Winter in the Netherlands is dark, cold and might be depressing but – good news – it’s not gonna be there much longer. At the end of January, the country celebrates a very special holiday called National Tulip Day (Nationale Tulpendag in Dutch), which sets off the tulip season bringing spring to people’s homes.
Not only the holiday turns Amsterdam’s main square into a huge live garden but also gives a bunch of free tulips to everyone who wants it! Keep reading to find out where to get yours.
National Tulip Day is an annual event held in the Dutch capital since 2012. It came to life due to an idea of Tulip Promotion Netherlands – the foundation established and supported by over 500 tulip growers.
Striving to promote the tulip to locals and city guests alike, the foundation has created a unique holiday celebrated on the third Saturday of January. This day every year, the main city square transforms into a large pop-up tulip garden with over 200,000 flowers.
From early in the morning until noon, a group of volunteers is busy with building the garden, and around 1 PM the place opens to the public. Everyone is welcome to pick up a couple of free tulips and take those home.
National Tulip Day traditionally takes place on Dam Square – at the very heart of Amsterdam. This year, the big day is January 21st. Although the picking garden won’t be open until 1 PM, the setting up starts at 8 in the morning. Get there before noon to watch the arrangement of the flowers.
Another reason to come early is to get your tulips. Judging from the previous years, about 15,000 people usually come along to enjoy the new colors of Dam Square and pick up some flowers. Around midday, there certainly will be a long line formed around the square, and you might have to wait for about an hour to get in.
The solution? Come earlier to be one of the first! Other than that, try to make your way to the gates surrounding the place – if you’re lucky, someone who’s already in picking up the flowers might give you one.