Tulip Festival in Amsterdam
As the days grow longer, the temperature on the thermometer begins to rise and the nights grow shorter, there’s perhaps no better way to enjoy the best of spring in the Netherlands than by going in search of blooms. Cherry blossoms and trailing wisteria aside, there’s perhaps no flower quite as synonymous with this European country than the tulip. The Tulip festival is a perfect reason for you to visit Amsterdam in April – May. That is to say, the colorful tulips in full bloom attract thousands of tourists every year who come to admire the beauty of it.
Netherlands’ tulip legacy
The tulip is one of the most enduring symbols of the Netherlands and Amsterdam. Originating from the Ottoman Empire and introduced to Dutch merchants at the beginning of the 17th century, it has had a lasting economic impact from the Golden Age to the present day. Certainly, every spring Holland is the place to admire colorful flower fields and to welcome the new spring season.
When is the Tulip Festival?
The city center of Amsterdam is blooming in April. Not with tulip fields but with beautiful flowering tulips at more than 85 locations. In the public areas of Amsterdam, in the gardens of the city’s museums and hotels, and by notable buildings in the city center as well as in various districts of Amsterdam. All displays in public areas are free to enjoy. But for some museum gardens, regular prices apply. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the Tulip Festival in Spring 2020.
Tulip Festival connects city districts, businesses, residents, and visitors. Garden designer, Saskia Albrecht, is a founder of the Tulip Festival. It is her ambition to bring the tulip back to the streets of Amsterdam. Moreover, her motto is ‘a tulip for every citizen of Amsterdam’. To clarify, every citizen also means a tulip from every citizen. Are you ready to count the 850,000 tulips? Click the Guidebook to plan your own route.
Have you ever heard about Keukenhof?
During Tulip Festival the tulips are blooming not only in Amsterdam (Captain Obvious!). And best of all are Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, which open from 21 March till 10 May 2020. Keukenhof in the Netherlands claims to be the world’s largest flower park. With 7 million flower bulbs planted every year across 79 acres (32 hectares), Keukenhof Gardens are a colorful sea of 800 varieties of tulips and other spring flowers, attracting visitors from around the globe. More than 9 miles (15 km) of footpaths provide space to stroll around the park, take photos of flowers in bloom, and enjoy this favorite Holland tradition.
That’s why Keukenhof is the home of Amsterdam’s tulip festival. Moreover, the park is an easy day-trip destination from Amsterdam (an hour by train), Schiphol Airport, and most cities in Holland. It is popular among visitors of all age groups – from families with small children to tour groups of seniors who tend to recall that the park was better on a most memorable visit X years ago.
The main attraction of Keukenhof is obviously the flowers but the park is truly a destination for visitors of all ages. Small children will enjoy the various playgrounds with a full-scale windmill and public art performances.
Hidden tulip “pearls”
Some of the best and most interesting tulips are in the indoor pavilions. The pavilions are where you’ll see just about every tulip color and type imaginable and these are in flower for the entire festival. They’re always experimenting with new colors and types of tulips. You’ll find singles and doubles in the most amazing colors.
You can buy some tulip bulbs and try to grow at home if you like. You can get them directly at the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse or at the floating garden centers on the canals in Amsterdam. Just make sure your country allows you to bring home plants.
Don’t forget that around Keukenhof botanical garden there are massive fields of tulips. It is certainly recommended to visit these flower fields and flower farms when visiting the tulip gardens. There are various options for sightseeing in the flower fields. Keukenhof Gardens gives you two options: whisper boat trips and rental bikes.
Enjoy whisper boat trip!
Enjoy a relaxing boat trip that takes 45 minutes. These boats travel through the beautiful Dutch flower bulb landscape in virtual silence. Spectacular photos are guaranteed! You can only buy tickets for this boat trip at the windmill in Keukenhof. Waiting times can add up so plan your boat trip early during your visit. A boat trip will cost you € 8,00 (Ex. admission to Keukenhof), Kids (aged 4-11) € 4,00.
Discover the beauty outside Keukenhof by bike!
The best way for sightseeing in the flower fields is to rent a bike and explore the flowers in the Dutch way. With a bike you experience the silence, hear birds sing and you can quickly stop to take that perfect photo. Because Holland is a real cycling country, the roads along the flower fields are perfect for cycling.
The easiest way to hire a bike is to book online before you go. Your bike will then be waiting for you near the main entrance at Keukenhof. You can hire a bike for 3 hours or all day. A bike cost € 15,00 for 3 hours or € 20,00 a day. There isn’t a huge difference in price so we’d suggest going for the full day booking otherwise you might have to hurry back to return the bike. If you book a rental bike online, you’ll get a FlowerCard with your online order. With the Flower Card, you will receive a digital magazine about the surroundings of Keukenhof, get tips for the best hot spots to visit with your rental bike and get great discounts at a flower farm, museum, restaurants, and shop. You also get discounts on attractions and museums in Amsterdam. Best buy!
What about the helicopter?
We are not joking! The flower fields are great from the ground but from a helicopter, you get a completely different view of the colorful flower fields. The helicopter flies only on 6 days in April and the number of places is limited. In 2020 the flight days are: Saturday, April 4, Saturday, April 11 (Easter weekend), Sunday, April 12 (Easter weekend), Saturday April 18, Sunday April 25 (Flower Parade day), Saturday, April 26. This is the ultimate sightseeing experience!
Take the longest tulip route in Holland!
With nearly 5,000 acres worth of red, yellow and purple flower-bulb fields, Flevoland is Holland’s biggest flower-growing regions! The fields can be found in East and South Flevoland and, most importantly, the Noordoostpolder. Every year in spring, there is a spectacular ‘Flower-bulb route’ encompassing over 100 km through nearly 2500 acres of flowering fields. The route has become the longest and most colorful route in Holland and even, according to National Geographic, one of the world’s ultimate road trips. You can follow the Tulip Route on foot, on a bicycle or by car. And it’s better to book apartments or hotel in Flevoland. What could be better than getting up and enjoying an endless sea of flowers first thing in the morning?
To sum up, whether you choose to visit the perfectly planted rows of blooming bulbs at Keukenhof Gardens, or walk along Amsterdam’s narrow streets, or cruise through the bulb-farmers’ fields nearby, you will enjoy it!
If you can’t be in the Netherlands during the Keukenhof festival, National Tulip Day is held in Amsterdam each January. Most importantly, this is the start of Amsterdam’s tulip season and there’s a temporary tulip garden in Dam Square where you can pick a tulip for free.
Ready to spend some time with the tulips in Amsterdam?
We invite you to join our Tour to the Netherlands: Rembrandt, Tulips and Music. It includes Amsterdam, The Hague, Haarlem, Delft & some other sites. Feel free to send us an email email@example.com. We can plan your tour tailored to your preferences and budget!
P.S. Don’t hesitate visiting our Travel Blog to find different articles about European countries.