Tulip mania is real – and here is where to find stunning tulip fields near Amsterdam! While there are no tulip fields in Amsterdam itself (the Bloemenmarkt is the best it’s going to get), there are so many places nearby that offer an amazing tulip experience!
After writing an entire article on tulip fields in the Netherlands, I realised that the section on Zuid-Holland was ridiculously long and could really do with its own article! Amsterdam is located in the south of the province of Noord-Holland and is therefore incredibly close to some of the biggest areas for tulip cultivation in both Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. I have highlighted the must visit areas in both Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland that are around an hour away from Amsterdam – you definitely can’t miss this during tulip season!
Tulip Field Etiquette
Before I begin with the locations that you can see the tulip fields I first want to highlight the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of visiting the tulip fields. There has been a lot of publicity around the fact that tourism to the tulip fields has resulted in damage to the flowers – an article from The Guardian mentions one farm that suffered €10,000 worth of damage due to people standing or lying on the flowers. Please don’t be one of these people!
Many fields have signs that prohibit walking through the flowers (that is walking through the gaps – all fields will prohibit walking ON any flowers). If you see one of these signs, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE abide by it. Don’t think ‘oh I will be very careful not to damage anything’ or ‘that’s for other people, not me’. If they have a sign saying do not walk there – do not walk there. It seems super basic and obvious but the number of people I saw in tulip fields (which had very clear signage about it) who still walked through the rows to get photos was so frustrating.
The tulips are these farmers’ livelihood. Damaging the flowers, even accidentally, can cost them thousands of euros in lost income.
Some farms have started fencing off fields to prevent tourists from even visiting them. I find this so sad – before we could enjoy them responsibly but due to the actions of some, the farmers have taken steps to prevent any further damage.
So, what if a field has no signs?
If a tulip field doesn’t have any signs about whether you can or can’t walk through the rows, please only take photos from the edge of them. Unless you find the farmer and can ask their permission, assume you cannot walk through the rows. You can still get great photos from the edge of the field – strategic angles and/or some cheeky photoshop works magic.
But I WANT to walk through a tulip field…
If you are dead set on getting that shot for the gram, that’s fine. But go to a farm where you can do that with permission – I highlight some below that are either picking gardens or that operate tours. Generally speaking, these will cost a bit of money for the privilege of being able to walk through the fields and learn about the tulip growing process. They are definitely well worth a visit!
A quick note about drones…
Just as above, please only fly a drone if you have explicit permission from the owner of the tulip field. The farms are private property and, additionally, a drone landing in a field (accidentally) can cause a lot of damage. Some farms will offer photoshoot rates where you can ‘hire’ the field for an hour or two and do a full shoot there (with a drone if permitted) so this can also be an option.
When visiting the fields, just remember the slogan of a campaign by one of the regional tourism boards:
Enjoy the flowers, respect our pride.
Tulip fields near Amsterdam
I am going to start with Zuid-Holland, even though Amsterdam is in Noord-Holland. The largest flower fields are in the north of Noord-Holland, while the main ones in Zuid-Holland are (confusingly) closer to Amsterdam since they are in the north of the province. There was definitely way too many norths and souths in that sentence… so let’s just get on with the recommendations!
Looking to explore Amsterdam in one day? Read my 24 hours in Amsterdam itinerary here!
Tulip fields in Zuid-Holland (South Holland)
The tulip tourist hotspot of Holland! The province of Zuid-Holland, or South Holland, is home to Keukenhof as well as many stunning tulip fields. Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest flower gardens and is known as the ‘Garden of Europe’ with more than 7 million flower bulbs planted annually. If you do come late in the tulip season and are unlucky enough that most of the tulips have been cut (I’ll talk more about this process later if you’re interested!) then Keukenhof is your best bet to see thousands of stunning tulips, as well as other flowers.
The gardens are open until mid-May, so (like this year) if the tulips are cut early due to particularly hot weather or early spring then you will still be able to see a spectacular spread at Keukenhof.
Keukenhof is a very popular place so if you want to visit without many tourists you should definitely visit early in the morning! The gardens open at 8am and close at 7:30pm, except Sunday when they close at 7pm.
A ticket costs €17 for a day pass when purchased online and €25 including bus travel from Amsterdam Schiphol, Haarlem, Hoofddorp, and Leiden. A combination ticket for entrance and a return bus ticket from Amsterdam city costs €30 or, if travelling by car, parking for the day costs €6.
You can also do a variety of tours which are great if you prefer guided tours or are short on time. Here are some highly recommend ones:
Tulip fields in the Bollenstreek
Zuid-Holland covers a large area, including Leiden, Bollenstreek, The Hague (Den Haag), Delft, Westland, Rotterdam, Gouda, Goeree-Overflakkee and more. ‘Bollenstreek’ refers to an area of Zuid-Holland that is a major flower-growing area. Some of the main towns in the Bollenstreek (‘Bulb Region’) are Lisse, Hillegom, Noordwijkerhout, Sassenhaim, Voorhout and Teylingen and this is where you’ll find the most tulip fields in the Netherlands!
We took a day trip from where we stayed near Utrecht to the Bollenstreek tulip fields, as well as to Flevoland in East Netherlands. While we did the trip by car since we were short on time, it’s also possible by bike (and potentially easier since it can be tricky to find parking in the more popular areas). If wanting to explore the area by bike, you can hire one from Keukenhof (details below) or from many other places including:
- Rent-a-Bike Van Dam (Keukenhof), €10 for 3 hours and €15 for a full day
- Rent-a-Bike Van Dam (Noordwijkerhout), €10 for a full day, €25 for an e-Bike for a full day
- Rent-a-Bike Haarlem, full day hire €10 for a pedal bike or €25 for an e-Bike
- EasyFiets (Leiden), €10 per day or €20 for an e-Bike (full day)
At most bike hire shops, you can pay extra for insurance and/or a helmet. There are lots of different cycle routes online, such as this one from Bollenstreek.nl.
Whether you cycle or drive, some of the best spots to stop are:
- Annemieke’s Pluktuin (Hillegom)
- Bollenburcht (Voorhout)
- De Tulperij (Voorhout)
- ‘t Huys Dever (Lisse)
- De Pluktuin Noordwijkerhout
- Fam Flower Farm (Lisse/Noordwijkerhout)
‘Pluktuin‘ translates as ‘picking garden’, so if you are interested in visiting a flower farm in order to pick your own tulips then these are perfect! ‘t Huys Dever is a castle ruin dating back to the 14th century and usually has a beautiful flower field surrounding it during tulip season. It’s a great place to stop by on your way through Lisse! De Pluktuin Noordwijkerhout and Annemieke’s Pluktuin are both great picking gardens to visit if you want to pick your own tulips to take home!
De Bollenburcht (literally ‘bulb fortress/castle’) in Voorhout is home to a pluktuin, or picking garden, as well as a stunning show garden with more than 600 varieties of bulb flowers featuring not just tulips but also hyacinths and daffodils. It also provides a great opportunity to visit the ruins of Slot Teylingen, or Teylingen Castle, which dates back to the 13th century and is presumably the reason why this region is called the Bulb Fortress. (Teylingerlaan 13, 2215 RT Voorhout)
De Tulperij, also located in Voorhout, is a family-owned flower farm that also has a show garden. They offer tours of the farm and fields as well as complimentary tea and coffee (languages offered are Dutch, English and German) at a cost of €5.95 (price in 2019). De Tulperij will also be open from 1st August – 12th October 2019 with a dahlia show garden that will display more than 300 varieties of dahlia! (Oude Herenweg 16B, 2215 RZ Voorhout)
FAM Flower Farm, based in Lisse but with flower fields in Lisse and Noordwijkerhout, is where we spent an entire afternoon enjoying the stunning tulips as well as the amazing hospitality of Linda and Marlies. They offer a full tulip experience (€40 per person) that includes a visit to and tour of one of the tulip fields where they will explain the tulip growing process and so on – you will also be treated to delicious stroopwafel as well as coffee and tea before being able to walk the pathways between the tulips and use their extensive collection of props as well as getting a bunch of tulips to take home. They also offer the same experience for the daffodil fields (March/April) and Dahlia fields (August) – check out what visits they currently have available on their website! (Exact location provided after booking – it depends on which fields are in best bloom at the time!)
In my opinion, the best way to discover the tulips is to simply hop off at a station like Hillegom or Sassenheim (if travelling by train) and exploring on foot or by bike! There are SO many fields in this area that you will discover amazing fields wherever you go.
The fields and farms mentioned above are excellent choices if you want a fuller experience (e.g. tulips to take home, a photoshoot location or the opportunity to learn more about the growing process in person) but if you simply want to see some stunning fields without spending much (or anything), exploring the Bollenstreek by bike, on foot or even by car is the perfect way to find these beautiful areas.
Getting to the Bollenstreek by public transport
Depending on where you want to go, there are lots of options for getting to the Bollenstreek region by public transport. The area is incredibly well connected by train as well as buses so it’s easy to travel by public transport if you don’t have a car.
I mentioned above how to get to Keukenhof by public transport – bus 858 takes you directly from Amsterdam Schiphol or, if travelling from Amsterdam city, there is bus 852 directly from Europaplein or alternatively take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Hoofddorp and bus 859 from Hoofddorp station to Keukenhof.
You can take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to a few places in the Bollenstreek, including Sassenheim, Hillegom and Voorhout. Sassenheim is a direct train from Amsterdam Centraal while you need to change at Haarlem for the Sprinter train that will take you to Hillegom and Voorhout.
If you plan on renting a bike, you can rent one in Haarlem or Leiden as well as Keukenhof and Noordwijkerhout. If arriving by train, you are better off to alight either in Haarlem or Leiden and rent a bike there. If you are going to Keukenhof you can purchase the ‘combi’ ticket that includes bus travel either from Amsterdam city (Europaplein) or the airport (Schiphol) and then hire a bike at Keukenhof itself.
Cycling around the Bollenstreek is a perfect way to see the tulip fields near Amsterdam and Haarlem and Leiden are perfect starting points when you are arriving by train. You can also take the train from Haarlem to Leiden that goes via Hillegom and Voorhout (or the direct from Amsterdam to Leiden, which is on the same train line but only stops in Haarlem, Heemstede-Aerdenhout and Leiden) for beautiful views of the tulip fields on the journey.
One way to make a full day of it when travelling by public transport is to start in Leiden (taking the train from Amsterdam) and hire a bike there. From Leiden, you can cycle the full Bollenstreek route that would take you:
Leiden –> Voorhout –> Teylingen –> Sassenheim –> De Engel –> Lisse –> Hillegom –> Noordwijkerhout –> Noordwijk –> Katwijk –> Leiden
This is a hefty route of around 54km so not for the faint of heart! A shorter route takes you around the areas nearer Leiden without venturing as far north as Hillegom (44km – Leiden, Voorhout, Teylingen, Sassenheim, De Engel, Noordwijkerhout, Katwijk, Leiden) and the shortest route takes you through the Voorhout area only (24km – Leiden, Voorhout, Sassenheim, Teylingen, Leiden).
Getting to the Bollenstreek by car
Driving from Amsterdam to the Bollenstreek is an easy way to see the tulip fields, although during peak times (weekends, public holidays etc) it can be hugely congested and you might want to stop in Noordwijkerhout and hire a bike to cycle around the Noordwijkerhout/Lisse/Voorhout area. If you decide to hire a bike, some great routes to see tulip fields are:
20km: Noordwijkerhout –> Sassenheim –> Teylingen –> De Engel –> Lisse –> Noordwijkerhout
28km: Noordwijkerhout –> Sassenheim –> Teylingen –> De Engel –> Lisse –> Hillegom –> Noordwijkerhout
35km: Noordwijkerhout –> Noordwijk –> Katwijk –> Sassenheim –> Teylingen –> De Engel –> Lisse –> Noordwijkerhout
You can also hire a bike from Keukenhof (€6 for parking for the day) and start from there instead. In this case, you can opt for a shorter route, for example:
15km: Keukenhof –> Sassenheim –> Teylingen –> De Engel –> Lisse –> Keukenhof
17km: Keukenhof –> Noordwijkerhout –> De Engel –> Lisse –> Keukenhof
If you decide to go by car, you may struggle with parking in some places and some congestion on the roads but overall it is generally quicker by car and you can cover much more ground. We combined a visit to the tulip fields in Flevoland as well as a visit to FAM Flower Farm on the same day which definitely wouldn’t have been possible by public transport!
If starting in Amsterdam, I would recommend to either do a loop (similar to the cycle routes) or drive to the furthest destination and work your way back. This entirely depends on your plan for the day, but here are some example routes that involve about 2 hours of driving in total:
Amsterdam –> Annemieke’s Pluktuin –> Duinschooten –> De Pluktuin Noordwijkerhout –> Ruins of Teylingen –> ‘t Huys Dever –> De Tulperij –> Sassenheim –> Amsterdam
Amsterdam –> Haarlem –> Duinschooten –> Ruins of Teylingen –> ‘t Huys Dever –> FAM Flower Farm (appointment only) –> Amsterdam
A shorter route with around 1h 20 minutes of driving (if you don’t have enough time to make all the stops above) would take you:
Amsterdam –> De Tulperij –> Ruins of Teylingen –> ‘t Huys Dever –> Amsterdam
Whichever route you take (and whether you go by car or by bicycle), you are sure to stumble upon lots of tulip fields along the way! Make sure to allocate enough time to random stops along the way because you just found a spectacular field of tulips. You won’t regret adding that buffer time at all!
Tulip fields in Goeree-Overflakkee
While I absolutely loved the tulip fields in the Bollenstreek region and in areas like Flevoland, I think my favourite area for tulips was on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee. This small island in the south of Zuid-Holland (yep, this area is legitimately called Zuid-Holland Zuid, or South South Holland) is a total hidden gem that during tulip season is a burst of colourful flowers.
There is no direct train to the main towns on Goeree-Overflakkee, so this area is much less convenient to travel to if you’re going by public transport. Since it’s so ‘undiscovered’ by all the tulip tourists (I feel like that should be coined as a phrase) so far, it’s very easy to travel around the island by car, unlike in places like Lisse and Hillegom where it gets quite congested and so travelling by car can take a lot longer than if you explore the area by bike.
Getting to Goeree-Overflakkee by public transport
If you don’t have a car then you can still get there by public transport, although I would probably recommend going north to Den Helder/Anna Paulowna if you want non-touristy tulip fields and are travelling by public transport. However, Goeree-Overflakkee is just generally a lovely place to visit so if you want to go then you need to travel from Amsterdam to Rotterdam by train (40 minutes), Rotterdam Centraal to Rotterdam-Zuidplein by subway (11 minutes) and from Zuidplein travel by bus to any of the towns on Goeree-Overflakkee.
From Rotterdam-Zuidplein you can travel by bus to Middelharnis (50 minutes), which is a beautiful town in the centre of the island that is well worth a visit in its own right! We found the most tulip fields in Den Bommel (30 minutes by bus) and areas like Sommelsdijk, Dirksland, Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet and Oude-Tonge also have lots of tulip fields.
You can also rent a bike to get around Goeree-Overflakkee (instead of taking buses everywhere) so getting to Ouddorp and hiring a bike there (Akershoek Cycling) is a good way to explore the western end of the island! If you’re feeling energetic, you can even cycle the entire island, although it’s a good two hours from Ouddorp to Den Bommel so not one for the casual cyclist looking for a relaxing ride for a while. You can also hire a bike in Middelharnis from Fiets Totaal, which makes cycling to Den Bommel/Oude Tonge etc (50 minutes approximately to Den Bommel) much quicker than coming all the way from Ouddorp!
The bonus of cycling is that it’s much easier to stop in places and you don’t need to deal with the sometimes very narrow roads! Additionally, there is basically no elevation at all so it’s a wonderfully flat cycle route.
Getting to Goeree-Overflakkee by car
From Amsterdam, it’s an easy journey down the A4 to Goeree-Overflakkee! You can even combine it with a stop for coffee or brunch in The Hague (Den Haag) or Rotterdam or make it into a two day (or more) trip with visits to Delft and Leiden as well.
We were starting near Utrecht so took a slightly different route via Dordrecht (rather less exciting than the route from Amsterdam, although you can stop off at Gouda or Rotterdam), where we stopped for coffee at a petrol station that very conveniently had a Starbucks. We only had half a day for our Goeree outing since my friend had to work in the morning but if you have a whole day you can definitely make some stops on the way to or way back from Goeree-Overflakkee.
Where to stop on Goeree-Overflakkee
I recommend starting at Den Bommel, which is what we did. You can also do the opposite of what we did and start at Ouddorp, which is entirely up to you (and might be better for light, since if you get to Den Bommel just before golden hour you’ll get to see some of my favourite tulip fields on Goeree-Overflakkee bathed in incredible golden light). It’s really easy to drive from one end of the island to the other – just keep your eyes peeled for flashes of bright yellow, red or pink and then enjoy the fun of figuring out how to get from your CURRENT location to somewhere that you can access the field from. It’s definitely half the fun… I promise!
Places to stop off include Den Bommel (Buitendijk), Oude Tonge (Tilsedijk, Zuiddijk, Groeneweg, Langeweg, Oudelandsedijk), Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet (Piersweg), Middelharnis (Boomgaardweg), Dirksland (Philipshoofjesweg, Westdijk) and Stellendam (Langeweg, Plaatweg).
Near Den Bommel, you can also visit the village windmill De Bommelaer and near Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet the windmill De Korenaar. Don’t miss a visit to the town of Middelharnis either – the harbour area (D’n Diek) is absolutely beautiful as is the church (Reformed Church Middelharnis)!
Want to make your trip longer and stay on Goeree-Overflakkee? You can find lots of guesthouses and B&Bs on the island!
Here is an example (64km) Goeree-Overflakkee tulip route that does a loop from Den Bommel:
Den Bommel –> Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet –> Middelharnis –> Stellendam –> Dirksland –> Oude Tonge –> Zuidzijde –> Den Bommel
You can also drive from one end to the other, starting at the eastern end (N60 road) and ending at the western end (N57) or vice versa. The N60 and N57 are the two options for arriving and leaving Goeree-Overflakkee from the rest of Zuid-Holland so you have to start or end your route from one or the other.
Other routes include:
32km: N60 –> Den Bommel –> Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet –> Middelharnis –> Dirksland –> Stellendam –> N57
40km: N60 –> Den Bommel –> Zuidzijde –> Oude Tonge –> Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet –> Middelharnis –> Dirksland –> Stellendam –> N57
Tulip fields in Noord-Holland (North Holland)
Going north from Amsterdam will also treat you to a spectacular quantity of tulips – Noord-Holland is actually the province with the most hectares of flower fields in the entire Netherlands! The main areas in Noord-Holland for tulips are Hollands Kroon, Den Helder, Schagen, Medemblik and Drechterland.
I didn’t have time to visit the north of Noord-Holland (Kop van Noord-Holland, literally the ‘head/top of North Holland’) when I was there so, unfortunately, I can’t provide any ‘in person’ tips on this region. However, it is definitely the most ‘tourist free’ of the tulips regions even though it has the most hectares. Generally speaking, the only other people you’ll meet visiting these tulip fields will be locals!
Every year in late February, the Holland Flowers Festival is held in Zwaagdijk-Oost where more than 4,000 varieties of flower are on display! While this, unfortunately, doesn’t coincide with the tulip season you can still visit Zwaagdijk-Oost to see where the festival is held (as well as where it was held in the past, in Bovenkarspel) and to see the tulip fields in the area.
Getting to the tulip fields in Noord-Holland by public transport
From Amsterdam, you can take a train to many of the top tulip areas in Noord-Holland. The InterCity from Amsterdam to Den Helder is the perfect stopping service for many of the tulip areas, including Den Helder, Anna Paulowna (in the municipality Hollands Kroon), Schagen, Heerhugowaard, Alkmaar and Heiloo.
If you plan to cycle in these areas, you can rent a bike from the following towns:
- Fred’s Verhuur (Schagen)
- Kooi Tweewielers (Anna Paulowna)
- Rent-a-Scooter (Alkmaar)
- BikeStore (Den Helder)
- Stella Verhuur (Texel – more about this island later!)
You can also go on a historic steam train from Hoorn to Medemblik and vice versa which will give great views of the tulip fields in that area! To get to Hoorn, you would need to take a different train that would take you to Enkhuizen – you can either go all the way to Enkhuizen to explore there and then return to Hoorn to do Hoorn – Medemblik – Hoorn on the steam train or you can simply alight at Hoorn to do the return steam train journey.
Getting to the tulip fields in Noord-Holland by car
It’s even easier to explore Noord-Holland’s tulip fields by car as then you don’t have to worry about different train routes and so on. From Amsterdam, you can easily do a trip that covers areas like Enkhuizen and Medemblik as well as Den Helder, Anna Paulowna and Alkmaar.
Tulip fields in Westfriesland
Westfriesland is the eastern side of this area of Noord-Holland, encompassing towns such as Enkhuizen, Medemblik and Hoorn.
If you want to cycle around Enkhuizen, then John Brandhoff Tweewielers offers bike hire in the town. The full tulip route in the area which does a loop of this area of West-Friesland covers a total of 70km. This route takes you through the following towns:
Enkhuizen –> Andijk –> Zwaagdijk-Oost –> Medemblik –> Twisk –> Hoorn –> Hem –> Bovenkarspel –> Enkhuizen
This can, of course, be shortened into a few different routes, such as the following options:
13km: Enkhuizen –> Weelenpad, Stede Broec –> Grotebroek –> Bovenkarspel –> Enkhuizen
20km: Enkhuizen –> Andijk –> Stede Broec –> Bovenkarspel –> Enkhuizen
29km: Enkhuizen –> Zwaagdijk-Oost –> De Hout –> Bovenkarspel –> Enkhuizen
34km: Enkhuizen –> Andijk –> Lutjebroek –> Hem –> Bovenkarspel –> Enkhuizen
38km: Enkhuizen –> Andijk –> Medemblik –> Bovenkarspel –> Enkhuizen
43km: Enkhuizen –> Andijk –> Zwaagdijk-Oost –> Hem –> Enkhuizen
49km: Enkhuizen –> Andijk –> Zwaagdijk-Oost –> Hoorn –> Hem –> Enkhuizen
Flower attractions in Noord-Holland
There are a few places of interest along the way (aside from the tulip fields), which include the following:
- Hortus Bulborum, Limmen (30-minute drive from Amsterdam) is an amazing garden with a collection of more than 4,000 historical bulbs that flower each spring. Some tulips originate back in the 16th century!
- Kwerkerij Siem Munster, Slootdorp (45-minute drive from Amsterdam) is a nursery and flower farm where you can see more than 1 MILLION tulips in the greenhouses. You also get the chance to see the modern technology that helps the farmers, including the tulip bunching robot that uses X-ray technology to make each bunch 10 tulips. Find out more about the Tulip Excursion!
- Poldertuin, Anna Paulowna (55-minute drive from Amsterdam) is a polder garden with free entry where you can see lots of spring flowers such as hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and more. Combine your visit with the Bloemendagen Anna Paulowna, a flower festival in the last week of April!
- Floratuin, Julianadorp (1-hour drive from Amsterdam) is a show garden open from mid-March until late May/early June with a huge variety of spring and summer flowers. They also offer guided tours of the 7,000-square metre garden and there is also a Tulpen Pluktuin (tulip picking garden) during tulip season.
- Kleurrijk Julianadorp (1-hour drive from Amsterdam) is a walk that happens annually at the end of April that goes through the tulip fields. Check their website to see the dates! [Dutch and German only]
- Land van Fluwel, Sint Maartensvlotbrug (50-minute drive from Amsterdam) is a theme park and ‘adventure paradise’ that is, in particular, aimed at children with Dutch-themed rides (and food, of course) but also offers a ‘Dutch Tulip Experience’ where everyone can learn about the history of tulips and is also located ‘in the heart of the biggest tulip fields in the world’. There are also lots of outdoor activities like a ‘barefoot walk’, Fluwel Beach adventure playground and more – find out more on their website [Dutch only].
Tulip fields in Kop van Noord-Holland
Kleurrijk Julianadorp also offers a walking route and a cycling route around the tulip fields in Julianadorp – you can access this on their website! You can also combine some of these points of interest with a wider visit to the Kop van Noord-Holland:
- Langevliet, Julianadorp
- Zanddijk, Julianadorp
- Molen De Hoop, ‘t Zand
- Molen O-T, ‘t Zand
- Oudesluis and Keinse
It’s hard to provide a route for the tulip fields in Julianadorp, Anna Paulowna, Schagerbrug and so on because the fields are LITERALLY EVERYWHERE. This list would go on FOREVER if I tried to name all the towns and villages with tulip fields because 99% of them have stunning flower fields!
Cycle routes in Kop van Noord-Holland
Here are a few example routes (aimed at cycling but also possible by car, starting in Den Helder, Schagen or Anna Paulowna):
10km is approximately half an hour of cycling. Expect to take longer though since you’ll want to cycle quite leisurely and make lots of stops!
21km: Den Helder –> Mariëndal, Julianadorp –> Langenvliet, Julianadorp –> Blauwe Keet –> De Kooy –> Den Helder
23km: Anna Paulowna –> Breezand –> De Kooy –> Blauwe Keet –> Zuiderhaaks to Langevliet, Julianadorp –> Noorderhaven, Julianadorp –> Gelderse Buurt –> Anna Paulowna
25km: Den Helder –> Mariëndal, Julianadorp –> Zanddijk, Julianadorp –> Langenvliet/Zuiderhaaks, Julianadorp –> Blauwe Keet –> Den Helder
30km: Anna Paulowna –> Breezand –> De Kooy –> Blauwe Keet –> Langevliet, Julianadorp –> Gelderse Buurt –> Anna Paulowna
33km: Den Helder –> Langevliet, Julianadorp –> Mariëndal, Julianadorp –> Zanddijk, Julianadorp –> Gelderse Buurt –> Anna Paulowna –> Breezand –> De Kooy –> Den Helder
38km: Anna Paulowna –> Gelderse Buurt –> Ceres –> Breezand –> De Kooy –> Blauwe Keet –> Langevliet, Julianadorp –> Mariëndal, Julianadorp –> Zanddijk, Julianadorp –> Grote Keeten –> ‘t Zand –> Molen De Hoop, ‘t Zand –> Molen P-V, Korte Belkmerweg 36, ‘t Zand –> Oudesluis –> Anna Paulowna
49km: Anna Paulowna –> Gelderse Buurt –> Ceres –> Breezand –> De Kooy –> Blauwe Keet –> Langevliet, Julianadorp –> Mariëndal, Julianadorp –> Zanddijk, Julianadorp –> Grote Keeten –> ‘t Zand –> Molen De Hoop, ‘t Zand –> Molen O-T, Korte Belkmerweg 10, ‘t Zand –> Keinse –> Anna Paulowna
The ‘ultimate’ route that takes you all around the Kop van Noord-Holland is a 75km+ trek that can be started in Anna Paulowna, Schagen or Den Helder (if you’re hiring a bike) and from any point if you’re going by car. If you were to cycle the entire route this would be around 4.5 – 5 hours of cycling so definitely not for the faint-hearted (or the unfit). If you plan on cycling the entire route, I would recommend doing it over a few days – for example, if you start in Anna Paulowna you could stop and stay in Den Helder or Julianadorp and then Sint Maartenszee or Sint Maartensbrug.
Looking for somewhere to stay? Find accommodation in the following towns: Anna Paulowna, Den Helder, Julianadorp, Callantsoog, ‘t Zand, Sint Maartenszee, Sint Maartensvlotbrug, Sint Maartensbrug or Schagen.
75km: Anna Paulowna –> Gelderse Buurt –> Langevliet, Julianadorp –> Zuiderhaaks, Julianadorp –> Blauwe Keet –> De Kooy –> Friese Buurt –> Den Helder –> Mariëndal –> Julianadorp aan Zee –> Zaandijk, Julianadorp –> Grote Keeten –> Callantsoog –> Molen De Hoop, ‘t Zand –> ‘t Zand –> Molen P-V, Korte Belkmerweg 10 –> Molen O-T, Korte Belkmerweg 36 –> Sint Maartenszee –> Sint Maartensvlotbrug –> Sint Maartensbrug –> Schagerbrug –> Kanaalweg, Schagen –> Keinse –> Keinsmerbrug –> Oudesluis –> Anna Paulowna
If you are driving from Amsterdam, Schagen is a great starting place as then you can do the entire loop and end back at Schagen for driving back to Amsterdam (50 minutes by car).
You can even go further east of Anna Paulowna, especially if you want to visit Siem Munster in Slootdorp. All around Slootdorp, Wieringerwerf, Middenmeer, Kreileroord etc is full of tulips during the season!
Tulip fields near Alkmaar
If you visit Hortus Bulborum in Limmen, don’t miss the stunning tulip fields that are near Alkmaar (or Alkmaar itself – it’s only 30 minutes from Amsterdam by car). Areas for tulips near Alkmaar and Limmen include Wimmenum, Egmond aan den Hoef, Egmond Binnen, Egmond aan Zee, Heiloo (including the 18th-century Dutch manor house ‘Landhoed Nijenburg’, and Bakkum Noord.
One example 70km cycle (or car) route from Alkmaar would be:
Alkmaar –> Bergen –> Bergen Binnen –> Het Woud –> Wimmenum –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Egmond aan Zee –> Egmond-Binnen –> Bakkum –> Limmen (Hortus Bulborum) –> Heiloo –> Zuidschermer –> Stompetoren –> Heerhugowaard –> Alkmaar
For shorter routes you can try:
20km: Alkmaar –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Egmond-Binnen –> Heiloo –> Alkmaar
21km: Alkmaar –> Bergen –> Het Woud –> Wimmenum –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Alkmaar
26km: Alkmaar –> Bergen –> Het Woud –> Wimmenum –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Egmond-Binnen –> Heiloo –> Alkmaar
28km: Alkmaar –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Egmond-Binnen –> Bakkum –> Limmen (Hortus Bulborum) –> Heiloo –> Alkmaar
33km: Alkmaar –> Bergen –> Het Woud –> Wimmenum –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Egmond-Binnen –> Bakkum –> Limmen (Hortus Bulborum) –> Heiloo –> Alkmaar
38km: Alkmaar –> Bergen –> Het Woud –> Wimmenum –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Egmond-Binnen –> Zuidschermer –> Alkmaar
42km: Alkmaar –> Egmond aan den Hoef –> Egmond-Binnen –> Bakkum –> Limmen (Hortus Bulborum) –> Heiloo –> Zuidschermer –> Alkmaar
If travelling by car, you can also head to the Beemster municipality and see the tulip fields near Middenbeemster, Klaterbuurt, Westbeemster and Nordbeemster (do you see a theme with the names here?).
You can also combine your visit to this region with the beautiful Zaanse Schans and its windmills, as well as the city of Zaandam. Alkmaar is also a beautiful city in its own right so you can easily make it a bigger visit and see the city of Alkmaar as well as the nearby tulip fields!
Tulip fields in Texel
An oft-overlooked area for tulips is the beautiful Wadden island of Texel, which is also part of Noord-Holland. The Wadden Islands (Waddeneilanden in Dutch, Vadehavsøer in Danish and Waddeninseln in German) are a group of islands that stretch along the North Sea coast of the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Five of the Dutch Wadden Islands are inhabited, as are thirteen of the German and three of the Danish Wadden Islands.
The largest and most populous of the Dutch Waddeneilanden is Texel (pronounced like ‘Tessel’), which can be accessed by ferry from Den Helder.
The ferry from Den Helder to Texel takes around half an hour and costs €37 for a vehicle (€25 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), €5 for a foot passenger with a bicycle and €2.50 as a foot passenger. Buy tickets on the official website!
Getting around Texel by car
After disembarking the ferry in ‘t Horntje, Texel is easy to drive around. Towns of interest include Den Hoorn (not to be confused with Hoorn or Den Helder), Kaap Noord in De Cocksdorp (North Cape – don’t miss a visit to Vuurtoren Texel, the lighthouse), Zuid-Eierland (also beautiful hyacinth fields), Polder Het Norden (including Molen Het Noorden) and Prins-Hendrikpolder, Den Burg and Driehuizen.
There is also a picking garden on Texel called De Zelfpluktuin (literally ‘the self picking garden’), located at Middellandseweg 4, 1792 CG Oudeschild.
De Zelfpluktuin is not open during the tulip season, but rather from the end of May onwards. It’s a great place to visit if you visit Texel after the tulip season has ended! You can pick a variety of fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants and more) as well as flowers such as dahlias. Check their website for information to see what is in season!
Getting around Texel by public transport
Texel has a bus network on the island and you can also hire bikes on the island from Den Burg, De Cocksdorp, Eierland, Den Hoorn, De Koog, Oosterend and Oudeschild. You can hire a bike from the ferry terminal (Fietsverhuur Veerhaven) or you can travel directly from the terminal to Den Burg or De Koog with bus 28 and hire from one of the shops there.
- Kooiman Twiewielers, Schoonoordsingel 5, 1791 EL Den Burg (bicycles from €9.50 a day, e-bikes from €25 a day)
- Stella Fietsverhuur, Weverstraat 70, 1791 AE Den Burg (e-bikes from €18 a day)
- Fiets Inn Texel, Nikadel 75, 1796 BR De Koog (bicycles from €9.50 a day, e-bikes from €20 a day)
- Fietsverhuur De Koog, Brink 6, 1796 AJ De Koog (bicycles from €7 a day, e-bikes from €17 a day)
- Fietsverhuur Veerhaven Texel, Pontweg 2, 1797 SR Den Hoorn (bicycles from €11 a day, e-bikes from €21.50 a day)
Texel also has a network of minibusses that you need to reserve 30 minutes before you want to be collected. Download the Texelhopper app to be able to reserve a spot!
While bus 28 only serves the route Veerhaven (Ferry Terminal) – Den Burg Centrum – De Koog, the Texelhopper minibusses serve more than 100 stops on the island. You can travel to places like De Koog, De Cocksdorp (including the lighthouse), Midden- and Zuideierland, Oosterend, De Waal, Oudeschild, Den Hoorn and Den Burg.
A one-way ticket for the bus costs €3 and a day ticket €7.50, which can be bought on bus 28, a variety of purchase points on the island (some only sell single tickets and not day passes, however) and also Connexxion Loket at Den Helder Station (before getting the ferry to Texel).
Where to see tulips on Texel
As mentioned above, the best places for tulips and flower fields on Texel include the following places:
- Den Hoorn
- Kaap Noord in De Cocksdorp (and Vuurtoren Texel, the lighthouse)
- Polder Het Norden (including Molen Het Noorden)
- Den Burg
- Oudeschild (for De Zelfpluktuin and a very important place, the Texel Brewery!)
To do this as a full loop from the ferry terminal it’s a total distance of around 60-65 kilometers. Unless you’re spending a few days on Texel then this is probably only feasible as a driving route, but you can easily do parts of the route by bicycle.
20km: ‘t Horntje –> Den Hoorn –> Driehuizen –> Den Burg –> Oudeschild –> ‘t Horntje
23km: ‘t Horntje –> Den Hoorn –> Driehuizen –> Den Burg –> De Waal –> Oudeschild –> ‘t Horntje
25km: Den Burg –> De Koog –> Zuid-Eierland –> Molenbuurt –> Den Burg
27km: Den Burg –> Zuid-Eierland –> Midden-Eierland –> Molen Het Noorden –> Den Burg
30km: Den Burg –> Zuid-Eierland –> Midden-Eierland –> Molen Het Noorden –> De Zelfpluktuin –> Den Burg
35km: De Koog –> Zuid-Eierland –> Vuurtoren Texel –> De Cocksdorp –> Midden-Eierland
40km: ‘t Horntje –> Driehuizen –> Den Burg –> Zuid-Eierland –> Molen Het Noorden –> Oudeschild –> ‘t Horntje
You can, of course, easily do many of these routes by driving or by taking the Texelhopper minibusses! You are bound to find stunning tulip fields and not many international tourists on the island of Texel as it is still fairly ‘undiscovered’ by tourists from outside the Netherlands.
Where to find tulip fields near Amsterdam
If you scrolled down to here looking for a cheat sheet on places to go then I would recommend reading some of the sections as they have a LOT more information that will come in handy! However, I will provide a short summary of which areas to head to if you’re looking to find tulip fields in the vicinity of Amsterdam:
- Kop van Noord-Holland (Den Helder, Anna Paulowna, Julianadorp, Schagen)
- Westfriesland (Enkhuizen, Medemblik, Hoorn)
- Alkmaar and surroundings (Egmond aan Zee, Limmen, Wimmenum, Heiloo)
- Bollenstreek (Lisse, Hillegom, Noordwijkerhout, Sassenheim)
- Goeree-Overflakkee (Den Bommel, Middelharnis, Dirksland)
While some places are a *bit* of a trek from Amsterdam (Texel isn’t exactly the closest but it’s definitely worth a trip for a weekend or a few days!), the majority of these tulip field areas are less than one hour away from Amsterdam:
- Den Helder – 65 minutes by car, 78 minutes by train
- Schagen – 50 minutes by car, 57 minutes by train
- Enkhuizen – 45 minutes by car, 63 minutes by train
- Hoorn – 30 minutes by car, 32 minutes by train
- Alkmaar – 35 minutes by car, 37 minutes by train
- Heiloo – 35 minutes by car, 31 minutes by train
- Lisse – 30 minutes by car, 33 minutes by bus
- Sassenheim – 25 minutes by car, 34 minutes by train
- Den Bommel – 75 minutes by car, 2.5 hours by bus and train
Goeree-Overflakkee (Den Bommel, Middelharnis etc) is a bit more tricky by public transport and is definitely easier to visit by car, especially for a day trip!
The closest tulip fields to Amsterdam are those in the Bollenstreek as well as the ones near Alkmaar, taking only around half an hour to get to by car or public transport. If you want close to Amsterdam and fewer tourists, definitely head to places like Heiloo, Alkmaar, Limmen, Middenbeemster, and Hoorn.
I hope this guide to the best tulip fields near Amsterdam helps you in your quest for stunning flower fields! There are seriously so many places in the Netherlands so see tulips so you don’t need to limit yourself to the ‘tourist hotspots’ like Lisse. My favourite place personally was probably Goeree-Overflakkee, simply because it’s practically empty of tourists and the towns on the island are absolutely beautiful.
Have you visited the tulip fields in the Netherlands? Let me know in the comments!
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