The Netherlands is Paradise for those who love flowers. All year round it offers flowers on all its stages: bulbs, seeds, fields in bloom, cut flower, bouquets and more. There are several locations where to enjoy or buy flowers and the floating flower market is one of the most popular and touristic ones in Amsterdam.
Floating Flower Market in Amsterdam opens from Monday to Saturday from 9AM to 5:30PM and on Sundays from 11AM until 5:30PM. The best hour to visit Amsterdam’s Floating Market is when it opens since there are less tourists. The selection of flowers is much more impressive during the Dutch spring.
You may wonder when it is the best time to visit the Flower Market in Amsterdam. I often used to get this question when working as a receptionist, and the answer is, it depends. It changes according to the day, season and your own expectations. Besides the famous floating market, Amsterdam offers more places to get flowers. If you want to know more about it, keep reading!
Floating Flower Market
This unique floating market exists since 1862. The flower stalls stand on some sort of houseboats, which evoke the beginning of this flower trading tradition when the market was daily supplied by boat. If one goes there without knowing it, is not that obvious that the market is floating, it is quite static, yet, indeed, floating in the Singel canal.
The Flower Market opens every day of the week besides Sunday, from 9am until 5:30pm, a very common schedule for most Dutch stores. This is the same opening time all year round, yet it tends to be busier during Christmas time, during the summer and mostly in Spring when it is inevitable to think about flowers when one is in the Netherlands.
Spring in the Netherlands is without a doubt the best place to be. Yet during the whole year you will be able to find cut flowers, some plant pots as well as all sorts of tulips, narcissus, geraniums and many other types of flowers, their seeds and bulbs. The bulbs are ready for export, so you can enjoy them at home too.if you are planning on going, it is good to know that:
- You will always find bulbs of all kinds, colours and shapes, for tulips and much more.
- There are a lot of cute souvenirs besides flowers, including the iconic and beautiful magnets that represent the tilted houses in the canals.
- During Chritmas it is a Dutch tradition to get real trees and you will be able to find all shapes and sizes of Christmas trees during the whole month of December.
- There are always flowers, but not as many as during Spring.
- All bulbs include instructions to plant them and when.
- You can buy them singularly, picking them up yourself.
- You can always pay with card or cash, no matter the amount you get.
As touristic as the Flower Market is, the prices of the flowers is much cheaper than in most countries in the world. This is due to the old Dutch tradition of flower trading and how Holland has become a booming flower culture. Not only is a great deal exported abroad, but a large portion of the flowers are sold in the Netherlands. The Dutch give each other a bouquet for the most diverse occasions and there is a broad offer of all kinds of flowers everywhere you go. Greenhouses all over the country make possible for flowers to grow no matter the weather conditions of the country. The Netherlands has become the number one flower exporter/provider in the world.
Where To Find Flowers in Amsterdam
The Floating Flower Market is an iconic place to go when in Amsterdam, but if one is a plant and flowers lover, there are many other places where you will be able to enjoy yourself much more than the Bloemenmarkt. For flowers, however, there are many more interesting places:
This is an expected first one but, when it comes to flowers, there is nothing more spectacular than this park. All the bulbs that there are in this park are placed in shapes and create a theme park all made by tulips of all colours: more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the Keukenhof. A garden with swan graced lakes and four pavilions display an amazing collection of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and other flowers. You can plan your visit ahead here and you have to do it because it is quite hard to get in otherwise. After all, it is only open a month a year, because that is how long the tulips lasts alive and fully in bloom. You can visit the park, going by bike, by bus or car but the important part is going!
The international trading platform for plants and flowers is a world in itself. Even though you have to wake up early to see this world-famous auction it’s worth it. There are two locations in the Netherlands and both of them offer guided tours for only 6 euros per person. One of them is Eelde, in the north of the Netherlands, province of Groningen, a little far away from Amsterdam; and the other one is Aalsmeer, your best option if you are close to Amsterdam.
In Aalsmeer headquarter of the biggest flower auction halls, you can go on your own or get a tour. In any case, there is plenty of information in their website, an app with all the useful information, maps and so on, as well as useful directions to go by car.
Street Flowers and Fields
You don’t have to go to a flower market or a specific flower centres to see flowers in the Netherlands. During the whole year, the parks and streets of Amsterdam and most municipalities in the Netherlands, are well decorated and taken care of with plenty of flowers. It is a tradition and a relatively cheaper option for Dutch, in comparison to the rest of the world. Vondelpark, Rembrandt park and many other parks in Amsterdam are also well served with plenty of bulbs which start blooming at the end of the month of February with the first bits of sun and spring in the air. For special occasions, there will always be flowers, but mostly when spring arrives in the Netherlands, and hundreds of tulips of all different kinds ( some amazing ones I had never knew it existed until I saw them there), will be planted in huge pots all around Museumplein and the big museums. You will have the chance to see these pots of tulip in the middle of the canals, parks, Ij river and everywhere in the city: so keep an eye on them!
Besides, if you are into cycling, you can rent one and go to the South in the direction of Keukenhof and find the amazing tulip fields that are in bloom at the same time the park is open, during the months of April and May.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, Dutch are very much into flowers. Buying tulips is not only a touristic activity but also a very common Dutch thing to do. In Amsterdam and in the whole Netherlands, there are thousands of flower shops, small and big ones, that offer a million cute things, including cut flower. Even supermarkets always have a nice selection of flowers (and you can get them up to 10pm in Albert Heijn in Museumplein) as well as good deals for them. Here there are a list of the most popular ones in Amsterdam:
- Menno Kroon (Cornelis Schuytstraat 11, 1071 ZK Amsterdam)
- Isabel The Flower Shop (Scheldestraat 104, 1078 GP Amsterdam)
- Bloemenweelde Amsterdam (De Clercqstraat 112-114, 1052 NN Amsterdam)
- A.P Bloem (Kerkstraat 151a, 1017 GG Amsterdam)
- Jemi (Warmoesstraat 83A, 1012 HZ Amsterdam)
If you don’t have the chance to bring home these goodies, you can always wait until you are at the airport and have passed security to buy some flowers and bulbs. You can check out the shops there are at the airport here.
Weekly and daily markets always offer a flower stall or two, in the Netherlands, this is inevitable. If you are visiting Amsterdam, the best markets to go for flowers and for a great experiences are:
- Albert Cuyp Market, the most famous Amsterdam market, open from Monday to Saturday all year round, from 9am to 5pm.
- Daily market in Ten Katestraat (Oud-West), a small market that is there also from 9am to 5pm. It is more of a local market to buy your weekly veggies and fruit, yet you will be able to find flowers.
Dutch Flower Parade
If you happen to be in the Netherlands on the 25th of April (besides staying until the 27th of April for Koningsdag), you have to be present at the Dutch Flower Parade. The flower parade will ride from the seaside resort of Noordwijk on Saturday 25 April 2020 via the flower fields near Lisse to the historic city of Haarlem. The route is in total more than 42 km long and it lasts 12 hours. It is free and fun for all ages, a much recommended experience and a great combination with Keukenhof.