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I would like to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands.

Where and when is the best time to do it? (after the flower blooms and before the crop) Is it possible to go by public transportation or is it better to do it by car?

tulip fields, the Netherlands persons in tulip fields

Is there a train that crosses those fields?

train in tulip fields

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3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

IIRC, you can see some flower fields from the “Oude Lijn” so from trains going between Haarlem and Leiden (which includes some but not all trains between Amsterdam and Rotterdam).

The Keukenhof is a park devoted to tulips and other flowers. It's itself located in this tulip growing area (the Bollenstreek or “bulb region”) so if you don't mind the entrance price, you could go there, see many tulips in the park itself but also in the fields around it. It's open for two months, corresponding approximately to the bloom season but there is often less to see at the very beginning and at the very end of the period so late April is probably the best time. There are busses going there during the season.

Holland.com (in Dutch) also recommends the second half of April and lists three main areas: between Leiden and Den Helder (that's the one I mentioned before), near Enkhuizen, and finally Flevoland.

Do realize that most photographs deliberately make it all look bigger and more dramatic than it really is. As you can see on your aerial picture, many flower fields are relatively small and lie between buildings, roads and other cultures (or at least non-blooming flowers). The colors are altered too (see comment).

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5  
Also note that the saturation levels have been significantly altered in all of the photos. The flowers look much more bland in real life. –  JonathanReez Feb 11 '14 at 4:29
    
@JonathanReez true. Also the angle of the photo that shows a nice landscape. If you're at the tulip level you probably wont get these perspectives a flower extensions. –  nsn Mar 24 '14 at 17:43

Annoyed already answered most of your questions (he recalled correctly) but I wanted to add some extra info.

A nice bonus to the flower season is the annual "bloemencorso" this is a parade, much like a typical carnival parade in other parts of europe, but with the cars all done up in flowers. This year it is held on the the 3rd of may, so at the end of flower season. It is not optimal to combine with the flowers in the field (because those field flowers are used to make the cars) but if you come a week or so early you can combine the two.

If you are in the Netherlands, and want to enjoy the tulips "the dutch way" then there is no better way than by bike of course! Follow the "bollenroute". Start at Leiden train station, rent a bike there and off you go! At the far point you reach the keukenhof so you can combine the ride with a visit there. It is a 37 km ride, which may or may not suit your fitness level, but if the weather is nice this is absolutely the best way to enjoy the tulip fields! Two things to keep in mind before you decide that biking is not for you:

  • The Netherlands is flat as a pancake. The highest point you reach on this route is probably 5 or 10 meters above sea level (on a high bridge somewhere), and the lowest is probably 2 or 3 meters below.
  • You should check this, but there is a good chance that they rent out e-bikes at the train station.
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+1 Great sugestion. 37Km both ways or just one way? –  nsn Feb 11 '14 at 17:14
    
37km round trip –  jilles de wit Feb 11 '14 at 21:54

For the best view on the fields, take a tour.
As the tour drivers check on the fields and keep each other updated, you have the best chance of seeing the best views of the fields.

Most fields are 'harvested' as soon as all flowers are open, as the flowers are cut off to improve the growth of the bulbs to get a better flower next year.
That means that most fields are only in flower for a few days, so it is hard to get a good view with many fields in flower by random choice or by accident.

There are flower fields along most of the western coast of the Netherlands north of the Hague, and there is a train line running through most of that area, but not all fields are convenient close to the railway line.

The spring flowers bloom, depending on the kind and the weather, from February to June, with April as most likely to see a good selection of fields.
In the rest of the year you might see other flowers. In the same areas there are growers who develop new variations or who just propagate for selling the plants, and for cut flowers. In some cases the flower stems will be cut before the flowers open until there are too many coming to the market and the cost of harvesting is bigger than the money they sell for. This makes for unexpected fields full of flowers. So any time you are traveling in the Netherlands you should keep your eyes open, as you might see 'fields full of flowers'.

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