Netherlands question

Jun 1st, 2002, 01:19 PM
  #1  
Lisa
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Netherlands question

I am thinking about visiting Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Paris in August. Is this a good time to visit? I am a flower lover and am wondering if I will be missing out on much of the beauty of the Netherlands if I go in August rather than in April. I am also concerned about the weather. Please advise me as to whether this trip would be better planned for mid April or August. My other consideration is time. If I go in April, I will have to forego Paris since I will have fewer vacation days at this time of year. I would be willing to skip Paris, though, if it would be better to see Benelux in April.

Thanks in advance for your opinions and advice.
 
Jun 1st, 2002, 02:44 PM
  #2  
Sally
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No question- go in April. We went April 13-17 this year, and the flowers were absolutely beautiful- acres of spring bulbs at Keukenhof. I took lots of pictures, and anywhere I pointed my camera turned out great.
 
Jun 1st, 2002, 02:53 PM
  #3  
Nutella
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Another vote for April. I was there last week of April and unfortunately had lots of rain, but was told the week before was glorious. However, I was able to enjoy a sunny day at the Keukenhof gardens and it was breathtaking!
 
Jun 1st, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #4  
BillJ
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For the best displays of flowers in Netherlands, you must go in the early spring. And yes, you will be subject to some cold and rainy weather. But it is just off the North Sea, there is no guarantee on the weather any time of year. I spent a cold and dreary week in Paris one early September some years ago. You just don't know.
We were in Belgium, Lux and Netherland April of last year, and in spite of the cold and rain (snow in Gent cramped that day trip!) we would not have missed the glorious display of tulips and other flowers at Keukenhoff near Harlaam. Check out their web site. They are open only mid-March to mid-May. We hit Keukenhoff on April 25, and the weather had been bad, but was reasonably clear on that day.
We flew into Brussels, 2 nites in Brugge, 2 nites in Delft (from where we drove to Keukenhoff), then 4 nights in Amsterdam. the rest of the trip was to Ardennes, Vianden and Moselle/Rhine, returning from Frankfurt.
If you are truely a flower lover, I would highly recommend Keukenhoff in the spring. A real treat, IMO.
 
Jun 1st, 2002, 07:10 PM
  #5  
BillJ
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My wife wanted to be sure that you also knew of the flower parade. This occurs the last Saturday of April. The floats are magnificent, and remindful of the Parade of Roses in Pasadena on New Year's Day. The parade route is Lisse (I believe) to Harlaam, where the floats stay on display through the next day (Sunday). Our day at Keukenhoff was on Sunday. Leaving Keukenhoff, we drove through gorgeous flower fields into Harlaam and walked on the main boulevard where all the floats were parked. My wife wanted me to add this. Should have thought of it on the first post.
 
Jun 2nd, 2002, 11:09 AM
  #6  
flowerchild
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So where can I find out about this parade? How do I go about seeing it.
 
Jun 2nd, 2002, 07:14 PM
  #7  
Lisa
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Wow! The flowers must really be amazing in April if everyone is suggesting that I go then, even though the weather is so dreary. I guess I'll be saving Paris for another trip.

Bill, thank you so much for your detailed reply. And please thank your wife for me. The flower parade sounds wonderful.
 
Jun 3rd, 2002, 03:30 AM
  #8  
jenviolin
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Late April, definitely. Be sure to make hotel reservations in advance, whether you want to stay in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Delft; it's a busy time. Also, be sure to check out the Alsmeer Flower Auction (near Schiphol Airport), which is the world's biggest. There's a self-guided tour you can take on walkways above the action. Get there early (6AM), it's all over by 9AM or so. The variety and quantities are staggering, as is the whole process of bringing in fresh flowers & plants, auctioning them off to international bidders, and getting them shipped the same morning. It's called the Alsmeer 'Bloemenveiling'.
In August 2002 the Floriade, a huge flower and plant show, will still be running, though it won't have the famous Dutch spring bulbs anymore. It takes place only once every 10 years, so you'd miss that if you came next April.
 
Jun 3rd, 2002, 03:36 AM
  #9  
anon
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if you want to go on a biking trip, would August be better? (it seems that it would)
 
Jun 3rd, 2002, 05:49 PM
  #10  
Lisa
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jenviolin -thanks for the information. If I go in April, it will have to be over Spring Break, which means early to mid April.
 
Jun 3rd, 2002, 06:18 PM
  #11  
Elizabeth
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Do you definitely have to give up Paris if you go in April? If it were I, I'd give up Luxembourg and maybe Belgium, as Paris in April is supposed to be one of the finest pleasures on earth.
 
Jun 4th, 2002, 10:41 AM
  #12  
jenviolin
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Lisa - check the web for opening times of the Keukenhof in 2003 - if it opens just after you've left, you'll kick yourself silly! Early April is iffy for bulbs unless it's a very warm early spring, which no one can predict...
 
Jun 4th, 2002, 04:01 PM
  #13  
Lisa
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Elizabeth and jenviolin- The reason I said that I would have to give up Paris is that I was going to take a Globus tour that is 11 days for Benelux with a 3 or 4 night Paris add-on. Since I only have 11 days during break, I would have to pass on Paris. Paris in April IS amazing, though! I have been there in April, but my husband has never been to Paris, and I'd love for him to see it.

By the way, the exact days of my break are April 17-27. I guess this time frame is late enough to see the bulbs. What does Holland look like in August? Are there still plenty of beautiful flowers- are there any late blooming bulbs at that time?

 
Jun 4th, 2002, 04:29 PM
  #14  
patg
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We were there from April 16-21 this year, and the weather was lovely (in the upper 60's and low 70s), but I believe this was unusual. Normal highs in April are in the upper 50s.

Keukenhof was at it's absolute peak. Not only were the millions of tulip in bloom, but so were the crabapple trees.

BTW, The Netherlands is extremely easy to get around on your own. Everyone in the tourist trades spoke excellent English and were very pleasant to deal with.
 
Jun 4th, 2002, 04:50 PM
  #15  
Danna
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Lisa, We visited Keukenhof and the Floriade in April this year... Keukenhof is simply amazing! Our photos look like post cards! April is where it's at! I now have framed photos in my home and office just to remind me of the beauty. If you go in April, be sure to book ahead of time. We love the Hotel Washington, check out the rants and raves section of Fodors. Have a grand time!
 
Jun 5th, 2002, 06:37 PM
  #16  
Lisa
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Thanks everyone! I think that I'm sold on April. I guess my husband and I will have to do Paris another time.
 
Jun 5th, 2002, 10:10 PM
  #17  
Art
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I agree with Bill. Many years ago we drove from Germany to the Netherlands for the tulip festival. Even the fields in the countryside were beautiful. We also stumbled onto the Tulip (flower) parade. We just got lucky as we did not know about it. It definitly reminds one of the Rose parade and worth while seeing.
 

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