*Featured image credit: MrDenPol / Shutterstock.com
The only floating flower market in the world, Bloemenmarkt is situated on the Singel Canal in the heart of Amsterdam, and is one of the city’s most popular attractions, with both tourists as well as the locals. Bloemenmarkt has been around since 1860, when nurserymen would sail up the Amstel from their smallholdings, mooring their barges to sell their flowers directly to their customers. While most of the stalls today are perched on piles rather than being on floating barges, and the houseboats that line the canal permanently moored there, Bloemenmarkt has managed to retain the same vibrant charm that it had one hundred years ago.
Most of the flowers at Bloemenmarkt are sold from around fifteen ‘floating’ market stalls, and since the Netherlands experiences a relatively mild climate, the market is open year-round, and there is always quite a wide selection of flowers. From tulips to narcissus to conifers to small trees to roses to many other local blooms, there is always a sweet scent in the air at Bloemenmarkt. Of course, with the Netherlands being known all over the world as the land of the tulips, the breathtaking explosion of the 2700 varieties of tulip is definitely a sight worth seeing. In addition to the flowers, you will also find a variety of bulbs, seeds, accessories and souvenirs. Since this is a market that mostly caters to the locals, prices are extremely attractive, and you will often find tourists carting away a load of bulbs and seeds to take home with them.
Traveling With Your Purchases
Many of the bulbs and seeds found at Bloemenmarkt are already prepared for export, making it easy to pack some into your suitcase to take home with you. However, some countries only allow certain types of bulbs and seeds to be brought in, although most of the merchants at Bloemenmarkt will be able to advise you on this once you inform them that you are hoping to take some goods home with you. Many of the vendors can also arrange to mail you your purchases at a later date, meaning that you do not have to make room in your luggage for them.
Best Time to Visit
The flower market is open Monday to Saturday throughout the year, from 9 am to 6 pm. Of course, the freshest blooms are to be found in the morning, but, just like with any other market, the best bargains are usually to be had at the end of the day. The market is usually bustling all year-round, from the start of the year filled with the blossoms of springtime to the winter months when the market stalls are stocked with fragrant green Christmas trees in the run-up to the festive season.
Bloemenmarkt is a market with a rich and fragrant history, and this charm still wafts all around it today. Even if you are not a flower aficionado or a keen gardener, Bloemenmarkt is still most definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Amsterdam.