Tulip Festivals Around the World
Learn about some of the most popular tulip festivals held each spring.
Every year, enormous festivals are held around the world to celebrate tulips in bloom. The magnificent display at the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland is perhaps the most famous, but there are also wonderful festivals held each spring in Turkey, Canada, India, the United States, and more.
- Location: The Netherlands
- Timing: March 23 to May 21
At the center of the tulip world sits Keukenhof, the massive Dutch garden that every year blooms with staggering beds of flowers. Visible to inbound travelers flying by plane, entire strips of land become vivid yellows, purples, pinks, and other gorgeous colors. Seven million bulbs are planted each year, used to display the living catalogues of 500 flower growers. Without a doubt, Keukenhof should be at the top of any tulip lover’s travel wishlist.
Istanbul Tulip Festival
- Location: Istanbul, Turkey
- Timing: Late March to Late April
Every year since 2006, the city government in Istanbul has planted millions of tulips in the city’s parks, avenues, roundabouts, and anywhere else where open ground is available. Estimates for 2017 put the total number planted at a stunning 30 million bulbs, which would mean four times as many tulips as Keukenhof. The result is a glorious, city-wide festival that floods the city with color.
Canadian Tulip Festival
- Location: Ottowa, Canada
- Timing: Mid-May
The tulip is the official flower of Ottawa, and the city has thrown a festival in its honor since 1953.
The tulip also holds another meaning in broader Canada, as it symbolizes the strong friendship forged between the Canadians and Dutch during World War II. During the war, the Dutch queen fled to Ottawa in order to escape the Nazi invasion. After the war, she presented Ottawa with a massive gift of tulip bulbs. Even today, the festival’s mandate is to preserve and celebrate the relationship between the two nations. Each year, over two million bulbs are planted, blooming in forty locations across the city.
Tulip Time Festival
- Location: Holland, Michigan, United States
- Timing: Early to mid-May
Since 1929, the city of Holland, Michigan has blossomed with hundreds of thousands of tulips. The event’s mission is to celebrate Holland’s tulips, Dutch heritage, and community, and every year the blooms wash over the city’s parks.
Tesselaar Tulip Festival
- Location: Silvan, Australia
- Timing: Mid-September to early October
In the Southern hemisphere, spring comes in September, making this the perfect tulip festival for the off-season. It is home to more than 40 nurseries and plant growers, and provides a wonderful mix of both small and large flowers. As an added benefit, many of the flowers are also available for picking and purchasing.
Srinagar Tulip Festival
- Location: Kashmir, India
- Timing: Late March
Launched in 2007 as a way to boost tourism for a small town in India, this festival has rapidly grown into a hugely popular event. Sharing over sixty varieties of tulips, visitors have declared that the flowers make the streets appear lined with carpet.
Albany Tulip Festival
- Location: Albany, New York, United States
- Timing: Mid-May
The Tulip Festival is Albany’s signature spring event. More than 140,000 tulips are planted representing 150 different varieties. Better yet, it all takes place in Washington Park, the 81-acre “crown jewel” of the city.
Tonami Tulip Fair
- Location: Tonami City, Japan
- Timing: Two weeks from Late April Through May
Tulips thrive in Japan, and there’s no shortage of beautiful tulip displays throughout the country in the spring. The Tonami Tulip Fair offers fields of blooms, some arranged in whimsical patterns, as well as vertical displays of tulips to stroll through. There’s even a pavilion with a tower, which offers a bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscape.
Heavenly Tulip Festival
- Location: Grinpa, Japan
- Timing: Mid April to Late May
Views of Mt. Fuji offer a spectacular backdrop for fields of about 200,000 tulips. The festival also features a Dutch-style windmill, and a large ferris wheel, offering visitors the opportunity to view the flower beds from above.