Dutch Tulip Fields – Guide

Visiting tulips field is actually out of reach for most visitors. Yes, that’s the dirty secret of tulip season in Amsterdam!

Keukenhof has no tulip fields. It’s a set of manicured gardens. Lots and lots of tulips, but none arranged in those iconic rows that you picture instantly from photos. That’s because Keukenhof is a tourist attraction and those tulip fields are genuine agricultural crops.

The area immediately surrounding Keukenhof has many such fields (and also hyacinth fields), however they are not within walking distance of the gardens. Neither are they sign-posted, nor are they public property. So, to access them you have to your own transport, know which roads to take, and hopefully have the common sense to know whether your little visit is welcome or not (if the field is barricaded up, then it’s definitely not!).

Additionally, this area around Keukenhof gets very busy (with people visiting Keukenhof, duh!).

There are other areas in the Netherlands that grow tulips. Our favourite is the Beemster regoin, to the north of Amsterdam. This is a picturesque farming area, with iconic dikes and polders – and barely any tourists!

If you do rent your own car and want to see tulip fields, we recommend going to the Keukenhof region (even if the gardens themselves don’t appeal). This is because it has the highest density of fields. You can literally just drive to the gardens and simply start driving some of the smaller roads. You will find the tulip fields! And you don’t really need to worry about getting lost as long as you have a GPS.

You could rent a bike at the Gardens and explore the nearby backroads. You will come across flower fields (assuming it’s not the very beginning or end of the season). And if you drive to Keukenhof, you could literally just potter about the nearby backroads and you’ll be fine.

These are guests of ours, and, Betsie the tulip farmer trusts us. If you visit a field on your own, the farmer will want you to stay on the edges.
A field of purple tulips 35km north of Amsterdam
These three fields are all north of Amsterdam. Far from the Keukenhof region.
Dutch tulip farmer inspecting a tulip
Betsie, our favourite tulip farmer!

How To Be A Good Visitor To A Tulips Field

Tulip fields are private property – they’re proper working farms, producing an agricultural product. The farmers around Keukenhof are generally quite accommodating and are okay with people visiting the fields. You’ll know if they’re not – the tulip fields will be fenced off.

So, if you come across an open field of tulips it’s generally okay to linger at the edge and take a few pictures. You can make go a metre or two in to get a bigger picture, but that’s about it! Definitely don’t start picking flowers or traipsing through all the rows. If enough people do that, the tulip farmer will very quickly make that field off-limits for everyone!

How Long A Field Of Tulips Will Be In Bloom

For the most part, a field of tulips will be in bloom for about three weeks before being cut. Maybe slightly less than three weeks.

Not all the fields bloom at once. It varies according to variety. This means that you generally get about a five or six week stretch from the very first field of tulips to the very last. However, it’s quite thin at each end of the window. In previous years we’ve always been able to find one remaining field of tulips on May 13, but that is with us knowing the tulip areas very well. Mid to late April is the best time so see tulips.