Flowers, Flowers, Flowers
I always wanted to be a green thumb. My mom would work in our backyard, hands in the soil, pulling weeds, planting flowers, trimming. She would walk into the house after being outside for hours, sweat dripping down her face, hair stuck in matts, and covered it dirt, but she looked so happy. I always wanted to have the desire for being in a garden, watching beautiful things grow. Even though I don’t have a green thumb, I still love flowers, and their beauty. That’s why I wanted to visit the Tulip Festival in the Netherlands!
The Tulip Festival in the Netherlands takes place every year. Arrangements and tulip blooms are scatted throughout the city at home, restaurants, and museums, and cultural cites around Amsterdam. But, the best place to see the tulips is the Keukenhof Tulip Garden, outside of Amsterdam.
Visiting during the Tulip Festival in the Netherlands is easier said than done. Every year the tulips bloom at a different time. If you come too early, all you’ll see are buds, too late and the beautiful petals have fallen off and you’ll see beautiful seas of green, but no tulips. Luckily, there are several websites dedicated to tracking the blooms. When I visited the tulip festival Netherlands, I got lucky and visited the tulip gardens 3 days after the peak.
This website will tell you all you need to know about the Tulip Festival, the theme for each year, and the costs of admission. The basic admission cost for 2019 (2020 the gardens are closed) can be found below.
History of the Tulips
Tulips aren’t originally from the Netherlands. They come from Turkey. In the 16th century, tulips were imported to Holland. In 1592, Carolus Clusius wrote a book all about tulips and the popularity of the flower exploded! Tulips become a hot commodity and people would steal to get their hands on some bulbs. People actually started using tulips as money. Which led to economic downfall when tulips became so expensive that the market crashed.
Tulips are still very popular and important in Holland’s culture today.
Arriving in Amsterdam
I was only in Amsterdam for one weekend, so I would get only one day with the tulips. Most people’s flights arrive in the morning. Consider packing light and heading straight to the gardens.
Tired and jet lagged from our flight, we went over to a pink booth, right in the main terminal, selling bus tickets for Keukenhof Tulip Gardens. The bus fair was about 30 euro each for a round trip bus ride, and within 45 minutes of landing in Amsterdam, we were on our way to the gardens!
There are several different busses to Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, including from the airport and Amsterdam Central Station. Please see below for a map of busses. This website will give you time tables for the busses and explain transportation more!
Rent a Bike
Before going inside Keukenhof, wander over to the bike stand in the far corner of the parking lot and rent a bike. If you would like to rent your bike in advance, click here.
Everyone is super helpful, and will provide you with routes and maps. This is the best way to see the tulips. No crowds, endless fields of bright colors, and fresh air.
And there are plenty of amazing spots for photos ops.
There are also a variety of trails depending on your physical ability, skill, and energy level.
We spent several hours driving along the countryside, and it was so beautiful.
Head Into the Gardens
Once you’ve had your bike ride, its time to enter the gardens.
The gardens are packed, so be prepared. They are also huge, there are so many things to see, make sure you visit as many areas as possible. Be prepared to spend hours in these gardens.
There are different arrangements of flowers, everywhere you look is a feast for the flower-loving eye.
There is even an indoor area with flower sculptures and arrangements.
It truly is a magical experience to wander among so many beautiful flowers. The colors intoxicate you, and the patterns and arrangements are like something out of a dream
After the Gardens
You should be done with a bike ride and the gardens by late afternoon, or early evening.
There is still plenty of time to see some of the city. After you exit the gardens and take a bus back to the airport, and then a train into the city center, or take a bus directly into the city center of Amsterdam.
And when you get to the city center, enjoy the end of your day with a stroll along the famous canals.
Make sure you admire the houses and spring time flowers as you go.
Then, stop in a coffee shop for some coffee or other treats.
Finally, grab dinner at a cafe with outdoor seating and enjoy the spring weather.
Even if you only have one day to enjoy the Tulip Festival in the Netherlands, it is well worth it!
Do you love tulips? Have you ever seen nature’s gorgeous display of flowers? Where?
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