1. When is the best time to see the Amsterdam Tulips?
If you are wondering when to visit Amsterdam without missing all those beautiful and colorful tulip fields, you should know that there is such a thing as tulip season. No, unfortunately the country is not covered in flowers all year long and that is why this time is so special. The tulip season runs during spring from the end of March until the middle of May, with its peak of blooming flowers halfway through April.
Fun fact: the National Tulip Day marks the beginning of the tulip season. It happens not at the end of March but at the end of January! Every year on this day, Dam square transforms into a big tulip garden where anyone can pick up tulips and make their own bouquet for free!
2. Where to see Amsterdam tulips in spring time?
Now that you know when to visit, let us tell you where you can go! In general you have four choices to see the Amsterdam tulips and the tulip fields in Holland.
- Amsterdam: during the Tulip Festival (see nº4), many places will be embellished with tulips around Amsterdam. For vibrant colours visit the Bloemenmarkt and the Amsterdam Tulip Museum, one of our local partners that is open (even when the spring is over).
- The tulip fields near Amsterdam (aka the Flower strip or Bollenstreek, in North Holland).
- Tulip farms
- The Keukenhof Gardens
3. How to best see the Amsterdam Tulips and the Tulip Fields?
First a little notice; did you know the flower fields are privately owned and you can’t just walk amongst the seas of tulips (although Instagram might tell you different?).
To respectfully enjoy the tulip fields, here are some great options.
- In the Bollenstreek region, Fam Flower Farm will welcome you to their farms where you will be able to see the tulip fields from up close. They offer great tours in other flower fields such as daffodils and dahlias as well.
- For a typical Dutch experience, why not hop on a bike! As you may know, the Netherlands has an A+ bicycle infrastructure and this means it is possible to bike from Amsterdam to the Bollenstreek. But be aware, this is a 35km ride one way. You can also book a bike tour with Tulip Bicycle Tour who will expertly guide you through the most beautiful scenic spots.
- And if you are after a super special and exclusive experience, Helivliegen will welcome you aboard one of their helicopters to admire the fields from a bird’s perspective. Fly away and enjoy a tour that you will never forget!
- Bring an amazing souvenir back home thanks to the Fashion Photo Lab. Their professional photographers will arrange transportation and choose the best locations for your own personal photoshoot.
- Toms Travel Tours organizes tulip tours in the Bollenstreek but also in other places near Amsterdam where there are more beautiful tulip fields and perhaps less tourists. You can customize your tour depending on your wishes because they offer a variety of options and activities (even when the tulip season is over). On their website you will find more information and perhaps other tours that you might like!
When you are not looking for a guided tour, explore the tulip fields yourself on the trails and areas that are assigned. Just grab a map and fully charge your phone because the trail spreads to almost 40km. We recommend to follow the Flower route which will guide you through the tulip fields, monuments, windmills, the Keukenhof Gardens and much more! Bring your own bike or rent one in the villages surrounding the area.
4. What is the Tulip Festival ?
Remember we told you that Amsterdam will blossom into a colorful city during the spring season? It is also thanks to the Tulip Festival! During the month of April, many locations in the city will be decorated with hundreds of tulips in as many colors as you can imagine. Some events are also organized such as the Dutch Flower Parade. This is where astonishing flower sculptures are exhibited along the streets of Noordwijk, Lisse and Haarlem (unfortunately, the 2021 edition was cancelled due to corona).
Fun fact: This joyful period represents a tradition and marks the beginning of the spring.
5. Why do the Dutch grow tulips?
We have to point out that in the 16th century, tulips were imported from the Ottoman Empire and used to be luxurious products. This trade flourished, popularized among royalties (Tulip Mania) and turned into an important economic bubble. Since then, the Dutch perfected their techniques and today, they are the biggest flower exporters of the world. To everyone’s surprise, tulips are not a big part of this business. The precious pearls are the tulip bulbs and not the flowers, Interesting, isn’t it? In fact, after millions of visitors have had the chance to enjoy the tulip fields in April and May, the flower heads are actually cut off in order for the bulbs to multiply underground. This business is also possible thanks to Dutch surroundings that provide a unique mixture of humidity, sea air and acidity in the soil which makes it the perfect growing ground for tulip bulbs.
Do you picture yourself in front of breathtaking tulip fields already?! Remember, come during the spring, get yourself enough time (and a fully charged camera) to visit the tulip fields and last but not least, seek for tulip spots around the city during the Tulip Festival. We hope to see you around!