To get the very best out of Dutch tulip season, you really need to visit a field of tulips. For the most part this entails having a car and knowing where to go! At Keukenhof Gardens, you won’t get any tulip fields. There are tulip fields in the immediate area outside Keukenhof, but you have to leave the gardens to get to them. Apart from one or two which abut the gardens, they aren’t really accessible by foot.
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.
Beside the Keukenhof region, there are two other regions of the Netherlands where tulips are grown. One is to the north of Amsterdam (Keukenhof is to the south-west), and in fact this is where our off-the-beaten-track tour goes.
However, you really need specialist local knowledge to find these, so to keep it simple you’re best advised to visit the Keukenhof region (even if Keukenhof itself does not appeal).
How To Be A Good Visitor To A Tulips Field
Tulip fields are private property – they’re proper working farms, outputting 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 photos. 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.