Spring has finally sprung in The Netherlands. As the temperatures creep upwards, the country wakes up from its wintry slumber, dusts itself down and heads out to enjoy the sunshine. This is great news for flower lovers. In the land of tulips, springtime brings rich displays of flowers in vivid technicolour – the prettiest way to celebrate the change of season. At Booking.com, we’ve put together a list of the best places to enjoy nature’s dazzling palette, along with some tips for where to stay.
A carpet of tulips at the Keukenhof Gardens
Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Any self-respecting tulip connoisseur will know the name of Keukenhof. This legendary park is home to 32 hectares of fabulous flowerbeds, with seven million bulbs in jaw-dropping bloom. It’s open for two months a year – from late March to late May – and each year there’s a different theme. For 2017, it’s Dutch Design, so expect to see Mondrian-type patterns in primary colours, all made up of petals.
Once you’ve had your fill of flowerbeds, it’s time to find a real bed – so why not try Noordwijk, just down the road? Both Vakantiepark Duinrust and De Gouden Spar have comfortable, quiet bungalows that Booking.com guests rate highly for their cleanliness and staff.
Visit the Amsterdam Tulip Festival in spring
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam has always been synonymous with tulips – but in recent times, these iconic flowers have had less of a presence on the streets of the Dutch capital. The Amsterdam Tulip Festival aims to change all that. Running from 1st April to mid-May, this celebration of the national flower involves one tulip for every Amsterdammer – that’s 800,000 blooms planted in beds and pots around the city. Pick up a festival guide to check out all the planting locations.
When it comes to places to stay, it’s hard to beat the location of Hampshire Hotel - Amsterdam American, a grand, listed building right on Leidseplein. If you’ve got the pockets to push the boat out, check out Room Mate Aitana, a spectacular design hotel right on the riverside.
The festive flower parade of Bloemencorso, Haarlem
Haarlem, The Netherlands
If the idea of tulips sitting in static beds don’t quite cut it for you, then it sounds like you’re in need of a flower parade. During Bloemencorso, a fleet of flowery floats trundles from Noordwijk to Haarlem, cheered on by rows of smiling spectators. Starting in the morning, it follows a 42-km route that ends up in Haarlem at nightfall, when marching bands usher the parade into town. It’s lively, colourful and a whole lot of fun. After a day’s flower-based festivities, you’ll be grateful for a comfortable bed within a short walk of the parade.
Booking.com guests who loved Haarlem’s flowers also had a great experience at Van der Valk Hotel and Amrâth Grand Hotel Frans Hals. Both of them score high for comfort and cleanliness, so you’ll be sure of a good night’s rest.
Take a road trip along the Noordoostpolder tulip route
Noordoostpolder, The Netherlands
The Noordoostpolder tulip route makes for a lovely little road trip, full of fresh air, stunning colours and wonderful photo opportunities. Along this 100-km route, you’ll pass fields carpeted with vivid bulbs, as well as wine tastings, galleries and little towns with their own slices of flower-based artwork.
One such town is Kraggenburg, a quaint village typical of the Flevoland area.
It’s here that you’ll find Hotel van Saaze, a hotel frequented by Booking.com guests who loved the Noordoostpolder tulip route. This cosy hotel gets rave reviews for its friendly staff and value for money. For a waterfront hotel complete with sauna and gym, our guests plump for Hotel Emmeloord, located right in the middle of Noordoostpolder.