Our tulips

The Northeast Polder is one of the largest tulip areas in the Netherlands. Every year in April and May, the colourful fields bloom again and the annual Tulip Festival Noordoostpolder is organised. The tulip is a special product. On this page, we would like to tell you more about it. You will learn more about the tulip's origins, why it is so important not to enter the tulip fields and why tulips are 'tipped'. We also give tips on where you can admire the tulips up close. Will you come and admire our tulips this year?

Please note: tulip time 2024 is over.
Our tulip farmers look forward to welcoming you again in 2025.

Tulip Fesitval Noordoostpolder

13th April - 28th April

Every autumn, tulip bulbs are put in the ground in lots of fields in the Northeast Polder. And yes, it is then a matter of waiting to see what the weather does and when they will flower in spring. In February or March, a good estimate of that can be made and the start and end dates for the annual Tulip Festival Noordoostpolder are set. This year that will be from Saturdayday 13 April to Sunday 5 May. We are so excited!

Find out for yourself - This is what the tulip festival is all about


The high point of the year!

Every year the Noordoostpolder hosts a Tulip Festival to showcase the great variety of tulips grown in our soil. The main element of the festival is the tulip route, which is different each year. There's a car route of about 100 kilometres long and a bicycle route that takes you along about 40 kilometres of tulip fields. But it's not just driving or cycling past endless fields of tulips. There's more to the Tulip Festival: there’s a multitude of activities for young and old, different each year and announced only about a month before the festival takes place.

Bovenaanzicht van een tulpenveld met oranje en roze tulpen in de Noordoostpolder.

The story behind our tulips

Typically Dutch?

After the land that is now the Noordoostpolder had been reclaimed from the sea in 1942, a large part of the area was dedicated to agriculture. The first tulip bulbs were planten in the sixties. The erstwhile sea bed proved to be furtile ground and very suitable for cultivating tulips. The tulips grow very well because of the minerals in the soil. Many agriculturists have settled in the Noordoostpolder and with around 2000 hectares of tulip fields this polder has become one of the largest tulip areas in the Netherlands, with a production of almost one billion marketable bulbs each year!

The tulip is generally considered to be a typically Dutch flower, but it actually has its origin in Turkey. The word tulip stems from the Latin word Tulipa: the flower that looks like a turban. Sailors brought the tulip to the Netherlands in the sixteenth century, where it quickly became a popular flower among the affluent part of the population. So popular, in fact, that a veritable tulip mania arose: the tulips became increasingly valuable until eventually the entire bulb market collapsed. The tulip trade had become the first economic soap bubble to burst in the Netherlands...

Don't miss it

When do they flower?

Tulips usually flower from mid-April to early May, but exact dates are hard to predict. This stems from the tulip's growth and flowering reacting to weather conditions such as temperature and amount of rain. Also, different tulip species may flower at slightly different times.

Do you want to know when the best time to visit the tulips fields is? Then check out the 'bloomometer' of the Tulip Festival. The flowering percentage is updated daily, but only during the annual tulip festival. It shows you which percentage of the tulips is flowering that day.


Enjoy from a distance

Please don't enter the tulip fields

The entire Noordoostpolder is a feast of colour in spring. Such a beautiful sight! But please enjoy our tulips from a distance and don't enter the fields. If you do enter the fields, you may damage or bring diseases to the tulips, with great consequences for the farmer. You are also not supposed to park your car on the farmers' grounds. This is their private property and their personal living space, which we must respect. Parking alongside the road and taking picures from the road's shoulder is perfectly fine, though. Just make sure to check both ways before crossing the road... 

Immerse yourself

But only where allowed

If you are intent on taking photos or selfies while surrouned by tulips (and who can blame you?!), then there are two excellent opportunies along the tulip route you can choose from: the Tulpenbelevingsveld (tulip experience field) in Creil and the Tulpenpluktuin (tulip picking garden) in Marknesse. In both you can walk around the fields to your heart's content and take all the photographs you want. Both also feature a sitting area where you can buy a cup of coffee. As the name indicates, the tulip picking garden also allows you to handpick your own bunch of tulips. For a set amount of money you can buy a set amount of tulips, no matter how you mix and match them. What a lovely way to continue enjoying tulips days after your visit to the fields!

It's the bulbs that count...

... not the flowers.

Did you know that the tulip bulbs in the fields are actually cultivated for the bulbs, not for the flowers? After a thorough selection and a field inspection, the flowers are topped, or deadheaded: the flowers are removed from the stems. Such a waste, you might think. But this way all the plant's energy goes into the bulb instead of to the flower and it's the bulbs that are sold afterwards.

The bulbs are unearthed and harvested in late June. The bulbs that are big enough will be sold, mostly to growers who grow them into flowers for both national and international florist shops. If the bulb is not yet big enough, it will be planted again in the fall for a new round of growing, flowering en topping. See you again next year!

Enjoy an atmospheric impression of our tulip fields here.