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When and where for best tulip viewing

Hello everyone,

I have a two week break from teaching coming up from April 5-22 and am planning to use it to travel. I would love to spend probably 3 or 4 of those days at either the beginning or the end in the Netherlands to see the famous tulips. Does anyone that's gone before have any tips on deciding when will be best? I know it will vary every year but as long as there's some blooming while I'm there I'll be happy! Also, where have you had the best tulip viewing experiences? I will not have a car so all travel must be done by public transport or walking/biking. Thank you in advance for any help!

Posted by
1554 posts

Keukenhof Gardens is a fabulous place to see millions of tulips in an annual display. The gardens are open from about late March - mid-May. I went last year the last week in April. Go online to their website for all the pertinent information. We stayed in Haarlem and took the bus to the gardens. Our tickets included the price for the bus. It’s also accessible by train from Amsterdam and other towns. You will love your time there!

Posted by
349 posts

Keukenof Gardens would be my recommendation, as their displays are magnificent! I would also plan to arrive as soon as they open, as it is very crowded. It's an easy bus ride from Amsterdam. I would plan that for the last part of your trip. Check out this website for updates on blooming predictions:

Posted by
3790 posts

We went the 2nd week of April 2 yrs ago, and yes, Keukenhof is amazing. Also - you can rent bikes in the parking lot and follow a marked trail around past some amazing fields of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, a couple of which you can venture into (it's pretty obvious which are open to the public). I'm not a big biker anymore, but it's so flat...other than the brisk wind, it was pretty easy.

I will just relay my experience - we overheard a fellow Canadian in Haarlem saying he went really early and it was still very crowded in the pavilions. My husband is not an early riser, so I knew getting there early from Ams was impossible. We arrived around lunch, had some fries from a spot outside the gardens then rented a bike. The parking lot was quite full when we left. We were out on the bikes about 2.5-3 hrs, arriving back mid-afternoon. The parking lots had cleared out considerably, and no crowds at all in the pavilions. This was on a Thursday (13th April). Spent a few hours walking around, then back to the bus. We took the bus to/from the airport.

Posted by
263 posts

The last week of April worked for me in 1974 and in 2004 at K Gardens. This is during the middle of their open season and has worked well for me twice. Went in May a few years ago and it was still nice but not glorious like in late April.

Posted by
306 posts

They are amazingly efficient at Keukenhof. Although the parking lots may be crowded, the gardens are so large I did not find the crowds to be bothersome. going during the week as opposed to the weekends will have fewer crowds. we were there the third week of April.

Yes, the orchid pavilion was crowded as were the concessions at lunchtime, but certainly not a problem.
and the frites outside the gardens at the school bus were delicious.
How well they bloom depends on the weather. We went when there had been a couple of very warm days and the blooms were delightful. But the gardens are staggered so there is always something blooming.
Have fun!

Posted by
11153 posts

I found the outdoor areas at Keukenhof very crowded, but tolerable. The indoor areas, were so tightly crowded as to be a bit scary; I really felt the need to escape quickly.

I have read accounts on other threads, in addition to this one, that early or late in the day the crowds are not as overwhelming. I got there in mid-morning, by which time zillions of tour buses were also there. If I were to go again, I'd make sure to get there either very early or after about 3-4 PM.

Getting to Keukenhof is a nonstop bus from Amsterdam airport or from Leiden; from other places, you'll make at least one change. The service is coordinated, and you can buy a ticket that includes admission and all transportation from places like Amsterdam.

Keukenhof official website, with all the details of prices, getting there, etc.:

Posted by
23 posts

Thank you everyone for your tips and suggestions! I have decided that I'm going to go over the last weekend of my vacation (April 18-22) and am planning on going to Keukenhof Gardens. I'm looking forward to seeing the tulips thanks to all of your help!

Posted by
5635 posts

Tulips were in full bloom the last week of April when we visited The Netherlands.