Floating Flower Market, Amsterdam

7 Reviews

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  • Floating Flower Market
    by CherryWaves
  • It's a good place to buy bulbs at least
    It's a good place to buy bulbs at least
    by tvor
  • esperanza roses on the flower market
    esperanza roses on the flower market
    by tvor
  • Robin922's Profile Photo

    Flowermarket - Great cut flowers, but

    by Robin922 Written May 21, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The flower market is one of the popular places, for people visit. The cut flowers are not only gorgeous but cheap.

    While the shops will tolerate you taking pictures from the outside, they do become irritated if you try to take any inside the shop. Many will have signs posting such. This is understandable since they don’t make money off your pictures.

    Not only can you buy flowers, but many shops also carry the standard souvenirs. As a rule the prices were lower than the shops by Central station.

    Something to watch out for is, buying bulbs. Most sellers are educated and honest, however I did catch a few stretching the truth. Also, make sure you know your country’s regulations on import of bulbs.

    For Americans, we can bring them back if they have the proper paperwork. HOWEVER, depending on who your customs person is, you may have problems. People have had their bulbs confiscated, since as a rule we can’t bring plants back.

    Also not to say the bulbs at the market are of less quality, but a serious gardener will know that bulbs have certain requirements. Sitting on the streets for weeks, isn’t on the requirement list.

    Fun Alternatives: Many of the better bulb suppliers sell from local locations, catalogs, and on the web. Shipping is also much less than you might expect. One of the well known sellers only charges $9.95 flat rate, and guarantee their bulbs.

    So think about it, do you want to buy, carry, pack and have to deal with customs, or order and have them shipped at the correct time for planting?

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  • IceBear7's Profile Photo

    Flower Market

    by IceBear7 Updated May 7, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Flower Market at Singel in Amsterdam

    The famous floating Flower Market at the Singel is disappointing for me. You expect romantic boats filled with tulips - don't you? All you get tent-like selling places with bulbs, wooden tulips and souvenirs. During my visit in May (!) I say fresh, real tulips at one of the stalls and not more. And I have no idea why it is so popular and often described as one of the must see places...

    Unique Suggestions: Write a VT Tourist Trap tip about it...

    Fun Alternatives: in spring it's probably the best idea to go to Keukenhof, famous for its tulips and other flowers... apart from that other, smaller markets...

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  • Flower market

    by DerWisconsinWanderer Written May 3, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Part tourist trap, part flower riot. We were warned that some of the vendors sell last year's bulbs, and the varieties on the labels do not necessarily match the contents of the bags of bulbs. Better to deal with the established growers and order for delivery to the States. That way, you know that the bulbs are from this year, are innoculated for export to the States, and will arrive at the correct time for planting according to your choice of blossom time. We are also warned that deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodentia are quite fond of Dutch bulbs, so good luck.

    Unique Suggestions: Despite the above, take the opportunity to enjoy the massive amounts of cut flowers at the market. Also available: wooden tulips, cactus and cannabis. Look for the cannabis lollypops and grow-your-own cannabis seeds. But don't get suckered into thinking you can bring some home.

    Fun Alternatives: This is hugely fun and there are some good opportunities to view varieties and order for delivery. If you're in Amsterdam for the spring flower festival, take an excursion bus out to the Keukenhof, the growers' display/garden/park. If you have a day to spare, there's an international cut flower auction year-round at Aalsmeer that is also spectacular, but if you only have a few days, there are better uses for your time.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

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  • tvor's Profile Photo

    Floating flower market

    by tvor Written May 22, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    esperanza roses on the flower market
    3 more images

    The Floating Flower market is touted as a glorious explosion of colour and scent, a "floral paradise" of many many varieties of flowers and tulips (in season) which are my favourite flower. That's why i went to Amsterdam in May, hoping to see them. We did see them, but all the tulips we saw in the market were wooden or silk. Apparently we had missed the prime season by a couple of weeks. Rats! There were tulip bulbs to be purchased in quantities, and that was something i did expect to see in addition to fresh blooming flowers, and other fresh flowers too but quite a few of stalls along the canal seemed to carry souvenirs rather than flowers....so in my opinion, it's a bit of a tourist trap really.

    Still, i know if we'd got there at the right time, we would have seen more tulips in the flower shops that are among the houseboat/stalls and we did see some lovely roses and some nice flowers. I'd say at least half or more sold souvenirs and crafts, more than i expected. I expected most of the stalls to be flower shop type stalls selling either flowers or seeds and bulbs and gardening items. It wasn't like that, not when we were there at least. I certainly wouldn't say that i was overwhelmed by flowers but i was overwhelmed by souvenir kiosks. I do realize that tulips aren't going to be prominent in the market most of the year, they have their prime season like any other flower and we missed that but i did think there would be more flowers and displays than there were. They were there, don't get me wrong, just not in the quantities i thought, judging from all the descriptions in various guidebooks and websites.

    The flower market is a group of houseboats permanently anchored on the Single canal not too far from Rembrandtplein and has existed since the mid 1800s. Trams stop nearby and it's a short walk from Dam square. There are cafes and food stalls nearby as well. It's open Monday to Saturday, 9 to 6.

    Unique Suggestions: There are still flower shops and stalls and it's definitely a good place to get bulbs and seeds if your are allowed to bring them back or ship them into your country. For tourists, you can't really do much with fresh flowers purchased here except decorate your hotel room. There are lots of souvenir stalls and crafts but there are a lot of those all over Amsterdam, too. It's very busy so watch your personal belongings.

    Fun Alternatives: If, like me, you love tulips, try to get to the Netherlands mid April and take a visit to the tulip fields outside the city.

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  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo

    I struggled to think of one...

    by freya_heaven Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I struggled to think of one for this section. I think it has to be at the flower market, I bought ( & paid extra )for a mixture of deep purple & black Tulip bulbs for my Mother, the next spring looking forward to seeing a bed of unusual coloured Tulips .................to find very nice but boring yellow & read ones instead. :-{

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  • CherryWaves's Profile Photo

    Tulip bulbs in Bloemenmarkt - ask to count them!

    by CherryWaves Written Aug 21, 2011

    I've been to Amsterdam the past week and like every tourist I wanted to bring some tulip bulbs.
    In Bloemenmarkt (on Singel between Muntplein and Koningsplein) I saw many shops selling big quantities of bulbs - bags of 50 and 100 bulbs.
    Me and my friends bought 2 bags of (supposedly) 55 bulbs. When we divided the bulbs back in the hotel, we counted 45 bulbs in each bag!
    I confess I felt a bit naive.
    (August 2011)

    Unique Suggestions: Ask to open the bag and count the bulbs! Don't get fooled.

    Fun Alternatives: If they don't let you open the bags, I suggest you to buy the smallest bags, the ones where you can count the bulbs without having to open the bag.

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  • tompt's Profile Photo

    flower market

    by tompt Updated Nov 7, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The flower market at the Singel is defenitely a tourist trap.
    Flowers are to expensive and the souvenirs are very ..........
    See the travelogue for examples.

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