Known for its windmills, canals, and delicious cheese, the Netherlands is home to a wide variety of things. Nevertheless, its symbol is its colorful tulip fields. A truly breathtaking sight is created by millions of tulip fields in Holland every spring.
Are you visiting The Netherlands in spring and wondering where to find the most beautiful flower gardens and tulip fields? When is tulip season? How to get there? And which are the best ways to explore the flower fields alone or with a guide?
This article provides all the information you need concerning tulip fields in The Netherlands, including Lisse tulip fields and Keukenhof Gardens. Check it out!
It is true that Holland is famous for its tulips and soil in the Holland, but the tulips are actually not Dutch – the wild flowers from the mountains of Kazakhstan were first brought to Europe in 1554 from Istanbul. At that time, it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. After being introduced in Vienna, they were introduced to Amsterdam.
It was around 1593 that the first tulip appeared in The Netherlands. Originally, tulips were grown in the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden and only visitors were allowed to visit them, but later the tulips spread across the country, causing Tulipmania.
It is considered an official era in Dutch history. At this time in the Dutch Golden Age, contract prices for tulip bulbs reached absurdly high levels. A tulip cost what an average man earned in 10 months at one time. Several fortunes were made, until the market collapsed in 1637 as a result of the bubble burst. The Tulip Mania is considered to be the first documented speculative bubble in history.
A single bulb of a rare species (particularly the double-coloured striped ones) could cost ten times more than a craftsman’s annual income during the Dutch Golden Age. It was possible for people from different social classes to gain enrichment from one day to the next by purchasing a particularly valuable tulip bulb.
There is a very good portrayal of Tulip Mania’s fascinating history in the film Tulip Fever (2017). It is visually stunning, with a scenography that resembles classic Dutch paintings of the time. Watching this movie will make you even more eager to visit the famous tulip fields!
Dutch tulip season is regarded as one of the most beautiful times of the year as a sea of flowers covers parts of Holland from mid-March to mid-May. During the spring, the crocuses are the first to bloom in March, followed by hyacinths and narcissus. Tulips usually bloom in mid-April and show their colors until mid-May.
It is important to note that the precise timing of the bloom varies from year to year due to weather conditions. It’s an early spring time when tulips bloom earlier due to the warmer weather.
The Keukenhof Gardens are a famous attraction in The Netherlands. Located about 40 kilometers southwest of Amsterdam, it is open from March 21 to 12 May 2024. Over 7 million flower bulbs are planted by hand every year in autumn so that they can bloom in spring.
Definitely one of the most beautiful flower gardens in the world as there are more than 800 different types of tulips in the garden. With an estimated 1.4 million visitors, Keukenhof managed to conclude the season of 2023 with great success. With its 75th anniversary coming up in 2024, the edition of Keukenhof is expected to be extra festive!
Visiting Keukenhof Gardens during April or May is definitely worth it, the variety of tulips and flowers there will amaze you, and the early morning walk around the park will be extremely relaxing, but it depends on your interests and budget. Keukenhof Gardens are a must if you’re a big fan of flowers. It’s like Disney World for tulip and flower lovers!
Keukenhof is not a free garden, the entrance ticket costs €19.50 for adults and €9.75 for children. For groups and seniors, there are discounts available. Keukenhof also has big parking available for those travelling by car. It is an extremely popular tourist attraction with both Dutch and foreign visitors, so we highly recommend booking tickets online well in advance as some weekends are sold out.
One of the most common questions we get is when is the best time in spring to visit Keukehof, the world famous garden. Throughout the season, the flower park is a great place to enjoy the flowers thanks to the layers of bulbs planted in the park. In 2024, the season begins on Thursday 21 March and ends on Sunday 12 May. It is important to note that there are three different flowering periods.
First period – From the opening, there will be lots of blooming flowers in the park, signaling the start of spring. A lot of indoor flower shows have tulips blooming, and outside, daffodils and crocuses are blooming as well.
Second period – As soon as the daffodils and crocuses bloom, the hyacinths and early tulips appear in the outdoor gardens. The indoor flower shows are still amazing with great colors.
Third period – Tulips will bloom in the outdoor gardens during the last period which is perfect for photo spot. In the indoor flower shows, there will still be amazing flowers.
Visit the Keukenhof Castle and walk around its gardens. It is located across the street from the Keukenhof has a rich history dating back to the Golden Age. It has beautiful flowers and landscaping, a restaurant, and an animal farm, so it’s perfect for a family day trip or picnic.
You can visit the Royal FloraHolland Flower Auction in Aalsmeer. The auction starts in the early hours, so you’ll need to get up early.Observe the hustle and bustle of the floor as traders buy and sell colorful flowers from more than 50 countries every day.
Explore a tulip farm and learn about the process of growing tulips. Several flower farms offer tours and exhibitions, and you can even pick your own tulips. Among the tulip farms we recommend are The Tulip Experience Amsterdam, The Tulip Barn, FAM Flower Farm, Hortus Bulborum, and BloembollenBoemel at Land van Fluwel’s adventure theme park.
Experience the tulip fields from the water with a boat trip. The boat trip lasts 45 minutes, during which you will learn about the flower region. Keukenhof tickets do not include this unique tour, which must be purchased separately.
Experience a professional photoshoot & bike tour in the tulip fields. With Sandra, our professional portrait photographer and founder from Amsterdam, you’ll see the sea of colours of the tulip fields while taking outstanding photos. This is a one-of-a-kind experience, make sure your memories will never fade away by letting a professional photographer capture beautiful pictures of your tulip fields adventure.
How romantic would it be to propose in a tulip field to your partner? It is also possible to have your solo photos taken, as well as couple photos, family photos, or even a session with your kids exploring the fields. To avoid crowds and tourists in your photos, the photoshoots take place in the early morning.
When it comes to the most beautiful tulip fields in mid April, you can find them around different areas in The Netherlands. Besides the Keukenhof Gardens, there are many other flower fields in the Netherlands. Bollenstreek, or the Bulb Region, is an area southwest of Amsterdam known for its tulip fields. It is also possible to see tulip fields in Beemster Polder and on the Kop van Noord-Holland.
When visiting tulip fields on your own, it’s a good idea to map your route ahead of time. There are also many tour operators that offer tulip field tours if you don’t want to worry about planning your own trip.
The Keukenhof Gardens and the tulip and flower fields are completely different concepts. In Keukenhof you will feel surrounded by nature, trees, tulip gardens with different species, restaurants, and shops. It is not free, it requires an entrance fee and is also easily accessible.
Keukenhof is a world famous place and the most touristic flower garden in the world. It is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance, since chances are high they will be sold out if you decide to visit spontaneously during the weekend in April. Visiting Keukenhof in the early hours is another essential point, since it gets crowded by lunchtime.
During tulip season it is a totally different experience to go to a flower or tulip field because they are spread out over a vast area far from public transport, some are surrounded by canals, while others have windmills as a backdrop. The dutch tulip fields are definetely more breathtaking than Keukenhof for the fact that the amazing tulip fields are massive, and you won’t be bothered by tourists.
In conclusion, when you visit Keukenhof Gardens or Dutch tulip fields, you feel as if you’re swimming in a sea of colorful tulips. You have to visit them during tulip season to experience it!
When to visit the tulip fields in Holland during tulip season may differ from the world famous Keukenhof Gardens. According to Sandra, a portrait photographer, you should explore the tulip fields between the mid-April and the first week of May.
It might make visitors disappointed to go a few days later because their tulips are often already chopped off by the farmers by the time they arrive.
April is the month where you can see the tulips and flower frields in full bloom in The Netherlands and it’s beautiful for pictures. If you visit early in the spring in March you won’t be able to see tulips in bloom, only green tulips and flower fields.
Despite what you might think, flower farmers are not in it for the flowers, but for the bulbs. They can earn more money by growing bigger bulbs. The tulip flowers are cut off by the end of April or early May, leaving the stem and leaves, which provide nutrition for the bulbs.
The Dutch love their tulips, and we enjoy having tulips in our houses, but most tulips are exported. Every year, the Netherlands exports over three billion tulips and bulbs.
To get to the tulip fields from Amsterdam, you can take the Keukenhof Express bus, the train, or by car.
Keukenhof Express bus:
This is the easiest and fastest option, and it takes about 45 minutes. The Keukenhof Express bus Departs from several locations in Amsterdam, including Amsterdam RAI, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, and Amsterdam Central Station.
Tickets can be purchased on the Keukenhof website or at a bus stop. Special buses run from different stations to the tulip fields during the tulip season. The buses stop at Keukenhof Gardens, where you can enter the parks.
If you book a combi-ticket includes the access to Keukenhof gardens and the bus ticket to arrive there and come back, the price might depend from the departure location.
The train ride from Amsterdam Central train station to Schipol takes about 30 minutes. From Schipol, you can take a Keukenhof bus to the Keukenhof. You can also take the train to Hillegom or Sassenheim and then take the bus from there.
It takes 40 minutes by car to reach the tulip fields in Holland from Amsterdam. The closest flower fields can be found between Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, and The Hague.
Parking at Keukenhof is the best option if you wish to combine your visit to the tulip fields with Keukenhof.
A taxi or Uber ride to visit tulip fields is the most expensive. However, renting a bike is a good idea otherwise you won’t be able to see many tulip fields since they are spread out and far apart. Visiting a tulip farm could be another option.
During tulip season in The Netherlands, keep these rules in mind when visiting the tulip fields. The tulip field is an amazing place, but you need to remember to take care of it.
Don’t pick tulips in the field! It’s extremely disrespectful to the farmer. You can buy tulips at very good prices directly from farmers at the roadside stalls and at the flower farms.
If you don’t have the farmer’s permission, don’t go into the fields. Tulip and flower fields are closed to the public, and it is prohibited to enter them. There are sometimes canals surrounding tulip fields, but unfortunately some people jump over fences, step on the tulips, and destroy the field for that Instagram-worthy picture. Alternatively, you may be carrying diseases on your shoes that will irreparably damage the tulip bulbs. Bulb diseases can cause millions of euros in loss to tulip farmers.
If you want to support the tulip industry and be surrounded by them, a flower farm field is the ideal place for you. Many of these have recently opened their doors to tourists. De Tulperij, The Tulip Barn, The Tulip Experience Amsterdam, FAM Flower Farm and Tulip Store Show Garden are designated show gardens with spring flowers, tulip fields and fun props for an Instagram-worthy photo.
The flower farms are not free, but for a small amount of money you can get the opportunity to see tulips from close, have a parking and a beautiful photo spot with tulip and flower fields.
Where are the tulip fields in Holland is one of the most frequently asked questions. A tulip field is not typically located within the city of Amsterdam itself; instead some canals, Damsquare, Damrak, and the Rijkmuseum are the only places where you can find tulips in pots.
There are a number of different places around the country where you can see tulip fields for free in the Netherlands, however a 40-minute drive from Amsterdam will take you to Keukenhof and Lisse.
If you are wondering where to find tulips in the colorful dutch flower fields during the tulip season in the Netherlands, here are some Dutch countryside locations.
Probably the most famous area for the tulip fields in the Netherlands is around Keukenhof. It’s called ‘Bollenstreek’: the bulb area. Located between Amsterdam, Leiden, Haarlem and The Hague, Bollenstreek lies behind the North Sea dunes.
There are dozens of beautiful flower fields full of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Many tulip and flower fields can be seen in Voorhout, Sassenheim, Lisse, and Hillegom.
Located north of Amsterdam, the Beemster area is the perfect spot to see tulip fields. You can take a train to Purmerend and start your Tulip walk from there.
There are plenty of tulips to be seen in the northern region of Amsterdam, which is part of the North Holland province. Holland boven Amsterdam offers several walking and cycling routes that lead you through many pretty flower fields.
Texel is always a good idea, especially in April and May when the flower fields are in full bloom. This map shows where you can see tulips in Texel.
From Amsterdam, it’s only a short train ride to Almere or Lelystad, and it’s worth it since Flevoland province is a beautiful place to see tulip fields, and it’s still a bit of a hidden gem, so you’ll have the whole place to yourself. Taking this route will show you all the flower fields around Dronten, as well as the route around Zeewolde, particularly the area around Juttepeerlan.
In terms of Holland tulip fields, Goeree-Overflakkee is a complete hidden gem. Located near Rotterdam, this part of Zeeland is an excellent place to see free tulip fields far from the crowds.
In the area between Dirksland, Middelharnis, Oude-Tong and Nieuwe-Tonge, you can spot beautiful fields of tulips. You will be able to see a lot of fields along this route.
In spring, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is a great place to spot tulip fields in Zeeland. If you are interested in combining a sea holiday with tulip spotting, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is a great destination. Most flower fields can be found around Hulst and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen.
You can explore and see tulip fields in the Netherlands in April by following a few tips listed below:
Follow these tips to explore and see tulip fields in the Netherlands in April:
Be aware of the crowds. During the peak season, the tulip fields are a popular tourist destination. Be prepared for crowds of tourists, especially at Keukenhof.
Be an early bird. For the best experience, we recommend going in the morning to the Keukenhof or the tulip fields to avoid crowds.
Wear comfortable shoes. Comfortable shoes are essential if you plan to walk or bike a lot.
Bring a camera or mobile. Taking pictures of the tulip fields is definitely a must.
Respect the tulips. Don’t go through the tulip fields or pick the flowers. Some tulip fields have stands with bouquets of tulips with QR codes where you can buy flowers directly from the owners. The quality and price of the fresh tulips are great, and you’re helping a local farmer at the same time!
Check the weather forecast before you go. In the Netherlands, the weather can change very quickly, so it’s important to be prepared in case of a change in the forecast. Buienradar is a super accurate weather app that we recommend checking out.
A dream of some of our clients was to visit Keukenhof, the world’s famous gardens. Others had dreamed since childhood of being surrounded by colourful tulips in The Netherlands. Providing the perfect photo experience for our clients is one of our top priorities.
Are you interested in checking out our Keukenhof shoots? Or Are you interested in booking a tulip fields photoshoot and bike tour in The Netherlands, and would like to see our portfolio, prices, and availability?
Typically, we receive bookings months in advance, so reserve your spot as soon as possible for April and May 2023! The world famous tulip fields in Holland await you!