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.

Here are five places where you can dodge the crowds and see some of the world’s most breathtaking blossoms:

Flevoland’s tulip route

Flower fields in Flevoland

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 take part in a range of activities including painting workshops and farm tours.

10 April - 5 May // tulpenrouteflevoland.nl

See the flower auction at FloraHolland Aalsmeer

Aalsmeer flower tulip auction

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 millions of flowers being bought and sold by seasoned traders. 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. 

FloraHolland flower auction // Legmeerdijk 313, Aalsmeer

Annemieke’s Pluktuin

Annemiekes picking garden

At Annemieke’s 3,000-square-metre picking garden you can wander the expansive grounds and create your very own bouquets. Take the time to admire the amazing variety of flowers and choose an assortment of colours and scents that speaks to you. Annemieke’s 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’s sure to 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 // Haarlemmerstraat 15A, Hillegom

Hortus Botanicus, Leiden

The Netherlands’ oldest botanical garden, Leiden’s Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Gardens) dates back to the 16th century and is a true wonder, offering roughly 10,000 varieties of plant and dozens of species of bird from all over the world. The peaceful Japanese garden, lush rose terrace, tropical greenhouse and other horticultural hideouts make this an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hortus Botanicus Leiden // hortusleiden.nl // Rapenburg 73, Leiden

Fruittuin van West

This organic orchard and fruit farm in Amsterdam's Nieuw-West is just outside the centre of Amsterdam but it feels truly 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, Amsterdam

Responsible behaviour when touring the flower fields

Flower fields CC BY 2.0 nikontino via Flickr

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 it is important to stay out of the fields. It takes a tremendous amount of work to cultivate the eye-pleasing lines of flowers, and everyone who visits should be respectful of the flowers and the farmers who have invested so much time, effort, expense and love into the fields.

Discover more ways to see spectacular Dutch flowers in the Amsterdam Area.