Netherlands – The Land of Tulips

Staff
9 Min Read

Holland is a nation famous for its windmills, cheese, and traditional clothing. But, those who have been to the Netherlands before are likely aware that everywhere you turn, there are gorgeous, colorful flowers, particularly tulips. If you haven’t visited the Netherlands to see their tulip season, the arrival of spring might be the sign you were waiting for.

Tulips Fill up the Netherlands to Convert It Into Tulip Paradise

Spring is without a doubt the best time to visit the Netherlands because as you may already know, it’s tulip season! The tulip fields of the Netherlands are in full bloom and are just waiting to be explored. Keukenhof is the most well-known place to go, but there are also other tulip fields in Holland to visit that’ll give you the best flower-powered trip ideas this spring season.

 

Stunning tulip fields near Lisse in Holland
Photo: @im_eleonora

 

Flowers come in a wide variety of varieties, colors, and shapes that enhance the beauty of nature and have great emotional significance. The Netherlands is the world leader in cultivating and maintaining flowers and plants, and it is a significant part of the Dutch economy. Tulips grow well in the Netherlands’ temperate environment, primarily in the spring and early summer, which is another factor in the country’s fame and abundance of the tulip flower. A large range of flowers of various types, shapes, and colors flourish on Dutch lands, making the country’s tulip season one of the most recurred to events in the world. Did you know there’s a Tulip Day in Amsterdam every year for which there is a different theme? Know more in the article Tulip Day 2024’s Theme Is ‘Let’s Dance’.

 

A bright pink tulip field in Holland
Taking a stroll through a bright pink tulip field
Photo: @jessicachaw

 

Tulips, the most widespread flower in the Netherlands, are common and may be found in practically any garden. It is important to know that the climate and geology of the Netherlands are known to be a near-perfect fit for the flower, and a key reason that the Dutch floral industry now leads the global tulip trade.

 

A dog enjoying tulip season

 

Tulip Season in the Netherlands

Large portions of the Netherlands are transformed into a vibrant patchwork quilt by the tulips from the middle of March to the end of May. If you visit Holland in April, make sure to visit the renowned and popular tulip fields where you will find fields bursting with beautiful colors everywhere. The flowers are usually at their best halfway through April.

 

Changing colors in a dazzling tulip field
Photo: @annemieke.groot

 

More than 7 million flower bulbs bloom in spring at Keukenhof in Lisse, Netherlands. It is among the best locations to find a wide variety of tulips. To see the tulips in all their splendor in rural fields, though, you really just need to board a train or grab a bicycle at this time of year. But no worries, here are a few other locations to see tulip heaven in the Netherlands.

 

A couple having fun at the tulip fields in Holland
Photo: @paulina_bubicz

 

Where Are the Best Tulip Fields to Observe the Beauty of Tulip Season?

The majority of tulip farms in the Netherlands are found in the coastal province Noord-Holland, and Flevoland in the middle. Considered the best place for tourists to see these lovely flowers is in the flower bulb fields along the coast from The Hague and Leiden up to Alkmaar in the north.

The largest flower show in the world, Keukenhof, is only 15 minutes from Leiden and 30 minutes from Amsterdam. It’s a gorgeous park with over 7 million tulip bulbs. It’s the most popular place to see tulips in Holland. Keukenhof itself is stunning and worth a visit, but don’t forget about the surrounding tulip fields.

 

Keukenhof tulip fields in Amsterdam
Part of the view of the Keukenhof tulip fields in Lisse
Photo: @loic.lagarde

 

What would make your tulip season even better? Cycling. Walking through a flower garden is nice, but enjoying the spring flower fields on a bike is even better. Flevoland is the most tulip-packed region of Holland. If you’re looking for flowers outside of Keukenhof, this cycling route is for you. The 19 km cycling trip is best done in mid-April to May when the flowers are at their best. The route takes you to 4 different tulip gardens and through beautiful flower fields in Holland.

Schagerbrug is a small town and is surrounded by tulip fields every year. Here’s the thing. The location of the fields changes each year to make sure the soil stays healthy. So, the best way to see the tulips here is to drive or take the train up to Schagerbrug and then wander just outside the town on a bike. There are hardly any tourist crowds up here. If you manage to get here around sunset, the tulip fields look stunning. Make sure to ask the locals about the best tulip field spots!

 

Schagerbrug tulip fields

 

Goeree-Overflakkee is one of the Netherlands’ best-kept secrets. This area, an hour’s drive outside of Rotterdam, produces approximately 10% of the Netherlands’ tulips. The tulip farms are completely free to visit, and there will be no crowds like at Keukenhof. Just keep in mind that farmers do not appreciate tourists walking through tulip fields because it damages the flowers. The majority of tulip farms are located near Nieuwe-Tonge, Middelharnis, and Dirksland. In mid-April, most locals ride their bikes to enjoy the tulip views.

 

Goeree Overflakkee one of the best tulip fields in Holland

Goeree-Overflakkee tulip field near Rotterdam

 

The History Behind the Tulip Mania

The Dutch experienced an era of unrivaled luxury and success in the middle of the 1600s. Dutch traders prospered through commerce with the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as their country gained independence from Spain. Tulips were brought to Holland from the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century (present-day Turkey). Tulips quickly rose to the top of the Dutch market when Carolus Clusius published what is regarded as the first significant book about the flower just a few years after his arrival.

 

Part of the Keukenhof tulip experience

Part of the Keukenhof tulip experience is to see the beauty of this flower up-close and up-front

 

When people had money to spend, flowers and fine art became popular collector’s items. That is how uncommon ‘broken’ tulip bulbs that produced striped and speckled flowers sparked the Dutch people’s fascination. These treasured tulips were bought as beautiful display items, but it didn’t take long for the tulip trade to develop a market of its own.

In the end, this whole hype that began in 1634 ended with a bang. By the time you could buy a nice Amsterdam canal house for the price of one tulip bulb, the bubble burst. Prices dramatically collapsed in February 1637, leaving many bankrupt. It is generally considered to have been the first recorded speculative asset bubble in history and ‘tulip mania’ is still often used as a metaphor for the crises we’ve had in the recent past.

 

Purple and orange tulips in bloom
Photo: @mathias.emil

 

Right now is the perfect time and season to consider visiting the Netherlands to see the spectacular tulip season. After seeing the tulip fields, there’s no going back. Tulips are without a doubt going to become your favorite type of flower.

 

Header image by @steph.vetmed.

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