A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
It’s warm outside, the sun is shining, and flowers are blooming all around. You’ve got it- it’s spring! Here in the Netherlands, it means something else, too- tulip season!
Tourists from all around the world are roaming to the country to witness one of the most beautiful (and colorful) sights- the tulips fields. Lucky you, you already live here! And want to know something else? the area richest in tulips is the one that stretches from Leiden to Haarlem. Lucky us, huh?
So, how should you visit the fields? Where are they? And what is this whole talk about Keukenhof? All that and more below.
Even though tulip season lasts from the end of March until mid-May, the best time to go see them is in mid-April. In other words- NOW!
Although you could take the bus to Keukenhof and call it a day, I recommend going on a bike tour through the fields, choosing to either finish at / skip Keukenhof. This is exactly what I did last year, and I highly recommend it to everyone, especially if you want the less touristic experience.
What I recommend doing is using the map provided on the website http://www.bloemenradar.nl/. The best method is to save all the tulip fields on google maps and then plan a route. Biking from Leiden to Keukenhof takes about one hour, but you’ll probably be stopping along the way at the fields for pictures. Make sure you take some water with you (and a hat if the sun is out!) because most of the route is out in the open, with not much close by.
After seeing all the amazing fields, you might not feel the need to pay the excessive sum of 17 euros (no student discount!) to get into Keukenhof. And truth be told, Keukenhof is rather a tourist trap. It’s always exploding with tourists, and the only difference between the gardens and the fields is that the flowers in Keukenhof are organized in beautiful formations and colors. But if you prefer the more natural setting and feel of the fields, you can skip the experience. It’s really up to you.
Don’t wait! Check the weather for the next weekend or two and go for it! In May some of the flowers start withering, and some of the fields are already harvested. The best time is really in April.
For more information on the route and flower updates (yes, that’s a thing) check: http://www.bloemenradar.nl/
Another site with information on the tulip fields: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1rAe_LKv-46_wfE3AWTRbj6Zo-qfFlbb6&ll=52.27589350479349%2C4.575567802424985&z=12