1. Cruquius Museum
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 museum looks at the history of reclaimed land, polders and drainage, as well as current water management techniques in the Netherlands.
Cruquius Museum, Cruquius
2. Museum De Zwarte Tulp
Located in the centre of Lisse, 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.
Museum De Zwarte Tulp, Lisse
3. Keukenhof Gardens
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.
Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse
4. Kasteel Keukenhof
Located straight across from the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, the Keukenhof Castle boasts an impressive history with Golden Age roots. It was built in 1641 by Adriaen Maertensz Block, an administrator for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The house and its Golden Age 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.
Kasteel Keukenhof Castle, Lisse
Looking for the ultimate flower experience but visiting out of season? Then head to Floriworld, the region’s newest attraction, and delve into the world of plants and flowers. Discover how flowers impact daily life, and what effects they have on your health. Take a selfie against a backdrop of blooms, surround yourself with a colourful sea of tulips, and watch artistic creations by first-class florists. And the best part: you can bid on your bouquet in the auction hall at the end of the tour.
6. Aalsmeer Historical Gardens
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.
Aalsmeer Historical Gardens, Aalsmeer
7. De Zuilen
De Zuilen is a beautiful garden estate 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. The restaurant, bar and sunny terrace are open from Friday to Monday.
De Zuilen, Hillegom
8. Biblical Garden
Initiator and priest Kees van Lent ensured that the Bijbelse Tuin (Biblical Garden) could become what it is today. From a somewhat neglected monastery garden to a green oasis, where figures and stories from the Bible are made tangible. The spiritual value of the garden is enhanced by the statues, trees and plants that represent Biblical symbolism. You will find examples all over the place, challenging you to philosophise, contemplate, sing and play. The labyrinth offers a playful element for the kids.
Bijbelse Tuin, Hoofddorp
9. Museum Stoomgemaal
The Halfweg steam pumping station is the oldest and largest working paddlewheel steam pumping station in the world. It was built in 1852 and served as a drainage pumping station to pump the surplus water from the Haarlemmermeer via Zijkanaal C and the North Sea Canal to the sea. The pumping station no longer has a hydraulic function, but for a few days a year, it is still set to work. The museum still breathes the old atmosphere and the exhibition, openwork boiler, the industrial steam engines and engine room are well worth the visit.
Museum Stoomgemaal, Halfweg
10. Flower Art Museum
Few subjects in art span such a wide range and inspire so many diverse artists as the flower. With that in mind, the Flower Art Museum opened here in the summer of 2018. The museum hosts exhibitions by renowned artists and with challenging themes, all revolving around the representation of flowers and plants in contemporary art.
Flower Art Museum, Aalsmeer