I love flowers and I have a real soft spot for tulips. Tulips mean that spring is just around the corner and winter is almost over.
I have been lucky enough to be in Amsterdam in mid-April during the tulip festival and have spent an afternoon wandering through the Floating Flower Market on the Singel Canal. The variety of flowers was overwhelming and the prices were incredible. Even though I was only in town for three days I filled my hotel room with flowers using every available ice bucket, glass and container I could find.
Bulbs can be bought in bulk with bags of 100 available for under 10 Euros and 50 cut tulips for 5 Euros. I highly recommend wandering the market to check out the different stores and displays. Some shop owners don’t mind photo taking but others do so watch for signs as they can get a little grumpy.
The urge to take some bulbs home could actually make you consider sneaking them back into your country hidden in your luggage (a big no-no if the bulbs aren’t properly designated) but don’t worry as there are bulbs that have been cleared for export. Check with the shop owner and look for a designation on the package and you should be good. If you aren’t sure, head back to your hotel, do a little research and then go shopping. Make sure you let the customs guard know you have them when you head home. If you are travelling to Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or CFIA has a page dedicated to importing bulbs from The Netherlands.
English is spoken everywhere so feel free to ask questions if there are flowers you don’t recognize or if you have questions about the bulbs. Remember not to take up too much of their time if you aren’t buying as they do have to make a living.
mid-April to early May
Visit Holland.com for more information on travelling in Holland and the tulip festival http://www.holland.com/us/tourism/article/tulip-festival.htm
Flower Market in Amsterdam
Singel 630 to 600
1017 AZ Amsterdam