Fields explode with colour as the Netherlands' tulip festival arrives

3 mins
22 Feb 2023
Dutch Tulip field

Holland’s famous tulip season is celebrated as one of the most beautiful floral phenomena in the world

image JacobH / Getty

words Lucy O'Brien

Welcome to Wanderlust Wonders: each week we’ll be cleansing your feed with a feel-good snapshot of somewhere beautiful, both in and out of this world.

This week we’re taking you to tulip festival season, where the bright and colourful flowers are enjoyed by millions of people across the Netherlands.


What am I looking at…

Dutch tulips are perhaps the most famous of flowers and it’s not so hard to see why. Every March, as the days stretch longer and the sun begins to foster the revival of Spring flora, Dutch fields transform into a triumphant, technicolour display composed of thousands of tulips. Meticulously planted by farmers, the plants grow in the aesthetically pleasing, colour-coordinated rows that create the trippy, rainbow-road-like plots that you see above. The tulips, once fully grown, are distributed across cities and towns, culminating in the highlight of the season: Amsterdam’s annual Tulip Festival.

Tell me more…

This year, Tulip Festival begins on 23 March 2023, which allows tourists to visit the serene fields and gardens where tulip blossoming is underway. The festival stretches all the way through to 14 May, but according to organisers, the peak time to see the tulip fields in their full glory will be between mid-April and early May. In fact, local enthusiasts track the lifespan and activities of the blooming flowers, releasing regular updates to help inform incoming visitors in their flower forecasting report – wholesome AF, right?

The 2 month festival sees the city decked out in mesmerising displays of the multicoloured flowers, while public gardens and fields open their doors to welcome tourists for guided tours of their landscapes. The peak of the festival culminates in the annual Flower Parade, which, this year, will take place on Saturday 22 April (fun fact: this year will be the 76th celebration of its kind!) In the parade, tulips are used to create magnificent sculptures and parade floats, which are enjoyed by thousands of onlookers as they are debuted through the streets of the capital city. If this isn’t your sign to book that well-deserved city break, we don't know what is.

Is tulip season under threat, and how can we help it?

Known as the “low-lying country”, the Netherlands is renowned for its abnormally flat landscape. This does mean, however, that the country struggles to naturally cope with excessive rainfall and flooding. Climate change has brought the country more erratic weather and unprecedented rain – so much so that in 2020, the country’s most popular tulip field destination, Keukenhof, had to plant 30% more flowers in order to maintain output levels of the previous year.

Nevertheless, there is hope for the Dutch tulip industry. Post-pandemic increase in travel has boosted tourism in the Netherlands during tulip season, feeding a better-equipped economy to foster the continued farming and trading of the internationally-adored flowers. Thankfully for us, tulip season won't be going anywhere anytime soon!

Best views from the grid

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