As the days grow longer, the temperature on the thermometer begins to rise and the nights grow shorter, there’s perhaps no better method to enjoy the best of Spring in the Netherlands than by going in search of blooms. Cherry blossoms and trailing wisteria aside, there’s perhaps no flower as synonymous with this European country than the tulip. Here’s your best guide on when and where to get the best of tulips in Amsterdam (as well as tulip mania festivities in other parts of nearby Holland)!
National Tulip Day in Amsterdam
Contrary to what you may think, the beginning of the Tulip Season in Holland doesn’t start with the first outdoor blooms. Instead, it begins in the middle of winter having a national day's celebration which generally happens in January, the third Saturday of January to be precise!
National Tulip Day sees Dam Square (the main piazza in the city) full of temporary flower beds planted with more than 200,000 tulips and other flowers. The idea is the fact that every resident of Amsterdam (in addition to visitors!) should be able to come and pick a tulip to consider home with them!
Amsterdam Tulp Festival (tulip festival)
Every year during Springtime, the Amsterdam Tulip Festival is held over the month of April. Go to the capital city during this time period and you’ll be hard pressed to not spot the many tulip displays throughout the city, especially in the more touristic areas and around the main museums.
From the floating flowerbeds in the fountain in front of the Rijksmuseum to the planters dotted across the city, it’s simple to benefit from the tulips of Amsterdam by simpling strolling around and soaking it all up. The best spots to savor the tulip flowers are in Vondelpark as well as on Rembrandtplein.
Learn about Tulip Mania in Amsterdam Tulip Museum, Prinsengracht 116
Located in the very pretty Jordaan district from the city, the privately owned Amsterdam Tulip Museum began and sponsored by a local bulb company. It requires between 30 minutes as well as an hour to completely explore the museum’s displays and learn more about a brief history from the tulips in Amsterdam. Information regarding opening times for that tulip museum can be found here.
You also needs to realize that the Amsterdam Tulip Museum is roofed within the I Amsterdam City Card, which is great value for money if you’re thinking about visiting many museums along with other Amsterdam attractions whilst in the Dutch city. For example, trains and buses, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum are included within the one-time price of this card.
Museum de Zwarte Tulp (Black Tulip Museum) in Lisse
The second from the Netherland’s most well-known tulip museums are available in the city of Lisse, near to the Keukenhof Gardens (around an hour’s travel from central Amsterdam). Located in the heart from the historic town, then you can study all about the cultivation of tulips in the area, as well as the history, techniques, and tulip culture which has since become so synonymous with Lisse.
There is really a direct train to Lisse from Schipol Airport but no direct train from Amsterdam Centraal. If you’re planning on combining your visit to the Museum de Zwarte Tulp having a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens, then you might consider remaining in Lisse the night time before. We personally stayed in a room at the Restaurant De Vier Seizoenen and absolutely loved our season-themed room.
Pick your own flowers in Annemieke's Picking Garden in Hillegom (U-pick farm)
Located on the highway between Hillegom and Bennebroek, Annemieke’s Picking Garden can be visited via public transport on the Bus 50 which runs between Haarlem and Leiden. In order to reach Haarlem or Leiden, you’ll need to catch a train from Amsterdam Centraal. The stop is Bethlehemlaan and you can also get to the Keukenhof Gardens while using #50 bus.
Open during the springtime and simple to visit being an Amsterdam day trip, the flower garden offers the opportunity to pick your personal tulips, walk among the flower beds, and even bring some of the beautiful blooms home with you! Tulips cost EUR0.25 each and you can pay by debit card (making this great good value), though dogs are not allowed in the picking field.
Keukenhof excursion from Amsterdam
Often known as ‘the Garden of Europe,’ there's perhaps no better way to celebrate the spring or benefit from the greatest of the tulips within the Netherlands rather than head to Keukenhof Gardens. Simple to visit as a day trip from Amsterdam (if you should know that you can’t just cycle there and also the fields are gone an hour away), you may also purchase a Keukenhof combi ticket for entrance and transport well ahead of time.
Once at Keukenhof, it'll soon become apparent that despite what you may have been made to believe on Social Media, the gardens are simply that: an outdoor. Picture perfect and themed, you will find different places that you can enjoy various bordered gardens and floral displays. Purchase your Keukenhof Half-Day Guided Tour with Free 1-Hour Canal Cruise ticket here.
Nearby, in the fields surrounding Lisse, there are plenty of the striped hyacinth and tulip fields that you’ve without doubt seen photos of before, though it’s worth noting the entrance ticket for Keukenhof doesn’t include official access to the nearby fields.
If you want a more in-depth cultural experience, then this Keukenhof, Zaanse Schans & A’dam Lookout Combo Day Tour offers the chance to enjoy a tour of the Keukenhof Gardens, go to a clog maker along with a cheese farm, begin to see the windmills of Zaanse Schans, and relish the look at Amsterdam from the A’dam Lookout, while this Volendam/Marken, Zaanse Schans & Keukenhof with Canal Cruise tour concentrates on the bulb region and several Dutch fishing villages.
Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (Bulb flower Parade)
Each year (typically for one day in April), a flower parade is held to celebrate the tulips. Highlights of this one-day annual event include a floats made from flowers passing by from Noordwijk and ending in Lisse. If you can savor the parade from inside the Keukenhof gardens, the floats can be enjoyed free of charge in any of the villages en route between the two towns. Further details on the tulip parade are available here.
Dutch Tulip Route & Free Tulip Fields in the Netherlands like a day trip from Amsterdam
There are some main tulip areas in the Netherlands, many of which are easy to reach like a day trip from Amsterdam;
Duin en Bollenstreek (Lisse and its surrounds)
Top of Northern Holland (West Friesland)
South Holland and Zeeland
Duin en Bollenstreek (Keukenhof & Lisse) tulip mania
The most well-known tulip area is the region of Duin en Bollenstreek, in South Holland (that is where Keukenhof is located). The region’s name generally is translated as 'dune and bulb' on account of the stunning dunes such as the ones from Scheveningen and also the impressive tulip fields such as those surrounding Lisse.
Aside from Lisse, other villages in the Bulb Region include Bennebroek, Heemstede, and Noordwijk, and I’m told that they’re all adorably cute! It’s also in the Bulb region where the annual Flower Parade is held in April. Nearby, the coastal towns of Katwijk and Noordwijk would be the perfect times to enjoy the Dutch coastline.
West Friesland tulips
Though there are many opportunities to spy tulip fields close to Keukenhof/ around Lisse, among the simplest ways to enjoy free tulips in Holland would be to visit a train to Schagen, which is around an hour North of Amsterdam within the Northern Holland region of West Friesland.
From Schagen, it is simple to cycle or walk to many from the beautiful blooms and relish the Dutch tulips without the tourists and crowds of some of the more popular areas. Also in this particular province, the town of Breezand holds an annual flower festival, which usually takes place between March.
Alternatively, some of the largest tulip fields in the Netherlands are available across the Tulip Route within the province of Flevoland (the final and twelfth province of the Netherlands), and specifically in Noordoostpolder. Every year, a brand new Tulip Route is made, additional information which can be found on this web site. There's also Tulip Routes in the Zeeland and Drenthe provinces.
Flower Strip Tulip Route
Finally, all of the the best tulip mania excursions from Amsterdam is cycling the flower strip, the name that’s received towards the cycling/ walking 35 km route between Haarlem and Leiden. Additional information about how to enjoy the best of Dutch tulip blooms along this route can be found on the iAmsterdam website.
Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market on the Singel)
Many visitors get confused when they first visit Amsterdam’s world-famous flower market. They believe that they’re within the wrong place or that perhaps they didn’t quite comprehend the flower market. No, you’re in the right place… It’s exactly that the flower marketplace is comprised of predominantly bulbs, instead of live blooms!
The world’s largest floating flower market goes back to 1862, although the market looks nothing beats how it once would have appeared. Today, the flower marketplace is a little more touristy than many would really like, with lots of from the flower shops substituted with souvenir and tourist traps. Just a few stalls still sell fresh flowers, if you can expect to get a lot of 50 tulips as low as EUR10!
See the world’s largest flower auction
Of course, experiencing the outdoor tulip fields isn't the only way to see the flowers in Amsterdam. Instead, you are able to visit a train to nearby Aalsmeer (around a quarter-hour from Schipol airport) where FloraHolland flower auction, i.e. the biggest flower auction in the world, is held on a daily basis. Free to visit and open daily with the exception of public holidays, here you may enjoy actual life tulipomania from the visitor’s viewing gallery.
Stay in Tulip-themed accommodation in Amsterdam
Of course, should you really want to benefit from the best of tulips in Amsterdam during every aspect of your visit, then you might consider booking a remain in some florally inspired hotels. For example, this B & B has tulips in each and every room and is incredibly well-reviewed across many booking sites.
Finally, the tulip season in the city is among the most widely used times to visit Amsterdam. As such, if you want to obtain the best good value, you’ll wish to book your stay well in advance. For a quirky and quintessentially Dutch experience, here’s helpful tips for the very best of Amsterdam houseboats. Otherwise, check the best rates and availability for Amsterdam accommodation here.
Tips for experiencing the tulips in Amsterdam
If I could provide you with just one Amsterdam travel tip for seeing the tulips, it might be to come to holland at the proper time. Arrive too early and the flowers won’t even be flowering, whereas arrive too late and also the tulips is going to be going over and will no longer look their best!
The exact locations of the tulip fields have a tendency to change every year, because of the flower growing cycle. This means that while the tulips will be grown in one location twelve months, the next year that exact same field will be used to grow other crops in order to preserve the quality of the soil.
One thing to note is that you ought to be mindful when visiting the tulip fields. Growing tulips may be the farmer’s income and so you ought to be respectful. Keep to the designated pathways, never trample on the flowers, and definitely never pick the tulips!
If you want to do any of these things, you should pay to go to a designated tulip farm where picking your personal flowers is permitted. You cannot fly a drone over any tulip fields without prior permission in the owner. Even simply walking through undesignated regions of the fields can bring bacteria into the plants and destroy or kill the tulips!
When may be the Amsterdam tulip season?
The Amsterdam tulip season is commonly from late March to early May, meaning that the optimum time to go to could be in mid-April. To have an exact idea which tulips are blooming so when, I suggest checking this website. You should also realize that the weather can change rapidly and so you’ll want to bring waterproofs along with you, as even the clearest of days can turn rainy fairly fast.