Guests visiting Lisse and Holland in general, no matter where in the world they came from, will be inspired by the beauty and history of the local culture. View the famed tulip fields, see the historic windmills, dine on some local cuisine, and enjoy shopping in the heart of some of the most famous cities in Holland.
Lisse, in Holland, is perhaps most well-known for Keukenhof (also known as the Garden of Europe), which is only open during the spring when the tulips are in full bloom (mid-March to mid-May). The garden boasts over seven million bulbs planted yearly over 79 acres. The town is home to over 20,000 people and its lineage can be traced all the way back to 1198 when it was just a small settlement of just over 50 people. In the time since then, every estate located in the town has been removed to make room for the enormous fields of tulip that are now grown there. Hundreds of thousands of tourists’ flocks to Lisse on an annual basis before branching out to discover the rest of Holland with one of the many tour options that originate there. The town also exports their bulbs to over a hundred countries all over the world.
Below are some of the don’t miss attractions in the Lisse area. The area is best seen on a bicycle, which can be rented from various establishments in Lisse. Guests are welcome to bring their own.
- Flower Bulb Region - Located just between bigger cities in the smaller town of Randstad, the flower bulb region lives up to its name by offering guests multiple huge and colorful flower fields. The best time to visit the region is in the spring, when the flowers are at their best bloom. While there, guests should also take the opportunity to walk along the dunes on the coast (near the beach in Katwijk and Noordwijk). The Flower Bulb Region is where the most world-renowned flowers in the Netherlands are grown. The best way to see the area is either walking or biking.
- Kop van Noord-Holland - Starting in Amsterdam, the Kop van Noord-Holland area of Lisse is a beautiful, rural region that is full of iconic tulip fields, windmills, the coast, and dunes all within traveling distance of some of the more major cities in Holland. It is also home to the single largest flower bulb field in the entire world. Guests will enjoy either walking or biking through the unique scenery. They should also stop by Den Helder and see the Kijkduin fortress (part of the town’s fortifications). There are multiple nature reserves throughout the area as well.
- Noordoostpolder - Another area with huge flower fields is Noordoostpolder, which offers a predetermined route for guests to either walk or bicycle through (also offering a variety of stops with local activities meant to immerse guests in the local culture). There is a field where visitors can pick their own flowers, as well as optional guided tours through specific local farms. Also located in Noordoostpolder is Schokland (which used to be an island and has since been reclaimed as dry land). Schokland is the first World Heritage Site in Holland to be verified by UNESCO.
- Westland - Located between Rotterdam, Delft, and the Hague, Westland is the greenhouse horticultural region in Lisse due to the moderately high temperatures in the winter. This area grows the bulk of the products that are some to the neighboring cities. Greenhouses started being used in Westland as early as the 1880s. The greenhouses are now artificially lit in the evenings, which helps extend the growing season substantially, as well as casting the sky in Westland with an orange glow. There are various guided walking and bicycling tours through the area, as well as a boat tour through the water network that connects the villages in the region.
- Keukenhof - The largest spring garden in Holland, Keukenhof showcases over seven million blooming flowers in the height of the spring season. Guided tours of the areas are available for guests. When visiting the area, visitors should also make sure to stop by A’Dam Lookout. This attraction offers unparalleled, panoramic views on an observation deck that looks out twenty stories in the sky. Also, in the area is Zaanse Schans, which offers a selection of local attractions that feature the “old” Holland tradition (windmills, clogs, and cheese).
There are a variety of tour options available in Lisse as well. Many of these tours options can be booked either through a travel agent or on the official website.
- Tulip Cruise - Lasting five days total, the tulip cruise both starts and finished in Amsterdam. The cruise will take guests through the flower fields, into Keukenhof, and into the flower market in Amsterdam. Guests will dine and sleep on the boat (the MS Magnifique) before getting onto their bicycles to head out for the day. They will also have the option of skipping any days of bicycling to stay on the ship, with no penalty. Electric bikes are also available for rent.
- Dutch Highlights - Another bicycle tour, this highlights tour is six days long. Taking guests through Volendam, Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Zaandijk and showcases both the busy cities as well as the beautiful, natural scenery. The planned itinerary for each day is kept short purposefully so that guests will have plenty of time to explore on their own as well.
- Pearls Tour - Lasting seven days, this tour was designed to feature both nature as well as culture. Focusing on Randstad, and covering all the major cities, the Pearls tour lets guests explore both on foot and on bicycle. Guests can see the famed “red light district” in Amsterdam, the Royal Palace in Dam Square, and the Frans Hal museum in Haarlem before going off on their own to continue exploring.
- Best of Holland - One of the most popular boat and bike tours, the Best of Holland tour lasts eight days and allows guests to see the most popular regions and attractions in both Northern and Southern Holland. Spend time on the MS Magnifique before heading off on a bicycle to explore. View the famous windmills in Zaanse Schans, Castle Muiderslot in Amsterdam, and the beautiful fisherman’s village in Volendam.
There are many special events held in Lisse.
In the Flower Bulb Region, guests can take in the annual flower parade. Probably the largest flower related special event in the area, the parade offers over a dozen different floats (made with thousands of unique flowers) that ultimately park in Grote Market so guests can view them when they are not moving as well. These events also extend into Noordoostpolder as well, connecting the regions through this once a year experience.
In Westland, the region hosts an annual flower boat parade. Boats will float through the water network, decorated with thousands of flowers, before stopping at various greenhouses for guests to be able to see them much more up close and personal. Thousands of people from both the local area as well as all around the world come see this unique event every year.
Castlefest, held the first weekend of August in Lisse (the weekend of Lughnasadh, a Celtic feast and festival), is an enormous medieval and fantasy festival. The fest is held on the grounds of Castle Keukenhof and originated in 2005. It lasts the entire weekend, with different options each day like an opening concert (with mostly folk bands), medieval activities, and family fun attracting more than 35,000 guests a year.
July in Holland brings with it an abundance of festivals, including the International Chamber Music Festival, Julidans (a festival focusing on international and contemporary dance), The Four Days Marches (known as the greatest walking events around the globe), and Rotterdam Unlimited (combining a summer carnival with the local Dunya festival for a unique, colorful experience).
The website maintains a complete calendar with all available information about the special events. Guests should check prior to a planned visit for comprehensive dates, times, and cost information.
Dining and Shopping
During a visit to Lisse, dining options can vary. Many options will feature traditional Dutch foods, which include fresh seafood and cheeses. Each region is known for specific cuisine, and guests are encouraged to sample each during a visit. While visiting Lisse, guests can enjoy a multitude of shopping options in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht, and Utrecht. Visitors can purchase a wide variety of merchandise when visiting the region, including local and handmade goods like jewelry, apparel, home goods like paintings and furniture, and more.