Where to see tulip fields in the Netherlands in 2021

When spring finally arrives and nature revives, it’s time to jaunt. No better antidote than sunshine and flowers to shake off the winter blues. A visit to the tulip fields in the Netherlands is the perfect way to absorb that natural energy. You could head to the popular Keukenhof Gardens, which makes for a wonderful day trip from Amsterdam. But why not admire the tulip fields of the Netherlands in their natural setting by venturing beyond the tourist routes? An added bonus is that such an adventure usually doesn’t even involve an entrance cost. And more surprisingly: Some gardens even allow picking the tulips. You’ll also find fields of tulips close to other Dutch cities, allowing you to combine your visit with the must-sees in The Hague, a day in Haarlem, a Gouda cheese market experience or even a jaunt to Ghent. Are you ready to discover some of the most spectacular tulip fields in the Netherlands?


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Drone view of rows of colorful tulips in the Netherlands
Field of tulips in purple hues

When is the best time to visit the tulip fields in Holland?

Here's where to find the Netherlands tulip fields outside the Keukenhof Flower Park

Tulip season in the Netherlands runs anywhere from the final week of March until the first week of May. But of course, the exact timing of the tulip season depends on the weather conditions. If you have some flexibility and don’t need to book your trip too far in advance, then this flower forecast is a convenient tool.

Usually though, the best time to visit the tulip fields in the Netherlands is the second half of April. That’s when you have the most chance of seeing the tulips in full bloom. It comes as no surprise that this is also the busiest time for flower-gazing.

The world-renowned tulip fields of Netherlands

In case you plan on arriving before or after the peak blooming period, that’s okay too because the Dutch flower fields are about more than just tulips. These may be the hero of the season but their entourage is just as bright and fragrant. Here’s an estimation of which flowers to expect around which time:

  • Crocuses form the prelude of the flower season. They should pop up around the first half of March until the about the end of the month.
  • That’s when daffodils start to appear, they’re at their best in the first half of April.
  • The lilac and purple hyacinths break the monotone yellow of the daffodils, also in the first weeks of April.
  • Around mid-April, the flower fields are most fragrant. That’s when the long-awaited tulips appear.
  • When the Holland tulips have lost their shine, the dahlias and carnations take over. Their blooming seasons lasts from June until the end of August.
Netherlands tulips blooming in harmony with hyacinths

Mindful travel tips for your visit to the tulip fields in the Netherlands

First of all, we’d love to draw your attention to the fact that the Dutch tulips are not grown for the sole purpose of entertaining tourists. Tulips in Holland are big business and the flower fields represent a hard-earned income for the farmers. (At least the bulbs do, the flowers not so much. Continue reading to find out why.)

Some tips for visiting the tulips in the Netherlands:

  • Should you see a sign that prohibits entering the tulip field, then please respect that.
  • If there aren’t any signs and you’re not sure if you’re allowed to enter the field then ask for permission.
  • And if you find a field that you can enter, be gentle and careful not to damage the flowers. An example of such sign is “”Enjoy the flowers, respect our pride”. Some farmers leave a wider corridor or even a free row in between the tulips in order to minimize damage by tourists.
  • Other tulip farmers even invite you to pick the flowers while also offering the perfect photo opportunity. Intrigued? We’ve listed the most beautiful tulip farms with picking gardens for each tulip field location in this article so you can go all out.
Read about the best time to visit the fields of tulips in Holland

Where to find tulip fields in Netherlands?

Now that you know all about when to visit and are an expert at tulip-etiquette, it’s time to discover the most gorgeous and colorful tulip fields in Holland. There’s more: We’ll also let you know which flower events are organised in the region, whether or not you can actually pick tulips in the area and where to stay. Plus, at the end of this article, you’ll find a map indicating all the tulip field locations that are mentioned.

Flower strip or Bulb region

Bollenstreek in Dutch, located in the South and North Holland provinces.

Little girl running in a tulip field Netherlands

The most popular tulip fields near Amsterdam are found in the Holland provinces and more specifically between the cities of Leiden and Haarlem. This 20-mile (32-km) stretch is called the Flower strip or Bulb region (Bollenstreek in Dutch). Right in the heart of it you’ll find Lisse, the town that’s home to the world-famous Keukenhof Tulip Gardens. Check out our practical guide to visiting Keukenhof.

Many tours and public transportation options connect Schiphol Airport to the Keukenhof tulip garden in Netherlands

But you don’t need to access the park in order to get your dose of fragrant flowers. The area around the Keukenhof garden features some of the most beautiful flower fields in the Netherlands. And thanks to its popularity, there are several active ways to explore the flower strip:

  • Several walking trails meander the colorful landscape. Find them here.
  • Or you could rent a bike at the Keukenhof entrance (children’s bikes, tandems and trailers are available too). Have a look at the different cycling routes that lead you along some of the most gorgeous flower fields in the Netherlands. Advance booking is recommended.
  • A new and fun way to explore the area is by GPS Audio Tour in a cute Renault Twizy cart (2 persons per vehicle). Check out this carefree option and buy your tickets here.

Tulip picking garden

You can find actual tulip-picking farms throughout this region. Apart from the picking aspect, these farms offer the perfect opportunity to take pictures of you and your loved ones amidst a field of Dutch tulips. Annemieke’s Picking Garden and Pluktuin Noordwijkerhout are two such farms.

Tulip fields in the Netherlands

Tulip event

For the locals, the highlight of festivities is the Flower Parade or Bloemencorso Bollenstreek. This 25-mile (40 km) long festive parade runs from Noordwijk to Haarlem. Dozens of floats, decorated with tulips and other bulb flowers, brighten up the local streets to welcome spring. Click here to find out more.
In 2021, the Flower Parade will be held on 17 April. 

Where to stay

Now, for the best place to stay near the Flower strip: Surprisingly, there aren’t that many hotels in and near Lisse. This wonderful tiny house is located within walking distance from Keukenhof and perfectly located to explore the tulip fields in the surrounding area.

If you’re looking for a hotel nearby, we’d recommend staying in Noordwijk, a lovely seaside town very close to the Flower Strip. The hotel we have our eye on for some time is the Vesper hotel which offers bike rental as well.

Places to visit nearby

You could combine your visit to this area with a day in Haarlem or Leiden. You can easily reach these cities, as well as the flower fields in this region, by public transportation.

Tip: The Gouda cheese market, which takes places from April to August, may take place a bit further away but is a must-visit if you have a car.

Haarlem flower market is located near the Netherlands Tulip Strip
Haarlem flower market
Combine your visit to Lisse with a visit to the Gouda cheese market
Gouda cheese market

Head of Holland

The so-called Kop van Holland, located in the northernmost part of the North Holland Province.

Netherlands tulip fields during golden hour

If you’re looking to visit the tulips fields of the Netherlands without the crowds than this is a good option. Located in the province of North Holland, in the so-called Head of Holland, you’ll find all kinds spring flowers. The best thing is that you won’t need to share these Dutch tulips with anyone else. Here are the two tulip hotspots in this region:

  • Along the province’s west coast from Schagen to Den Helder. Especially in and around the towns of Anna Paulowna and Julianadorp. That’s one of the routes we took. We rented a bike and cycled from Schagen via Schagerbrug and De Stolpen to Callantsoog. It was a gorgeous day and the landscape was very impressive to say the least, especially around the town of De Stolpen. Early April so not all flower fields were in bloom yet but The beach time in Callantsoog was a welcome break for the kids before heading back to where we started.
  • On the east coast between Andijk, Enkhuizen and Bovenkarpsel.

Tulip picking garden

Make sure to bring your picture-perfect basket when heading to one of the tulip-picking farms in this region. The brightly colored palettes of Floratuin and Pluktuin Bakkum are hard to resist, so just dive in… literally.

Little girl amidst one of the tulip fields Netherlands during Amsterdam tulip season

Tulip event

A local highlight are the Flower Days in Anna Paulowna. You’ll find flowers everywhere in town: colorful mosaics, decorated streets and bridges. More information can be found here.
In 2021, the Flower Days will take place from 17 to 21 April.

Where to stay

This is a relatively quiet and rural part of the Netherlands and you won’t find many hotels here. We stayed at the Blooming Hotel, which we can highly recommend. It’s wonderfully located amidst nature and just a short drive away from the bulb fields. Bikes are for rent in the hotel at €11. While that’s great to explore the stunning landscape in the vicinity of the hotel, you’ll need to drive to Schagen and rent bikes there in order to see the tulip fields.

Room at the Blooming hotel

Places to visit nearby

You could combine your visit with a day trip to the Alkmaar cheese market or to Zaandam, Edam and Volendam. Alternatively, add a two day trip to the Wadden Isle of Texel by taking the ferry from Den Helder and visit the pristine landscapes of the Dunes of Texel National Park.

The typical Dutch windmill town of Zaanse Schans is one of the perfect day trips in North Holland
Zaandam
Combine your visit to the Netherland tulip fieds with one to the island of Texel
Dunes of Texel National Park

Noordoostpolder

These Netherlands tulip fields are located in the Flevoland province.

Holland field of tulips in red hues

Another under-the-radar destination for tulip fields in the Netherlands is the rural region around Emmeloord in Flevoland. This Dutch province used to be an inland sea but was reclaimed several decades ago. This geographically remarkable area’s still located below sea level. What’s more is that it’s also dotted with tulip fields, creating a stunningly colorful carpet. You’ll hardly find any other tourists at Noordoostpolder in spring, except maybe for Dutch visitors on a day trip. Further information, as well as a driving route of the area, can be found here.

Tulip picking garden

The Tulip Experience Field is a tulip-picking farm in Marknesse where you’re welcome to enjoy the beautiful Dutch tulips as you wish. But also Hanneke’s Pluktuin offers plenty of color to beat those winter blues. Reason enough to bring a picnic blanket and your favorite swirling dress in order to capture this unique experience.

Little girls having fun at the Netherlands tulip fields

Tulip event

A local highlight is the Tulip Festival. A designated tulip route take visitors along some of the most impressive tulip fields in the Netherlands, either by foot, by bike or by car. Check out further details here.
In 2021, the Noordoostpolder Tulip Festival will take place from 16 April to 9 May.

Where to stay

Again, this is a pretty remote area and therefore you won’t find many hotels in Noordoostpolder. Nonetheless we found this little gem called Boetiek Hotel Kampen, right next to the action. In addition, there’s one wonderful Airbnb that caught our eye, it’s this luxurious house boat.

Places to visit nearby

Noordoostpolder is located just over an hour from Amsterdam. You’ll definitely need a car to explore the area. When you’re there, you might as well combine your visit to the flower fields with a jaunt to picturesque Giethoorn, where you can spend the rest of the day cruising the enchanting canals.

There are plenty of Netherlands tulip fields to visit from Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Combine your visit to the Netherlands tulip fields of Flevoland with a visit to Giethoorn
Giethoorn

Goeree-Overflakkee

This tulip island is located in the South Holland province.

Yellow and pink tulip fields of The Netherlands

Yet another remarkable tulip field in the Netherland is this flower island. Goeree-Overflakkee is located about 2 hours south-west from Amsterdam, closer to Rotterdam. The island is home to several vast, colorful tulip fields. Even though this location is pretty close to where we live, we haven’t actually been there yet ourselves. It sure looks promising, though, and we hope to visit soon.

Flower event

The region on the mainland just north of this tulip island hosts a yearly Floating Flower parade. Since this parade takes place after blooming season, the focus is not on tulips. Other flowers and vegetables are the heroes of this colorful event. Check out the route and an overview of the shore activities here.
In 2021, the Floating Flower Parade will take place from 1-4 July.

Where to stay

Once more, you’ll need a car to get to these gorgeous flower fields. If you prefer to stay in the area, hotel De Oude Bank would be our top pick. Or you could stay in a lively city nearby, such as Rotterdam. Our preferred hotel in Rotterdam is the Rotterdam Marriott Hotel, located right across from the train station.

Breakfast at the Rotterdam Marriott executive lounge

Places to visit nearby

A visit to the tulip fields of Goeree-Overflakkee can easily be combined with a day in Rotterdam, a jaunt to Delft or a short sightseeing trip to The Hague. Do note that any visit to this area requires a car.

Rotterdam is located close to some of the most colorful tulip fields in the Netherlands
Rotterdam
Combine your visit to the Netherland tulip fields with one to the city of The Hague.
The Hague

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen

These Netherlands tulip fields are located in the Zeeland province.

Pink tulip fields in The Netherlands

A relatively unknown spot to see tulip fields in the Netherlands is Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. It’s the southernmost part of the Zeeland province, located just above the Belgian Border. The area in between the towns of Axel and Nieuw-Namen is home to several flower fields.

Where to stay

This area near the Belgian border is not very lively so there aren’t that many accommodations to find. Our pick would be this classy bed and breakfast called De Pastory. You definitely need a car to get around since there’s not much to explore in the direct area other than the tulip fields.

Places to visit nearby

The Zeeland tulip fields make for a wonderful day trip from Antwerp, the city of diamonds, or medieval gem Ghent. You will need a car to get around.

Antwerp is located close to some of the lesser-known tulip fields Netherlands
Ghent is located closely to some of the lesser known Dutch fields of tulips

Map of the tulip fields in the Netherlands

For your convenience, we’ve created this map with the locations of the most beautiful flower fields in the Netherlands. It also includes the other places of interest mentioned in this article.

Tulip fields Netherlands locations
CosmopoliClan – The Netherlands tulip fields locations

Fun facts about tulips in the Netherlands

Tulip fact 1: Even Amsterdam joins in on the flower fun: The mission of the Amsterdam Tulip Festival is to reintroduce the tulip in the Amsterdam cityscape. Throughout the month of April, tulips are on display at dozens of locations around the city. You’ll see them at public spaces, hotels and museum gardens but might also spot them at private properties since locals too are encouraged to participate. You can check all locations for the Amsterdam tulips here.

Tulip fact 2: Have you ever wondered what happens with the tulips after the blooming period? Well, the flowers are not the most precious part of the plant for farmers, the bulbs are. Right after the peak blooming period, the flowers are cut off so that the tulip bulbs can absorb all energy and grow thicker. Between June and August, the bulbs are then removed from the ground, dried, cleaned and pealed. The big ones are sold off to gardeners and cultivators while the small ones are put back in the ground to create new tulip fields in the season to come. So, the money’s in the bulbs, not the flowers.

Tulip festival Amsterdam is the most popular flower event in the Dutch Capital

Tulip fact 3: Only buy tulip bulbs at the Amsterdam floating flower market right after summer and plant them in October or November. If you happen to visit Amsterdam in the first months of the year, then don’t bother buying bulbs. The ones you’ll see then, have been harvested in summer and have too little energy left to grow flowers.

Tulip fact 4: The tulip plant does not originate from The Netherlands but was imported from the Ottoman Empire, hidden between loads of fabric. It wasn’t until 30 years after that event that the Dutch claimed the tulip as a national icon.

Tulip fact 5: Did you know that during the Dutch Golden Age, a tulip was worth more than gold and more than a house? This 17th century flower hype is known as the Tulip Fever or Tulip Mania.

Detail of the dew on a tulip amidst a field of tulips Netherlands

Tulip fact 6: The tulip exists in all colors except for 2: blue and black. The best attempt to breed a black tulip is the ‘Queen of the Night’ variation in with its deep purple color. The only Black Tulip to this day is the 19th century novel by Alexandre Dumas about the frenzy during the Tulip Mania, and the TV series based on this book.

Tulip fact 7: During WW II, the Dutch Royal Family found refuge in Ottawa. To thank the Canadians for their hospitality, the Dutch thanked them in 1945 by gifting 10 000 flower bulbs. This gesture became a yearly tradition that’s still very much alive. The Ottawa Tulip Festival is a celebration of this unique friendship.

Fields of tulips near Amsterdam

When will you visit these free tulip fields in the Netherlands?

Every year, flocks of tourists from around the world visit the tulip fields in the Netherlands and delight at the sight of the endless fragrant flower fields. We’ve been there multiple times and the flower bulbs never disappoint.

Have you seen the Dutch tulips bloom and blossom? Or are you planning a trip to Europe this year? Share your thoughts in the comment box!

Pinning this post would be much appreciated!

Bright red against a clear blue sky
Close-ups of yellow, pink and red tulips in The Netherlands
Close-up of pink tulips
Bright orange tulips against a clear blue sky

4 Comments

    1. Sarah

      Well, Patrick, I agree. I personally haven’t traveled since March and strongly feel that staying home is the best way to stop the virus from spreading. Then again, writing about our past travel experiences is what keeps me sane in these insane times. And I do believe that armchair-traveling helps many kindred spirits to cope with the current situation, offering a welcome break in between yet another load of corona virus updates. Then again, I made the choice to not actively promote my articles on social media during this pandemic, simply because encouraging feels wrong at this time. But my content is available to those who do choose to travel and I can only hope that they do so cautiously and well-informed. Thanks for passing by, Patrick, and stay safe!

      1. Aleks

        I am locked up at home since March 2020, in the Netherlands and plan to see some beauty this very weekend. Thank you for the tips. Still cannot decide, guess I need to see all of those sites 😊

        1. Sarah

          So many bulbs and so little tourists: seeing the tulips this year promises to be a unique experience. No better antidote to lockdown fatique than a combo of warming sunshine and colorful tulips. Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Aleks! And feel free to let me know afterwards which tulip field region was your favorite.

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