Netherlands | Flower Parade Bollenstreek 19 – 23 April 2023

Holland has been considered the country of flowers for centuries, not only for its tulips, which have become a national symbol, but also for the varieties of flowers present everywhere with the beginning of spring, when the cold and snow are about to leave. Flowers have become a central symbol for Dutch culture, for this reason every spring numerous festivals and parades are organized where flowers are the stars, where both locals and tourists can enjoy and admire them in all their splendor. The Bollenstreek festival will take place this year from Wednesday April 19 to Sunday April 23, here you can enjoy a week full of interesting activities that have as their theme colorful and fragrant flowers in all their diversity. The highlight of the event is the Saturday parade, which this year reached its 76th edition. This is one of the most famous flower parades in Europe, attended annually by thousands of people, but also one of the largest in the world, an event you must take part in if you want a unique experience full of color and positive energy. Dozens of carts decorated with flowers will cover a 42 km route from Noordwijk to Haarlem. The atmosphere is maintained by local bands and cheerful music that blends perfectly with the festive atmosphere. In what follows, we will present the main events of the festival, but also a guide that contains suggestions for transport, accommodation and restaurants with delicious food.

Program Flower Parade Bollenstreek 2023

  • April 19 – April 21 | Preparing the flower parade in Sassenheim
  • April 21 | Evening parade in Noordwijkerhout
  • April 22 | Flower parade from Noordwijk to Haarlem
  • April 23 | Bloemencorso in Haarlem

Useful information

Transport – How to get to the Flower Parade

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is approximately 20 km away, below you will find some alternatives to reach the city center from where you can take the next connection to reach one of the cities through which the parade passes, we recommend Haarlem.

The train it is one of the most affordable options, a ticket costs around 6 euros and the journey takes 15-20 minutes. Trains run between 06:00-01:00 and tickets can be purchased directly from the airport from the special machines. The bus 397 travels directly to the city center and the average price of a ticket is 6 euros. The journey takes 30 minutes and the buses run between 05:00 and 00:30. Tickets can be purchased directly from the driver. taxi it is the most expensive option, the average price up to the central area being 45 euros. They are available 24/7 upon exiting the terminal. From Amsterdam Central station you can take a train that will take you directly to Haarlem. Price a ticket is 6 euros, and the trip lasts 20 minutes.

Accommodation - Where you stay

The accommodation alternatives are various, you can opt for accommodation in locations such as Noordwijk, Keukenhof Gardens, but we recommend you to stay in Haarlem. Here you will find many interesting activities, the city being a great cultural center with a rich history and an impressive old center. The city offers accommodation for all tastes and budgets, from luxurious hotel rooms to dynamic hostels. Here are our recommendations for accommodations located near the central area, which offer excellent conditions at a reasonable price. 

  • Hello I'm Local – Boutique Hostel located in the central area, this hostel offers all the necessary facilities for a successful vacation, including free WiFi. The rooms have a clean, minimalist decor and the price for one night's accommodation in a double room starts from 117 euros, for 13 euros you can enjoy a delicious breakfast.
  • Bed and Breakfast The Rose this property offers an intimate space, equipped with everything you need, including your own kitchen, free Wi-Fi and TV. The decor is minimalist and modern, and the price for one night's accommodation is 136 for two people, and for 15 euros you can enjoy a delicious breakfast.
  • Anegang Boutique Hotel this 3-star hotel is located a few minutes' walk from the city center. Located in an old, typical Dutch building, decorated minimalist and elegant, here you will find double rooms with all the necessary equipment for the amount of 121 euros per night. 

For more flexibility and to move more easily to the places where the parade events take place, you have the alternative of renting a car, prices start from 20 euros per day, and you can find more details here. However, public transport remains an extremely efficient and affordable alternative.

Flower Parade Bollenstreek 19 – 23 April 2023

A Backstage Visit

During the period of three days, from the 19th to the 21st of April, you will be able to observe the process by which hundreds of volunteers make the beautiful floral arrangements, and if you want to get involved in this process, a helping hand is always welcome. You can find more details about the location where the preparations take place here.

Illuminated Parade

An unmissable experience, on Friday starting at 21:00, the charming carts decorated with flowers will be illuminated and parade through the town of Noordwijkerhout. The atmosphere will be vibrant and full of magic accompanied by concerts, stands where you can try local delicacies but also various local artisans where you can buy unique souvenirs.

The Great Parade

The great parade will take place on Saturday, April 22 and can be admired during 42 km, ending in the historic city of Haarlem. The route is as follows at 09:15 the carts leave Noordwijk, 11:10 Voorhout, 12:10 Sassenheim, 14:45 Lisse, 16:30 Hillegom, 17:55 Bennebroek, 20:55 Haarlem. The parade can be admired at any of these points, but if you want to admire more the beauty of the floral decorations and take pictures with them, we recommend staying in Haarlem.

As you may have guessed, access is free and you can admire the parade from one of the places on the public domain, but if you want a complete experience, you can purchase a ticket at one of the grandstands in Sassenheim, Lisse or Hillegom. Here you will be able to have the best view of the carts and you will be able to admire them in detail, such a ticket costs around 25 euros and you can find more details here. 

Gastronomy & Restaurants

Dutch cuisine is an experience full of flavors and special dishes based on fresh ingredients, especially minced beef or pork, various vegetables and spices that offer a unique flavor. Below you will find some recommendations of traditional dishes that you must try on your trip to Amsterdam.

  • Bitterballen –  meatballs prepared from minced beef, seasoned and then fried after being breaded, served with potatoes and a delicious sauce
  • Stamppot - a dish specific to Dutch gastronomy, being among the simplest but delicious, a smoked sausage, mashed potatoes to which are added carrots, onions or kale and sauce for a complete experience.
  • Hollandse Nieuwe Haring - this kind of food is based on marinated herring, a specialty for this area and is often served as a snack, along with crispy bread and onions.
  • Wow – is a delicious tart with a creamy fruit filling, a traditional Dutch dessert that you must try.
  • Poffertjes – a delicious portion of fluffy pancakes, served with melted butter and dusted with sugar, this delicious dish is probably one of the most famous in the Netherlands.
  • Zocher Bar & Kitchen an elegant restaurant in the menu of which you will find various dishes, full of flavor. With a quiet atmosphere and an elegant decoration, this restaurant is the ideal place for a dinner where you can try traditional dishes.
  • By Kale Pater Haarlem a restaurant where you will find both traditional food and vegetarian and vegan alternatives. Cooked with great care and with carefully chosen ingredients, here you will be able to experience various types of authentically cooked food and you will be able to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
  • Dijkers eten & drinken a chic and welcoming bistro where you can enjoy both drinks and delicious food. With a diverse menu, with vegetarian options, this place is the ideal choice for a delicious meal at reasonable prices starting from 9 euros for an appetizer.

Flower Parade Bollenstreek is definitely a unique event worth attending if you love flowers, color and if you want an experience full of unforgettable memories. If you want to visit the capital of the Netherlands, here you can find a complete travel guide that includes all the details about Amsterdam.

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