Our 2025
Guide To Amsterdam Tulip Season

It’s a big bad internet out there and most of it is marketing nonsense! Here’s our straightforward guide to seeing tulips during your visit to Amsterdam. We’ll try to cover as much territory as possible and we’ll build it as we go.

Table of Contents

A Dutch tour guide posing in a field of hyacinths near Amsterdam

When is Amsterdam tulip season?

1. Overview

In most years, the majority of Dutch tulip fields will start approaching full bloom in mid April. However, some varieties bloom early and some bloom. Most fields are kept in bloom for two to three weeks. This means that you generally get about six weeks of there being at least some tulip fields in bloom. However, at either end of that window it will be a relatively small amount.

If you have the benefit of  being able to plan totally around tulips, we recommend being in Amsterdam the week of April 20 – 26. Be aware: April 27 is King’s Day, the Dutch national holiday. It’s a giant street party in Amsterdam and nothing else happens there that day. 

If you’re here a bit earlier or even a bit later, the chances are that there will still be tulip fields in bloom. However, in the case of an early or late bloom that week of April 20 onwards is generally quite safe.

2. Hyacinths

Dutch flower field season actually begins in early April, before tulips. And this is because there are hyacinth fields which start blooming a couple of weeks earlier than tulip fields.

Hyacinth fields are the great secret of Dutch flower season.  They are equally spectacular and there are lots of them! The picture at the top of this page is from a hyacinths field. The added benefit of visiting a field of hyacinths is that they smell wonderful. It’s like taking an aromatherapy bath!

In terms of dates, if you find yourself in Amsterdam at the start of April, there will be hyacinth fields in bloom. At the very start of our touring season (the first week or two of April), we always visit a field of hyacinths. 

4 tourists smiling in a flower field near Amsterdam
Hyacinths bloom at the start of April

3. Keukenhof Gardens

The world famous Keukenhof Gardens are open for about seven to eight weeks, starting in late March and going to mid May. The exact dates for 2025 are March 20 to May 11. 

It is important to be aware that Keukenhof is a tourist attraction (as opposed to the tulip and hyacinth fields, which are actual farms producing crops). They always make sure that they have some tulips in bloom at the very start and very end of this window. However, Keukenhof will be nowhere near its peak at either end of this window.

Should you visit at the very start or end of Keukenhof’s season? It varies from person to person. Some will be disappointed, and some won’t. But at the very least you need to be aware that Keukenhof will not be at its best in these periods.

Keukenhof Gardens. A bed of tulips.

4. Variance

The big caveat regarding timing that always applies is the the bloom each year is dependent on the weather that precedes it in previous months. Thus, you can have an early bloom or a late bloom. For the most, the variance is not that extreme and it might be a bit early or a bit late. However, once in a blue moon it can be quite dramatic. 

Are there tulip fields in Amsterdam?

No. There are no tulip fields in Amsterdam.

Luckily, the Netherlands is a very small country so  you are not actually that far away from tulip fields, but won’t see any in the Amsterdam itself. However, if you’re intent on seeing them on your own you will need a car. The one exception to that is if you’re already on a bus tour to Keukenhof, you can rent bikes there and explore the nearby roads. However, this will only get you to just one or two busy fields that everyone else is going to! 

Here are the main tulip field areas:

  •  The area in and around Keukenhof / Lisse, circa 35km south-west of Amsterdam.
  • The Beemster, Alkmaar, & West-Friesland regions of Noord Holland (to the north of Amsterdam). Beemster is 35km away.
  • Flevoland, to the east of Amsterdam, circa 40km away.
  • There are other spots too, but these are the main ones and the ones closest to Amsterdam.
A classic picture of an Amsterdam canal
No tulip fields in sight!

Are there tulip fields in Keukenhof?

Actually, no.

Many people assume that Keukenhof has tulip fields, but it doesn’t. It’s a set of beautifully manicured gardens, but no tulip fields. The gardens do look out onto one flower field, but you are at quite a remove from it and you have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other visitors.

However, the area surrounding Keukenhof is full of tulip and hyacinth farms. It’s incredibly picturesque in Spring, however these are not accessible by foot. Neither are they sign-posted. If you’re the type who doesn’t mind venturing down a little backroad, and you have a car, then you’ll almost certainly happen upon some.

Keukenhof flower gardens
Keukenhof gardens.

Do I need to have a car to visit a tulip field

Yes (or take one of our tours!).

You can’t walk to any from Keukenhof itself. You can bike to one or two, but they will be packed with other tourists. The big bus tours will drive you past some tulip fields as you approach Keukenhof and if you’re lucky you might get to stop and take a photo outside one of them.

There are a few small independent operators like ourselves which specialise in tulip field tours, where this is the focus of the tour and everything is planned around it. Of course, we’d love you to book one of our tours, but if you do go with another small tour company please book with them directly. The likes of Get Your Guide and Viator take quite large commissions. So, always do a quick Google search to find the same company’s website.

Okay, enough about your tours - I have a car and I'm going to Keukenhof anyway,
how do I see tulip fields?

Ooh. Someone’s a bit touchy, but okay! It’s actually quite straightforward:

The flower field growing area around Keukenhof extends beyond the details provided here, but let’s keep it straightforward. Head to Keukenhof, then explore the backroads nearby. That might feel like a terrible plan and one ripe for an argument in the car, but it’s the only way to do it.

The specific fields rotate from year to year and they don’t all bloom at the same time. Plus, if we gave actual coordinates then that one field would get too busy and it would defeat the exercise. 

However, the area is so dense with flower fields in April that if you veer down backroads you will stumble upon some. We do recommend staying west of the N208 as the concentration is higher on that side of the road.

For instance, if you’re at Keukenhof, input the nearby town of Hillegom into your navigator. Opt for the backroads instead of the N208 (the yellow road in the picture, the main connector). This is safer for stops, as backroads are more conducive than main roads.

Apply a similar approach for the neighboring towns of De Zilk, Vogelenzang, and Noordwijkerhout. Enjoy your scenic drive!

Also: don’t worry about getting lost when you travel down backroads! It’s a very small country, and you’re never too far from a bigger road. As long as you have GPS you’ll be fine.

Right, I have a car but I'd like to avoid the
crowds of Keukenhof. Now what?

Travel north to the Beemster! 

This where our Off-The-Beaten-Track Tour goes to. We can’t give you that route as it’s too much off the beaten track and you’d get lost! So simply, enter Middenbeemster into your navigator and take the main freeway.

Once you reach Middenbeemster, you should then enter the nearby towns of Noordbeemster and Westbeemster into your navigator (the Dutch aren’t overly exuberant with place names!) and then travel the backroads in between. 

This roads of this region are actually laid out in a grid formation (it used be a lake and was drained by windmills in the 1600s), so the backroads are all straight. 

You will find tulip fields along these roads.

There is also a nearby windmill which is open to the public so that is nice to add as a sightseeing stop: Noordervaart 2, 1636 VL Schermerhorn. Museummolen.

Map of the Beemster
35km from Amsterdam to Beemster

Other Northern Options For Tulip Fields

Yes, but it’s a bit more complicated! 

Just like the area around Keukenhof, the area to the tulip fields area to the north of Amsterdam is (much) more extensive than the above text details. We mainly go to the Beemster and Keukenhof / Lisse, so we’re not as intimately familiar with how to find the flower fields in the following areas or towns. But in case you feel like Googling a bit more, the following can be good places to start: Anna Paulowna, Alkmaar, Zwaagdijk West and Zwaagdijk Oost.

 

Some other areas

What about Flevoland? (To the east)

Sure, but it’s not our forte so we won’t give specifics about how to find tulip fields there.

However, Flevoland is a new region -it was literally created in the 1950s and 60s. At the risk of offending its good citizens, in general we find it less interesting and historic than the Beemster and the region around Keukenhof. So, we’ve never been tempted to bring guests there. However, we imagine that its tulip fields (like the Beemster’s) are generally free of visitors.

A map of Flevoland
40 - 60 km east of Amsterdam

What about bikes at Keukenhof? Will that do the trick?

A little bit.

You can rent bikes in the Keukenhof parking area to explore the surrounding area (you can’t actually bring them in to the Gardens). They will give a little map too with some routes plotted. These will get you to tulip and hyacinth fields. The one problem is that these are the fields closest to Keukenhof and everyone gets the same map.

Our Tulips Fields From Keukenhof Tour competes a little bit this service. Maybe you like a minivan tour or maybe you prefer to get some exercise. The bike costs e16 for the day or e11 for three hours. 
More info here.

Bike rental at Keukenhof
Keukenhof bike rentals

Okay! I found a tulips field. Now what?

Congratulations. You’re about to enter private property.

Any tulips or hyacinths field you find is private property. They’re real working farms with an actual (and FYI – the crop is the tulip bulb, not the flower) agricultural product. Most farmers don’t mind visitors to their fields – they understand the attraction. However, some farmers in the Keukenhof region, put a barrier, fence, or gate up around their fields. This means you’re not welcome.

Please exercise common sense when entering a flower field. And if you don’t have common sense, then the following applies:

  • Stay at the very end of the field
  • Don’t walk in betweent the rows of tulips. Most people can’t help but walk a metre or three in. This will probably be tolerated, but no more than that!
  • Definitely don’t pick any flowers
  • Definitely don’t trample or stand on the flowers
  • If you don’t take 1.5 million photos for Instagram, then it didn’t happen!

 

 

Betsie inspecting tulips for viruses
This is Betsie, our favourite tulips farmer.