Things to know before visiting the Tulip Fields in the Netherlands
Every year from the middle of April to the beginning of May, the Netherlands turns into a veritable flower paradise. Driving across the country, you will see countless fields of tulips in every colour of the rainbow. So where do you go to get those iconic tulip field pictures? What props do you need to bring? And how do you get the best result without damaging the tulips? Read on to find an answer to all the questions.
First things first, what are the ground rules of shooting in tulip fields?
Tulips are big business. Yes, you are reading that right: business. They are the bread and butter of many farmers and should be treated as such. There are reports of farmers around the Lisse area losing up to half of their crops due to visitors ransacking their fields to “get the shot”.
So here are a couple of rules to abide by:
1. Never pick flowers from a field. Bring your own cut flowers as props.
2. Never trample flowers. The flowers are planted in rows, you can easily walk between the fields without stepping on a single flower. Never walk, jump or run into the actual tulip bed itself. You can easily edit your pictures and add flowers in so it seems like you are sitting in a flower bed. This can be done with the crop-tool in lightroom.
3. If you want to bring a tripod, great! Just be aware that you will not be able to place it between the flowerbeds but only at the head of the flower bed (again out of risk of damaging the flowers).
Next up: When is the best time to visit the tulip fields?
Every year the tulips bloom from the middle of April to the beginning of May.
Note: The tulips in the south of the Netherlands are cut end of April, those in the North stay a little longer and are usually cut at the beginning of May.
Now then, where can I find tulip fields to shoot in?
You can find tulips all over the country. The most well-known ones are the following:
The largest fields can be found in Flevoland (Noordoostpolder).
This is also the location of the Tulipfestival. Check out the dates here.
The most well known park is Keukenhof and the most well known are is not surprising the area around Keukenhof, called Lisse.
The park has 7 million tulip bulbs, a windmill and many quintessential Dutch elements. Entrance tickets cost 17€ for adults.
If you want to explore this area there is no better way than to rent a bike. You can do so online here. Bikes cost about 15€ for a full day rental, they usually come with a map that indicates the routes you can take.
If you want to go “by the book”, you can book a visit at a flower farm. I visited the team at famflowerfarm and booked my visit online. The team is well versed in the world of instagram, and provides a lot of fun props (a bicycle, plenty of hats and baskets and a wide array of freshly cut flowers).
Lesser known fields can be found on the little island of Goeree-Overflakkee (Roughly 45 minutes south of Rotterdam). The upside is that this location is a lot less know and thus has less tourists. This in turns means that the farmers are more open to you taking pictures in their fields. The best guide I have found so far for this location was made by fellow travel bloggers Salt In Our Hair. Check out their detailed article and map here.
What should I bring/wear?
Honestly, that is up to you and the style of pictures you want to take.
What you do need to take into account is that this time of year has a lot of rain so the chances are high you will be walking around muddy fields. My footwear of choice was sandals, easy to clean in bad weather and looks nice under a dress.
Long flowy dresses are beautiful, however they are difficult to navigate in the fields (especially when the fields are muddy). If a dress is your clothing of choice, consider going for ankle length or even knee length. Trust me, it will make things easier.
Make sure to bring pre-cut flowers with you if you want to use flowers as props. Tulips can be bought in flower shops, supermarkets or even gas stations all around the Netherlands during the tulip season. The average price for a bunch of tulips is around 5€.
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