Peter Orsel

All You Need To Know About Visiting The Tulip Fields In The Netherlands in 2024

Aerial photo of tulip fields in The Netherlands

There is no country in the world where you can see as many tulips as The Netherlands. Every spring, the green fields change in a wonderful color palette and the acres attract people from all over the world. 

This blog will tell you all you need to know about visiting the tulip fields in The Netherlands. And trust me, there’s more than just Keukenhof!

Tulip Season 2024 has ended! If you want to plan your 2025 trip, please read ahead. The opening dates of Keukenhof for 2025 have already been confirmed. Planning a trip out of Tulip Season? Read this blog about the best photo spots of The Netherlands! 

In This Post

When is tulip season in The Netherlands?

Tulip Season in The Netherlands happens every spring, but the timing varies depending on the weather. If there’s been a lot of sun, the season will be early. A lot of rain can cause some delay. Generally spoken, most tulip fields will bloom from about the second week of April until the second week of May. Famous area Bollenstreek offers a map with frequent updates, showing where the fields are blooming at the moment. You can find the map here. 

Did you know there are more flower fields than just the tulip fields? You can find fields of hyacinths and daffodils in The Netherlands as well.

 The blooming time of especially hyacinths is much longer and I love their pastel colours! Just drive around at the spots below, and I’m sure you’ll find them. 

Interested in visiting non-tulip related locations in The Netherlands as well? Find my favourite spots here! 

Yellow tulips on a bright day
Yellow tulips on a bright day

Where to stay in The Netherlands?

Traveling in The Netherlands is pretty easy. The infrastructure is great, there’s public transportation anywhere and after all it’s just a small country. If you rent a car, I would avoid the city centers as it’s expensive to park your car. Instead, go for one of the Van der Valk-chain hotels. Their hotels are modern, the breakfast buffet is great and they’re usually located next to the highway. 

Some options: 

  • Van der Valk Amsterdam Zuidas 
    Located in one of the most popular areas, this Van der Valk hotel is easily accessible by highway and by public transportation. It’s a new hotel where you’ll be well-rested for your tulip adventures in The Netherlands!
  • DoubleTree by Hilton NDSM Wharff
    NDSM Wharff is located just 15 minutes by (free) boat from Amsterdam’s main train station. There’s a lot of parking options around and NDSM Wharff is famous for its street art and the huge flea markets. One thing I love about DoubleTree by Hilton hotels is their free cookie on arrival. So simple, yet so effective.
  • Van der Valk Akersloot / Alkmaar
    Located above Amsterdam, you’ll find this Van der Valk hotel with free parking, just next to the highway. Especially useful if you want to make the most of your time in North Holland, visiting the biggest tulip fields you will find in The Netherlands. Don’t stay here if you rely on public transportation.
Mill surrounded by tulips
A famous mill surrounded by tulips in Noord Holland

Where are the famous tulip fields?

Over the past three years, I’ve visited various areas to photograph tulip fields. Many of these places provide self-drive routes, taking you through renowned locations in partnership with the farmers. Some routes are interactive, such as the one in Flevoland, where you can learn a lot about the area, farmers, and their history. These self-drives typically cost a few euros, supporting local farmers and the community. This approach also helps with crowd control in the regions. When no specific route is available, I simply drive around until I discover the most beautiful spots.

Here are my favourite areas in a random order: 

Goeree Overflakkee

This area in south-western Netherlands, offers annual tours during Tulip season. In 2024 the walking tour took place the 20th of April. If you decide to go by yourself, try to drive around the towns of Dirksland, Middelharnis, Nieuwe-Tonge and Oude-Tonge. A must-stop is Vogelobservatorium Tij, located in Stellendam, not for the tulips, but for a unique location to spot some birds! 

Bird Observatory 'TIJ', a must see on the island Goeree-Overflakkee

Province of Noord Holland

Probably my favorite area. This area is known for its traditional mills, often surrounded by tulips. This province also has the biggest area of connected tulip fields and is reachable by public transportation as well. Famous villages to start your trip are Schagen, Anna-Paulowna, and Julianadorp. You can find more information like cycling routes and more here. 

Bollenstreek

Bollenstreek is the most famous area for tulips in The Netherlands. This is where you find Keukenhof and many tourist attractions related to tulips. The fields are beautiful, but very protected as well because of the amounts of toursits. Don’t expect to get too close to the tulips, as the farmers protect their fields with fences. If you want to make the most out of your visit, consider a bike tour through this area. It doesn’t get more Dutch than that! You can find more information about the bike tours here. 

Hyacinth field in The Netherlands
A hyacinth field in the area of Julianadorp aan Zee

Province of Flevoland

Can you imagine this province didn’t even exist 60 years ago? It’s the youngest province of The Netherlands and the ground is very fertile for the growth of tulips. 

Fun fact: It’s by far the biggest human made island in the world! 

The areas are stretched out wide and most of the tulips are in the areas of Dronten and Zeewolde. Zeewolde is the place to find the tulip island as well! I love visiting this province for tulip season, as it’s so centrally located. Keep in mind that you need a car to cruise around. More information about the annual tulip route can be found here. 

Farming equipment in tulip fields

Province of Drenthe

Drenthe is known as one of the most beautiful provinces of the country. It offers beautiful parks and it has a lot of domestic tourism. During the tulip season, there are several fields to visit, mainly around the town of Smilde. Usually, only Dutch people know about Drenthe, so if you want to travel like a real Dutchman, consider this area far from urban pollution of the capital cities. 

Combine your visit with a boat tour in Giethoorn or do a hike in one of the huge parks. 

Mill in the Netherlands with Tulips
One of the main attractions of Keukenhof, a mill surrounded by tulips.

What about Keukenhof?

Keukenhof is internationally known as the place to be when it’s about visiting tulip fields. Located in Lisse, this park is surrounded by tulip fields. The best thing about Keukenhof is that the tulips are blooming during the whole spring season. In 2025, Keukenhof opens from the 20st of March until the 11th of May. Don’t expect the park to offer traditional acres, expect a theme park experience. You’ll find a mill, you’ll find beautiful gardens and it’s amazing for a day trip, but not more than that.

I would recommend to visit Keukenhof if you’re arriving very early in the season (let’s say March – first week of April) or very late (mid May). If you’re visiting in the peak weeks, go for the real experience and visit the farms on a bicycle!

Planning to visit Keukenhof? You can get tickets at their own website and find all the information you need there.

Can I walk through the tulip fields?

You can’t walk through the tulip fields without permission. With the rise of social media over the last years, visiting tulip fields became very popular. Everybody is looking for the best shots and everyone wants to be surrounded by tulips, instead of standing at the borders of the fields.

If you want to walk through the fields, you need permission.  If there’s no farmer around, you don’t have permission. 

Most of the fields will have a sign telling you that it’s forbidden to enter the fields. Even without a sign, don’t just go into the fields. There’s an easy reason for this: the tulips can get damaged easily and it’s hard to stay on the small tracks, which are made for farming vehicles.

You’ll likely see photos of your favourite creators walking or running through the fields. They usually have permission, so don’t do it just because they did it too.

Can I fly my drone above the tulip fields?

In general, it’s allowed to fly drones above tulip fields, as long as you’re aware of the no-fly zones. Many tulip fields are close to airports, so check the flight map before taking off your drone. 

If I’m visiting lesser-known spots and I see a farmer, I usually ask if I can fly my drone. Most of them are happy to chat and nobody denied my request so far. 

If there’s no farmer around, the drone map shows that it’s allowed to fly, and you’re not harming someone’s privacy, you can fly. There is just one important thing to remember: Don’t fly too close to the ground, as you’ll damage the tulips. 

How to take the best photos of the tulips?

You finally found the perfect field, and the light conditions are amazing. How do you get these awesome photos that other people get? 

Finding the perfect field requires time. I like bright orange fields, red fields, or fields with a great mixture of colors, like the header of this blog. The location of the fields change every year, so I can’t send you to the best spots with a simple geo tag. 

Tulips in The Netherlands
This red tulip is standing out, literally!

If I find the perfect field, I usually start by flying my drone. My favourite fields are those with water sprinklers, as they can generate that cool rainbow effect. 

With my drone, I usually create top-down shots and shots with a certain subject like farming vehicles or mills. I try to use the lines of the fields to create a well-balanced image.  

With my camera, I usually take more detailed shots. You’ll always find some tulips with another color or tulips growing in the opposite direction. These are the flowers I love to highlight. You can find some examples above.

If you don’t know a lot about photography, but still want great photos, try to start with a high aperture (low F-number). Put your ISO as low as possible and the shutter speed dependent on the amount of light. If you’re getting more professional, you can try to experiment with focus stacking. You’ll need a tripod for this and preferably a day without wind. 

I hope you’re as excited as I am about the new tulip season and I hope you have the best time visiting The Netherlands!

Read More: My Favourite Photography Spots in The Netherlands

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