When it comes to tulip fields in Amsterdam, everyone knows about Lisse and the Keukenhof… but what about some of the lesser explored Amsterdam tulip spots?
Where are they, how do you get there, which farms should you visit and what else can you do around?
Guaranteed to get you away from the crowds, I’m going to let you in on a secret about the Amsterdam tulip fields hardly any tourists know about!
These hidden gems offer beautiful tulip sights, along with a great authentic dose of Dutch culture, and you won’t need to be battling hundreds of other tourists to get the perfect shot.
Which means also means they’re a super budget alternative too!
And while you’re enjoying the tulips in Amsterdam, why not experience the beautiful lilac season around this city too?
After all, it coincides perfectly with tulip season!
The ideal way to get your full floral dose around the Dutch capital, here’s my guide to the alternative tulips fields in Amsterdam and lilac loveliness you can’t miss either!
- When is Amsterdam’s Tulip Season?
- Why Zaandam is the Trendy Place to Stay in Amsterdam
- Full Travel Guide to the Amsterdam Coast
My trip to Beemster and Aalsmeer was sponsored by Amsterdam&Partners but, as always, all views are my own.
This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
Amsterdam Tulip Fields: Away the Crowds
So the best place to enjoy the tulips in Amsterdam away from the crowds, is the gorgeous area of Beemster.
Set just north of the capital, with a population of around 10,000 people, this rural and traditional area feels a million miles from the busy and bustling city centre of Amsterdam.
But with its quaint windmills, plethora of canals and rows upon rows of tulip fields in Spring, it’s undeniably Dutch!
What’s more, in Beemster, they actually grow tulips… and not just for the benefit of Instagram photos or the delight of tourists!
Instead, in this rich agricultural area, they cultivate tulips for their precious bulbs, which are then sold around the world.
This means the Amsterdam tulip experience you’ll have here already feels far more genuine and authentic than in some other places – in Beemster you’ll visit real live, working tulip farms!
In addition to the tulips, which are of course, very seasonal, these farms also grow a variety of other crops across the year and raise animals too, so if you’re travelling as a family, visiting a Beemster farm can be a great experience year round.
When it comes to recommendations, the Nicolaashoeve Farm is a great option for quiet tulip fields.
You can book farm tours at this family-run business year round and, from late March to early May, they have some beautiful colourful fields of tulips that are perfect for admiring and snapping!
If it’s been rainy and you ask really nicely, they may even lend you some wellies!
And yes, I’m talking from personal experience here!
I ended up spending over an hour in the wonderful fields of Nicholaashoeve Farm, photographing the pink and purple tulips to my heart’s content and, best of all, I did not see another tourist!
So if you want to escape the crowds, but still enjoy some wonderful Amsterdam tulips views, then I highly recommend the area of Beemster.
How to Get to Beemster?
You can easily access the Beemster area from Amsterdam by bus, which will take you to Middenbeemster in around 35 minutes.
And then, once there, I highly recommend picking up an electric vehicle to explore the area.
As this is a quite rural region, public transport is limited, so having your own wheels (extra points if it’s a carbon-friendly option!) is a great idea.
While bikes are, of course, part of the fabric of Dutch life, if you’re travelling with bags, or the weather is a little inclement and you want to stay dry, then I highly recommend an electric Twizy vehicle instead.
Absolutely hilarious to drive, these tiny 2 seater vehicles are the perfect way to whizz around Beemster visiting as many tulips fields and windmills as you wish!
Rent yours by the day from the Fort Resort Beemster, or opt for a rented electric scooter or an eBike from them instead.
Where to Stay and Eat in Beemster?
And talking of the Fort Resort Beemster – if you’re looking to lap up this area with some well-being thrown in for good measure, this amazing spa is a top place to stay.
Locally and independently owned and quirkily set within a UNESCO-listed fort that dates from the 1800’s, the place was converted in 2011-13.
This beautiful spot is now a well-renowned wellness facility that attracts both overnight and daytime visitors, thanks to its array of indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, steam and treatment rooms.
17 double rooms keep the intimate and personal feel of this amazing space and, best of all, is the private hideaway island room that boasts its own private sauna and jacuzzi.
And if it’s lunch you’re after in the Beemster area, rather than somewhere to eat, I highly recommend heading to local favourite De Kerckhaen for a great feed,
This unique bar come café come restaurant feels very Dutch, but also kinda lowkey hipster with its blend of traditional and trendy sitting just right.
Enjoy mustard soup, cheese croquettes and other classic regional foods all washed down with a yummy local apple juice or beer.
Beyond Tulips in Beemster
But Beemster isn’t just for tulips!
If you have a couple of days to spend in this area, then you cannot miss the chance to try some of the other amazing products that originate from the area.
First up, it pays to know that Beemster cheese is famous across the Netherlands and sampling a slice (if not buying a fat wedge!) is a must while you’re here!
Friendly Kaasboerderij Groot is the place to go in my opinion, where buttermilk and cheese is sold straight from a small farm shop in the same location where it is produced.
Family-run and brimming with locals who bustle in and out the store with a friendly wave and greeting, this is a delightful dose of Dutch charm at its best.
And how about visiting a local windmill to see how these national emblems have helped traditionally mill flour for hundreds of years?
Once filled with 43 windmills, Beemster now just boasts 2 and the De Nachtegaal is the top one I recommend you visit.
Still operational and producing flour in the old way, we got an amazing local-led tour here and even got to climb up into the rafters to see how all this windmill wonder works!
Lilacs in Amsterdam
As I mentioned in the introduction, it’s not just all about the tulips in Amsterdam in spring.
Because did you know they also have a gorgeous lilac season here too, which coincides wonderfully with the tulip time in Amsterdam!
Yes these purple beauties both smell and look amazing, and learning more about how they are produced and the huge amount of labour that goes into growing them, was fascinating.
Now I totally understand why lilacs are so expensive!
But where to check out the lilac season around Amsterdam?
The only place to go in my opinion is Aalsmeer – the heart of lilac country both in the Netherlands and globally!
Just south of Amsterdam, Aalsmmer is a small town just under an hour from Amsterdam and is certainly the place to see and learn about these beautiful blooms.
Grab a train from the city centre and then a bus or 30 minute taxi.
I advise buying an Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, which allows you to use public transport in Amsterdam and surrounding areas.
Once in Aalsmeer, the best way to get around is by renting a bike or on foot.
If you do get here early, don’t miss the famous Aalsmeer Flower Market which runs until 10am, 6 days a week.
Otherwise, kick off your day here with a visit to the cute Flower Art Museum.
Established in 2018 and offering a newly curated exhibition every 2-3 months (which is always centered around flowers and nature), this spot is a great introduction to Aalsmeer – the capital of lilacs and the small community here that grows these blooms professionally.
Now sadly a dying trade due to the intensity and demands of the heavy work, your visit to the Historical Gardens in Aalsmeer is a great way to meet ex-growers and discover the back-breaking labour that goes into lilac production., as well as the history and future of this gorgeous flower.
Did you know there are over 170 species of lilac, and that it’s the rich, peat soil around Aalsmeer, as well as the excellent canal water supply, that makes this area perfect for their production.
Finally, complete the Aalsmeer picture with a canal cruise, care of Westeinder Rondvaart, to meet the modern day lilac farmers at Kramer Seringen and to visit their greenhouses filled with blooms, which smell like heaven on earth!
If you’ve ever bought cut lilacs, it’s likely they came from Aalsmeer – this is the only place in the world where lilacs are grown for flower alone and is thanks to the novel indoor greenhouse blooming technique in winter they adopted here generations ago.
Then, to round off the day, what better way to end your time in Aalsmer than with a spot of lunch or dinner?
And if you fancy staying in Aalsmeer, my top pick is hotel De Jonge Heertjes. Located in the heart of this town, it also boasts a lively bar and great breakfast buffet.
Mini Travel Guide to the Amsterdam Flower Season
How to Travel to Amsterdam?
If you want to enjoy both Beemster and Aalsmeer, the best option is to travel to Amsterdam first and then make your way to these 2 areas by public transport or car.
From London, I highly recommend travelling by Eurostar, which goes directly from St Pancras International to Amsterdam Centraal.
The heart of one city to another in just under 4 hours!
Book your tickets here.
If you’re travelling from elsewhere in the UK to Amsterdam, or from further afield, then KLM Airlines – the national Dutch carrier – are your best choice for flying. Get the best deal here.
They offer hundreds of flights daily into Amsterdam’s Schipol airport from around the world (including from London City Airport), which really does make KLM the best way to get to the Netherlands by air.
When to Visit?
There’s no question that the best time to enjoy Amsterdam’s tulips and lilacs is in April.
Learn more in this full post I wrote about when to experience the flower season in and around this city.
How Long to Stay?
If you’re looking to enjoy Amsterdam’s tulips and lilacs in Beemster and Aalsmeer, then I’d suggest a 2 night stay outside the city, so you can enjoy both areas fully.
This is a great way to extend your time in Amsterdam and to get away from the crowds and see more of what typical Dutch areas around the capital have to offer.
Don’t forget, it’s also much cheaper to stay outside of the city centre, so you could always base yourself in one of these areas and then day trip to Amsterdam instead if you’re on a budget!
After you check the prices in Amsterdam itself for accommodation and food, you might realise it makes a lot of sense!
Spending Money in The Netherlands
And when it comes to paying for things in Amsterdam, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise Card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups, no sneaky transaction fees and a free Euros account, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card in The Netherlands and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Get yours here.
Travel Insurance for Amsterdam
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
5 Packing Essentials for Amsterdam’s Flower Season
- Camera – you’ll want something to snap those Amsterdam tulips with.
- Straw Hat – we are living in an Instagram world and I’m an Instagram girl!
- Rain Jacket – you just never know in the Netherlands!
- Tripod – crucial if you’re flying solo and want to get some great tulip pics.
- Day Pack – key for keeping all things for your day trips organised and in one place.
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So that’s my guide to the alternative spot for top tulip fields in Amsterdam, as well as how to also enjoy the lovely lilac season while you’re here too!
Have I convinced you to dodge the Keukenhof yet?!
I hope so!
With fewer crowds and a much lower price tag, it’s a no brainer in my opinion!
Have any questions about visiting Beemster or Aalsmeer?
Just drop them into the comments box below and I’ll get back to you…