Do you want to experience the flowers of Holland? Seeing the flowers in Aalsmeer is the way to go. It’s near Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and offers a full day’s worth of experiences in the Amsterdam area. This is really exciting because I didn’t even know about these experiences until I partnered with Amsterdam & Partners and had a full day of adventures in Aalsmeer.
Do you know what this means? It means that you get to have a more local experience and learn about some hidden gems in Holland. But don’t worry, you can spread the word, because I really want visitors to look outside the bubble of Amsterdam for a more authentic, fun, and memorable experience.
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How to experience Aalsmeer flowers
Aalsmeer flower auction
This is a must-do if you love flowers and love the behind-the-scenes stuff. I certainly do! This is the world’s largest flower auction and it’s open to you (after Coronavirus measures are changed) for a self-guided or guided tour. Plus you can watch the actual auction and the little vehicles buzzing around topped with all types of flowers. It’s the definition of organized chaos and it’s amazing. The flower auction is probably the main reason people visit Aalsmeer, but we’re going to round out the day with other fun things to do.
Oh my goodness…this is a seriously awesome hidden gem. I think everyone who visits this area must go to FloriWorld. I had so much fun that I was sending pictures to friends the whole time I was there and my cheeks were actually hurting from smiling so much. This place brought me so much joy. From a room with so much greenery that you’ll instantly feel relaxed, to the best in tech creating unique experiences for each and every person, this place is pure magic with a lot of Instagram-ability thrown in! Oh, and I won my own auction and got a beautiful bouquet 🙂
Flower Art Museum
Many artists used flowers as a theme or inspiration and now there is a special place specifically for those pieces of art at the Flower Art Museum. As soon as you arrive at the museum, you’ll see the flower wall — a mosaic created from photos of flowers. Inside you’ll find the full exhibit which rotates every three months. This is all housed in an old water overflow cellar for the water tower that’s across the street. I love when buildings that are not longer needed for their original purpose find new life!
Climb the Water tower
Built in 1928 in the Art Deco style, the Watertoren Aalsmeer is a stunning building. It’s now a national historical landmark that you can visit on the second and fourth Sunday of the month. Though, in July and August, it’s open every Sunday afternoon. If you visit outside of the breeding season for peregrine falcons, then you might be able to go all the way up to the top and outside! That’s quite the treat. I saw the airport while I was up there (AKA my second home…normally).
When it’s time for lunch (or to start the day with breakfast), Het Tuinhuis is a great option. It might look like just another cute restaurant, but the food blew me away. It’s located between a canal with a super photogenic bridge and the historical garden. With seating inside and outside, you can have a super gezellig (cozy) experience inside or enjoy the nice weather on the terrace. My pick for lunch would be the warm goat cheese salad. I almost licked my bowl. I didn’t, but I wanted to.
Historic Garden Aalsmeer
I did not expect this garden to do to me what it did. It is an oasis. First, we started off in the old greenhouses where we learned about the history of Dutch land (it’s actually really interesting) and you can see knee-high clogs. Then, we walked around the nurseries to see how they keep heirloom plants as part of the culture. We saw an auction house designed for the flower auctions and I think everyone would like to stroll through the rose greenhouse. It smelled divine. But the deeper you go into the garden, the more magical it becomes. There are rows of flowers perfect for that Instagram photo. If you keep walking, you’ll find yourself getting calmer as you walk. It was an unexpected therapy session.
How to get to Aalsmeer from Amsterdam
This is probably one of the reasons I never made it to Aalsmeer (I feel silly now). I didn’t know how to get around. But the buses are a great option with the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket.
Bus 357 can take you from the Elandsgracht bus stop or the Museumplein stop to FloriWorld/Flower auction very easily and directly. Use Bus 357 again to get from FloriWorld/Flower auction to the Flower Art Museum and the water tower. From there, I’d suggest the 20-minute flat walk along the water and through a nice residential neighborhood to arrive at Het Tuinhuis and the Historic Garden. Taking the bus from the water tower wouldn’t save much time due to the length of the walk to the bus stop.
Once you finish your visit, Bus 340 will get you to the Hoofddorp train station and you can take the train back to Amsterdam, or anywhere in the country.
This is general advice, but you can use Google Maps or 9292.nl to help plan your public transportation routes.
I hope you have a beautiful booming trip and let us know on social media if you do any of these activities. We love to know when you use our tips! To discover more of the Netherlands, you’ll find our archive super helpful 😉
Also, good for you for getting out of the box a little because there are so many gems to be found.
Wishing you joy and travels!