The Netherlands got a real taste of winter this year, but now that I've had my fill of playing around in the snow, I am ready for my favorite season: spring! This is great because it seems that someone flipped a switch, and all of a sudden spring has sprung! This is a little earlier than usual considering it's still February, but you won't be hearing any complaints from me.
Since it seems unlikely that I will be able to travel outside of the Netherlands for a while, I plan to take full advantage of exploring my more immediate surroundings. To be honest, I couldn't ask for a better location to spend the season. Under normal circumstances, millions of people usually flock to this tiny country in search of tulip fields, windmills, and bike rides through the countryside.
Last year I only got a taste of what the Netherlands has to offer during this time since that was the beginning of our lockdowns here, but this year I have prepared a list of locations and activities to make the most out of my favorite season (all Covid-safe, of course). Here are some of my favorite things to do and experience in Amsterdam during the spring
1. The Tulip Bulb Region
It wouldn't be spring in the Netherlands without tulips. I have been dying to visit the world-famous Tulip Bulb Region, which is only a short train/bus ride from where I live in Amsterdam. I have dreamed of visiting these fields and taking loads of beautiful photos even before I moved to the Netherlands. Due to the Corona Virus and other circumstances, I have yet to see the fields in all their glory, but I have made some Covid-safe plans this year to finally be able to visit them properly, so stay tuned because I'm sure I will be posting all about it.
I would also like to note that I will be offering photoshoots in the tulip fields at a farm, so I will be going picture CRAZY without the worry of angering a tulip farmer by sneaking into their private crops. If you are local and would like some photos in the tulip fields too, feel free to send me an email.
This photo was taken in the Keukenhof Gardens on my very first visit to the Netherlands in 2019.
I love dresses. I love to see them, I love to wear them, and I have already purchased more than I should in preparation for spring. To me, there is no better feeling than prancing around in warm weather with a flowy dress on.
Where I'm from in North Carolina, for whatever reason, people tend to wear jeans and shorts during the warmer months rather than dresses. Wearing a dress where I am from would be seen as dressing up, but in Amsterdam dresses are a casual everyday affair, and for that, I am grateful.
Since shops in the Netherlands are still closed, I have had to start shopping for clothes online (something I usually try to avoid). I haven't had much luck with the dress options on more reliable sites like H&M or ASOS because I prefer A-line and fit-and-flare styles, which just don't seem to be popular at the moment. So, most of my recent purchases have been from Shein. They're a bit hit-or-miss as far as quality goes, but as long as you read the reviews most of the time you can find some great pieces on there.
3. Photoshoots in the Cherry Blossom Forest
I think cherry blossom trees are one of God's finest additions to nature. To me, there is nothing more elegant or more perfectly suited for pictures than a cherry blossom tree. Most people in and around Amsterdam are more concerned with the tulip fields come springtime, but I don't think the cherry blossoms should be overlooked.
There are a lot of spots within the city center with beautiful cherry blossom trees, but if you take a cycle ride through the forest there is an even better location. There is a small cherry blossom park within the bigger Amsterdam forest, that consists of 400 trees. These trees were a gift to the Netherlands from the Japan Women’s Club.
They usually bloom in March and are one of the most beautiful sites that the Amsterdam area has to offer. It's the perfect place for a few photos and a picnic under the trees :D
I will be offering 20 minute mini photoshoots in the cherry blossom park throughout March and early April, so please contact me ASAP if you'd like to join.
A fun detail: all trees are named. 200 trees have a Japanese woman’s name and 200 trees have a Dutch woman’s name.
Last summer my husband and I got bikes and started cycling everywhere we could. I still get nervous cycling within Amsterdam city center because the traffic can be intense and just the thought of getting my tires caught in the tram tracks makes me anxious. I love when I get the chance to leave the city on my bike, and do it every chance I get if the weather is nice.
Cycling outside the city is not only a lot more relaxing, but it's great exercise and an amazing way to see the countryside. The cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands is amazing, and there are a lot of amazing cycling routes that others have posted on the internet that I'm ready to take advantage of. I live in a very busy area in Amsterdam so I love any chance I get to explore more of the area outside of the city.
I'm most excited to cycle around the tulip bulb region and up through the Waterland area.
Me posing with my bike :D
Spring is the beginning of picnic season! I've already seen so many people starting to have picnics in some of the parks near me, and I am ready to break out my blanket and lay out on the grass the next time that the sun is out. It's one of the easiest ways to feel like I'm making the most of Amsterdam’s shy sunny days. It's also a great way to save money when on a day trip, instead of purchasing food on the go. I love bringing sandwiches with us when we are on an adventure so we can stop mid-cycle if we see a nice spot to relax for a bit.
Eating outside with a few friends or even just my husband is one of my favorite things about life here. I never really went on picnics back in the States, but its such a nice thing to do and I am really looking forward to warm afternoons relaxing outside on the grass.
I hope this spring will be as good as I've built it up in my head!