Every year, thousands of tourists visit the Netherlands during the tulips season. The Keukenhof is a well-known tourist attraction full of tulip gardens and tulip related activities. For those who want to see the ‘real’ tulip fields, Lisse and its surrounding towns are popular destinations. Because of the proximity of the Keukenhof, it’s easy to combine a visit to the tulip fields and the Keukenhof. Read our blog about the tulip fields in and around Lisse here. However, because they are so close to the Keukenhof, the tulip fields in and around Lisse are very popular and crowded. Luckily, we’ve found the best tulip fields without all the crowds (in Flevoland) and will share exactly how you can go there too!
Why are there so many tulip fields in the Netherlands
We’ve once heard someone say that it’s ridiculous there are so many tulip fields in the Netherlands just to attract tourists. Yet, the tulip fields aren’t there for the tourists. They aren’t even there for the tulips, but for their bulbs. The bulbs are the export product, not the flowers themselves. Every spring, the farmers let their tulips bloom to see whether the tulips are healthy and don’t have any viruses or fungus. When the quality of the tulips is checked, the bulbs can be sold internationally. After the check, the farmer will cut the tops of the tulips in order to let the bulb grow. The bulbs will be sold when they are big enough.
The tulip fields in Flevoland
Flevoland is a province in the middle of the Netherlands. Fun fact: Flevoland is the youngest province of the Netherlands and large parts of the province didn’t even exist before 1940. Parts of the former Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) have been drained between 1940 and 1968 to create new land. The tulip fields in Flevoland are relatively unknown which means they are uncrowded. Just driving between the towns in the countryside, you’ll stumble upon a tulip field every turn. The fields look endless and there are many different colors.
How to get to the best tulip fields in Flevoland
You can find the best tulip fields in Creil and the surrounding villages. They aren’t hard to miss. Even before reaching Creil, you’ll already see some fields. We suggest to just drive around and stop whenever you see one. There are so many, it’s almost hard to decide where to stop!
The tulip fields in Flevoland are best reached by car. The drive from Amsterdam to Creil takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Creil is close to the A6 highway. To see as many tulip fields as possible, we’d recommend driving north along the N712. Turning at every corner takes you around all the fields!
By public transport
It’s also possible to visit the tulip fields in Flevoland by public transport, but it’ll take you a bit longer. The easiest way to get to Creil is by train from Amsterdam to Lelystad, and then two buses. The first bus will take you to Emmeloord, a nearby city, and the second one will take you to Creil. This journey will take a little less than two hours. It’s possible to explore the tulip fields on foot, but you won’t be able to see that many as the distances between the fields are quite far when you’re walking. Consider renting a bike in for instance Emmeloord or Urk (two cities in the area) and cycle along the fields. Cycling in the Netherlands is very safe and there are designated bike lanes everywhere.
Respect the tulips
When visiting the tulip fields, please respect the flowers and the farmers’ property. Enter the fields only at designated places where you’re allowed to. Make sure you never step on the tulips. The farmers that own the fields often live nearby or even next to the fields. Make sure you always respect their privacy and don’t bother them. If you bring a drone, only fly it when you’re sure you won’t disturb or invade anyone’s privacy. Dutch people get annoyed by drones easily, so we would recommend to only fly it when you’re sure there’s no one around.
Best time to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands
In general, the tulips bloom from mid-April to mid-May. However, the exact blooming periods vary each year depending on the temperatures. If you go too early, there might be no tulips at all, but if you go too late, the tulips might be already cut. Every year, we go the last weekend of April, and so far, that timing has been perfect. We sometimes see a few fields that are already cut down, but most of the fields are perfectly blooming.
In 2020, the Tulip Festival in Flevoland will be from 17 April up until 3 May. Besides being able to see the tulip fields, multiple activities are being organized. Check this website (English) to see the activities in 2020 during the Tulip Festival.
You aren’t allowed to pick the tulips from the fields, so please don’t. If you want to pick tulips there are several gardens where you can do this. In Flevoland there are two: Hanneke’s Pluktuin and the Tulpenpluktuin. The websites are in Dutch but this is the location to Hanneke’s Pluktuin and this is the location to the Tulpenpluktuin. Both gardens are generally open during the blooming season of the tulips.
Flying above the tulip fields
To see the tulip fields from a unique point of view, it’s possible to fly over them in either a helicopter or an air balloon. We haven’t done this, but it’s something we’d love to do as the views look amazing! Click here for more information about a balloon flight over the tulip fields. Click here for more information about a helicopter flight above the tulip fields.
We’ll be visiting the tulip fields again in 2020, and maybe we’ll see you too!
Have you ever been to the tulip fields in the Netherlands, or is it still on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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