It’s that time of the year!* Tulips are growing, and the landscape will soon transform into a colourful patchwork: tulip season in Holland is on its way!

When thinking of tulips in the Netherlands, you think of the Keukenhof, but there are other ways to enjoy the blooming flowers, with fewer tourists, and above all, it’s cheaper! Here we’ll speak about Keukenhof, the tulip fields (including where to see them for free!), where to go, when to go and what events you can’t miss!

So without further ado, here’s all you need to know about tulip season in Holland in 2020:

Tulips season in Holland
Daffodils close to Leiden. Image: Gabrielle Dauby

Tulip season in the Netherlands: where to go?

The best place to enjoy the tulips in the Netherlands is in the Bollenstreek, the bulb region – that says it all! The Bollenstreek is the area between Leiden, The Hague and Haarlem, with the cities of Lisse, Hillegom, Katwijk, Noordwijk, Noordwijkerhout and Teylingen, where the floral industry is at its peak.

There you find the Keukenhof, and if you’ve never been, I’d recommend going at least once in your life. With more than 7 million bulbs the park is really a tulip wonderland!

However, for quieter areas, head to the countryside between Hillegom and Warmond. That’s where you’ll find amazing flower fields, from blue to white, and from purple to orange. True rainbow-carpeted flower fields are awaiting!

In short: If you don’t mind paying, head to the Keukenhof, if you’re strapped for cash then head to the fields around the Keukenhof. Both of these options guarantee that you’ll see plenty of those beautiful tulips!

Tulips season in Holland
Hyacinths close to Leiden. Image: Gabrielle Dauby

Tulip season in the Netherlands: when to go?

The season begins with the crocuses in March, followed by hyacinths, narcissus/daffodils and tulips at the end of the month. The tulips season extends until the end of May when the Keukenhof closes. Mid-April is probably the best time to go as most of the flowers will be in full blossom! For detailed flower updates, look here.

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It’s worth noting that every year the season changes slightly. Finding the prime point to go is really difficult (so get checking with those flower updates). Climate change is definitely making itself known, so it all depends on what kind of weather Holland has just before tulip season and during it.

Tulips season in Holland
Tulips in Hillegom. Image: Gabrielle Dauby

Tulip season in the Netherlands: how to go?

From Leiden, we can recommend going for a day of cycling in the flower fields. We’re in the Netherlands after all, and the best way to explore the area remains the bicycle. Take the direction of Noordwijkerhout, and come back via Sassenheim and Teylingen. You’ll be able to go through amazing fields, with windmills, for complete scenery! Need a bike? Rent one from the people at BimBimbikes. Easy portal and good service, it’s not hard to see why we would recommend this for the international folk.

If cycling isn’t your thing, then taking a nice walk wouldn’t go amiss. Hop on the train to Hillegom for an easy walk around the station. You won’t have to go far to find the fields, as they are easily accessible. The fields and the tulips are absolutely amazing!

If you want to skip the crowds and see the tulip fields unobstructed, there’s a very cool option to get you off the beaten path. Whizz around the breathtaking flower fields of Keukenhof at your own pace, bypass the tourists standing around, and head out on country roads for completely unobstructed, stretching views of the stunning flowers instead in a 100% electric-powered Renault Twizy.

You can see the tulip fields of Keukenhof off the beaten track and in this totally unique way with Renzy. A GPS guide and detailed maps will give you all the information you need in the privacy of your two-seater car. Getting cool facts about the tulips while feeling the breeze in your hair and enjoying the view? Hell yeah.

Tulips season in Holland
Tulips fields in Hillegom. Image: Gabrielle Dauby

Tulips season in Holland: events

Bulbflower Parade

A magical event is the Bloemencorso, or the Bulbflower Parade, that takes place every year. This year it’ll go from Noordwijk to Haarlem on Saturday 25th April 2020. Get yourself a free spot on the route of the parade and admire the beautifully decorated floats. Hyacinths, tulips and daffodils will be at their best!

Tulips season in Holland
Bloemencorso in Hillegom 2015 ©Gabrielle Dauby

Flower Festival and Flower Auction in Aalsmeer

Another floral experience is the Flower Festival in Aalsmeer; at the largest trading platform for plants and flowers in the world!. While in the area, wake up early to see the flower auction! The auction is open to the public only from 7am until 9 or 11am during the week. The perfect way to look at the behind-the-scenes and witness the hustle and bustle of the market, where each day 19 million flowers and 2 million plants are sold.

Tulips season in Holland
Bloemencorso in Hillegom 2015. Image: Gabrielle Dauby

That’s it! Get ready to get into the full spring spirit and tell us! Do you have any tips for the tulip season in Holland?

This article was originally published in 2017, but has been fully updated for the tulip season 2020 😉

22 COMMENTS

  1. […] The best place to see tulips in the Netherlands is, undoubtedly, the Keukenhof. Alternatively, you may wish to drop in at the Amsterdam Tulip museum where you can learn all about the history and culture of the the famous flower.  For those of us less intrepid, catch the upcoming film ‘Tulip Fever’ [released date 15 July].  In any case, don’t be a wallflower – get out and enjoy the tulips this spring! […]

  2. Hi Gabrielle,

    Thank you very much for your useful information. I plan to go to Netherlands next year around the end of May. So, I would miss ‘Keukenhof garden’ 🙁 However, after reading your post, it gave me hopes that I still have a chance to see beautiful flowers. I wonder if I go to “Bollenstreek, the Bulb Region” around the end of May, will there be any spring flowers left?

    Thank you very much!

  3. Hiya just another question!
    I have tried looking up answers for my questions but just can’t seem to find any. I was just curious as to whether we had to pay to visit a tulip field anywhere in Holland?

  4. I’m visiting Holland 16 May through 19 May. Will the tulips still be in bloom? Will the Keukenhof be open to see the tulips?

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