When and Where to see Tulips in the Netherlands

Tulips in Amsterdam

Seeing tulips in the Netherlands is a draw for many travelers. These colorful flowers symbolize a change in seasons, are synonymous with the history of the Netherlands, and are a current global export. They are a must see!  

One question we hear year after year: 

When is the best time to see the tulips in the Netherlands?  

Mid-April is the textbook answer. However, many people don’t realize that tulip time actually spans from late March through mid-May. You will see tulips in varying amounts through these 8 or so weeks. This means that spring break travelers, cruise travelers, and even early May vacationers will all have an opportunity to see tulips.  

Why? The tulip season in my local area doesn’t last that long.  

The secret to this unusually long tulip season is the more than 3,000 varieties of tulips spanning 150 species. Over the years, a spectrum of growing periods has evolved.  A savvy gardener anywhere can have tulips from March to May. The Dutch have perfected this tulip cultivation strategy in the Netherlands, so you can be sure to see tulips at a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens anytime over the spring—in fact, they guarantee it! This Park has over 7 million tulip bulbs and is the best place to see the many different varieties of tulips.   

If you’re heading to the bulb fields in Noord Holland, you’ll still see flowers, but early travelers may see blanketed fields of crocus, hyacinths, or other early spring flowers.  The optimum time for seeing tulips in the fields is mid-April. 

Red and orange tulip fields in the Netherlands

Not coming to the Netherlands in the Spring?  

Even if you plan to visit sometime other than spring, you’ll still be able to see tulips in the Netherlands if you know where to look. The tulip is a commodity that is bought and sold daily.  Head to the Royal FloraHolland flower auction in Aalsmeer to see the international flower market as buyers and sellers vie to stock floral shops all over Europe.  The Amsterdam Tulip Museum is worth a visit if you want to learn about the history of the flower.  They also have a bunch of growing guides if you feel inspired to cultivate this iconic flower in your own garden.  If you want to mix tulips and souvenirs, the Floating Flower Market or Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam has tulips and bulbs for sale year-round.   

If you visit the Netherlands in September, you’ll have the pick of flower parades. While they may not showcase tulips, they certainly highlight the Dutch history and love for flowers.  The Flower Parade in Zundert is held on the first Sunday in September, and the Flower Parade in Lichtenvoorde is held on the second Sunday in September. The Flower Parade in Winkel is the fourth Sunday of the month. All have giant themed floats colored by flowers, are quite the site to see, and advanced tickets are needed.  

Are you ready to book your Spring travel to the Netherlands?

We offer a variety of group tours and vacation packages to choose from, so contact us today to start planning!