Where to see spring tulips in Amsterdam, Netherlands?

Where to see spring tulips in Amsterdam, Netherlands?

Tulips are Dutch flowers like Gouda cheese and wooden shoes. Centuries ago, the intricate plants proved a hit with the Dutch upper class, who would spend large sums of guilders (the currency of the time) to wear them as waistcoats during balls or to decorate their canal-side homes. At the height of their popularity in the 1630s, a veritable tulip mania swept the country, and individual bulbs of the most colorful varieties were worth more than their weight in gold.

Today, the tulip has become everyone’s flower, lighting up parks and backyards across the country during the spring. Amsterdam sees the start of the tulip season on National Tulip Day, an annual event held on the third Saturday in January. The city’s Museum Square turns into a giant tulip garden where everyone – including tourists – is free to choose their bouquet.

To see the country in full bloom, time your visit between late March and early May, when the flower fields are carpeted in eye-catching stripes of pink, orange and yellow, and the tulip festivals in Amsterdam and the surrounding countryside put out the much-loved flowers. In the spotlight.

Here’s where to find the most amazing tulip displays in the Netherlands in 2024.

Throughout April, travelers can see tulips for free throughout the city.

Courtesy of © TulpFestivalAmsterdam 2018

Amsterdam Tulip Festival

  • where: Amsterdam
  • When to visit: April 1-30, 2024

Amsterdam’s annual Tulp Festival brings a kaleidoscope of color to all parts of the city. From Vondelpark and central Dame Square to the busy streets of the Museum Quarter, more than 880,000 tulips will bloom in 85 locations around the city. The 2024 edition will take place throughout April and will include sites such as Plantage Middenlaan near the historic Artis Zoo, and NDSM Wharf, a former shipyard, across the IJ River.

Exterior of the Amsterdam Tulip Museum

Exhibits at the Amsterdam Tulip Museum chronicle the history of the Dutch fascination with the tulip.

Photography by Hans Engbers/Shutterstock

Amsterdam Tulip Museum

The Amsterdam Tulip Museum is a colorful corner to visit all year round. This small museum along the Prinsengracht Canal offers an in-depth look at the lamp’s Himalayan origins and the dazzling tulip craze that swept the country in the 17th century. Other parts of the museum feature Ottoman ceramics and industrial tulip-style antiques, and the gift shop sells certified bags of bulbs of a range of types.

Rows of tulips in the Keukenhof Gardens

The Keukenhof Gardens consist of more than 79 acres filled with 800 species of tulips.

Keukenhof

Located a 40-minute drive from Amsterdam city centre, Keukenhof hosts some of the most impressive flower displays in the Netherlands. At 79 acres decorated with more than 7 million bulbs (including more than 800 varieties of tulips), it is the largest flower garden in the world. No wonder it attracts more than a million visitors during the eight weeks it is open each year.

In 2024, the walking parks will be open from March 21 to May 12. This year’s edition also marks the 75th anniversary of the Keukenhof, so expect more celebrations, such as appearances by Dutch bands.

Zwarte Tulp Museum

Outside of Keukenhof, the town of Lisse has plenty of other starting points for explorations around this tulip region (also known as the Bulb or Bollenstreek area). To admire the grounds, stop by the nearby Musée de Zwarte Tulip in Lisse, where rotating exhibitions focus on tulips in everything from paintings to their representations in the Baroque period.

From here, head out on walking or cycling trails around the tulip fields (or on helicopter tours at €159 per person, US$173, on select Saturdays and Sundays throughout April). Then, if you haven’t gotten out of the tulips yet, the family-run Tulip Experience Amsterdam, which launched in 2019 just down the road from the Keukenhof Gardens, boasts tulip fields of more than a million flowers that guests are allowed to walk through. 9.50 Euro ($10 USD).

A platform with tulips and lilies during the traditional flower procession Bloemencorso Bollenstreek from Noordwijk to Haarlem in the Netherlands

The Flower Parade Bollenstreek festival takes place in April.

Photography by Warrick/Shutterstock

Flower Parade in Bolenstrick

  • where: Nordvik, Lisse and Haarlem
  • When to visit: April 17-21, 2024

The flower craze in the Babylon region reaches its highest level on April 20, when the annual flower parade known as the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek travels 26 miles between Noordwijk and Haarlem in a procession of colorful floats filled with tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and more. Bulb flowers. The parade passes through villages and towns along the way and stops briefly at the Keukenhof entrance around 3:45 p.m.

From April 17-19, guests can take a peek behind the scenes at the Klinenberg Tennis Hall in Sassenheim, where dozens of volunteers will decorate flower floats before embarking on an after-dark parade through Noordückerhut on the evening of April 19. The parade, the floats will be displayed in historic downtown Harlem on April 21.

Nordostpolder Tulip Festival

  • where: emilylord
  • When to visit: April 19 – May 5, 2024

While the Bulb region surrounding Amsterdam receives the lion’s share of tulip tourists each spring, most tulips are grown in Noordoostpolder, a low-lying municipality of reclaimed land located about an hour north of Amsterdam.
During the flowering season from late April to early May, the area turns into a patchwork of flower fields, which is celebrated from April 19 to May 5, during the region’s annual Nordostpolder Tulip Festival. During this time, a signposted car and bike path guides visitors through the most beautiful tulip fields in the area.

Off-season tulip hotspots

While the Netherlands – Amsterdam in particular – is at its most cheerful in the spring, you can still get your own bouquet if you visit during the summer, fall or winter. The Floating Flower Market (or Bloemenmarkt in local language) on Amsterdam’s Singel Canal has been around since 1862 and is a great place to pick up tulips and bring them home all year round. However, be aware that only certain varieties are approved by US Customs and require a phytosanitary certificate attached to their packaging – most vendors will be able to advise.

This article originally appeared online in April 2016. It was updated on January 15, 2024 to include current information.

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