Monday, May 14, 2012

Questions from a Reader: Floriade or Keukenhof?

A reader recently wrote to me with a couple of questions regarding Floriade. They were good questions.

20.Apr.12 Floriade 2012

What is the difference between Floriade and Keukenhof?
This is the first time I am hearing about Keukenhof, so a little help from Google was required.
Comparing their Facts & Figures:

  1. World Horticultural Expo, once every 10 years (1960: Rotterdam, 1972: Amsterdam, 1982: Amsterdam, 1992: Zoetermeer, 2002: Haarlemmermeer, 2012: Venlo Region)
  2. Open daily between 5 April and 7 October 2012 
  3. 66 hectares of park, 40 hectares of showgrounds 
  4. Five Theme Worlds: Relax & Heal, Green Engine, Education & Innovation, Environment, World Show Stage Gardens and pavilions (buildings) with approx. 100 exhibitors 
  5. Horticulture sectors, Dutch organisations and international participants
  6. Daily cultural programme featuring music, dance, theatre and graphic art 
  7. The biggest gondola ride in the Netherlands: capacity 4000 people per hour 
  8. Villa Flora: the biggest indoor flower exhibition in Europe 
  9. Five restaurants and lots of food stalls 
  10. Average length of stay: 7 hours 
  1. The most beautiful Spring Garden in the world, celebrating its 63rd anniversary this year
  2. Open daily between March 22 until May 20 2012
  3. 32 hectares of park, 15 kilometers of walking paths
  4. Four indoor pavilions: Willem Alexander Pavilion (over 80,000 tulips), Beatrix Pavilion (orchids, bromeliad and anthuriums),  Juliana Pavilion (special theme exhibition: Surprising Poland), Orange Nassau Pavilion (weekly changing exhibitions of flowers), Flower bulb Information Pavilion (information about bulb growing) supplied by more than 90 exhibitors.
  5. 7 Inspirational gardens for garden ideas and tips for the consumer.  
  6. Theme: Poland, Heart of Europe with the highlight: a flower mosaic of Frederic Chopin
  7. The windmill from 1892, has been in Keukenhof since 1957 and is on the Dutch Monument list 
  8. 280 benches, 15 fountains and 32 bridges in the park 
  9. Five restaurants, 6 souvenir shops and 3 flower bulb selling points
  10. Tour between the flower bulb fields behind Keukenhof in a silent boat. Cycling is also possible.
It really depends on what you are after; they sound very different.

What is the must-see in Floriade? (I will go with my mom and afraid that she will get tired easily if we explore too much)
What stood out to me in my brief visit, was the impressive size and scale of the event. Since this is a once-every-10-years event, we can assume everything is a must-see.
It is an expo, so it is a theme park full of information. If pretty flowers and plants are what one is after, they wouldn't be disappointed with the Green Engine, where flowers were made into pretty sculptures. There is a large Rose Garden (by the gondola) too, which I unfortunately didn't get to visit as it was not the right season. The World Show Stage was pretty interesting; we could browse and shop at a variety of countries and experience their different and/or similar specialties. Sounds like something for everyone?

20.Apr.12 Floriade 2012

My visit to the Floriade was accompanied by a trio: a 60+, a 30+, and a toddler on a push-pram.
It is apparent that the event organisers had it all thought out and saw to everyone's needs, from getting there to eating and resting. There are plenty of rest spots, and in some pavillions, you get to sit and watch informative videos which at times were unexpected but welcomed rests.

I am in Indonesia and plan to go to Floriade. Do you have any clue or tips?
(i) Do speak to a travel agent. Seeing the numerous tour coaches in our visit, I am certain tour agencies have organised packages. Or, visit the individual event websites to see what they recommend, from accommodations to getting to the park.

Whether you decide on the Floriade or the Keukenhof, do you plan on exploring the other parts of the Netherlands, or surrounding areas of each park?

(ii) For the Floriade, I would have spent 2 days or more, for a thorough and relaxed visit.

(iii) On a funnier note, I do recommend trying the creamy soups at the cafe-restaurants of the Floriade. (Mushroom or Tomato.) They were such beautiful soups, I had them twice in an afternoon. We also packed light sandwiches in the morning, so that helped to curb our hunger pangs between breaks.

The links, once again:


  1. Ha ha! Funny enough that you blogged about Floriade and I blogged about Keukenhof :)

    May I use your comment form to reply to your reader about Keukenhof, please?!
    It's very easy to get there if you're staying in Amsterdam, you reach the airport by train (15 minutes) and then catch the shuttle (a 30 minutes'ride).
    But you must plan your visit for mid April in order to be sure that everything will be in bloom (opening months changes every year according to the weather!)
    You can spend a whole day there.
    In my opinion it's like a "flowery" Disneyworld..probably Floriade is for experts.

  2. you should be called Miss Wikipedia for this nice information ;-)

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  4. I didn't realise it was in Venlo! Just around the corner from where we used to live. ;)


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