If you’re planning a short trip to the Netherlands, and especially if you’re planning to go in the spring, seeing the tulip fields will be one of the must-do activities. In this guide ‘The Best Tulip Fields in the Netherlands’, you can learn everything you need to know about the best places to see tulips in the Netherlands.
The tulip is, of course, the most emblematic flower of the Netherlands. It is undoubtedly the symbol that makes its inhabitants most proud. The Netherlands is by far the largest producer of tulips globally, with nearly 80% of tulip bulbs produced in the country.
Dutch tulip production has a long tradition in the Netherlands. Dating back to the 16th century when very rare tulip bulbs were worth much more than gold. In the early 17th century, a single bulb could easily exchange a single bulb for a house or a piece of land of several hectares. Its price represented a decade of work for an average craftsman.
If the tulip provoked so much passion, it is because, at that time, it resembled no other known flower in Europe. Very difficult to cultivate, the tulip, which takes 7 to 12 years to grow from seed to flower (blooms for only a few weeks), was a symbol of wealth.
Where are the best tulip fields in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, even in the heart of the capital, you can see the best tulip fields in squares and parks. But to enjoy the tulips, you will have to go far away from the center of Amsterdam, except during the Tulip Festival. You will mainly choose between 2 possibilities: visit the very famous Keukenhof park or go to one of the most beautiful tulip fields in the Netherlands.
Keukenhof is located in the municipality of Lisse, about 30 kilometers from the capital of the Netherlands. The Keukenhof gardens welcomes more than one million visitors every year. The garden is open to the public only from mid-March to mid-May.
This park, which has been in existence for over a century and is home to over 7 million tulip bulbs, is the largest and most famous flower park globally. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. If you go to the Netherlands during spring, a visit to Keukenhof is an absolute must. In addition to tulips, you can also see a lot of daffodils, roses, orchids, lilies, and many other flowers.
This park is not just an ample space where many tulips are planted. There, everything is done so that the flowers can bloom in the best conditions. The soil has been entirely developed to meet the tulips’ needs perfectly. Every year, between October and December, the gardeners plant each of the 7 million bulbs by hand, averaging 80,000 bulbs per day.
In the park, you can find four different pavilions. You will have the opportunity to see floral shows created by the country’s leading specialists, where throughout the season, more than 8,000 varieties of tulips and hundreds of types of other flowers are displayed.
In the park, you can also find several fields of tulips, each more colorful and fragrant than the other.
You can visit this park freely, but if you wish, you can also take a guided tour to learn more about these flowers and be sure not to miss anything.
Opening hours and prices of Keukenhof
The park is open daily during the tulip season from 8 am to 7:30 pm. The ticket office closes at 6 pm.
The prices for the visits to the park are as follows:
- 16 € for adults
- 8 € for children from 4 to 11 years old
- The visit is free for children three years old and under
- The guided tour will cost you an additional 5 €, and parking expenses 6 €.
Be careful, though! There are a LOT of people every year who visit Keukenhof! So it’s best to book your tickets as soon as you know the dates of your stay. Availability goes very fast.
Generally, the tulips are at their most beautiful in Keukenhof during April, especially around April 15. Earlier, in the early spring, you can also admire some of the other flower species, but to see most of them at their best, I advise you to make your visit in April or early May.
As I said before, I also recommend you avoid visiting this park in the middle of the day and prefer the morning or the end of the afternoon to be quieter. The light will also be more favorable for taking beautiful pictures.
If you come to visit Amsterdam in April, I highly recommend going to Keukenhof park! It is unique in the world!
Netherland tulip fields season
The tulip fields season in the Netherlands is from mid-March to mid-May. If you travel to the Netherlands in spring, you have an excellent chance to see them during this period.
Beyond the possibility of observing them, in my opinion, the experience can be different depending on the period chosen. The best time to see tulip fields in the Netherlands is between mid-April and the end of April. That’s because not all bulbs are planted at the same time. Tulip bulbs planted early in the season will be harvested in early May. On the other hand, some plantings may not yet be in bloom at the very beginning of the season.
By opting for mid-April / end of April, you will be at the peak of the flowering in the Netherlands. Especially around Amsterdam. Moreover, most of the trees have leaves in this period, and the landscapes are stunning, beyond the famous colorful flowers.
So if you have a free hand on the dates of your stay to enjoy the flowering plots, I recommend you plan your trip for the second half of April. It is also an outstanding season to visit Amsterdam, a city close to the places mentioned here.
Of course, the tulip season in the Netherlands can change slightly every year, depending on the weather. Nevertheless, these differences are minimal. By focusing on April, you have a maximum chance to enjoy these beautiful landscapes!
How to get to the tulip fields from Amsterdam
How to get to the tulip fields from Amsterdam? Two Keukenhof Express bus lines (852 from Amsterdam RAI or 858 from Schiphol airport) take you directly to the Keukenhof park in about half an hour. Remember to buy your ticket on the online store to get a bus + entrance combo price. If you don’t want to visit the park, it’s better to go to Schiphol and take line 361 direction Noordwijk to get to the center of Lisse.
- By train: you can rent bikes in Amsterdam and take the train with them to one of the surrounding cities (Haarlem or Aalsmeer, for example) by paying an additional bike pass of 6,90€ per person. Once you arrive, hop on your bike for at least 20 kilometers to Lisse! Alternatively, take the train to Leiden Centraal and then the 50 bus to Haarlem.
- The more athletic can choose to cycle the whole way there and back by bike. Count on about thirty kilometers to go, thirty kilometers to return, and possibly a few tens of kilometers of walks on the spot.
- By car: if you come to the Netherlands with your vehicle or decide to rent one in Amsterdam, the access to Lisse is very simple. It takes about half an hour in normal circumstances. You can park in the village, for example, near the town hall or in the Keukenhof parking lot (6€ per day).
Ways to get around
Once there, there are several ways to get around. You can go for a walk along with the fields (for example, this 2-hour itinerary) and a bike ride if you have one or want to rent one at Keukenhof (example of a tour here). Of course, you can go by car on a larger scale to see more of the region – but traffic jams are common on weekends.
Tulip Festival Amsterdam
If you’re only spending a weekend in Amsterdam, enjoying the Tulips without going out of town is entirely possible. Of course, you won’t have the view that the fields in bloom offer, but nothing beats a shot of Amsterdam with tulips and a canal, and Dutch houses in the background. For this, don’t miss the Tulip Festival in Amsterdam!
The Tulip Festival in Amsterdam is an initiative of the Tulip Festival association, whose mantra is “To every citizen his tulip.” The idea is to decorate the streets of Amsterdam with thousands of tulips every spring to remind the city of its special bond with this flower. Thus, 850,000 tulips planted in autumn bloom in spring in many gardens, streets, and buildings of the town: the roof of the science museum NEMO, the forecourt of the Rijksmuseum, canal bridges.
You can find the many points of interest on the official Tulip Festival map.
If the Netherlands is famous for its tulips, in Flevoland, these flowers are everywhere.
In the spring, you can walk or cycle along with fields decked out in beautiful colors. Flevoland has the longest tulip route in the Netherlands. In 2009, National Geographic named it one of the most beautiful driving routes globally. However, the best way to discover it is to get on your bike, follow the 100 km marked route, admire the tulips at your leisure, and soak up the colors.
And then there is the Spring Festival in the North-East Polder (Noordoostpolder). From April to May, you can attend the Tulip Festival. Here you can admire 2,000 varieties of this typical Dutch flower in extraordinary gardens and exhibitions. In addition to the main activities, you can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride and stop by one of the short-lived cafés.
If you think that discovering all this splendor is limited to spring, I suppose you might be wrong: many gardens are open all year round. The Kwekerij Joosten nursery, for example, has a 4,000 m² exhibition garden. In Hanneke’s Pluktuin, you can even compose your bouquet.
But that’s not all, because you can enjoy the tulip all year round. Go to Tulpeiland (literally, the tulip island) and relax in the charming village of Zeewolde, on the shores of Lake Wolderwijd. Why such a name when the island is mostly home to orchids? A quick look from the air and you’ll see: the island is shaped like a tulip! Visit the Orchideeën Hoeve, home to exotic flora and fauna and the most extensive butterfly garden in Europe.
The Dutch flower fields have been the symbol of the Bollenstreek region for over 400 years. It is also famous for the beautiful Keukenhof gardens and the flower parade.
The old dunes have proven to have precisely the right ingredients to grow the best flower bulbs in the world. The area has become the center of the world trade in flower bulbs. Every spring, millions of visitors come to enjoy the blooming flower fields. Also popular are the world-famous flower park Keukenhof and the annual bloemencorso Bollenstreek.
The most famous bulb flower in the region is the Dutch tulip. But besides the tulip, there are many more flower bulb species grown in the bulb growing region. Daffodils, hyacinths, and summer bulbs like dahlias and callas are produced. The flower fields are mainly located between the charming villages of Hillegom, Noordwijkerhout, and Voorhout. The area is only 30 minutes drive from the city center of Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, and The Hague.
Every year millions of visitors come to enjoy the flowers of Keukenhof and the surrounding flower fields. The small-scale character of the flower fields in the bulb growing area has an extra attraction. You will soon see several landscape variations on your route on your bike and foot. There are also numerous monuments and points of interest where you can learn about the flower fields’ rich history. The extensive cycling and walking nodes network make it easy to follow a route.
Enjoy tulip fields in the Netherlands
Would you like to relax and enjoy the flowers in the bulb growing area? Enjoying tulip fields in the Netherlands is almost a ritual. Then consider booking a hotel or bed and breakfast. There is a wide range of choices, from luxury hotels to comfortable beds and breakfasts. For families, there are beautiful vacation parks and campsites. And what about an overnight stay on the beach? There are more than 80 beach houses on the beach every beach season where you can fall asleep with the sunset in the sea. In short, there is a suitable night place for everyone.
More reasons to come to the Bollenstreek:
- The Dutch flower fields are beautiful, but there is much more to discover in the Bollenstreek.
- Dutch beaches and dunes – The beach and dune areas are magical. You imagine yourself in a different world. The healthy sea air and the hilly dune landscape let you discover how beautiful and memorable the Netherlands is.
- Dutch polders and lakes: In the east of the Bollenstreek, you will find the most beautiful polders and lakes in the Netherlands. That’s the region with most of the windmills in the Netherlands. There are many small farms where you can discover typical Dutch products like cheese, milk, and tulips.
- Dutch cities: Around the Bollenstreek, you will find the oldest cities in the Netherlands. You can visit cities like Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, and The Hague within a half-hour drive. But also Delft, Rotterdam, and Utrecht can be seen within an hour.
Tulip fields near Amsterdam
The sensory spectacle of millions of petals – many tulips, but also hyacinths, daffodils, crocuses… – is easy to enjoy from Amsterdam, because one of the key regions of this industry is located around the small town of Lisse, a 30-minute drive from the capital, in the heart of the “Bollenstreek” or “Bulb District.”
Less known than the Bollenstreek region, the fields of the Noordoostpolder are no less spectacular. That’s where most of the tulip farms in the Netherlands are located. With more than 5000 hectares of tulip fields, Flevoland is one of the most spectacular areas in the Netherlands in spring!
Take a train from Amsterdam to Lelystad and cycle the Flevoland Tulip Route to get off the beaten track. This marked route was voted one of the most beautiful driving routes globally by National Geographic in 2009. Along this colorful route, several tulip farms open their doors to tourists, and it is possible to visit some gardens and even pick tulips.
In the “Kop van Noord,” the northern part of the province of Noord-Holland, north of the city of Alkmaar, is a very flourishing area. This piece of land between the North Sea and the IJssel lake has the largest uninterrupted field of flower bulbs globally and rural landscapes that are particularly typical of the Netherlands.
These are the best tulip fields in all of the Netherlands – each one teeming with brilliant colors and radiant beauty! Each year when these fields come to life with an array of brilliantly colored tulips, it almost feels like a dream. A swathe of colors that are so diverse, in combinations that are really “out there.”
Have you enjoyed the blog post ‘The best tulip fields in the Netherlands’ and exploring nature? I invite you to visit the Provence lavender fields and stunning Provence in France. By the way, see the gorgeous cherry blossoms in Paris.