7 ways to experience Amsterdam’s tulips next spring

·4-min read
Photo credit: JacobH - Getty Images
Photo credit: JacobH - Getty Images

Famed for its flower fields that supply much of the world, the Netherlands is a riot of colour in springtime and it's never too early to start planning a trip during its most wonderful season.

SEE THE TULIPS WITH COUNTRY LIVING

For garden lovers, Amsterdam's tulips make the city a must-visit destination in April, when you can see some of the most intense, vibrant displays in all of Europe.

As we didn't get to witness the incredible sight this year, we're making a visit in 2022 all the more special as we travel to Amsterdam to see the tulips with Gardeners’ World presenter Adam Frost in April and with Garden Rescue star Charlie Dimmock in May.

As well as spending time at the wonderful 79-acre Keukenhof Gardens, where more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths grow, you’ll cruise through Holland, taking in the country's most delightful cultural and historical highlights while getting to know the TV gardeners.

I WANT TO SEE AMSTERDAM'S TULIPS

In Amsterdam, you'll find plenty of flower-filled experiences at museums, markets and auction houses. It’s fair to say that the city is tulip crazy, so here are seven ways you can see the iconic blooms for yourself...

1. Pick a flower on National Tulip Day

Each year in January, Amsterdam’s central Dam Square comes alive with around 200,000 tulips that make up a temporary garden.

Photo credit: Bill_Dally - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bill_Dally - Getty Images

Everyone is welcome to come and pick a tulip to take home, and every year roughly 10,000 people come and do just that - it’s the official start of the Dutch tulip season.

2. Attend the Tulip Festival

For the entire month of April, Amsterdam is transformed into a sea of colour, with flower displays all over the city, in 85 different locations.

Photo credit: Paulo Amorim - Getty Images
Photo credit: Paulo Amorim - Getty Images

Some are in public places and others are in parks, city gardens and museums (meaning you could have to pay a small fee to see them). It’s a great way to welcome in spring.

3. Visit the Keukenhof Gardens

If you’re visiting in April, then it’s essential you go to the 'Garden of Europe', Keukenhof. The amazing attraction is one of Europe’s oldest and best-loved flower gardens.

Photo credit: JacobH - Getty Images
Photo credit: JacobH - Getty Images

Wander round and take in the stunning blues, reds, greens, pinks, yellows, purples… there are more than seven million flowers here, as well as water features and sculptures, ensuring an afternoon spent here is one of peace and tranquillity.

4. See the incredible Flower Strip

Located to the west of Amsterdam, the Flower Strip stretches for 20 miles and is a truly breathtaking sight when it’s in bloom throughout spring. You might spot it from your plane on your way into the country as the strip runs between Haarlem and Leiden in North Holland.

Photo credit: Tas3 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tas3 - Getty Images

With crocuses in early spring, tulips appearing in April, and then daffodils and hyacinths into May and beyond, followed by gladioli, dahlias, carnations and asters in late summer, this is a unique and captivating attraction that every garden lover needs to visit.

5. Learn the history at the Amsterdam Tulip Museum

If you want to learn about some of the history behind the Netherlands' national flower, pop into this small museum in the district of Prinsengracht.

Introduced into Holland in the 16th century, its bold colour became an instant hit among the country’s wealthy middle and upper classes, with growers competing for the custom during the economic boom of the 17th century – and tulip prices increasing dramatically. While that bubble eventually burst, the tulip’s popularity endures to this day.

6. Head to the Amsterdam flower market

First opened in 1862, Amsterdam’s flower market is housed on a series of boats and an hour spent at this fragrant, floating flower paradise is a fantastic way to soak up some of the city’s nature-loving culture.

Photo credit: Ventura Carmona - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ventura Carmona - Getty Images

You’ll find the market on the Singel canal between the Koningsplein and the Muntplein. It’s open seven days a week, between 9am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 11.30am and 5.30pm on Sundays.

7. Go to the world's largest flower auction

For those who really want to get a sense of the sharp business end of Amsterdam’s flower trade, stop by the FloraHolland flower auction in Aalsmeer, near Schiphol Airport.

There’s a public gallery where you can watch the trade in action and while you won’t get to see any flowers up close, this is the largest flower market in the world. Seeing the rapid trade across the huge, busy warehouse floor is certainly a unique experience, comparable to visiting London’s Billingsgate Fish Market.

Book your place on a cruise around the Netherlands with Adam Frost next April or a visit to the Netherlands during the Floriade Expo with Charlie Dimmock in May.

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