Destinations Magazine

Flowers and Amsterdam

By Amsterdam City Tours

If the sudden return of my allergies are anything to go by, spring has once again come to Amsterdam. Admittedly, the weather leaves a lot to be desired - the wind has been pretty much arctic for the past few days, on my bike ride to work today I forgot to wear gloves and couldn't feel my fingers for most of the 10 minute journey, and I'm pretty sure it's about to start snowing again. But my faith is strong! I believe that soon enough the sun will actually be warm and all of us will finally feel comfortable going outside without thick winter jackets, gloves, scarves and hats. And when that happens, I'm going to drag my sun-starved self to the nearest flower garden or market, because spring bloom time in the Netherlands is pure joy.

Plume flowers in the Flower Market, Amsterdam

I would recommend you start off any Amsterdam flower adventure with a trip to the world's only floating flower market. Although once upon a time all flowers sold were brought to Amsterdam via the city's canals by barge, ever since the industry modernized sometime in the 20th century, they have been brought in from the countryside by van. Nonetheless, the stalls are all still located on barges, although so well are they constructed that you can barely tell the difference between boat and shore. All of your wildest flower-related desires come true here: from tulip bulbs, to actual tulips, to potted plants, to Christmas trees in the winter holiday season. For the ultimate dose of Dutch-ness to take home as a souvenir, keep an eye out for tulip bulbs packed in ceramic Delft clogs.

Amsterdam: Bloemenmarkt

If you fancy a walk through a more natural, organic flower-growing environment, head on over to Amsterdam's answer to Central Park: the Vondelpark. It makes for a fantastic relaxing nature getaway any time of year, but especially so in the spring and summer time when all the flowers are in bloom. Bring a picnic and sprawl on the grass if the weather is warm, go for a brisk jog if it's not (and you're into that sort of thing).

English: Vondelpark

Nevertheless, for that forest experience, I recommend you find your way to the Amsterdamse Bos (or Amsterdam Forest) at the very edge of town. It is the biggest public park in Amsterdam and is home to beautiful lush forests and fragrant meadows. The park is a long but enjoyable bike ride for those wishing to explore the aspects of Amsterdam that are less traditional... and those good at reading maps.

Amsterdamse Bos (heuvel)

Of course without question the most flower-filled experience out there is a trip to the Keukenhof, an incredible park home to the world's largest collection of flower fields.


The flowers are in bloom from the end of March to May (or thereabouts), and the trip there is worth every penny. Flowers and tulips are perhaps what the Netherlands is most famous for, and the Keukenhof is one of the biggest flower-related attractions in the Netherlands. The sheer beauty of the many colors and aromas found here will melt away even the bitterest of Heineken hangovers.

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