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Best Time for Flowers

I am planning a trip to the Netherlands next spring, sometime between March and June. I would like to see flowers, although they don't have to be tulips. Is there an optimal time balancing flowers & crowds (avoiding Easter, of course)? (I don't mind chilly weather.)


Posted by
7684 posts

The first week of May or last week of April. I went last May 11 and many fields had been cut by then. If you go to Keukenof go after 3 pm. The crowds are gone by then. Don't go in March. Give more time for things to bloom.

Posted by
228 posts

Check the website in spring 2020. They'll keep their website updated with what is flowering or soon will flower .

Posted by
13675 posts

I'd also work around Easter as it gets busy with school holidays around that time.

I was on the RS Belgium and Holland tour that started April 4 so we got to Keukenhof on April 13 and it was perfect flower-wise. I Know you said it didn't have to be tulips but Keukenhof far surpassed my expectations! Not just tulips but all sorts of other fantastic flowers as well.

If you are going at this time I'd try to go during the week. We hit it on the Saturday when there was a flower parade thru the country-side so roads were closed and it would have been quite a mess. The RS guide and driver worked around it but they have so much experience they could easily do that. The flower fields were in full bloom and just gorgeous. Of course they are grown for the bulbs not the flowers!

Posted by
32281 posts

Mid to late April, depending on the year, is often best for colourful striped fields.

Posted by
1 posts

Definitely in the second half of April. Best chances of tulip fields. After Easter and preferably before May. Often tulips start getting headed in the first two weeks of May as farmers grow the tulips for their bulbs, not the flowers. Most years towards the end of March you will see fields of daffodils and hyacinths. Of course it all depends on weather conditions. These are often capricious in the Netherlands.

Posted by
7081 posts

It is impossible to predict the progress of the seasons far enough in advance to buy cheap air tickets. But if you use the posted weeks for Keukenhof as a guide, you can always pay to go there if you don't see enough "free" flowers. (Well, most Botanical Gardens have an admission charge, don't they!) Note that Keukenhof has perennial and evergreen gardens, as well as masses of bulb beds, which are renewed throughout the posted park season. Although I wouldn't go the first week, there is no bad time to go to Keukenhof when it is open for its few weeks a year.

They are mostly cut flowers (but hundreds of thousands of them, not just from the Netherlands), but we also enjoyed the early business-day Aalsmeer Flower Auction, which can be tedious to get to, depending on where you stay. Since this could become an internet auction anytime in the future, it makes sense to see it now.

Posted by
229 posts

Spring is truly a beautiful time in the Netherlands. Coming from Florida, it's cold to us, but it's worth it. You didn't specify what kinds of flowers, just that it doesn't have to be tulips. But you can't miss the tulips, truly, you shouldn't! Here are a few links to help answer some of your questions.

Keukenhof Gardens, to my way of thinking the goddess of spring bulbs (and more):

From Tulips in Holland (it's last year's, but it still applies):

We didn't see the parade, but the floats are parked in Haarlem afterwords, an incredibly fragrant street party:

In Rotterdam there is a lovely botanic garden/arboretum with all sorts of blooming things. This spring we ate our picnic lunch in the arbor surrounded by lily of the valley in full bloom. It was hurtful, yes just hurtful.

All around you will find blooming things, crab apples, Kwanzan cherries, wisteria climbing up multi-story buildings, window boxes filled to bursting with spring celebrations. This is truly a country that knows how to celebrate spring.