Spring has sprung and I’m loving it! In the Netherlands this means you’ll be able to find loads of flower fields on the country side. After all we are the main export country for flowers worldwide. And living here means we are the first ones who get to see all of that glory of nature!
It’s my third year of taking pictures in the fields and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. The past couple of weeks I received a lot of messages on Instagram, asking for tips on where and when to go and how to take pictures. So I figured this would make a good topic for a blog post.
I’m not a tourism board or writing for one, so don’t get mad at me if anything I say is different than your own experiences 😉
I wrote some of the most important points below! Hope you’ll find them useful on your trip to the flower fields in the Netherlands.
When to go
This is always tricky, because we are talking about nature! But in general it’s good to look at how everything is developing. I’ve found that usually nature blooms in this order: first cherry trees and magnolias, then come the hyacinths and daffodils, then the tulips. The pictures in today’s post were taken in a hyacinth field as you can see. This year they were blooming on 3 April, which is a lot earlier than last year, when I took my hyacinth picture on 17 April. I took a picture in the tulip fields on 5 May and, so about 2 weeks later. I remember the tulips were already almost gone, so if I went a couple of days earlier (say 1,5 week after my hyacinth picture) it would have been better. The year before that I posted 5 May, but remember taking the picture a bit earlier because it was for a campaign.
So what am I even saying, when are the tulips blooming? Probably 1 – 2 weeks from now, again, depending on nature! I understand this is really hard if you want to plan a trip around visiting the flower fields in the Netherlands. But let’s say you’re always safe to go mid April, “worst case scenario” you’ll see the daffodils and hyacinths blooming instead of the tulips, but I promise you they’re gorgeous too! And if you plan on going end of April instead you’re in for a treat, on 27 April we celebrate the King’s birthday, which is probably our biggest national holiday and definitely a once in a lifetime experience 😉 Hint: bring something orange to wear.
Where to go
This is a tricky one too! De Keukenhof is the most famous location for seeing the tulips, but you won’t actually be able to stand in the fields and take pictures there. Most of the flower fields you can go in are privately owned by farmers. The flowers are pretty to look at, but to the farmers the bulbs are more important as they are used for selling. So you can imagine that most farmers don’t actually like it when tourists run through their fields, trampling the bulbs they want to sell. These days most farmers have put up a sign asking you to not run through their fields and stay in the lanes. Some farmers even put fences around their fields, so you won’t be able to go in anymore.
Luckily there are farms that actually like it when you visit. One of those farms is Fam Flower Farm, which is pretty famous on Instagram right now. You can book a visit with them and they’ll make it into a nice experience, with tea, cookies and props for your pictures. If they are fully booked you can of course risk visiting the area around de Keukenhof – this is what I did in the previous years as well. There are plenty of open fields to be found around there. Just make sure you have permission to go in. Last year I was lucky enough to stumble upon the farmer working in the fields, so I could ask him. This year I was better prepared: a friend of mine has a farmer boyfriend who I got to call for a visit.
Other practical info
The fields are all a little bit in the middle of nowhere, so it will make for a good day trip. Just bring enough food, drinks and warm clothes with you. I know it may seem like the weather’s nice in all those beautiful pictures on Instagram, but April can be really chilly in the Netherlands. Yup, I’m to blame too, I wanted to wear this gorgeous floral dress, butt I’m actually freezing my *** off in these pictures 😉