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Pick Your Own Tulips in Amsterdam on National Tulip Day 2023

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Tulip Picking Garden

Once a year, on the third Saturday in January, Amsterdam’s cobblestoned Dam Square transforms into a giant field of tulips. [Note: This year the event takes place on Museumplein instead.]

National Tulip Day 2023 — the event’s 12th anniversary edition — takes place on Saturday, January 21.

Missed it? Get Read For National Tulip Day 2024

The National Tulip Day 2024 takes place on January 20.

National Tulip Day: Start of the Cut Tulip Season in the Netherlands

National Tulip Day (Dutch: Nationale Tulpendag) marks the start of the cut tulip season in the Netherlands.

That is why some 500 tulip growers/breeders use 200.000 tulips — in a wide range of colors and shapes — to create a tulip picking garden in the center of Amsterdam.

Here’s what that looked like in January 2023:

Amsterdam: National Tulip Day 2023 Aftermovie. A giant tulip picking garden on Museumplein in Amsterdam.

Free: Pick Your Own Bouquet of Tulips

That’s right: You get to pick your own bouquet of up to 20 tulips, free of charge. Carry them home (or to your hotel) in the free biodegradable tulip bag you will receive at the entrance.

Amsterdam’s National Tulip Day Event Details

What: National Tulip Day (Nationale Tulpendag)

When: Saturday, January 21, 2023

Where: Museumplein

Time: The garden opens at 1 PM and closes at 5 PM at the latest. (Note: in previous years all flowers were picked by about 4 PM.)

Photos/Videos: Show up (much) earlier if you want to take photos and videos of the tulip field before the crowd starts picking the flowers.

How long is the wait: Stewards allow a set number of people into the garden at a time. The average waiting time to enter the garden normally is 30-60 minutes.

Accessibility: The tulip picking garden is accessible to wheelchair users.

Keep this in mind:

  • Come early: Before the gates to the garden open, you can view and photograph the tulip field from a viewing bridge. Have your camera ready. In 2023 the popular event was visited by 18.000 people — including many tourists. Stewards will keep the flow of people moving across the platform.
  • Free bag: You will get a free tulip bag, which you can use for up to 20 flowers. You cannot use any other bags.
  • Pickpockets: Events like this are prime opportunities for pickpockets and luggage thieves. Keep an eye (and/or a hand) on your stuff at all times.

Organized by Tulip Promotion Netherlands

National Tulip Day is organised by Tulip Promotion Netherlands. The foundation was established by over 500 tulip growers/breeders in order to promote Dutch tulips worldwide.

And it works. 2019 (Pre-corona) was another good export year for flowers, plants and flower bulbs. In fact, floriculture heads the list of Dutch agricultural export products to the tune of 9.5 billion euros.

Not here on National Tulip Day? See Keukenhof in the Spring

If you’re not visiting Amsterdam in the middle of January, don’t worry. You can see some 7 million tulips and other flowers at Keukenhof this spring.

Keukenhof is one of the largest and best known flower gardens in the world. Open just 8 weeks a year(!) the garden draws 1.5 million visitors with its stunning floral displays.

Mind you, unlike the National Tulip Day on Dam Square, Keukenhof does not allow you to pick any of its flowers.

Map: National Tulip Day on Museumplein, Amsterdam

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An Amsterdammer last updated this post on CET (Central European Time)

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