Ask yourself one simple question: what is the Netherlands known for? We bet that the image of blooming tulip fields peacefully growing by historical windmills which dot Holland's countryside is among the first ones that popped in your mind. And it's not without reason, for sure, as despite its rather small size, this European country is among the largest world players of the floral industry. In this article, we'd like to share information on what to know when traveling to the Netherlands in the colorful flowery season and how to spice up your spring Netherlands itinerary.
Best time to visit the Netherlands in blossom
Most travelers who want to pay a visit to North Holland usually plan their trip for the spring months as this is the time for the picturesque Amsterdam tulip season. The first colorful fields of tulips and other bulb flowers begin to bloom in mid-March and finish in mid-May.
Nevertheless, to see the flower-filled Dutch landscape in all its glory, people come in April. Among the extra reasons for that are the numerous Holland tulip festivals, exhibitions, flower markets, fairs, and events devoted to these multicolored beauties, including the incredible bulb flower parade with adorned floats (called "Bloemencorso" in Dutch) which is held every year in mid-April.
Note, though, that this is also the time of the year when millions of people annually travel to the Netherlands, meaning you need to prepare for the journey way in advance and avoid last-minute bookings to save a lot of your money and get ahold of better options.
Thus, in case the tulips are not the main reason for your trip, it makes sense to consider going at the end of August or in September as this way you'll skip the high tourist season, avoid the enormous crowds, and still enjoy pleasant weather conditions.
What is Netherlands weather like in spring?
One thing is certain when it comes to weather in the Netherlands, it never hurts to have an umbrella and a windproof coat.
On the whole, Dutch weather is noted for rainfall, a rather mild climate and nice year-round temperatures.
Speaking of spring, the Netherlands weather in April, say, in Amsterdam, has forecasts with around 9-13°C (48-55°F), and you can count on several hours of daily sun on average.
Where to go in the Netherlands to see tulips?
As you might have already guessed, there are many tulip fields in the Netherlands. In fact, you'll most likely come across them any time you make your way out of town to the countryside.
Among the most famous floral locations is Keukenhof, Netherlands which cannot be left unmentioned.
Situated in the southern region of the country, it is home to the Keukenhof Tulip Garden, one of the most visited gardens in the entire world.
It has a huge diversity of bulb flowers from tulips and lilies to hyacinths and callas, among others, and occupies a territory of more than 70 acres!
Without a doubt, the Keukenhof park deserves a spot on your Netherlands tulip tour.
Another rural area rich in bulbs is called Bollenstreek, set not too far from Keukenhof and the Hague. The flower fields have been part of this rural Dutch region for over four centuries and are recognized worldwide for the production of high-quality bulbs. Just imagine spending time by these scent-rich fields taking pictures, walking or cycling - amazing, right?
As for other tulip areas, there are several gorgeous less-traveled Dutch regions you may consider going to for an unforgettable floral experience. As such, you may visit the Aalsmeer municipality, located near Amsterdam, or travel up north to destinations such as Hollandse Kroon, Noordoostpolder.
You also won't go wrong by picking in favor of the extensive Flevoland, home to hundreds of acres of flowers. Alternatively, you can head towards South Holland and the developing region of flower cultivation, Zeeland.
Exciting Netherlands tulip activities
Apart from guided tours around tulip locations and the spring events mentioned above (floral parades, festivals, fairs, etc), there are many enjoyable things you can do for a memorable time, below are some examples.
For starters, booking photo shoots with professional photographers in the colorful fields has become one of the most popular must-do things when you travel the Netherlands in spring.
Those who love the outdoors and feel like blending in with the locals, rent bikes and cycle in the Dutch countryside by the fields. Moreover, if you'd like to satisfy your creative side, there are numerous fun workshops on floristics and bouquet arranging. Wish to learn more about tulips, their types, history and positive influence on the country’s economy? Stop by the Amsterdam Tulip Museum, this interactive place will walk you through centuries of their existence.
A touch of authentic Holland: Netherlands windmills
Did you know that the Netherlands boasts being home to almost 1000 authentic windmills? The country houses incredible examples dating back to different time periods, varying in sizes and designs. Trust us, not seeing these landscapes and turning mill sails when visiting this Benelux country is a tiny crime!
Those who wish to see the iconic windmills of Netherlands should certainly point their compass south towards Rotterdam. The Kinderdijk village, located nearby, is a must place on the Netherlands travel route to check out traditional historic windmills.
Called "molens" in Dutch, they date back to the 17th and 18th centuries and were powered by wind and served for multiple purposes from pounding grain to dewatering flooded lands. The protected Kinderdijk area is home to 19 well-preserved structures which are listed as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
The mills played an important role in the development of the country and were a valuable technological part of the locals' daily lives back in the day, previously there was more than a hundred of them in this region.
One more destination to go windmill-hunting to is Zaanse Schans, a very popular place among tourists situated close to Amsterdam.
This village depicts what countryside Holland looked like in the past, and has not only mills but also numerous traditional homes in the Netherlands. When there, you may learn more about local crafts and culture in the houses converted to museums.
More locations where you can see Dutch windmills are Molen de Valk, Schiedam, and the former industrial area of Zaanstreek.
Summing up, here are a couple of teaser questions: did you know that over 50% of the planet's trade in the floral industry involves plants cultivated in the Netherlands? Not to mention that when it comes to bulb cultivation, only 20% of the bulbs sold around the world don't have Dutch origin, can you imagine that? We believe that the floral heritage of this unique country alone is a reason to pay a visit there, let alone the architectural, cultural, and historical legacy it boasts, waiting to be discovered. There's no denying that the Netherlands in the tulip season is simply marvelous, so feel free to browse our selection of Netherlands tours and contact us for more details, we'd love to help plan your dream vacation.