Visit Amsterdam’s famous floating Flower Market to brighten your day (known locally as the Bloemenmarkt). Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt is the world’s only floating flower market. This unique market, which was founded in 1862, is located on the Singel Canal Koningsplein and the Muntplein and consists of a series of houseboat greenhouses.
Every Monday through Saturday, this stretch of the Singel canal in the city center is filled with the vibrant colors and fragrances of fresh flowers, serving both tourists and locals. Bring home tulip bulbs for your garden or houseplants, as well as a fun selection of typically Dutch souvenirs.
Flowers (and more) in floating flower market Amsterdam
The Flower Market in Amsterdam is a well-known landmark on the Singel canal, which runs through the city’s UNESCO-listed Canal Ring. The market here dates back to 1862, when flower growers would sail their wares into the city center on barges via the Amstel River. The modern market is made up of fixed barges, but it is no less impressive. Each barge has a glasshouse built on top, similar to the greenhouses found throughout the countryside that help Holland remain an international hotspot for flowers all year. No matter the season, you’re sure to find your favorite tulips, narcissus, snowdrops, carnations, violets, peonies, or orchids at the Flower Market. Furthermore, the sellers sell house plants, herbs, seeds, and bulbs.
Though many of the stalls are known for selling wooden tulips, bulbs, and other kitschy souvenirs rather than actual blooms, it is still one of the city’s most colorful and fragrant spots. It is definitely a sensory delight, and the experience is uniquely Dutch. Bulbs can be purchased, and many are approved for import into other countries, so they can be brought home.
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Bloemenmarkt’s location dates back to when people would sail on barges from their farms and properties along the Amstel River to sell their wares in Amsterdam. Many of the same flowers, seeds, and bulbs are still available, even though they are now trucked in rather than delivered by boat.
The market is technically no longer floating, as it is now supported by piles. The majority of the stalls have shifted their focus to appeal to tourists by selling Amsterdam souvenirs as well as the more well-known fresh flowers.
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Bloemenmarkt is open all year and has something special to offer in every season. The famous tulips are a sight to behold in the spring and summer. In the summer, the market is brimming with other fragrant flowers, such as geraniums and narcissus. The market prepares for the winter holidays in late fall by selling Christmas trees and other festive decorations.
After you’ve had your fill of Bloemenmarkt, there are a few other nearby attractions worth seeing. The bustling Rembrandt Square features a statue of the artist as well as a variety of cafes and restaurants. The Amsterdam Museum is an excellent place to learn about the city’s complex history.
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Tulips have been associated with Holland, particularly Amsterdam, since the Dutch Golden Age 400 years ago, when they were first imported from the Ottoman Empire. Growing tulips and other bulb flowers is now a massive industry. Tulips are a major tourist attraction in Holland every spring, when the flower fields burst into rows of vivid color. The Keukenhof flower gardens and the FloraHolland flower auction in Aalsmeer are popular places to visit, and Amsterdam even hosts its own Tulip Festival every spring. However, while those attractions are best experienced in March, April, or May, the Amsterdam floating Flower Market is a great place to find tulips at any time of year.
Typically Dutch souvenirs
Take home some typical Dutch souvenirs to share your experiences in Holland and Amsterdam. In addition to the floral treats in the Flower Market, the barges are accompanied by a slew of gift shops. Before buying any seeds or flower bulbs to brighten up your own garden, check with the stall owner about export regulations – only buy those that are packaged and preapproved for export, or your goods may be withheld by customs and excise. Take a moment to sample the various types of Dutch cheese available – there’s much more to tempt your taste buds than just Gouda. Keychains, wooden tulips, and postcards abound in the Flower Market, and the Christmas Palace is brimming with thoughtful gifts. This store, which specializes in baubles and other festive decorations with an Amsterdam twist, is open all year.