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.
The tulip fields near Amsterdam are world-famous. But did you know that you can also find fields of tulips close to other Dutch cities? This allows you to combine your visit to the flower fields with the must-sees in The Hague, a day in Haarlem, a Gouda cheese market experience or even a jaunt to Ghent or a day in Brussels. Are you ready to discover some of the most spectacular tulip fields in the Netherlands?
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When is the best time to visit the tulip fields in Holland?
So, when do the tulips bloom in Holland? Tulip season in the Netherlands runs anywhere from the end 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.
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 until the about the end of March.
- 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.
Tips for visiting tulip fields in Holland: Can you walk into the flower fields?
First of all, we’d love to draw your attention to the fact that the flower fields 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 flower bulbs do, the flowers themselves 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 flower fields, 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 flower bulb 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 fields location in this article so you can go all out.
Where to find tulip fields in Netherlands?
Now you know all about when to visit and are an expert at tulip-etiquette. But where is the best place to see tulips? Our overview will help you find out exactly where the tulip fields are located. 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 fields in Holland that are mentioned.
Let’s discover the most gorgeous and colorful tulip fields in Holland.
Flower strip also known as Bulb region or Lisse tulip fields
Bollenstreek in Dutch, located in the South and North Holland provinces.
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 Gardens.
But you don’t need to access the park in order to get your dose of fragrant flowers. The area around the Keukenhof Gardens 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. The following options are a great way to see the tulip fields near Keukenhof Gardens on your own:
- Several walking trails meander the colorful landscape. Find them here.
- Or you could rent a bike at the Keukenhof Gardens 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 for all bike rental.
- A new and fun way to explore the flower fields in the wider area around Keukenhof Gardens 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 near Keukenhof Gardens. Apart from the picking aspect, they offer the perfect opportunity to take pictures of you and your loved ones amidst a field of Dutch tulips. The Tulip Barn, De Tulperij, Annemieke’s Picking Garden, Tulip Store Show Garden and Pluktuin Noordwijkerhout are examples of such farms that welcome visitors during tulip season.
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 2023, the Flower Parade will be held on Saturday 22 April.
Where to stay near the Lisse tulip fields
Now, for the best place to stay near Keukenhof Gardens and the Flower strip: Surprisingly, there aren’t that many hotels in and near Lisse. But no worries, there are plenty of amazing alternatives. This is by far our favorite one: De Groene Bollenschuur, a lovingly restored barn amidst the bulb fields.
If you’re looking for an amazing hotel nearby, we’d recommend staying in Noordwijk, a lovely seaside town very close to the flower fields. Its central location makes it a great place to stay in spring and summer, whether you plan a Netherlands backpacking trip or a cultural road trip. 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 the flower fields 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 September, may take place a bit further away but is a must-visit if you have a car. The date of this event conveniently coincides with the tulip season.
Head of Holland
The so-called Kop van Holland, located in the northernmost part of the North Holland Province.
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. It was 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.
The family travel quote “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” by Walt Streightiff certainly applies when you see them explore the flower fields.
A local highlight are the Flower Days in Anna Paulowna (Hollands Kroon). You’ll find flowers everywhere in town: colorful mosaics, decorated streets and bridges. More information can be found here.
In 2023, the Flower Days will take place from Saturday 22 to Wednesday 26 April.
Where to stay in the Head of Holland
This is a relatively quiet and rural part of the Netherlands and you won’t find many hotels here. But no problem, we’ve selected the best options near the tulip fields:
Spend your nights at this gorgeous holiday home in Stolpen. Bikes are for rent nearby. The house is lovingly decorated and located between sea and tulips.
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.
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.
These Netherlands tulip fields are located in the Flevoland province.
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.
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.
The 2023 for the Noordoostpolder Tulip Festival are still to be confirmed.
Where to stay near the Noordoostpolder tulip fields
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 beautiful flower fields with a jaunt to picturesque Giethoorn, where you can spend the rest of the day cruising the enchanting canals.
This tulip island is located in the South Holland province.
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.
You could rent a bicycle in Middelharnis and explore the tulip fields at the south side, near Achtehuizen and Oude-Tonge. Or you could start your cycling trip in Stellendam and discover the tulip fields at the north side, near Ouddorp.
Tulip picking garden
Head to Bloemenliefde, a gorgeous garden where you can pick your own flowers or attend a workshop.
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 near the Rotterdam tulip fields
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.
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.
These Netherlands tulip fields are located in the Zeeland province.
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.
Tulip picking garden
There’s actually a network of picking gardens in this area called Pluktuin La Fleur. You can check out all location on this map.
Where to stay in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
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.
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. Doesn’t it make for a wonderful road trip?
Fun facts about tulips in the Netherlands
Now that you know where to find the most beautiful flower fields in Holland, it’s time to learn more about the flower that makes these lanscapes so colorful. Here are some interesting facts about Holland’s most iconic flower.
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 Tulip Festival here.
Fact 2: What happens with the tulips in the Netherlands after the blooming period?
Well, the flowers are not the most precious part of the plant for farmers, the bulbs are. The goal is to multiply the flower bulb. 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 Holland in the season to come. So, the money’s in the bulbs, not the flowers.
Fact 3: Where (not) to buy Dutch tulip bulbs
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.
Fact 4: Tulips aren’t Dutch
The flower 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.
Fact 5: Tulipmania was the first financial bubble
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 and ended with the collapse of the market.
Fact 6: Tulips exist in all colors except for two
Tulips don’t come in 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.
Fact 7: Even Canadians love Dutch tulips
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.
Will you visit these free tulip fields in the Netherlands in 2023?
Every year, flocks of tourists from around the world see the tulip fields in the Netherlands and delight at the sight of the endless fragrant Dutch 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!