Anyone who loves flowers or history will love traveling to Amsterdam in the spring. The small country of Holland has a larger-than-life attitude every spring when it shows off its gorgeous colors and far-ranging fields of tulips. If visiting Amsterdam during tulip season is on your bucket list, now is your chance to cross it off as you pack your suitcase and make room in your day pack for your tablet and, of course, your camera as you make memories of your once-in-a-lifetime visit.
The History of Amsterdam’s Tulips
Tulips were originally cultivated in what is now present-day Turkey, but they made their way into Holland in the 1500s. As increasing numbers of people began growing them and books were written about them, a type of tulip-mania started among the people who loved the flower’s bright colors as well as the hardy tulip’s ability to grow in the sometimes harsh Dutch climate. For quite some time, tulips were seen as luxury items, and they have certainly helped to plump up the country’s economy over the years.
Visiting Amsterdam During Tulip Season
Today, Holland is still incredibly well-known for its tulips. Nearly everyone has seen photographs of enormous, brightly colored tulip fields. If you want to take part in just a bit of the history of the area and enjoy a vacation that you will long remember, a trip to Amsterdam in the spring will give you a great way to admire the natural beauty around this metropolitan area.
Tulip season is generally considered to be at its peak here from the middle of April through the first week of May. However, periods before and after this will also yield spectacular results on your camera. For example, coming a bit earlier in March will give you a chance to enjoy crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths. Timing your trip for the tail end of tulip season will let you simultaneously enjoy late-blooming lilies and dahlias.
The Tulip Festival is usually a month-long extravaganza every April that gives visitors plenty of ways to welcome spring. Public areas filled with tulips are free to visit, and dozens of other museum gardens and fields can be visited for a small fee.
Amsterdam’s Must-See Spots During Tulip Season
While many of the largest tulip fields are located outside the city, Amsterdam has plenty to offer when it comes to tulip season. One of the most notable gardens is Keukenhof, which opens every spring. Known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof is easily accessible by train from Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam Flower Market is another great option. Located on Singel, the Bloemenmarkt is a popular spot for tourists as well as for residents who are looking for bright blooms.
The Amsterdam Tulip Museum is located in the Jordaan district. This is a great place to learn about the history of the tulip and how it made its way from the Ottoman Empire to the Low Countries. Plus, the Cabinet of Curiosities offers a glance at some of the oddest tulip items you will ever see.
Finding Unique Ways to Enjoy Amsterdam’s Tulips
If you are looking for something a bit more unusual on your spring trip to Amsterdam, consider one of the following options for taking in the beauty of these flowers. A helicopter ride out of Amsterdam will take you on a glorious flight over the countryside’s large tulip fields. If you prefer a more strenuous option that will get you out into nature, you can bike from Amsterdam into the Flower Strip, which is a 20 kilometer length of flower fields. Finally, enjoy the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek, a parade honoring spring with floats crafted from colorful blooms.
Staying in Amsterdam
If you just cannot soak in enough tulips during your day trips, pack your suitcases for a stay in one of Amsterdam’s finest hotels near the tulip fields and flower markets. One of the best hotels near Keukenhof is Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin. If you prefer to stay closer to the heart of Amsterdam, the Boutique Hotel View offers gorgeous views of Holland’s canals. If you would like an upscale experience, the Amstel Hotel Amsterdam and Art’otel Amsterdam celebrate the local culture.
Organize Your Essentials Inside the Swissgear 6283 Luggage
When staying in any hotel, be sure to bring softside luggage, such as Swissgear 6283 24.5-Inch Expandable Spinner Luggage, that will stand up to the hardships of intercontinental travel. With plenty of exterior pockets, a convenient telescoping handle, 360-degree spinner wheels and loads of space for toiletries, this roomy option is ideal for a lengthy trip to Amsterdam. For some extra space, use this along with Swissgear’s matching 6283 21-Inch Expandable Carry On Spinner Luggage. This roomy softside bag with a telescoping handle and exterior pockets has plenty of space for holding personal items, such as a sweater or book, on your flight, and it has a convenient ID compartment to help you keep track of your bag at every stop.
Shopping and Eating in Amsterdam
Your trip to Amsterdam will not be complete without getting a chance to taste the local cuisine and pick up a souvenir or two to take back home. For authentic Dutch food, visit The Wooden Shoe Restaurant or DeBoer Bakkerij & Dutch Brothers Restaurant. If you prefer to imbibe during your vacation, head to the New Holland Brewing Restaurant and Pub.
Pack for Your Trip – Swissgear 1651 City Pack Backpack
As you head through Amsterdam, do not forget to pick up a few knick knacks for your loved ones or something special for yourself. Dam Square Souvenirs offers affordable options while De Klompenboer sells traditional Dutch options, such as carved wooden clogs. As you shop, be sure to pack your purchases into a padded day pack. The Swissgear 1651 City Pack Backpack is comfortable enough to wear all day long. Padded shoulder straps, a reinforced handle and airflow technology throughout its padded backpanel make this the smart choice. Plus, plenty of organization pockets will keep your belongings safely separated from your purchases while an ID compartment adds to your security.
Packing for Your Trip to Amsterdam
As you pack for Amsterdam, you will not want to bring so much that your belongings weigh you down, especially if you plan to spend most of your time backpacking in and around the city. A springtime visit means that you will need plenty of layers because mornings and evenings can become quite chilly. Be sure to bring a light scarf and comfortable walking shoes as well as a hat and some sunglasses to keep the sun off your face during your sightseeing tours. Other items to bring include the following:
- Reusable water bottle
- Power adapter
Organize Your Essentials Inside the Swissgear 2661 Dopp Kit
If you are trying to travel lightly, consider packing only a small carry on suitcase and a backpack for your personal items. Be sure to include a dopp kit for toiletries, and pack the smallest size of shampoo, body wash and toothpaste that you can. Consider the Swissgear 2661 Dual Compartment Dopp Kit, which has two waterproof compartments for organization. The webbed handle is strong enough to hold up to years of travel.
A trip to Amsterdam to enjoy the beauty of tulip season is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Once you arrive, you will be able to see the bright colors of springtime blooms in your hotel lobby, throughout the shopping districts and everywhere else you go. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or you have never left your country before now, Amsterdam will certainly not fail to impress you.