Most tulips are at their best the first spring after planting. In subsequent springs, although the foliage may return, flowering is often sporadic. (Why? You can learn more here.)
To ensure a lavish display every year, most landscape professionals and many gardeners treat tulips as annuals: They dig up and discard the bulbs after they bloom and then replant fresh bulbs in the fall. The effort and expense is repaid many times over by a spring show that no other plant can match.
There are some tulips that are willing (though not guaranteed) to put on a good display for more than one year. They include the Darwin Hybrids and the charming wild tulips (sometimes referred to as species tulips). Under ideal conditions these tulips can flower well for two or three seasons—sometimes more—before you feel the need to replant.