Orange tulips in Amsterdam with backdrop of canal and boat
Travel Tips,  See and Do

How to see the tulips in Amsterdam in 2023 + tips for your visit

All you need to know to see tulips in Amsterdam in 2023. The best places to see tulips in and near Amsterdam.

Tulips are the symbol of Holland and one of the many reasons people flock to Amsterdam and surrounding area in spring. 

Colorful, cheerful and fragrant, tulips are the protagonist of spring in Amsterdam: they appear on bridges, windowsills, squares, in shops, in markets and even on national stamps! 

So much so, that not seeing tulips in Amsterdam is immensely harder than seeing them: they are, genuinely, everywhere!

Bike parked beside large pots of tulips in Amsterdam city center

That said, to see these beauties bobbing their fragrant heads in the city, you need to be in Amsterdam in the right season.

You may also want to note some of the best tulip locations in the city and beyond: while the occasional tulip is easy to spot, some displays are so special, you want to know where they are so you don’t miss them. 

This guide looks at the best places to see tulips in Amsterdam and the best tulip fields and flower fields near Amsterdam.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Why see tulips in Amsterdam – a brief history of tulips in Holland

Tulips are iconic of Amsterdam and The Netherlands and seeing tulips in Amsterdam is a way to tap into something culturally and historically important for the country.

Tulips originally came from modern Turkey.

Holland started to extensively import them from the Ottoman Empire in the Sixteenth Century; however, it became quickly apparent that there was no need to go to faraway lands to get hold of the precious bulbs.

Tulip bulbs need mild temperatures and well drained soil to produce good flowers and the low lying soil of The Netherland proved to be ideal for them.

The ever increasing demand for tulips and the relative ease of their productions created an economic bubble that saw a huge demand for tulips accompanied by soaring tulip prices.

This phenomenon took the name of TulipoMania (lit. Tulip Mania) and it was such an economic success, the tulips became a central part of Dutch economy!

Even now, the Netherlands have many acres of land covered in tulip fields that stretch like colorful flags along large parts of Holland and the northerns part of the Netherlands.

The Dutch celebrate the tulip on the thirds Saturday of January, on National Tulip Day.

In normal years, National Tulip Day saw Dam Square filling with tulips you can pick!

While tulips do not naturally blossom in January, tulip growers have indoor gardens and greenhouses to grow flowers all year.

If you want a tulip bouquet in January, you won’t have difficulties finding one!

When to see Tulips in Amsterdam: Amsterdam Tulip season

Tulips blossom in the spring.

The exact date change every year, depending on temperature and rainfall; however, tulip season in Amsterdam usually starts in March.

The best time to see tulips in the city is late March to mid to late April and the beginning of May.

If you come later in spring and summer, you will still be able to see some tulips in Amsterdam but chances are they will have passed their peak and not be quite as perky.

In autumn and winter, you will find tulips in flower shops but they will not be as prevalent as in tulip season.

A photo of me smelling purple flowers in Holland

The best way to know when to see the tulips on a specific year is to keep an eye on tulip watch sites such as this one or the opening time for Keukenhof Gardens.

Keukenhof is a large flower and tulip garden in the Amsterdam area and one of the best places to see tulips on Holland.

The garden only opens when tulips are in full bloom: keeping an eye on their opening days for the season is a sure way to know when the experts expect tulips to be at their best! 

You can find tickets for suitable days here

Crocuses bloom as early as March and are soon followed by daffodils and hyacinths, before leaving way to the famous tulips.

These other flowers usually get less attention but they are equally as impressive and color large fields exactly like their better-known counterpart.

This means that while the exact variety of flowers you see may vary, you are likely to see gorgeous fields anytime between March and May.

Where to see tulips in Amsterdam city center

As mentioned above, tulips are everywhere in Amsterdam in spring.

However, some locations are even more tulip friendly than others

Vondel Park  – Amsterdam’s most famous inner city park is perfect for a tulip fix!

Museum Plein – vases of tulips appear in the large water areas of this square. This is a lovely spot to take iconic Amstersam photos of tulips with the backdrop of the Rikjmuseum!

Rijks Museum with pots of tulips in front

Bridges and windowsills– tulips appear on many bridges and windowsills, usually in dedicated planters

Amsterdam flower market  – the Amsterdam flower market has tulips pretty much all year round and it is the perfect place to get a bouquet, should you want to decorate your own room or windowsill and become part of the celebration!

Amsterdam tulip museum – A small yet pretty and interesting museum, perfect to learn the history of tulips in Holland and learn tons of tulip facts

Nemo Terrace – the top of Nemo is another lovely place to see tulips in Amsterdam city center.

The terrace is free to access and houses many planters with adorable, colorful tulips.

It is the perfect place to enjoy tulips and views of the city in one go!

Where to see Tulip fields near Amsterdam

If you want to visit tulip fields, rather than see tulips in vases and planters, then you should head just outside Amsterdam, where you find fantastic and brightly colored tulip fields until your eyes can see!

Hillegom and Lisse

The best tulip fields near Amsterdam are in the area of Lisse.

Lisse is about 40 km out of Amsterdam, to the South West of the city, in the direction of Leiden and Zantvoort.

You can reach the area by car or train or do like the Dutch do and get there by bike. It will be worth the effort!

The roads around Lisse are flat and, for the most part, equipped with bike lanes and they bring you up close and personal to the fields.

I highly recommend you visit the tulip fields cycling along them, as your excursion becomes a total body experience: as well as the flowers bursting with colors, your nose will also be filled by their incredible fragrance, something no photo can do justice to!

Need to know: while it is easy to access the fields from the road, not all are open to the public! Tulip fields in the Amsterdam are commercial enterprises: do not walk or pick tulips and flowers unless you have explicit permission from the owner of the field!

A couple of photos from this weekend (April 2023)!

Field of yellow tulips near Amsterdam
Field of red tulips near Amsterdam

The area of Lisse also has two other tulip-related attractions: Keukenhof Gardens and the Museum de Swarte Tulp

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof gardens need no introduction.

Tulips and pond in Keukenhof garden, with rainbow

The garden is the most famous place in Holland to see tulips and it and is an extravaganza of tulip flowerbeds, artwork and meadows.

Keukenhof if wonderful and a fantastic garden to visit with the whole family.

You can stroll along its many walking trails (flat and immaculate, you don’t need hiking shoes), see the greenhouses, admire the tulip designs in the meadows, rest beside the ponds or, of course, buy flowers!

Find info and tickets here

Museum de Zwarte Tulp (The Black Tulip Museum)

Museum de Zwarte Tulp (the Black Tulip Museum) is a small museum in Lisse Town center that tells the story of tulips and flower bulbs in Holland.

Here, you find flower tulip inspired artwork, historical exhibits and a lovely garden with, of course, blooming flowers in spring!

More tulip experiences to have in and near Amsterdam

There are two additional fun things you can do to see tulips in the Amsterdam area:

See the flower parade The Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek, the most famous parade in the Netherlands, rinning rom Noordwijk to Haarlem, scheduled on 22 April 2023.

Experience the Netherland’s largest flower auction, Royal FLoraHolland Flower Auction, taking place in Aalsmeer, near Schipol.

This is an international trading event where you can see real flower traders in action, quite a sight!

Where to pick-your-own tulips in Amsterdam:

Annemieke’s picking garden (Annemieke Pluik ) is a u-pick farm in Lisse, about 40 km out of Amsterdam

Tulip picking gardens are also in Venhuizen and in the Poldertuin in Anna Paulowna, a longer drive out of the city.

Transport options and public transportation to flower fields near Amsterdam

Seeing in tulips in Amsterdam city center is as easy as taking a stroll around the canal ring and Museum Plein, with or without the aid of Amsterdam public transport.

To visit Keukenhof, see the the tulip fields out side the city or the smaller towns, you will need to drive, cycle or get a train.

Transport options you can consider:

Private car: Keukenhof Gardens are well indicated and there is a large car park just outside

Train + bike: this is a great option if you like to be active an explore the flower fields in your own time. From Amsterdam, I love catching a train to Haarlem and the cycle from there – flat, easy and scenic!

Keukenhof + transport bundle: a handy ticket that combines bus to Keukenhof and skip the line entrance to the gardens, for an easy and hassle free experience. Find info and prices here.

Keukenhof and tulip fields tours: many companies offer day tours of this region.

Some you may like are:

Day Trip from Amsterdam to Keukenhof, Tulips Fields & Delft

From Amsterdam: Guided Keukenhof and Zaanse Schans Tour

Keukenhof and Zaanse Schans day trip from Amsterdam + optional free activity

Tips for seeing the tulips in Amsterdam: conclusion 

In brief, my tips for seeing tulips in Amsterdam at their very best are:

  • Go in the right season
  • Stay more that one day to maximize the chances of a sunny day
  • Get outside of Amsterdam
  • Mix and match garden visit, market visits and trips to the fields
  • Embrace cycling for a full-senses experience
  • Dress appropriately good walking shoes and layers are a must – you can see my packing list for Amsterdam here, it is good fora tulip trip too!
  • Don’t look for tulips only: other flowers are as scenic!

Where to see tulips in Amsterdam and surrounding area: pin this!

Close up of red tulips with faded Amsterdam building in the background and text: where to see tulips in and near Amsterdam

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