Holland is known for its beautiful flower fields, especially tulips, but there is more to the country’s floral glories than that. The best time to see flowers in Holland is during spring, particularly mid-April to early May. So, where do you go to see flowers in the Netherlands? Here are our guidelines.
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Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse
Topping many bucket lists is the impressive Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse. The gardens are only open for a short period of time every year (mid-March to mid-May) and are the place to go to see tulip fields. You’ll find plenty of other flowers too, including roses, daffodils, and hyacinths, in these landscaped gardens that are around 1.5 hours outside Amsterdam.
During the annual spring festival, usually in April, things can be very busy, with millions of visitors being welcomed, so, although it’s a beautiful time to be there, be aware that you’ll need to book far in advance. You can check Bloemencorso Bollenstreek for updates.
Located on the Singel canal, the Bloemenmarkt (Amsterdam Flower Market) is a floating flower market selling a wide array of cut flowers as well as bulbs and seeds. You’ll get some great photos, plus it’s a good spot for souvenir shopping too with plenty of trinkets to be found. The market is open daily, year round, usually from 09h00 (later on Sundays), and it’s best to get there in the morning.
The Bollenstreek (bulb region) around Den Haag, Haarlem and Leiden, including Lisse (where Keukenhof is located), and Sassenheim (daffodils) are among the best areas to see flower fields. Flevoland including the Noordoostpolder is a lesser known region to see tulips, but is actually the main producer of these colourful flowers; you will need a car or bicycle to get there. April is usually the best time to visit, although spring in general is good. We recommend joining an organised tour to fully appreciate the fields as it can be challenging getting around with all the crowds. If you visit North Holland between late-August and late-September, you’ll be able to enjoy the gorgeous dahlia fields instead.
Royal FloraHolland, Aalsmeer
For a somewhat different view of flowers, you can visit the largest flower auction in the world, trading in over 30 000 species and exporting around the world. At Royal FloraHolland, you will be able to learn how the flowers are auctioned, view the non-stop hustle and bustle of the auction floor, and get an idea of just how much of a huge and fascinating business this is. You can visit on your own but we recommend the guided tour.
Rosarium, Den Haag
Although you can see roses throughout the Netherlands, Rosarium at Den Haag’s Westbroekpark features over 20,000 rose bushes and is a great place to admire a wide variety of roses in full bloom, which usually takes place between around June to October.
Hortus Botanicus, Leiden
Leiden’s Hortus Botanicus is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens, having been founded in 1590. It features a wide variety of plants and flowers, including a beautiful rose garden. It’s an excellent place to learn about botany and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The garden can be visited throughout the year.
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The above is based on general dates and regions. However, with the changing climate, these are not guaranteed. Therefore, it is advisable to check with local tourism boards or flower farms in Holland for the most accurate information before planning a visit.
Important note: Bear in mind that most of the flower fields are on privately owned farmland and are very valuable crops, which means that most do not permit people to just enter the fields. Always check if you are permitted to go near them and respect signs that advise you to stay out. There are a few places which do welcome visitors onto parts of their farms. This is why it’s best to visit with an experienced guide who can take you to where you’d like to go.