The arrival of tulip bulbs and blooms is certainly among the top Amsterdam attractions—a hotly anticipated event by tourists and Dutch locals alike. On this Keukenhof Tour, we will see the vivid flower in many different roles: behind-the-scenes as we pass rows of bulbs being cultivated in the tulip fields, and front-and-center in the stunning displays at the gardens. Due to the vital role of the tulip industry during Holland’s most notable period of economic success and colonial activity, the flowers are still irreversibly associated with the country today. This tour looks at the historical roots of our ongoing fascination with this simple and beautiful symbol.
Due to seasonal scheduling at the Keukenhof, this experience is available for a limited period each spring.
Traveling to the renowned gardens of the Keukenhof, we will make our way by car from Amsterdam via tulip fields south of Haarlem. This region is the center of today’s tulip industry, and the short drive from the city takes us quickly into the heart of the blooming tulip fields. Along the way, we will delve into the history of tulips in the Netherlands, leading to the heightened "tulipmania" of the early 17th century, when the bulbs were highly sought after and very expensive before a subsequent market crash. (For more on this period of history, see our Dutch Golden Age Tour
.) Together, we will explore the historical effects of this inflated marketplace, while also discussing the development of industrialized farming in the area and the continued importance of floriculture for Holland’s economy in the 21st century.
In Full Bloom
Once we arrive at the gardens, the full splendor and lush colors of the floral displays will illustrate how this perennial bulb has been elevated to highbrow status in the Netherlands. As we wander through the garden paths, we will consider the architectural choices and themes of this year’s landscaping and the contemporary cultural implications of this curated space, as well as the relationship between nature, art, and science that find its nexus in gardens. Inextricably linked to national identity, the vibrant blooms at the Keukenhof have been arranged in intricate, swirling patterns and designs in a broad palette of colors worthy of any master artist. It is this attention to detail and aesthetics that truly reveals the love of the Dutch for their tulips, since the season is eagerly awaited but fleeting. By June, the petals have mostly fallen and passionate horticulturists begin looking ahead to next spring, when the gardens bloom again. After returning to Amsterdam by car, why not relax on our Amsterdam Beer Tour
When is the best time to go to see the tulips? Will they be in bloom during my visit?
The tulip season is roughly the end of March to early May. It depends on the weather each year; if spring is unseasonably warm, the blooming period can start earlier. If spring is delayed, so are the tulips. Around mid-March, we usually have a sense of how close the season is to beginning. We can recommend Weekly Flower Update
as an online resource. The best time to visit is generally April. Another good indication of tulips in bloom in Holland is the opening period of the Keukenhof, which signals the arrival of the season.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
You will be picked up and dropped off at your accommodation in Amsterdam.
Does the 4-hour duration include travel time to and from Keukenhof Gardens? Is the cost of the car included?
Yes, travel time is included and the cost is a flat rate including transportation.
Can groups larger than 7 book this tour?
Yes. Please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org for a custom quote that includes a larger vehicle.