April 19, 2021
There are few things more essentially Dutch than tulips. These bright flowers were first brought to the Netherlands from Turkey, and have since become a national icon and an international stereotype. They even sparked a speculative frenzy in the seventeenth century, resulting in an economic bubble!
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy tulips in and around Amsterdam. Spring, especially is a great time to visit if you want to find yourself surrounded by the country’s unofficial national flower. There is a multitude of museums, festivals, and gardens that all showcase the many beautiful flowers in the city and surrounding area.
National Tulip Day
Each year, the Dutch Tulip Season starts on the third Saturday of January with National Tulip Day, or Nationale Tulpendag, as it is known in Dutch. The season lasts from January till April and it is the time of year when most varieties of this flower are available is shops both in the Netherlands and around the world.
In Amsterdam the day is celebrated by turning Dam Square into a pop-up tulip picking garden with over 200.000 bright blooms free to pick to all who come visit this temporary tulip field in the city centre.
The next best time to visit for a flower filled experience is from the end of March, when Keukenhof opens their gates to visitors from around the world. As one of the world’s biggest gardens, with over 7 million fresh flowers, Keukenhof is a dream come true for all those who love the floral sight and smell.
Located just south of Haarlem, in the small town of Lisse, Keukenhof is easily reached with a tour from Amsterdam Central Station. On the way there you will drive through the part of Holland known for its tulip fields, the Bollenstreek or Bulb region. At Keukenhof you can spend hours wandering through rows upon rows of brightly coloured flowers.
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Throughout the month of April, Tulp Festival Amsterdam fills the city with blooming flowers. Ten thousands of tulips bring colour to the city in early spring. Rows of bowls and tubs filled with colourfull flowers brighten up streets, squares and shopping centres. From mid-April the bulbs planted in the parks and gardens throughout the city will bloom, bringing even more colour.
Stroll or cycle along parks and squares, streets and gardens and admire the tulips planted in the ground, or displayed in large bowls or tubs. Let yourself be seduced by the expansive varieties and colours, and be inspired to plant tulips yourself next autumn.
Floating flower market
Throughout the year, you can add a touch of water and whimsy to your day, by visiting the Flower Market, or Bloemenmarkt, as it is known locally. In spring and summer you’ll find plenty of fresh and lovely tulips at this iconic market, conveniently located on the Singel canal in the city centre. But all through the year this is the place to visit in Amsterdam to find tulip bulbs to take home with you, or other flower bulbs for that matter.
The Flower Market is the only floating flower market in the world, and one of the most fragrant places of interest in Amsterdam - in all seasons. This unique market started in 1862. The flower stalls stand on the houseboats and evoke the old days when the market was daily supplied by boats.
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