How to See Colorful Tulips in the Netherlands in Spring

This post may contain affiliate links. When you click an affiliate link, we may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you. Also, please check for opening times, restrictions, weather, etc., on the days of your trip. We do our best to keep the post updated, but these things can change quickly.

What comes first to your mind when you think of the Netherlands? At least before visiting this beautiful country, I always related the Netherlands to the colorful tulip fields, all thanks to the countless movies I have seen which showed some stunning footage of the colorful sea of flowers. But these beauties pop up only during spring and in specific months, mostly between April and the first week of May.

Tourists flood the country during this period to see the beautiful flowers that could make some famous tourist attractions insanely crowded. But what if I say you could experience the magic of these fields like you see in the movies (or even better, as you can see them with your own eyes?) Knowing where, when, and how to go is crucial when visiting the tulip fields in the Netherlands. So, I will tell you all about it in detail to make your visit perfect.

Tulips in the Netherlands

The tulips we see in full bloom during spring need a lot of work before they are all out, creating endless rows of colors stretching to the horizon. The tulip bulbs are planted in 1000s of hectares of fields throughout the country at the end of autumn and just before the winter freeze starts. The tulips have special requirements for soil, sunlight, and temperature. They need the cold weather to start growing, and when the weather starts becoming warm during spring, they pop out in colors.

A common misconception is that tulips bloom all the time in the Netherlands. And well, it is not true. Tulips bloom in the spring starting at the end of March (not always, surely not if it is still colder like this year, 2023), and they remain in the fields mostly until May first week. A lot depends on the weather, and it is too difficult to exactly say when they will bloom in these weeks.

When is the Best Time to See the Tulips in the Netherlands?

If you want to plan your trip and need a safe bet, the last two weeks of April are the best, so you have the maximum chances of seeing them whether they bloomed early or late.

But if you are in or around the Netherlands and want to plan your visit based on some actual facts, then don’t worry. We got you covered. Check the blooms’ status before planning your visit. How cool is that? Now you know when to visit and when not to. We always check the live updates from different farms all over the region before planning our visit.

Psst! Don’t be disappointed if you visit early and the tulips haven’t bloomed yet. Because daffodils in white and yellow bloom in early spring, you can see stretches of farmland filled with beautiful, bright blooms that will surely light up your day.

Aren’t you fully convinced? Hmm, let me see. Oh yeah, there are stunning hyacinth fields in full bloom from the end of March until the end of April. They can be seen in different shades of pink and purple. My favorites are the ones in lavender, those fields look stunning, and you get the feeling of being in an actual lavender field, and you need not go till Provence.

Good to know! In the first week of May, the flowers will be harvested for selling in shops, florists, and supermarkets or even imported to be sold elsewhere. So you might start seeing the fields become a little empty if you time your visit a little too late.

Fun fact! Since we are discussing harvest, I wanted to pop this question. At least I didn’t know this before; maybe you guys know it already. What happens to the plants after the flowers are harvested? I never thought about it. But actually, a lot of the work happens after the harvest. The farmers prep the bulbs for export across the globe. The bulbs are exported to nearby European countries, the US, and even Asia.

Where to See the Tulips in the Netherlands?

Tulips can be seen in different regions in the Netherlands, like the area around Lisse called Bollenstreek, which is closer to Amsterdam, the flower region in Flevoland, fields near Volendam, and a little island called Goeree-Overflakkee in the southwestern part of the Netherlands.

Since most people visiting the Netherlands land in Amsterdam and often have limited time and don’t prefer traveling far away from the capital city, I will tell you all the best places to see flowers near Amsterdam in the Bollenstreek area.

Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Visit to the Tulip Fields Near Amsterdam (Bollenstreek)

While planning to see Tulips in the Netherlands, you first need to choose your transport mode, irrespective of the region in which you want to see the flowers.

Pick Your Mode of Transport

This is the first thing you need to decide as some base locations are best for a particular type of transport and some are not. But don’t worry, your explorations won’t be limited just because you don’t have a car or cannot rent one. There are many fun ways to explore this region, so get ready to choose your pick.


Drive your own car or rent one (have to find a car rental and give a link) to drive around the fields. With cars, you have the flexibility to cover large areas in a short time and stop by some remote fields to take pictures without the crowd.

Renting a car might be a little expensive, and sometimes you can only slow by some fields as you cannot find a parking lot. But you can still stop by a lot of places to enjoy the views.


This is the most popular way of exploring the fields(of course, it is because you are in the Netherlands). You can bring your own bike (you probably already own one or more if you are in the Netherlands), or rent one from one of the many options available (I have listed it all below), or you could join one of the bike tours where you will be provided with a bike and a guide will take you through the flower route. Hence, you need to keep checking the maps.

We love the bike tours, and mostly we explore the fields by renting bikes around (not a fan of carrying our full-sized bikes on the train).

Walking Tours

There are well-marked routes for either a self-guided walking tour or just joining one of the guided tours. I have put details all about the route and where to start so you can find all information in one place.

Public Transport

Not a fan of biking or walking? Don’t worry! We will help you visit those lovely fields without walking a lot. A lot of this region is accessible by public transport. You might not be able to see a lot in one day, but you could still have a great experience with a bit of pre-planning. Knowing the timings of the buses and trains is very important as they might not be as frequent. 

So, in this case, I would recommend going to Keukenhof (generally I don’t recommend going there, all reasons are mentioned below) as you could see a lot of variety. Keukenhof is also easily accessible by public transport.

Popular Flower Gardens in and Around Amsterdam

Let me tell you about the popular flower gardens in the region.

1. Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof is inarguably one of the best places to see tulips in the Netherlands, and not just tulips but many different types of flowers. This park which opened in 1950, is still the largest flower park in the world. It opens during spring, starting the last week of March, and remains open until mid-May.

My View on Keukenhof

It is great if you manage to visit the garden without a crowd and if you ask me it may be possible to some extent on a weekday morning, but that’s it. You could expect it to be swarmed with people that, on some days, you can see more heads of people than tulips. (I might be exaggerating a bit, but that is really the case.)

Keukenhof is the first thing people from outside the Netherlands hear about. It offers a combo ticket that includes entry to the garden and public transportation from Schiphol. But just imagine you wouldn’t be the only one who wants to take that, so it is natural to see many people there.

Last year, despite my hesitation, I thought of giving it a try, hoping it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. But, then, this is how my day went.

We took a train to Schiphol from Eindhoven. The train ride was pleasant, nothing to complain about, and it took me about an hour and a half. We started pretty early to have enough time to spend in the garden. We left the station to look for the bus, and here came the first surprise. There was an insanely long line of people waiting for the bus (including all the people who have the combo tickets, yes, there are no special queues for them). It took us about an hour to board the bus. Then because of the traffic congestion due to all those buses, it took more time to reach the garden entrance.

We entered the garden, which was so beautiful. The flower arrangements, colors, and variety were the best; you wouldn’t see it elsewhere. But the crowd was really out of hand. You cannot get a picture without 10 other people next to you, or at least they will be somewhere in the background.

That said, they also had excellent facilities like many washrooms around the garden and many food stalls. The fresh strawberries with cream were such a delight. We explored the garden, and there was some fun music and people in costumes dancing which was enjoyable to watch. It is a pleasant experience inside the garden but not what you see in pictures. The one where there are endless rows of colorful tulips and no one in the vicinity. These are taken in the tulip fields, and you will be disappointed if you expect to see something similar.

After spending a few hours in the garden, we decided to return, and then we found ourselves standing in long lines waiting for the bus back to Schiphol. Since many people were also returning around the same time, the lines were worse than the ones in the morning, and it took us almost 2 hours to get a bus. I was so tired of just standing in lines, and I spent most of my time waiting for the transport than inside the garden.

There were a lot of tour buses which brought hundreds of people to the garden, so you get the picture. Overall it is a beautiful place to visit if you don’t mind the crowd and are not in for photos.

Psst! If you are visiting Keukenhof, do not miss out on going on the whisper boat tour. It is a 45-minute silent electric boat ride around the park, where you can see the fields around you. You need to book your trip for a specific time slot with the park entry. You can only go on the boat tour if you get entry to the park as it starts inside the garden.

Pros of Visiting Keukenhof

  • A vast garden filled with different varieties and colors of tulips, which you cannot probably see in the fields.
  • Lots of food stalls and facilities to use.
  • Easy to access using public transport.

Cons of Visiting Keukenhof

  • Way too crowded, especially around the last 2 weeks of April.
  • The public transport is good, but you must wait long in queues.
  • Difficult to take great pictures without other people in it.


  • If possible, visit using your own transport, like a car.
  • If using public transport, take a bus from Leiden Central, which is considerably less crowded than the buses from Schiphol.
  • Try to visit during weekdays. It would be better if you could be there when the park opens.
  • I would not advise going for the combo tickets as it will limit you from taking other transport routes if the Schiphol line is too busy.
Practical Information for Keukenhof

Opening Dates: 23rd March 2023 – 14th May 2023

Timings: 8:00 am to 7:30 pm

Entry: €‎19 for Adults and €‎9 for children (4-17 years)

Tickets: You can buy tickets for Keukenhof online. You could also buy the tickets from the counter, but it could have long queues too. But sometimes they give tickets on the desk even when sold out online for the same date and time slot.

Public Transport: You can take a bus from Leiden Central, Schiphol, or Harlem Station to Keukenhof Gardens. Special express buses operate to the gardens along with the regular lines that go through the area.

You could buy your tickets along with the garden entry or use your OV chip card to swipe in and out.

Parking: You could buy your parking tickets online as well at €‎6. There is a huge parking lot, but depending on the crowd, you might have to park a bit further from the entrance.

Bike Rentals: There are bike rentals available at the garden entrance at €‎11 for 3 hours for a city bike. You could also book them via the Keukenhof website along with your tickets so you could go around the garden on a bike to see the fields nearby.

2. The Tulip Barn

The Tulip Barn is a commercial garden, with over 500,000 tulips of 100s of varieties set up in a field filled with colorful photo props to take beautiful pictures. They also have their production fields nearby to view and take photos without damaging them. You could also spot the NS trains going behind in the background, which looks amazing and acts like a prop.

They also have a cute cafe where you can sit and enjoy a coffee or some strawberries. You could get creative and probably work outdoors next to the flower fields. The cafe is just outside the farm entry and does not require a ticket. However, to enter the flower fields, you need to book your slots online as it gets sold out because they have a limit to the number of people who can enter at a time.

Practical Information for the Tulip Barn

Opening Dates: April 1st 2023 to May 14th 2023

Timings10:00 am to 19:00 pm

Entry: €‎7.50 for Adults, €‎17.50 for a family of two adults and two children, and €‎2.50 for a single child or additional child

Tickets: You can buy tickets for the Tulip Barn online.

Public Transport: It is a 20 minutes walk from the Hillegom train station. You can reach Hillegom from Leiden Central. If you are coming from Schiphol, you can find direct trains to Leiden, from where you can transfer to Hillegom station.

Parking: You could park at their parking spot, but please note that they have limited parking spots.

Bike Rentals: You can rent a bike from Rent-A-Bike Van Dam or Lemon Bikes from one of their different locations available around the region.

Please make sure to make a reservation before coming to make sure you have a bike. Since it is the most popular mode of transport to explore the flower region, you might not get a bike on the spot.

Pro tip! If you are looking to do a photoshoot or, in general, not a fan of crowds, try to plan your visit during their off-peak times. Their peak times are Friday-Sundays 10:00 am to 16:00 pm and 13:00 pm to 16:00 pm during weekdays.

3. Tulip Experience Amsterdam

Tulip Experience Amsterdam is another commercial garden where you can visit their fields set up for tourists to visit and take pictures. You can also pick your own bunch of tulips which is included in the price. They have around 1 million tulips, including 700 varieties for you to see and enjoy. Their selfie garden is spectacular for capturing pictures without harming any production fields.

They also have a small museum that gives you a peek into the history of tulips and tulip farming in the Netherlands.

Kiki from RooKiExplorers posing near tulips in Tulip Experience Amsterdam.
Practical Information for Tulip Experience Amsterdam

Opening Dates: March 24th 2023 to May 14th 2023

Timings9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Entry: €‎9.50 for Adults, €‎6.50 for kids

Tickets: You can buy tickets for Tulip Experience Amsterdam online.

Public Transport: It is around 4 km from the Hillegom train station. You can take bus 57 to Noordwijkerhout, Ruigenhoek, and walk about 800m to the destination. You can reach Hillegom from Leiden Central. If you are coming from Schipol, you can find direct trains to Leiden, from where you can transfer to Hillegom station. 

Parking: You could park at their parking spot, which is free.

Bike Rentals: You can rent a bike from Rent-A-Bike Van Dam or Lemon Bikes from one of their different locations available around the region.

Please make sure to make a reservation before coming to make sure you have a bike. Since it is the most popular mode of transport to explore the flower region, you might not get a bike on the spot.

4. De Tulperij

This beautiful tulip farm also has a show garden, which you can access for free. They also provide tulip excursions twice daily, for which you can book a slot. They also have a picking garden, and it is also possible to have a family outing here.

Practical Information for De Tulperij

Opening Dates: March 24th 2023 to May 14th 2023

Timings9:00 am to 18:00 pm

Entry: €‎6.95 for Adults and €‎3.95 for kids for the tulip excursion

Online Ticket: You can buy tickets for De Tulperij online.

Public Transport: It is around 4 km from the Voohout train station. You can take bus 57 to Voorhout, Soldaatje, and walk around 1.7 km to the destination. You can take the same Bus 57 from Hillegom station as well. You can reach Hillegom from Leiden Central. If you are coming from Schipol, you can find direct trains to Leiden, from where you can transfer to Hillegom station. 

Bike Rentals: You can rent a bike from Rent-A-Bike Van Dam or Lemon Bikes from one of their different locations available around the region.

There are endless flower fields around this region, which you can experience by driving around in your car or biking like a local. The gardens mentioned above could be one of your stops for a photoshoot. While riding around the fields, ensure you do not damage them as they are for production. If you can find a farmer around, you could request permission to enter the fields for pictures. However, you can capture the beauty of these endless fields without having to step in by just walking around the broad paths and changing the perspective.

Flower Routes Around Amsterdam

Biking around the flower fields is a heavenly experience. This is not just a popular tourist activity. The locals also enjoy visiting with their families yearly to enjoy these beauties. You could never get tired of seeing the flowers, can you? The following are the popular flower routes to enjoy the fields. These routes are planned to ensure they go around as many flower fields as possible.

Dutch Flower Route (35 Km)

The most popular flower route is the Dutch Flower route which is around 35 km. It goes in a loop, so you could start from your point of convenience. This takes about 3 hours but also depends on the time you spend at every stop. I recommend not planning many activities on the same day as time flies so fast at every stop, and you will end up rushing from one place to another. That is not a way to enjoy these spectacular fields. The best itinerary would be to go on a bike route (distance based on your choice) and stop at one of the paid gardens. This in itself will be a fully occupied day.

The cycle route is adjusted annually to provide accurate details of the route based on the flowers blooming in that season. Ensure you are following the route, and if you take a shorter route following Google Maps, you might miss out on going around some beautiful fields.

If you are not so good at navigation like me, then you will probably be riding around in circles. There are, however, signboards at every junction pointing you to the direction you need to go, all you need to remember is the number of the next junction.

But honestly, I found it a little challenging to look for the signboards and remember the number while trying to pedal my city bike against the wind. This is why we have added a Google Maps version of this route which you could use easily without having to check your paper maps at every turn.

To cycle the flower route, follow the route in the below map from

Dutch Tulip Route (15 km)

If you are visiting Keukenhof but still want to bike around the tulip fields around this region, this route is perfect for you. You could easily complete this route as this is not very long. It should take you around an hour and a half for the entire route, and you could stop at different places of your choice. This route is perfect also for covering all other commercial gardens mentioned above as they are located quite close to each other around this area.

This route is again divided into two loops: the blue route, a smaller loop of 5 km, and the purple route, which is 10 km.

You can download the maps for the blue and purple routes from the official website.

For more details on the various hop-off points, check

Practical Information for the Flower Routes

Bike Rentals

These are the popular bike rental options around the Bollenstreek area, and you could reserve your bike beforehand. We used lemon bikes; they were convenient, and we had a great time biking around the flower fields. Check Rent-A-Bike Van Dam and Lemon Bikes for pricing details, as they depend on the type of bike selected.

Walking Tour

The Dutch Tulip Route can also be done by walking instead of renting a bike. If the 15 km is a little lot to walk, then you could pick just one part of the Dutch Tulip Route, which is either the 5 km blue route or the 10 km purple route, both of which go around major flower beds. Hence, you need not fear missing out on anything.

Fancy Something Luxurious or Adventurous?

Are you tired of doing walking and biking tours and want to try something different? If you don’t mind spending a little extra, the following is for you.

Helicopter Tours

How do you feel about flying over the sea of colorful flower fields? This luxurious experience needs pre-booking and is available only on select days during the season. The tours start at €‎159 per person for a 10-minute ride. To book your ride, visit

Tip! If you are not in a hurry to leave, then stay to watch the sunset from one of the fields around this region; the golden hour is quite spectacular. But check the weather before you extend your stay. Cloudy days are pretty common, and you cannot enjoy those sunset colors. Everything turns grey due to the thick clouds.

Have you visited the Bollenstreek region during spring? Then let us know your favorite way of seeing the flower fields or any secret spots you know of.

Kiki from RooKiExplorers posing in a field of pink hyacinths in the Netherlands.
The Face Behind the Post

Hey, I am Kiki! A full-time software developer and hardcore travel enthusiast who is always up for a new adventure and the author of RooKiExplorers. I love to travel the world and enjoy talking about it, helping everyone around me plan their trips, and avoiding making the mistakes I made.

16 thoughts on “How to See Colorful Tulips in the Netherlands in Spring”

    • Glad you found our post useful! Visiting the tulip fields in the Netherlands is definitely bucket list worthy. 🙂

  1. These photos are gorgeous!! And this is definitely on my bucketlist! I’ve seen some tulip fields in Washington but this looks like it’s on a different level

  2. This is seriously just moved up on my bucket list! Thanks for all the wonderful information on when to visit when it’s the least crowed and what else to do if the tulips bloom late!

  3. I’ve seen a lot of guides for the Netherlands tulips/flower fields recently and this one, by far, is the best and most comprehensive! Thank you for your hard work! 🌷

    • The flower fields are amazing indeed. 🙂 Hope you get to visit the Netherlands in spring soon! 🙂

  4. Flower fields are an absolute favorite activity for the spring time, thank you for sharing so much detail about how to make it happen! 🙂


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.