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Alternative ways to enjoy tulips in the Amsterdam Area

Amsterdam’s tulips are spectacular. In spring, the whole region erupts in a rainbow of beautiful blooms. Flower enthusiasts head to Keukenhof to see the colour-blocked fields, but there are other hidden gems around the Amsterdam Area for flower-spotting. Head off the beaten path to these hidden gems for flower and fruit picking, festivals, auctions and more. Here are a few places to dodge the crowds and see some of the world’s most breathtaking blossoms.

Flevoland’s tulip route

Image from Li Sen

If you’re looking for a more serene place to marvel at the incredible Dutch flower fields, head to Flevoland. The region boasts 5,000 hectares of tulip fields, festivals, unique activities and millions of colourful blooms that spring up on land that was once the seafloor of the Zuiderzee. Check out the walking, cycling and driving itineraries through the Tulip Route Flevoland to experience its flower-blanketed landscape. Along the way, you can participate in various activities including painting workshops and farm tours.

Tulpen Route Flevoland | 7 April - 5 May

Watch the flower auction at FloraHolland Aalsmeer

Image from Cris Toala Olivares

Adrenaline junkies can seek a thrill with a difference at the Royal Flower Auction in Aalsmeer. The mammoth indoor market near Schiphol Airport is the beating heart of the Netherlands’ international flower trade and has the pulsating energy to prove it. Get up early and arrive by 7:00 to see the vibrant auction in full swing, with seasoned traders buying and selling millions of flowers. Watch crates overflowing with more than 30,000 species of flowers and plants shuttle across the trading floor as the best bounty of blossoms goes to the highest bidders. There’s even a free app you can download that offers an audio tour to help you follow the action. 

Find out everything you need to know about visiting the auction here.

Royal Flora Holland | Monday-Friday, 7:00-11:00 (Thursday 07:00-09:00)

Annemieke’s Pluktuin

picking garden, tulips
Image from Annemieke's Pluktuin

At Annemieke’s 3,000-square-metre picking garden, you can wander the expansive grounds and create your own bouquets. Take the time to admire the fantastic variety of flowers and choose an assortment of colours and scents that speak to you. Annemieke specialises in tulips, which bloom in the spring, but with more than 300 different kinds of flowers, the gorgeous fields also blossom in the summer. Picking flowers at Keukenhof is strictly forbidden, so Annemieke’s offers a hands-on experience that will appeal to your inner florist. You can also rent a kayak and use the provided map to appreciate the beautiful blooms from the water.

Annemieke’s Pluktuin | open daily from the end of March onwards, 09:00-16:00

Fruittuin van West

Family and kids picking fruit at Fruittuin van West
Image from Amie Galbraith

This organic orchard and fruit farm in Nieuw-West is just outside the centre of Amsterdam, but it feels genuinely scenic. Chickens, pigs and grazing cows add to its pastoral charm. The 6.5-hectare orchard grows 20 different kinds of fruit that visitors can pick from June to October. When you arrive, you’re given a crate and pointed to the rows of trees and plants that hang heavy with plump, sweet treats. Pick and pluck as much as you think you can manage and then pay at the register on the way out. There’s also a delightful garden cafe where you can enjoy pizza that’s been freshly cooked in a clay oven or spend time getting cosy by the campfire on the terrace. 

Fruittuin van West | Tom Schreursweg 48, Nieuw-West

Responsible behaviour when touring the flower fields

Gardener man planting tulip bulbs in Keukenhof gardens 2022
Image from laurens lindhout

When exploring the tulip gardens of Amsterdam, make sure to stick to the paths and follow the farm rules. Walking across the fields can crush or damage the flowers. If a tulip plant is trampled, it will not produce a bulb large enough to be sold, so staying out of the fields is essential. It takes a tremendous amount of work to cultivate the eye-pleasing lines of flowers, and everyone who visits should respect the flowers and the farmers who have invested so much time, effort, expense and love into the fields.