique sculpture collection or wander through the impressive English-landscape inspired gardens. For music lovers, the Coach House hosts classical concerts by young and upcoming talent in the summer months.

Aalsmeer Historical Gardens

Historical garden of Aalsmeer.
Image from Koen Smilde

Explore the greenhouses of yesteryear, dotted with tools from a bygone era. The Aalsmeer Historical Gardens are home to a large selection of long-forgotten strains of plants and varieties of fruit. Every last Saturday of the month from April to September, the impressive auction house plays host to a flower and plant auction.

De Zuilen

People playing chess in the De Zuilen garden
Image from De Zuilen

De Zuilen is a beautiful garden estate in Hilegom that boasts 3,500 square metres of groomed, walkable grounds and courtyards filled with Roman and Greek statues, fountains and columns, from which the estate gets its name. From 1 April to 31 May, De Zuilen’s gardens bloom with narcissus, hyacinths and tulips, the latter of which is cultivated by a tulip specialist from Lelystad.

Flower Art Museum

Flower art and drawings on the wall in the Flower Art Museum in Aalsmeer.
Image from Koen Smilde

The Flower Art Museum is the world’s first museum dedicated to floral-inspired contemporary art. Located in the former water cellar of Aalsmeer (opposite the water tower), this 1,000-m2 museum organises exhibitions with renowned artists and challenging themes in which flowers and plants play the leading role.