Come here in December for a wonderful range of Christmas trees!
A surprising apparition in Singel, Bloemenmarkt has floated on Amsterdam’s innermost canal since 1862. Historically, barges used to sail here up the Amstel from their smallholdings; today daily fresh flowers arrive by van, and fifteen florists and garden shops display their colourful wares in an array of covered stalls that are perched on piles.
The market is open seven days a week. In season traditional Dutch tulips are readily available, as well as bulbs (which you can take home as they’re cleared for import), seeds, larger pot plants and a range of rather tacky souvenirs. The colours on display are wonderful, and the plants good quality. Most hotels in Amsterdam can provide vases if you want to brighten up your room with some local blooms.
The Dutch have had rather a soft spot for flowers ever since the ‘tulip mania’ of the Golden Age. After their introduction in the 16th century, tulips quickly became a coveted and luxurious status symbol, and very profitable for merchants; demand and speculation grew to feverish levels, and during the 1630s some single tulip bulbs sold for ten times the annual wage of a skilled craftsman. Luckily, the prices you’ll pay today are a little less steep.
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