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Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

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Taipei, Taiwan
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Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

Hi, my wife and I are visiting the Netherlands from 4/17 to 4/28. We wish to watch the flower parade on 4/20. From a previous post I learned that a possible way is to take the train to the Sassenheim station and walk to the route in ten minutes. It sounds good to me because due to my leg disability I can neither walk very far nor ride a bicycle. So our plan is to stay at a hotel around the airport and take the train from there in the morning. Does anyone know if the train will be very crowded, to the extent that it is hard to get on and off the train? Also, if we arrive early, will it be possible to find a cafe with outdoor seats to wait for the parade? Or we just sit on any roadside curb we can find along the route?

The Netherlands
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1. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

The train won't be that crowded but the roads are. When you take the bus to the center of Sassenheim it can be difficult to reach it (not that familiar around Sassenheim) but the roads to Lisse and surroundings are congested for hours! (as in waiting 2-3 hours in a traffic jam one way)

So get there early, take some time to get there. People are lining up 1-1,5 hour before the parade and sit on the roadside curb. (and blocking the view if there is an outdoor terrace) After the parade people are traveling again, please make sure you not end up behind the parade (in the same direction) the parade will travel very slow. So calculate some time to travel back to the train station again and keep in mind that the busses don't ride on schedule because of the huge traffic.

Edited: 7:27 am, April 09, 2013
Taipei, Taiwan
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2. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

Hi Nring, thanks for the info. Very useful to us. If you don't mind I have some more questions. When we take the train from Schiphol to Sassenheim, can we see the flower fields along the way? Also, from 4/21 we'll rent a car for a week to travel around the country. We planned to go north first, but due to this late spring, will we see more tulips and flower fields if we go south first? We'll leave Kuekenhof to the end of April, hoping to see its best. Is that a good idea?

The Netherlands
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3. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

You might see one or two flower fields in the train from Schiphol to Sassenheim. But normally the train between Haarlem and Leiden will show you more. However this year the flower fields are very late with blooming. I read somewhere that the flowers for the flower parade are bought in France due to to lack of flowers in the Netherlands.

There are 3 major spring flower area's: around Lisse, around Top of North Holland (Schagen and Julianadorp) and around Emmeloord. Normally the area around Lisse start first and the other 2 (which are more up north) are blooming about a week later. If there are hardly any flowers fields around Keukenhof there is no need to travel to an other region. Hopefully this will turn around quickly. :-) Just keep an eye to the latest flower update here on tripadvisor see tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188590-i60-k63667…

Lisse, The...
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4. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

The new train station of Sassenheim is situated at an industrial area quite far from the town centre. If you prefer to watcht the parade near a town centre you better take a train to Voorhout (morning) or Hillegom (late afternoon). In Voorhout it's about 5 minutes walk to the centre and the parade, in Hillegom it's about 10 minutes walk to the parade and 15 to the centre. The only train station from where you can overlook the flower fields is the one of Hillegom. It has a huge bridge (with lift) from where you have a good view.

Taipei, Taiwan
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5. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

Thank you, Nring and CorTT. We have changed our accommodation plan from Schiphol to west side of Vondelpark in Amsterdam, and will take train from Sloterdijk to Voorhout, hoping to see the flower fields along the railway from Haarlem to Voorhout.

BTW, though tulips and flowers are our primary objectives in this trip, do you know if bird watching is also a good season now in the Netherlands? We need to minimize our luggage weight, but if bird watching is good now, we'll bring our binoculars.

Lisse, The...
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6. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

Dear RobusTraveler,

You will see a lot of flower fields along the railway track on your trip from Haarlem to Voorhout, but most of them will be narcissus and hyacinths. For tulip fields it’s a little too early this year because of the extreme cold spring.

A lot of birds are traveling right now because it’s spring again. But because this is a high populated area you will not find so many species in the flower area. If you want to see a lot of birds you can go into the dunes (between the flower fields and the sea).

Schleid
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7. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

We are also hoping to come see the flower parade this Saturday but we are driving in from Germany on the afternoon of the 20th. I see that the parade is scheduled to go on until after 8:00 PM in Haarlem. Could you please tell me, if we get to the general area around 4 to 5:00, will we be able to park somewhere and get to the parade route to be able to see it? Is there a particular place you would recommend going to park our car, and then where should we go (and how to get there) to watch the parade - which village and where in the village? I have young children (6 and 8 years old) who will not want to walk too far.

If we do not come to see the parade and flowers this weekend, the next weekend we could get there is May 11-12. Should any of the tulip fields still be in bloom then, or will they be mostly cut off? I wasn't sure from previous postings. Thank you for any advice!

Lisse, The...
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8. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

CDPT, Haarlem is always hard to park and even more on Saturdays. With the parade passing buy this will be nearly impossible. Try to leave a little earlier and go to Heemstede. Try to be there around 15.00h.

Nobody can predict if there will be blooming tulip fields on May 11-12. Normally they are cut off by then but with this ridiculous spring it's hard to say. It's all about the weather.

Schleid
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9. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

The parade brochure says it gets to Heemstede around 20:15, so you think we would need to get there by 15:00 to get a spot on the parade route? Should we plan to bring chairs and just stay there on the parade route until it gets there? Should we be able to find parking there (can we drive in to town that day?), and is it obvious where to go in town for the parade?

Lisse, The...
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10. Re: Watching the flower parade in Sassenheim

Yes you are right about the time. 3 hours before should be enough. But normally it's much more quiet between the towns. So when you are by car you can go to the Kadijk or Prinsenlaan between Bennebroek and Heemstede. The parade gets there at 19.30. Must be possibel to get there by car till 17.00. Bennebroek might be an option too. It has free parking and does not see so many tourists as the other places. You can sit on the steet edges or take your own seats. It's what you prefer.