Spring comes to the Netherlands in a highly choreographed dance with Mother Nature. First to grace the stage is the Snowdrop. Not to be confused with actual snow, snowdrops are tiny white flowers that arrive soon after the snow melts and the sun shines.
Next, pastel pink and purple Crocus flowers flutter into view, twirling in a few splashes of white and yellow blooms to accentuate the dance. With the rise of the Iris and Daffodils, bees come abuzz. And finally, at the moment we’ve been waiting for since the beginning of this dance, the tulip rushes onto center stage in the Netherlands, blanketing the earth with its color and charm.
Each spring, tourists flock to the Netherlands in hopes of seeing the tulips in their peak performance. However, these beloved flowers can appear anytime from late March until early June, so how does one go about finding the best time to see the tulips in bloom?
As a good starting point, pay attention to the winter and early spring weather in the Netherlands.
Cold Temperature Flowers
Colder temperatures will push back the arrival of all the spring flowers. If temps remain cold in March, the flowers will ‘hibernate’ until the sun starts shining and the temps start rising. The opposite can also be said; warmer weather in March will have the tulips ready for action.
On average, tulips are peaking between mid-April and early May.
A safer bet is to book your trip sometime between these usually lucky dates for your chance at the tulip tourist lottery. Of course, many other tourists know this as well, so prices will peak during this time of the year in the Netherlands.
Keukenhof Garden is open from the end of March until mid-May every year.
The Keukenhof Garden is a must-see when coming to look at the tulips. They also plant their bulbs in a way that will have the flowers blooming throughout the season. The trick is the depth at which the bulbs are planted. Generally, there are between 7-8 million bulbs planted in unique patterns and themes each year.
While Keukenhof is a must-see, dont' just stop there! There are thousands of tulip fields scattered across several provinces of the Netherlands.
Tulip Fields Visit
You can take your bike and cycle through tulip fields. The provinces of North Holland, South Holland, and Flevoland all have significant amounts of tulip fields. The reason for this is that the tulips thrive in and love the sandy reclaimed soil, or Polders, that the Dutch have created for them. The entire province of Flevoland was reclaimed from the sea. So, here you will find thousands of bulb fields with hundreds of color combinations.
Don’t worry, if you happen to come too early or too late for the tulips, there are plenty of other flowers in bloom that are almost equally as impressive.
Early visitors will have a chance to see the bulb cultivation fields of daffodils and crocuses. Cycle through your favorite Dutch city at this time and you’ll see patches of these flowers lining the streets.
The Dutch love their flowers and take pride in their gardens. Anyone who has cycled through the Dutch countryside knows that the Dutch pride themselves on keeping a neat yard, at the centerpiece of which is the garden. Giving us the word ‘landscape’; the Dutch have an artistic sense that puts them ahead of the pack when it comes to gardening. There is a reason we all think of tulips as being Dutch—when they originate from Turkey- but the Netherlands still has our vote!
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