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A guide to the Amsterdam Tulip Festival

The annual homage to the Dutch love of the tulip flower lasts from March to May in Amsterdam.

4 min
Visit the Amsterdam Tulip Festival and have the smell of a lifetime!
A river of tulips in Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands. Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash

Have you ever had the honor of witnessing a festival of color where the very air you breathe is painted with the aroma of countless hues ablaze? Where the vibrancy of every shade, tangoing in the spring sunlight, lifts the corners of your mouth into an unstoppable smile? If you have not, I consider it my humble duty to invite you the annual spring Amsterdam Tulip Festival.

How did the Amsterdam Tulip Festival originate?

The wondrous stems were first brought to Amsterdam in the 16th Century from the  Ottoman Empire and were highly valued due to their beauty and rarity. The festival  celebrating the Dutch love for the flower began in the 19th Century and  has been held annually during the spring months of March to mid-May, although the flowers are in full bloom in April.

What is it about?

Tulips symbolize a perfect and deep passionate love in the language of flowers,  which flawlessly describes their status in the Netherlands and all over the world as people arrive to enjoy the scenic beauty created by their existence in various locations across Amsterdam. The Tulip festival has become deeply rooted in Dutch heritage, becoming a national symbol for which The Netherlands has come to be recognized. 

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What should I expect at the Amsterdam Tulip Festival?

The town of Lisse (a wonderful place for slow travel), a half-hour drive from Amsterdam, holds an important place in the festival as there are many tulip fields that one can visit here, including the famous Keukenhof tulip garden, where there are more than 7 million flower bulbs. The entrance fee for the gardens costs around 19 Euros for an adult. However, tickets that include transportation from Amsterdam to Lisse are also available for 50 Euros.

Flower Parades are also held to celebrate the coming of spring, and you can easily visit museums and experience centers due to the well connected transport system. The festival caters to all ages and proves to be an art lover’s paradise with the large variety of shades inspiring the creative flow. Several cultural and traditional festivities that honor the Dutch traditions surround the Tulip festival.

How do I get to the Amsterdam Tulip Festival?

The main airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, is a half-hour drive from the city center; however, regular trains from the airport to central Amsterdam station can whisk you away. Train tickets to Lisse are available from around $12, although there is a bus change from the Lisse station to the Keukenhof Tulip Garden. It would be easier but a little pricier to travel via rental car from Amsterdam. 

Where should I stay?

Try Central Amsterdam, but anywhere you stay promises to bring a flower show. The average Airbnb rates for the period of the tulip festival are around $200 per night.

Amsterdam Tulip Festival
Amsterdam, Netherlands
March 21st – May 12 th 2024

Price: Free to view except for specific gardens.
Tip: Peak blooming season is in April.
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