April and May are the perfect months to visit the bulb fields in bloom. The coloured fields and gardens full of tulips are located near the Dutch city of Lisse, between Leiden and Amsterdam. In 2017, the Tulip gardens of Keukenhof are open for visitors from March 22 until May 21.
Visiting the tulip gardens
There are several ways to visit the bulb fields in Holland. You can rent a car and drive around the area and stop at Keukenhof. You can also rent a bicycle and cycle around the flower fields.
The most popular is visiting the spring garden of Keukenhof. With over 32 hectares, 4,5 million tulips in 100 varieties, Keukenhof is the largest bulb flower park in the world.
How to get to Keukenhof
Bus company Connexxion runs a bus service from Amsterdam to Keukenhof (change at Schiphol Airport). From The Hague, Leiden and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport there are direct buses to Keukenhof bulb flower park.
Prices & Tickets to Flower Park Keukenhof
A bus ticket including the entrance ticket to Keukenhof costs €25. In Amsterdam, tickets to Keukenhof are available at the coffee house across Central Station (Tourist Information) and at the Ticket Shop at Leidseplein. You can also buy tickets to Keukenhof online. Tour operators offer tickets, transport and tours all in one package. Generally you meet the group in the centre of the city and spend the whole day at Keukenhof.
By bicycle to Keukenhof
Sporty people might be interested in renting a bicycle at LeidenCentral Station and cycling to Keukenhof (about 37 km). The route is signposted by 6-sides green signs saying: ‘Ontdek het landschap van Zuid-Holland‘ (discover the landscape of Zuid-Holland). It’s possible to rent a bicycle at Keukenhof as well. You then cycle around Keukenhof, and through small villages and bulb fields around.
2. Tulip garden Floratuin Julianadorp
Another tulip garden is Floratuin Julianadorp. On show are exclusive and new varieties of blossoming bulb flowers. Visitors are free to wander around in the tulip garden and pick their own bunch of flowers. The Floratuin is open from March to May. In August, September, October and November the shop is open for the sale of flower bulbs.
You can also order the flower bulbs online. First you choose the flowers you like and order them. They will be sent to your house in October. You need to plant the bulbs in the fall. They also seem to stores around Miami, Florida.
3. Flower parades and tulip festivals
Many villages and areas of Holland that grow flowers organise a flower parade. During this tulip festival, a procession (‘corso’) of wagons decorated with thousands of colourful flowers pass through the streets. Hundreds of volunteers have worked on the creation of these artistic processions for months. The biggest flower parade is the Bloemencorso held each year at the end of April.
From April 19, 2017 up to and including April 23, 2017 is Corsoweek, Flower Parade Week, in the Bollenstreek, the bulb growing area. The parade floats will be decorated in the hall van DeLeeuw Flowerbulbs in Sassenheim from Wednesday, April 19 up to and including Friday, April 21.
On Saturday April 22, 2017 the Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek will travel from Noordwijk to Haarlem. In 2017, the theme is Dutch Design.
4. Tulip gardens in Amsterdam
If you prefer to stay in Amsterdam and visit a spring garden, you can take a walk around in the beautiful Botanical garden. The Botanical garden of Hortus Botanicus has around 4,000 types of plants, including rare tulips. The Amsterdam Hortus is one of the oldest in the world and has been in the Jewish Quarter, near the centre of the city, since 1638. There are plants from 6 different climates.
5. Tulip garden at the Vondelpark
The Vondelpark has a special area designated to flowers. Apart from lovely roses, there is also a tulip garden in the Vondelpark Amsterdam.
History of the Dutch tulip
Originally the tulip grew in the wild in Central Asia. The Turks were the ones who first cultivated them in ancient times. In the 17th century the tulip was introduced in the Netherlands by a biologist from Vienna, who planted them in the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden.
Dutch Tulip mania
In 1637 there was a real tulip mania in Holland, which resulted in extremely high prices for certain tulip bulbs. A serious trade in tulips started in Amsterdam and many people made a fortune. In the end, though, the bulb didn’t turn out to be quite so rare to justify the high prices. The prices of tulips plummeted and many people lost their savings. This is called the Tulip Crash. Still to this day, gardens in Amsterdam are filled with the strong and colorful tulips.