Floating Flower Market Amsterdam (Bloemenmarkt)

The floating flower market in Amsterdam is an iconic attraction located in the old town.

Here you will get to know more about the history of this market, if it’s worth visiting it and I also share some flower buying tips.

Floating Flower Market Amsterdam (Bloemenmarkt) pin image

📕 What is the Floating Flower Market?

The Amsterdam floating flower market is a small market situated on barges in a canal in the old town, between Koningsplein and Muntplein.

Locally, the market is known as Bloemenmarkt in Dutch and some people claim that it is the only floating flower market in the world. (Thailand has floating flower markets).

The first flower sellers appeared at the very same spot in 1862 and the golden age was at the end of the 19th century up to the beginning of the Belle Époque period in the 20th century.

These are some of the oldest canals of Amsterdam, which served as a water road for traders across the country.

In the old days, flower merchants from the horticultural areas had to keep the flowers, especially tulips, fresh and to do so they came in with barges through the Amstel river canals to park there and sell the freshest flowers.

In time, the barges changed into large container-like market stalls and that is what you get to see at the floating flower market.

Most flowers, such as tulips and narcissus, are in season in April for a very brief period. The Dutch were known for centuries for their flower cultivation skills and know-how. The flower traders of the Netherlands fed the needs of the royals and nobles across Europe with their beautiful tulips and other flowers.

Today, the Dutch are still the biggest exporters of Tulips, Roses, Chrysanthemums, and Gerbera. The difference is that they export all over the world within 24 hours and the live auctions take place in the Keukenhof, one of the worlds largest flower gardens.

Fun fact: Plein is the Dutch word for a square.

Fresh flowers at the floating flower market in Amsterdam
Fresh flowers at the floating flower market

🏺 What to expect?

The whole stretch called the flower market between the Koningsplein and Muntplein is a nice little stroll along one single canal. But that’s it!

We expected more of the place and stalls. We thought we would see plenty of flowers, especially, tulips there in the first week of May.

What we saw instead was a lot of flower-themed souvenirs, trinkets such as magnets, wooden tulips and clogs. Plenty of different flower bulbs can be bought there as well.

Honestly, the flower market in Amsterdam feels like a Tourist trap and a bit like a scam. There are almost no flowers in spring! The touristy cheesy Dutch cheese shop opposite the market didn’t help the image.

You won’t find any locals shop here for flowers. We asked locals, and they said they go to a Home Depot like the rest of the world to buy their tulips. 🙂

BUT, I think the market is still neat if you want to experience the vibe and see several flower bulbs. You can take pictures and talk to the sellers, they are very helpful and friendly.

Take a look at it yourself. We filmed a real-time walk across the flower market.

🌷 Flower Buying Tips

You might find a shop or two selling bouquets or single flowers. You will mostly see the following flowers fresh or bought in bulb.

  • tulips
  • carnations
  • roses
  • chrysanthemums
  • orchids
  • violets
  • peonies
  • narcissus
  • snowdrops
  • daffodils
  • cute small cacti and succulents

Small unusual planting and flower equipment can be purchased from the markets as well, such as adorable plant pots and useful things such as plant food.

Yet, it is not recommended to buy flower bulbs at the floating flower market in Amsterdam because most don’t bloom. At least, that was the visitors’ main critique point, when they bought flower bulbs in a stall in the past.

Tulips might be in season, so to say bloom, in April and May, but you should only buy the bulbs between august and December.

Various flower bulbs on display at the flower market Amsterdam
Various flower bulbs on display in a stall

If you see tulip bulbs sold in April or May at this market, you can be sure that these are old ones from the previous year, and they will mostly not bloom.

That said, the merchants share info if you ask them the right questions. In fact, many offer a courier service to anywhere in the world.

If you are only a short or tight on time, but you would like to get some unique tulip flower bulbs, then this market is your best option since it’s centrally located.

Look out for phytosanitary certificate seals by the Dutch government on the bulbs. These are said to have a validity date on them, which should be 6 weeks at most.

In that case, speak to the sellers, but compare rates and services at an online Dutch flower shop with international shipping as an option.

You should also be aware that, flower bulbs can be stored in a luggage and imported into certain countries only, such as the United States.

Other countries, as in Australia and India, might not allow this. Ask your local customs for more info, what you can and can’t bring from Amsterdam.

stall selling flower bulbs at the flower market in amsterdam
stall selling flower bulbs

⌚️ Opening Times

The flower market is open year-round, from Monday to Saturday, from 9 am to 5:30 pm, and on Sundays, from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm.

By 11 am it’s already a bit more crowded and weekends are, of course, always super busy. Generally speaking, the main tourist season in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, is in April and May, which is spring, as well as in the summer months.

If you are trying to avoid crowds, visit before 10 am on a weekday. Since they sell mainly bulbs, try to visit in September or October to get the best new tulips bulbs. These need to be planted in fall, before the first snow fall and in spring, they will grow out and bloom.

Not all flower stalls are open at all times, some close earlier or decide not to turn up on that day. Others close earlier on Saturdays and Sundays.

The city of Amsterdam organizes a Christmas market at the flower market in December with a large Christmas tree. Note that the market is somewhat dead in January and February, and it comes back to live in March, right on time for the spring flower season.

Paul strolling through the floating flower market in Amsterdam
Paul strolling through the floating flower market

📍 Getting There

You can easily get around with the public transport connection to the Bloemenmarkt, the flower market. I recommend using Google Maps to get around.


The nearest subway station to the floating flower market is Rokin.

From the centraal train station take the direction “Station Zuid”, and get out at the first station, which is Rokin. Then walk about 5 minutes along the Rokin river towards Muntplein. The market is just across the Munttoren bridge, you can’t miss it.


Tram connections are frequent and stations are situated at the Koningsplein or the Muntplein, either end of the market lane.

Line 2 and 12 stop at the Koningsplein. Take the tram line 24 to get out at the Muntplein.

Flower market road Amsterdam

🏰 Nearby Attractions

These attractions are at most 20 minutes walking distance from the flower market. Discover more things to do in Amsterdam.

  • Dam square with the royal palace and national monument
  • Rembrandt square (Rembrandtplein) a smallish square, surrounded by bars and clubs, with the statue of the renowned Renaissance painter, Rembrandt.
  • Amsterdam museum telling the history of the city
  • The main popular city center shopping lane, Kalverstraat.
  • The upscale shopping lane, Leidsestraat.

💭 FAQs

How much time can I expect to spend at the flower market?

Depending on your needs, you can expect to spend somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes at the flower market.

Is it worthwhile to visit the floating flower market?

If you like flowers, you might enjoy a walk on this lane. It’s not a necessary attraction, so you can skip the flower market if you have other places on your bucket list.

When is the tulip festival in Amsterdam?

The tulip festival is a period in and around Amsterdam when the tulips are blooming. The flower and tourism industry celebrated tulips from the end of March up to mid-May, for almost two months. The tulip festival in the Keukenhof near Amsterdan, the largest tulip fields in the Netherlands, takes place every year starting end of April to mid-May. For example, in 2023, it’s the 23rd of April up to the 14th of May.

Floating Flower Market Amsterdam (Bloemenmarkt) pin picture