There’s really not much to say about this post beyond TULIPS! And WINDMILLS!
Okay, I lied. I actually do have more I want to say.
You know all those gloriously beautiful photos of a single perfect windmill surrounded by a perfectly-arranged field of tulips?
Yeah, it turns out that’s actually really hard to find.
So if you travel to the Netherlands expecting that scene everywhere you look, try not to be too disappointed when all you see are muddy, functional fields and awkwardly placed windmills surrounded by crowds.
The most convenient place to see tulips is at the Keukenhof Gardens, which are located near Lisse (about thirty minutes outside Amsterdam).
You can take a train or a bus or a tour or a bike (if you’re feeling particulaly adventurous) to see the World’s Largest Flower Garden, but keep in mind that thousands of other tourists will be doing the same thing.
At Keukenhof they tell you not to step on the grass, but go ahead. Break the rules a little (everyone else is).
Don’t step on the flowers, but tiptoe between the rows and smell the tulips, or hand your camera to a stranger and pose for a photo with someone you love (awwww…).
If you like your flowers with a side of solitude, then Keukenhof’s probably not the right place for you; luckily it’s easy to rent a bike and explore the fields of Holland all on your own.
When you’re done with flowers, though, you should head to Leiden, an adorably quaint Dutch town just a little south of the Keukenhof Gardens. They have two beautiful windmills within the city center that are surrounded by grass and boats (rather than tourists), as well as dozens of small cafes that are perfect for escaping the rain.