A ride along the Dutch tulip fields, can you think of a better postcard setting? Amsterdam is obviously a must-see while in the Netherlands. However, if you’re planning to stay longer than 2-3 days, the flower fields are without a doubt the best day-trip from Amsterdam in spring.
In this post, I’d like to share my favourite tips for a trip to the tulip fields you will not forget! If you’re in a rush, make sure to pin this article for later or have a look at the content table right below!
Table of Contents
- Where in Holland are the tulip fields located?
- How to get to the tulip fields with public transport from Amsterdam?
- Is it possible to cycle from Amsterdam to the tulip fields?
- Where to find bike rentals in Lisse, Noordwijkerhout or Hillegom?
- Where are the best tulip fields near Amsterdam?
- Where to find pink tulip fields in the Netherlands?
- When is the best time to plan a day trip to the tulip fields?
- Are the Keukenhof Gardens worth it?
- 4 rules of thumb to visit the flower fields respectfully
- Here’s why you should book a visit to Fam Flower Farm
- Pluktuinen: another flower related activity near Amsterdam
- The best tools and apps to plan your tulip fields visit in the Netherlands
- Discover Fam Flower Farm’s dahlia fields
- When is the best time to visit the dahlia fields?
- Where are the dahlia fields located?
Where in Holland are the tulip fields located?
The Bollenstreek – the bulb region – is undeniably the most popular region in the Netherlands when it comes to visiting the tulip fields. The area is not only home to the flower fields, but also to the annual Tulip festival, the Flower Parade, the Keukenhof Gardens and other flower related events. Since the Bollenstreek is the main tulip region as well as the one I had the chance to visit myself, I will focus on it in this article and share as many details as possible.
Just so you know, tulip fields can be found in different areas in The Netherlands during spring, but the Bollenstreek (the area of Lisse and the Keukenhof Gardens) is the closest to Amsterdam, and probably the easiest one to reach with public transport.
How to get to the tulip fields with public transport from Amsterdam?
Option #1: from Schiphol Airport to Lisse (Keukenhof Gardens entrance)
If you’re in the city centre of Amsterdam, walk to the main train station – Amsterdam Centraal – and hop on the intercity train in the direction of Schiphol Airport. You’ll be there in around 20 minutes. Once at Schiphol, you’ll be able to travel with the Express bus 858, which will bring you next to the entrance of the Keukenhof Gardens.
Option #2: from Amsterdam Centraal to Noordwijkerhout
Take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Leiden Centraal. Once in Leiden Centraal, hop on the bus 57 in the direction of Hillegom and stop at Noordwijkerhout. Travel tip: book your bus tickets in advance, it will spare you time and stress. There are several bus compagnies in Holland, this one is from “Arriva”. You can book such tickets on the “moveit app”.
Option #3: from Amsterdam Centraal to Hillegom
As mentioned above, hop on the Arriva bus 57 and hop off at Hillegom, the terminus, instead of Noordwijkerhout.
Option #4: from Amsterdam Centraal to Hillegom
This route is pretty straightforward, but there’s a downside which includes quite a bit of walking till the bike rental shop.
What option is better? It actually depends on your priorities. If the Keukenhof Gardens are at the top of your bucket list, definitely start your visit there. If not, all options are fine. In any case, you’ll be able to rent a bike and explore the area on 4 wheels. Other than that, the only thing to take into consideration is that the trip from the bus or train stop includes more or less walking, which could influence your choice. More about that below!
Is it possible to cycle from Amsterdam to the tulip fields?
The short answer is YES, it is possible to cycle from Amsterdam to the Bollenstreek. But keep in mind that once in Lisse and the surrounding villages, you will need to bike some more (for at least a couple of hours) to visit the tulips fields. Without forgetting the way back to Amsterdam! Even if it’s actually possible to go back by train in most cases.
The distance between Amsterdam and Keukenhof is about 35 km, which is doable in 2 hours in theory. As you know, The Netherlands is a very bike friendly country and the roads are usually built for both cyclists and car drivers.
Where to find bike rentals in Lisse, Noordwijkerhout or Hillegom?
Visiting the area by bike is by far the best way to discover the flower fields in the Netherlands!
Keukenhof/Lisse: Rent-a-Bike van Dam → the bike rental spot is located on Keukenhof’s parking lot near the main entrance. Note that there’s a second parking lot at the back, so make sure to walk towards the main entrance. You will also receive a map with several bike itineraries of 5, 10, 15 or 25 km.
Noordwijkerhout: Rent-a-Bike van Dam → Landbouwplein 10, 2211 GE Noordwijkerhout. It is actually near the bus stop mentioned above (bus 57).
Hillegom: Bike Totaal Van den Brink → Meerstraat 14, 2181 BR Hillegom. If you travel from Leiden Centraal to the tulip region with the bus 57, hop off at Hillegom (the terminus) instead of Noordwijkerhout. The bike rental is located just 5 minutes away on foot. If you arrive from Amsterdam Centraal to Hillegom by train, you will have to walk for around 20 minutes (1,7 km).
The staff will let you know the conditions and closing time so that you can plan your day accordingly. It costs between 10-15 euros per bike.
Where are the best tulip fields near Amsterdam?
If you’re in for some stunning and colourful blooms, you will love this bike route in spring:
This route from Hillegom to Noordwijkerhout amounts to about 20 km in total and should keep you busy for a whole morning or afternoon (around 4 hours). On the other hand, iIf you decide to start your trip in Noordwijkerhout, just follow this route backwards (thanks Sherlock, right ;). Finally, if you start your trip in the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, you will have less time to cycle along the fields. In this case, try to do at least Lisse > Hillegom or Lisse > Sassenheim. And don’t forget to include the ride back to the bike rental shop to your planning.
- Step 1: from Noordwijkerhout to Voorhout = 7.1 km
- Step 2: from Voorhout to Sassenheim = 4.1 km
- Step 3: from Sassenheim to Lisse = 5.4 km
- Step 4: from Lisse to Hillegom = 5.7 km
Good to know: the bike rental shop at Keukenhof will provide you with a complete itinerary as well as tips depending of the state of the fields during your trip. You will also be able to rent a phone holder for your bike. Believe me, it changes everything.
Where to find pink tulip fields in the Netherlands?
I hate to be the one to bring bad news, but it’s basically impossible to predict the colour of the fields in advance. This is sort of the tulip farmer’s secret. Indeed, crop rotations are frequent and the same soil cannot necessarily welcome tulips every year, let alone flowers of the exact same colour.
In brief, pink tulips in 2022 don’t equal pink tulips 2023. The silver lining is that this leaves way more room for surprises and spontaneous exploration. Between you and I, you will have plenty of opportunities to find the pink tulip fields of your dream 🙂
When is the best time to plan a day trip to the tulip fields?
The ideal time varies from year to year and largely depends on the cold months. A harsh or, on the contrary, mild winter can both have an impact on the bulbs. However, the 3rd week of April is usually a safe bet.
In any case, avoid visiting it sooner than Mid-April and earlier than the end of April. It is usually still possible to admire the flower fields in early May, however this also marks the beginning of harvest, which might leave you disappointed.
The best way to keep track of the blooming week after week is to sign up for the weekly flower update newsletter by Tulips in Holland. This way, you’ll receive regular update from the moment of the very first blooms till peak season.
Are the Keukenhof Gardens worth it?
The Keukenhof Gardens welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It is popular for a reason! If you have enough time and budget, you should definitely book tickets! Keukenhof offers a different perspective and is absolutely gorgeous.
By the way, The Keukenhof Gardens are not actual tulip fields. It is in a way the ‘Disneyland of flowers’ if I may say. And just like most tourist attractions, it can get very crowded real fast. After all, the tulip season in Holland lasts just a few weeks per year.
4 rules of thumb to visit the flower fields respectfully
I know it’s tempting, but there’s absolutely no reason to enter the tulip fields without the owner’s permission. Here’s why :
- Tulips are very fragile flowers. Irresponsible behaviour can literally spread diseases amongst the rows and ruin the flowers.
- Each year, an incalculable number of flowers get ruined due to trespassing and inappropriate behaviour. I actually saw it myself from afar during my first visit. There was a beautiful field along the road and people started entering it. After a few minutes, there were at least 20-30 people running through the flower rows. At some point, it looked like the field was public, which was clearly not the case. They even mentioned it on the local television that day.
- The tulips are organized in rows for a reason, that’s why visitors should never walk across the flower beds.
- Above all else, the tulips are someone’s way of making a living.
However, several tulip farmers welcome visitors each year! Keep reading to find out where you can actually book a tulip field visit and take as many pictures as you like. Yes, you’ll be able to enter it and will receive instructions from your host 🙂
Here’s why you should book a visit to Fam Flower Farm
The 4 reasons mentioned belows are definitely good reasons to book a tulip tour from a local farm such as Fam Flower Farm! This way, you will be able to:
- Visit the flower fields respectfully
- Learn everything about the process of growing tulips
- Get to know local tulip farmers and their work
- Take as many pictures as you like
From my own experience, it is worth every penny 🙂 The pictures in this article were actually taken during my Fam Flower Farm visits. And actually, tulips fields are not the only ones you can visit thanks to Fam Flower Farm! Did you know about dahlias and daffodils? More about that below!
Pluktuinen: another flower related activity near Amsterdam
The pluktuinen – picking gardens in English – are gardens open to the public where visitors can pick flowers and make their own bouquet! There’s no such thing as too many flowers during spring, right?
As for payment, make sure to check out the pluktuin’s website for more info about the rules and conditions of each picking garden. In general, the price depends on the number and type of flowers you use for your bouquet.
Here are a few addresses to check out:
- De Tulperij (which also offers tulip fields visits): Oude Herenweg in Voorhout
- Annemieke’s Pluktuin: Haarlemmerstraat 15a in Hillegom
- De Pluktuin Noordwijkerhout: Leeweg 8 in Noordwijkerhout
The best tools and apps to plan your tulip fields visit in the Netherlands
- Fietsen123: type in “tulpen”, “Lisse” or “Bollenstreek” and discover many different bike itineraries.
- Buienalarm: this app is a great way to know when you will actually need your raincoat and umbrella. You can actually turn on the notifications to be alerted when the rain comes your way.
- Tulips in Holland’s weekly newsletter: as mentioned above, this newsletter allows you to follow the blooming in real time thanks to its weekly update on the state of the fields.
Discover Fam Flower Farm’s dahlia fields
While not as popular as the tulip fields, the dahlia fields are equally beautiful! The endless rainbow alleys are literally jaw-dropping. Tulips or dahlias? After visiting Fam Flower Farm’s dahlia fields, I can guarantee that it will be impossible to decide which ones are your fav!
Just like they do during tulip season, Linda and Marlies, the owners, will welcome you with treats, drinks and a ton of photo props. They will let you know everything there is to know about the dahlias and their farming.
And if you’d like to grow your own dahlias in your garden, all you have to do is visit their web shop and follow the instructions! You’ll also find useful blog posts on Fam Flower Farm’s website.
When is the best time to visit the dahlia fields?
While the tulip is a spring flower, the dahlia is a summer flower. They usually start blooming in July until October. To be on the safe side, a visit between the end of August and mid September is probably the best time to visit the dahlia fields.
Where are the dahlia fields located?
In the tulip region as well, meaning around Lisse and Noordwijkerhout. After booking your tickets, Linda and Marlies will send you the exact address of the dahlia fields a few days before your visit. It goes without saying that the address should be kept secret.
The fields are usually located rather close to bus or train stations. This way, even if you visit without a car, you will be able to reach the field easily.
It looks like you’ve reached the end of this post! I hope I have convinced you to add this day-trip from Amsterdam to the Dutch tulip fields to your spring bucket list! While you’re here… Why not plan a whole trip across Europe? Keep reading! Europe in Spring: The Best Itinerary and Travel Tips.