A definitive symbol of Dutch culture

Wake up and smell the tulips

Yes, they’re as clichéd as clogs, but tulips are a definitive symbol of Dutch culture, and a trip to the Netherlands wouldn’t be complete without feasting your eyes on these beautiful blooms. If you’re visiting Amsterdam in spring, then take the short 20-minute trip out to the world-famous tulip fields (Bollenstreek) – stretching out in colourful stripes across miles of lowland fields between Haarlem and Leiden.

There are also ample opportunities to stop and smell the tulips right in the heart of the city; the bulbs spill out of bouquets at the  Bloemenmarkt, line the windows of the Tulip Museum and seem to burst forth from every possible planter during the Tulip Festival, which lasts all of April.