What’s the Best time to see Tulips in Amsterdam

Are you trying to plan a Spring trip to Amsterdam and want to make sure you can see the tulip fields? Navigating your trip to the Netherlands can be tricky as you try to determine the best time to experience the iconic fields of bright blooms. Don’t worry- I’m here to help guide you as I just visited the tulip fields outside of Amsterdam.

I recently found myself in a similar position when looking to book a trip overseas to Amsterdam with my husbands, kids and some friends. Seeing the tulips was a high-priority item on my bucket list, and I decided to plan a trip for our spring break.

I was nervous as our break started at the end of March, and I worried there might not be blooms. Luckily, the gardens opened in late March, so we were lucky! We throughly enjoyed ourselves and the gardens had extensive displays of tulips plus daffodils, and Hyacinths.

I’m excited to share my research and personal experience to help you plan your next great adventure to experience a full bloom this Spring season. I have experience in researching when and how to see the tulips and can’t wait to show you how to plan a beautiful trip to Holland. I also want to share tips from our recent trip.

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Amsterdam Tulip Season

Tulip season falls every spring in the Netherlands. You can start buying tulips in the stores before the spring, but if you want to experience the large fields of full blooms, you must wait till the spring.

Best Time to see Tulips

If you want to experience the full tulip season, plan your trip for late March to early May. Some experts believe April-early May is the best time to go; however, the official tulip season begins in late March. That window will be the perfect time to experience beautiful flowers in the colorful tulip fields.

We went on one of the last days of March. The gardens had beautiful displays, and I didn’t feel that we were too early. However, we did rent bikes for the afternoon to ride around the fields and we were too early to see many fields of tulips.

Instead, fields of stunning daffodils and hyacinths lined the streets. It was absolutely gorgeous and I really enjoyed the bike ride. While in Amsterdam, book a canal tour of the city. It is a fantastic way to see this charming town.

We loved our stay at the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam if you are looking for great hotel with easy access to the metro and with clean and crisp hotel rooms.

Tulip Blooms

The region of Bolllenstreek is home to the impressive tulip fields gracing the landscape of the Netherlands and home to the tulip season. Many flower bulbs date back to the 16th century when dunes were built in the region for city expansion and infrastructure. The remaining sand was ideal for planting tulip bulbs. Over time, this region became known as the bulb district.

Why the Netherlands?

Tulips tend to excel in areas close to the coastline and a maritime climate with sandy soil. The mild winters and summers also help the tulip fields flourish.

Tips for the Dutch Tulip Season

  • Most importantly- don’t forget your camera and/or phone!
  • Expect crowds and be patient
  • Easter typically falls in this time period. Avoid Easter weekend if possible or aim for the days leading up to the weekend.
  • Check Keukenhof Tulip Gardens’ website for updates on blooms before you arrive.
  • Go as early as possible in the day. On weekends, the gardens are packed by late morning.
  • An organized tour takes the stress of logistics away; however, having a rental car gives you more freedom to explore.
Dutch windmills

Tulip Season Events

Keukenhof Gardens and Lisse are the most popular spots to visit and the best way to see tulips in the spring.

Visit Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens is roughly 30 minutes southwest of downtown Amsterdam. The gardens are known for over 7 million blooms each spring, and local artwork is scattered throughout the park. The Gardens are the centerpiece of the Dutch tulip season and must be part of your voyage. In 2024, they are open from March 21- May 12th.

Guests can explore the grounds independently or opt for a guided tour, bike rentals, or a boat trip through the fields. You can rent bikes right outside the gardens and bike on the perimeter of the gardens. You must take time to locate the windmill on the property as the views are stunning.

Keukenhof Gardens

If traveling with kids, there are additional fun activities such as visiting a farm, exploring a maze, or burning off some energy at the playground. Also the gardens have an amazing playground my kids loved as well as a fun maze to navigate. I found the gardens to be incredibly family friendly.

The gardens do require an entry ticket and are open for guests in late May. The famous Keukenhof Gardens are the best place to enjoy the flower season. 

Tips:

  • You can buy a combiticket (combo ticket)which includes public transportation with entrance into the park. 
  • check their website for updates about blooms
  • buy your ticket in advance as they are for a set time and date
  • avoid weekends especially Easter weekend
  • There’s a small parking fee if you plan on driving

Ticket Prices

  • Adult €19,50 or €23 if purchased at ticket office
  • child ages 4-17 €9 (3 and under are free)
  • parking €8

Lisse Tulip Field

In Lisse, you’ll discover farms that grow the tulips sold in the markets in town. Rent a bike outside of the gardens for a magical ride around the fields. You can stop off the side of the road for pictures, but many farms post signs prohibiting entry into the actual farms. These are working farms running a business, and visitors can accidentally destroy their crops while trying to capture the perfect photo for social media. 

Tip: Respect the wishes of the local farmers, and don’t walk into the actual fields. Admire and photograph from the sidelines. You will notice others ignoring that advice, but don’t be that tourist.

Lisse Tulip Fields

Amsterdam Tulip Festival

The festival is considered the kick-off of spring to the Dutch people. Guests congregate around Amsterdam and surrounding towns to experience the tulip mania. The blooming season is considered a festival.

Bloemencorso Flower Parade

In mid-late April, the town of Bollenstreek hosts their annual week-long festival, culminating with an annual flower parade. Floats and cars are decorated in flowers to showcase the region’s beauty. The parade route goes from Noordwijk to Haarlem on the Saturday of the festival week. 

Guests can purchase tickets for a behind-the-scenes view of float design and construction in the days leading up to the parade.

Tulip Farm Visit

A unique experience is visiting a Tulip Farm. Close to Keukenhof Gardens, guests can see Tulip Farm De Tulperij in Voorhout firsthand. It is a small family-owned business, and the local farmer enjoys educating guests on the history of the tulip.

The farm is FREE! If you visit in April, you can pick your own flowers to take home or return to the hotel. The farm is also extremely family-friendly, with a walking tour for kids ages 4 to 12. For an additional small fee, guests can participate in a tulip excursion. Consider checking out one of the tulip farms in the area. 

Amsterdam Tulip Museum

For the history enthusiast or gardener in the group, you may enjoy Amsterdam’s Tulip Museum, which highlights the history of bulb planting. Tulipmania swept through the region in the 17th century when Ottomans brought the tulip to the Netherlands. In addition, guests can enjoy learning through videos and interactive exhibits.

The museum is open daily and very affordable, especially for families.

fields of flowers

How to get to Keukenhof Gardens and Lisse

If you don’t want the cost of an organized tour, there are several ways to arrive at the gardens with a car or public transportation.

Car

Driving yourself is relatively easy as it’s about 45 minutes to the Gardens without traffic. Having a car will also let you explore the neighboring farms.

Pro tip- Keukenhof Gardens requires a parking pass, so purchase that in advance when you buy your garden tickets.

Public Transportation

There’s a quick and affordable route for tourists to reach the gardens. If you don’t want to mess with renting a car, this is the best way to experience the colorful tulip fields.

The Keukenhof Express bus departs from several different spots in Amsterdam. Children under 3 are free, and there are discounted rates for kids.

We did this option and found it super convenient and easy to navigate. They run buses regularly and the longest we waited was 15 minutes. The bus pulls up close to the entrance so it is very easy to find when you are ready to leave. I highly recommend this option as it is easy and affordable.

beautiful tulips in the gardens

Round Trip Ticket Prices

  • From Amsterdam €17
  • From Haarlem, Schiphol Airport or Leiden €12

I suggest booking the Combiticket bus ticket, including transportation and entry into the gardens. This a roundtrip fare.

Combiticket Prices (leaving from Amsterdam)

  • Adults € 36,50
  • Youth € 17,50
  • Kids under 3= FREE

Combiticket Prices (leaving from Haarlem, Schiphol Airport or Leiden)

  • Adults  Adult € 31,50
  • Youth € 17,50
  • Kids under 3= FREE

From Europaplein (RAI) Amsterdam, board the Keukenhof Express (Bus 852) directly to Keukenhof. This bus runs up to ten times per hour, with a travel time of approximately 35 minutes to reach Keukenhof.

Check out my guide on how fall is a wonderful time to visit Amsterdam.

Best Tulip Tours

Spring is the best time to see tulips in Amsterdam

If you want to avoid the logistics headache and plan your journey to the fields, consider taking an organized tour. Although you may spend a little more money, it is hassle-free, and you just show up! All the planning is taken care of, and you get to sit back and enjoy. I’ve reviewed some of the best tour options below.

The tour options offer unique twists and additional sites beyond the famous Keukenhof Gardens.

  1. Keukenhof’s Tulips and Windmills Small-Group Tour from Amsterdam
  • 8 hours
  • Small group setting of 8 max
  • Experience a Dutch pancake lunch
  • Includes tickets to Gardens and a working windmill

🌷Click HERE to book this small group tour of tulips & windmills. 🌷

2. Keukenhof Gardens & Tulip Experience Guided Tour from Amsterdam

  • 6 hours
  • Guided tour from Amsterdam to gardens & a tulip farm while learning the rich history of the region
  • Can add on a canal ride 
  • Led by a professional guide

🌷Click HERE to book this guided tour from Amsterdam.🌷

3. Private Keukenhof Tulip Fields & Flowers Sightseeing Tour From Amsterdam

  • 5 hours
  • Small private tour in a luxury vehicle 
  • Will arrange to pick up at your hotel, airport, etc. 
  • Car seat available

🌷Click HERE to book your private tour of the Gardens🌷

4. Amsterdam: Tour to Keukenhof, Tulip Farm visit + Windmill Cruise

  • 9 hours
  • Combo ticket that includes the gardens, a farm, and windmills
  • Packs in the famous sites of the Tulip region for guests 
  • Includes a boat cruise 

🌷Click HERE to book your full-day trip🌷

In Conclusion: The Best time to see Tulips in Amsterdam

I hope my guide on when’s the best time to experience tulip season in Amsterdam helps you plan your next great adventure.

🇳🇱Netherlands Resources🇳🇱
Fall in Amsterdam
Best Canal Tours in Amsterdam
Review of the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam
Best Time to see Tulips in Amsterdam
Guide to Bike Rentals in Keukenhof Gardens
Should you take kids to the Anne Frank House?