One of the most iconic vistas of the Netherlands are the endless tulip fields in multitude of colours. Sometimes with a windmill at the horizon, to make the view even more Dutch. We will tell you when and where to see them!
Keep in mind that this spectacular view can be seen only in a limited time during the spring. As all flowers, tulips bloom within a specific timeframe, then they are cut and all you can see in the fields are rows of green stems (and some fallen flower leftovers). We have friends who visited Holland and saw only empty fields, so read on and plan well!
When to Visit the Tulip Fields in the Netherlands?
The flowering time varies a bit every year due to the weather conditions. They will bloom more less from the last week of March until the end of April/beginning of May. You can see the most spectacular tulip garden in the world until 10 May.
Where Are the Tulip Fields in the Netherlands?
The most recommended – and the most famous place to see the tulip fields is Lisse. That’s because apart from long rows of pretty colourful fields, Lisse has the greatest national flower treasure: the splendid Keukenhof gardens (details below).
1.1. Lisse By Bus
The easiest solution is to take a bus 858 from Schiphol Airport (the Amsterdam airport). There are special deals for bus tickets combined with entrance ticket to Keukenhof gardens at discounted prices. You will find a detailed and always updated information on stops, routes, prices and timetables of the buses here.
It’s easy to find the bus at the station – it is painted all over with huge vividly coloured tulips ;)
1.2. Lisse By Bike
Lots of people rent a bike to live the real Dutch experience: riding a bike along flowering tulip fields :) The Dutch spring may be much more sunny than you expect, so on a serene day it’s really a great pleasure. Apart from that, bike is best also for taking pictures. That’s because you can stop wherever you want and avoid more crowded areas.
Taking a bike directly from Amsterdam may not be for everybody, but you can come to the area by bus and rent a bike already in Lisse or nearby areas. The price of rental starts at EUR 7.5 for half a day. We will soon add all the information on where to rent a bike, prices and the best Flower Routes.
1.3. Lisse By Car
Another option is renting a car, however the village roads along the fields are narrow and so a traffic jam of visitors stopping to photograph the fields forms up quite easily.
Lisse is between Amsterdam and The Hague. Take the A4 highway and exit in Nieuw-Vennep; or take A44 highway and take exit 3 in Lisse.
2. Keukenhof Gardens
The ultimate tulip mania experience awaits you in fascinating Keukenhof Gardens with 7 million bulbs of 800(!) varieties of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths! That’s something you can see only in the Netherlands! There are thematic compositions and patterns created by the flowers of different types and colours with centuries’ old tradition of the Dutch gardening.
It’s fascinating even for people not easily impressed by flowers (like men, for instance)! The gardens are huge and they include a museum of tulips, a 100-year-old windmill, several cafes, restaurants and flower and souvenir shops. In other words: it’s a truly enchanting place to spend half a day. Highly recommended.
The entrance ticket is EUR 17 on-line or EUR 18 in the ticket office, but better buy a deal with a bus ticket (as explained above in the By Bus section).
The opening time this year: 21 March – 10 May 2020
1 h 30 mins by bus or train+bus from Amsterdam
Here are some good deals for organized trips to Keukenhof:
- Get your ticket with transfer from Amsterdam for €39
- Bulb Farm Full-Day Tour in Keukenhof
- 3 Attractions in 1 day: Keukenhof, Zaanse Schans windmills, and Canal Cruise in Amsterdam
Hotels in near Keukenhof and tulip fields:
Stay for a night to fully enjoy the area – it’s totally worth it! We recommend the following hotels:
3. Duin en Bollenstreek – “Dune and Bulb Region”
Between the cities of Leiden, The Hague and Haarlem, there is a coastal stripe of particularly fertile lands famous for flower growing and sand dunes. It includes towns of Hillegom, Katwijk, Lisse, Noordwijk, Noordwijkerhout and Teylingen. Among these towns, the most famous ones are Lisse – described above – and Noordwijkerhout.
The best option is to go there by bike or rent a bike at spot. The routes close to Noordwijk and Noordwijkerhout are exceptionally beautiful with the coastal views, rural areas and – of course – long tulip fields.
Hotels near beach and tulip fields:
See the tulip fields from the air!
4. Tulpenroute – “Tulip Route” in Flevoland
Until about 50 years ago, Flevoland province was covered by the sea. By building the polders – typical Dutch low fields of land enclosed by dikes – these areas were reclaimed from the sea. Nowadays, there are huge quantities of flowers grown on these particularly fertile rural terrains.
Tulpenroute – the Tulip Route – lets you visit the countryside around the towns of Dronten, Lelystad and Zeewolde along excellent bike routes.
Tulip Route Info
The time to visit this year: 13 April – end of April 2020
This year the theme of Tulpenroute Flevoland is the Dutch Golden Ag. It was the period in the 17th century when the commerce and stock exchange of tulips contributed greatly to the wealth of the Netherlands.
More information here.
Hotels in Lelystad near tulip fields:
If you want to visit an idyllic Dutch countryside not crowded by tourists, head to the pretty North Holland region. To make the most of your visit, take a tour with a friendly local tulip farmer from Tulip Tours Holland! Knowing everything about tulips, he will show you his own real tulip farm, explain how the bulbs are grown, and take you to one of the oldest windmills in the Netherlands.
Normally you can’t walk among the tulip rows. However, during a tour you will be allowed to do it, so that you can take all those perfect dreamy photos in the middle of the endless rows of flowers! During the trip, you can order a photoshoot with a professional photographer, resulting in photos like this one!
For an authentic experience of tulip fields, I highly recommend Tulip Tours Holland with Mike Zwart. He will give you an entertaining tour in a bulb farm with 50 species of flowers, show you the prettiest tulip fields and a windmill and… invite you for a lunch among tulips! How nice is that?!
Here are the options of tours with Mike, starting from Amsterdam, or you can just visit a farm, arriving on your own:
- Dutch countryside tulip group tour from Amsterdam
- Private Tour: Tulip and Windmills from Amsterdam
- Visit a real Tulip farm
Only one thing can be better than seeing the sea of colours of the tulip fields: having spectacular photos among them. Forget selfies and blurry smartphone photos. Your memories will never fade away, if you let a professional photographer capture them for you.
There are many options: Women can express all their femininity in a beautiful dress in the middle of the flowers. Couples can have their romantic moments captured in this unforgettable location. And how about a super-original wedding session in the tulip fields? You can also have family photos or a session with your kids running through the fields.
You decide – and Celia from The Lightbox Tales – a professional photographer from Amsterdam – will turn your dreams into perfect pictures. She will meet you in Amsterdam and take care of you. She provides private transportation by car from Amsterdam to the tulip fields and back (for up to 4 people). She knows where the most beautiful tulip and hyacinth fields are. She will choose the best time and light. The photoshoots are completely private, you can feel free to try all the poses you want. Let her take the most splendid photos you’ve ever had.
There is one more reason for hiring a professional photographer. You actually can’t walk among the flower fields. It is strictly forbidden, as it may damage the fragile and precious flower bulbs. Celia, living in the Netherlands, has her own contacts and she has the permission to walk among the fields during her sessions. So if you want to have photos like the ones above – I highly recommend you to talk to Celia!
7. Tulip Festival in Amsterdam
If you only visit Amsterdam and don’t have time or interest to go out of the city to see tulip fields, you can still admire the flower-symbol of the Netherlands in the capital. Throughout the month of April 2020, in multiple locations the Tulip Festival is held. The (very nice!) idea is to plant one tulip for each citizen of Amsterdam, making it 850,000 tulips in total. Hence, you will find tulip arrangements and little tulip gardens and displays in 85 places around the city.
All the information including locations, map, photos etc. is available here.
Read where to buy tulip bulbs – The Floating Flower Market in Amsterdam
Euroviajar’s Tip: Tulips & Windmills
There are some windmills in less known places, surrounded by flower meadows. Three sure places where you can actually photograph a windmill with tulip fields are:
- Keukenhof gardens – its windmill is a historical building that you can visit inside, too. There are tulips planted in the area in front of the entrance to the windmill in the gardens. The wide tulip fields like on the photo above are located outside the gardens, behind a canal and trees. Therefore, you can take such a photo when you finish your visit in the gardens and approach the fields from the outside.
- Hoogeveense windmill (with cute small Lageveensemolen opposite to it) in Noordwijkerhout at Leidsevaart, 2211 VP Lisse.
- In Noord Holland region near Venhuizen, during a trip to a real tulip farm and one of the oldest Dutch windmills.
Read about The 15 Best Places to See in The Netherlands
Tulips – originally the wild flowers from the Asian mountains – were first brought to Europe in 1554 from Istanbul. Back then it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. From there, they were introduced in Vienna and subsequently brought to Amsterdam.
The beautiful exotic flower soon became the status symbol of the emerging class of rich Dutch merchants. Tulips became fashionable, desired and therefore increasingly expensive. Their preciousness is reflected on their frequent appearance on the paintings from that era.
In the period of the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, the price of a single bulb of a rare species (in particular the double-coloured striped ones) reached the amount ten times higher then the annual income of craftsmen. One of the oldest forms of the exchange market emerged around the tulip trade. By contracting a particularly precious tulip bulb, it was possible for people from different social classes to enrich from one day to another.
Tulip Mania is considered the first documented speculative bubble in history. A lot of fortunes were made, until one day in 1637 the bubble burst – and the market collapsed completely.
The curious history of Tulip Mania is very well depicted in the film entitled Tulip Fever (2017). It is exquisite visually, with the scenography resembling the classic Dutch paintings from this period. It will make you want even more to see the famous tulip fields in the Netherlands!
Do you have questions or suggestions about the tulip fields in the Netherlands? Don’t hesitate to write a comment!