I nc l ude a rea ma s p t ra n s po & rt a d v ic e
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM EXPERIENCE THE FLOWER STRIP JUST AN HOUR FROM THE CENTRE OF AMSTERDAM, AS HOLLAND BURSTS INTO BLOOM.
Aalsmeer Where the flowers come from
Why visit AAlsmeer? • Largest flower auction in the world • Beautiful surroundings with Westeinder lake • Learn all about flowers and the Dutch flower trade • Boat trips and events • Only 20 minutes from Amsterdam www.vvvaalsmeer.nl
Flower Capital FloraHolland Aalsmeer Visiting hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 7.00 am - 11.00 am Thursday: 7.00 am - 9.00 am
For more information: FloraHolland Visitor Centre Legmeerdijk 313 1430 BA Aalsmeer T: +31 (0)88 789 89 89
HOLLAND IN BLOOM The Netherlands produces a staggering 70 per cent of the world’s commercial flower output. For a colourful glimpse into this contemporary Dutch flower power, you need go no further than the so-called ‘flower strip’, just an hour from Amsterdam. With Holland’s famous bulb fields in full bloom, you’ll be surrounded on all sides by a rainbow of flowers: purple hyacinths, pink crocuses, countless varieties of tulips and bright yellow daffodils. Don’t miss one of the world’s most photogenic attractions, the Keukenhof flower gardens, which opens for just eight short weeks each year. Or find out how the Dutch flower trade engendered a unique economic system at the FloraHolland auction, housed in the world’s biggest trading building and open all year round. Put things into perspective with a trip to the Black Tulip Museum or the Historic Garden, and you’ll see that tulip mania never really ended here... For more suggestions and excursion tips, visit www.iamsterdam.com/ cityescapes
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM
CONTENTS P.04 KEUKENHOF GARDENS
The spring garden opens its gates for just eight short weeks.
P.08 REGION MAP Transport routes and partner information.
P.11 BULB FIELDS Discover the flower strip from a different perspective.
P.12 ‘FLOWER CAPITAL‘ AALSMEER The world’s largest flower auction and more.
P.14 VISITOR INFORMATION Transport tips, Visitor Information Centres, where to stay & eat and more.
published by Amsterdam Marketing editor-in-chief Bart van Oosterhout art director & basic design Loes Koomen designer Zlatka Siljdedic copy editor & writer Megan Roberts project manager Pauline Saathof
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM
Tiptoe through the tulips, admire the amaryllis and cruise past the crocuses…
Nowhere is the Dutch cult of the tulip celebrated in more glorious fashion than at the ‘world’s most beautiful spring garden’ located in the dune and bulb region just south of Amsterdam city centre. FLOWER SHOWS With several indoor pavilions, the Keukenhof hosts more than 20 flower shows during its eight-week open season. As many as 500 growers present their most beautiful blooms and leading florists create truly unique displays with them. In the Oranje Nassau Pavilion, each week a different flower becomes the focus – from the ubiquitous tulip through freesias to roses and chrysanthemums. From 7-17 May, the Willem Alexander Pavilion hosts the largest lily show in Europe, and throughout the season the Beatrix Pavilion is transformed into an orchid show of unprecedented proportions.
TIP Save yourself time and book your Keukenhof excursion – including fast-track tickets – via Tours & Tickets. The tour to the Keukenhof will go through the flowerfields and is provided with commentary in four different languages (see page10).
5 TULPOMANIA TOUR Time left over after your visit to the Keukenhof? Combine your trip with a visit to Haarlem, which is paying its own tribute to Holland’s iconic bloom. During the Keukenhof’s open season, the special ‘Tulpomania’ package lets you experience the Keukenhof’s floral splendour, a flower exhibition – with both paintings and real flowers – at the Frans Hals Museum and a ‘Tulpomania Beer Tasting’ at the Jopenkerk brewery. The package is available online at www.haarlem.nl. For the duration of Tulpomania, four buses per hour will run from Haarlem to the Keukenhof.
CULT OF THE TULIP
pen for just eight weeks each year (in accordance with the tulip’s national flowering season), the Keukenhof boasts a staggering 7 million blooms, planted across the 32-hectare park. There are other species besides the unofficial Dutch national flower, of course – crocuses, hyacinths and narcissi from late March; lilies and roses in early summer – but the tulip is definitely the star. They stand to attention in regimental rows that extend as far as the eye can see, planted in extraordinary patterns and swaths of contrasting colour. The Keukenhof (literally, ‘kitchen garden’) welcomes more visitors per day – with a total of 800,000 visitors in its short open season than any other attraction in the Netherlands. It’s not difficult to see why. Every year the country’s top bulb growers showcase a different theme, providing visitors with the ultimate floral experience. This year, the theme is centred around the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.
Travelling on ‘whisper’ boats (so called because their electric motors make them practically silent) you’ll get a unique perspective of the bulb fields surrounding the Keukenhof. Located on the site of the former 15th-century Slot Teylingen estate, owners Baron and Baroness van Pallandt commissioned landscape architects JD and LP Zocher, who designed Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, to lay the grounds out in the English landscape tradition. The first open-air flower exhibition was organised here in 1949, and since then the Keukenhof has become one of the Netherlands’ star attractions. Buy your combi-ticket (including entrance to the Keukenhof and public transport) via www.keukenhof.nl. 20 MARCH-17 MAY Stationsweg 166a, Lisse +31 (0)252 465 555 www.keukenhof.nl
A See page 14 for Visitor Information Centres & transport advice. See page 08 for region map.
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM
he musical entertainment and beautifully decorated floats of the annual flower strip Flower Parade are highlights of the Dutch events calendar. Back for its 68th edition with the theme ‘200 Years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ for 2015, some 20 lavish floats and 30 decorated cars will travel 40km along the main roads from Noordwijk to Haarlem, where they’ll conclude with an illuminated procession. Visitors flock to the roadsides and the atmosphere is deliciously convivial – and best of all, it’s free. If you miss the parade itself, head to Haarlem the next day, where the floats will be displayed until 4pm in the city centre.
CASTLE KEUKENHOF It may be perpetually outshone by its showy neighbour, but this castle (located straight across from the world-famous Keukenhof gardens) boasts an impressive history with Golden Age roots. Inside, you’ll find portraits, artefacts and period furniture; in the 230-hectare wooded estate, leading artists’ work. For details of upcoming events and exhibitions, please see www.kasteelkeukenhof.nl.
25 APRIL, DEPARTS 09.30 Wilhelminaboulevard, Noordwijk www.bloemencorso-bollenstreek.nl
Keukenhof 1, Lisse +31 (0)252 750 690
A & B See page 14 for Visitor Information Centres & transport advice.
Pick your own flowers at Annemieke’s tulip garden Thanks to its fertile sandy soil, Amsterdam’s flower strip has been the top producer of unique flowers, in particular tulips, for hundreds of years. Annemieke’s Pluktuin (picking garden), a nursery in Hillegom – 35km from Amsterdam – specialises in cultivating tulips using organic horticultural techniques. The garden, which boasts more than 300 varieties of flowers, is open to public. Learn how the blooms are prepared for sale, wander through the tulip fields and pick your own vibrant bunch to take home. From July till October, you can also pick beautiful bouquets of summer flowers. A great memory of the flower strip! OPEN DAILY FEBRUARY-OCTOBER Haarlemmerstraat 15a, Hillegom +31 (0)6 5383 9979 www.annemiekespluktuin.nl
See page 08 for region map & page 14 for transport advice.
M I E K E N E ’ S
pluktuin H i l l e g o m
LISSE The ‘Dorpsplein ‘t Vierkant’ square has been inhabited since 1200 and today is the cultural and culinary heart of Lisse. Restaurant ‘De Vier Seizoenen’ has given its own creative spin to the floral theme in April, when you can try edible flowers here. The Agathakerk is also worth a visit. Beneath the towering spire of the flower strip’s tallest church, admire the beautiful interior or experience the thrill of a bulb auction.
BLACK TULIP MUSEUM This museum tells the history of the Netherlands’ bulb region and tulip-growing ‘bulbiculture’. A visitor’s guide to the permanent exhibition is available in six languages. Open from 1 July. Grachtweg 2a, Lisse +31 (0)252 417 900 www.museumdezwartetulp.nl
Molen koe grachtpand je fiets
Explore the Flowers of Amsterdam With the Amsterdam & Region Day Ticket you can travel 24 hours by bus, tram and metro in and around Amsterdam. This ticket is valid for bus line 858 and 50 to the Keukenhof and bus line 172 to Aalsmeer Flower Auction.
Including bus line 858 from Schiphol Airport to Keukenhof
Purchase your Amsterdam & Region Day Ticket with your I amsterdam City Card and get â‚Ź3.50 discount. This offer is exclusively available at the I amsterdam Visitor Centres in Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport. www.iamsterdam.com/citycard
Railway with station 0km
M I E K E N E ’ S
H i l l e g o m
57 Noordwijk 361
Voorhout Kager Plassen
90 57 Warmond
30 50 57
Den Haag Centraal
Amsterdam Central Station
Amsterdam City Haarlemmermeerpolder
361 Amsterdam 858 Airport
Ouderkerk a/d Amstel
Aalsmeer Flower Auction
Nes a/d Amstel
Visitor Information Centres
Keukenhof Gardens Keukenhof Castle Annemieke’s Pluktuin Black Tulip Museum Rent-a-Bike Van Dam Flower Auction FloraHolland The Historic Garden Westeinder Boat Cruise Aalsmeer Rondvaart
A Lisse B Noordwijk C Aalsmeer D Amsterdam E Schiphol Airport
20 MARCH - 17 MAY 2015
KEUKENHOF & FLOWERFIELDS Excursion €5
Daily 6 departures from Amsterdam | Duration 5 hours
Van der Pe
Kw art elst
Ferry to Amsterdam North
IJp le in
EASY AND CONVENIENT: PASSENGER TERMINAL
B. Wie r
IJp le in
17 13 5 2 1
SH EN DR IKK AD E
DAILY DEPARTURE FROM AMSTERDAM CITY CENTRE
4 9 16 24 25 26
Oo stel ijk
e ha ndel sk
er Ho u
Po nt pl ei
Dr oo gb ak
Damrak 26, Amsterdam | Tel. +31 20 420 4000 AA T
SH EN DR IK KA DE
GE RS TR
Redeem this voucher and receive discount. Adults € 5.00 Children € 2.50
25 24 16
KA TT EN
De Oude Kerk
Oo ste rdo ksei
THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT
Ton de Leeuwstraat
naal t Hamerka
S p r e e u we
Sch aaf str aa t
at tra als ga
ige rw eg
aa lst raa t
Na ch teg
AN LA KS
Zw a lu ws tra at
at tra jess
eg terw slo
Leliendaalstraat la rcy
Fa za nte nw eg
e an Zw
Rano nkel kade
IJT UN NE L
g we or n id o
EI N PL
oon stra at
aan parkl hoeks
n dlaa Bun
lkad nke Rano
g aswe Gr
eg sw ra
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM
The Dutch bulb fields, whose bulbs and blooms support a billion-euro industry, are a carpet of geometric colour blocks, from mid-March through to August. A great way to discover this flower strip (bollenstreek) is to follow one of the marked walking or cycling routes.
rom Leiden to Haarlem, bold beautiful stripes of colour flame across the landscape. After the crocuses, it’s the turn of the tulips, daffodils and hyacinths – an impressive display that continues into May and beyond. In late summer the gladioli, dahlias, carnations and asters stage a second show of colour. The history of flora culture in Holland began with the digging of dunes, when it was discovered that the sandy soil was exceptionally well suited to the cultivation of flower bulbs. Holland’s thriving flower industry was born. You’ll catch an eyeful on many of the trains heading southwest from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – and even from your aeroplane when you’re coming into land – but the bulb fields truly deserve a closer look. The ‘Wandelnetwerk Bollenstreek’ is a network of marked hiking routes through the region. Follow the hexagonal signposts past green pastures and colourful bulb fields, savour the views from atop wooden stiles and navigate the waterways on pulley-operated ferries. Free maps are available at the local Visitor Information Centres (VVV) or can be downloaded from www.bollenstreek.info/ wandelen. The VVV can provide suggested car or bike routes, as well as guided tour information. To learn more about Lisse and its surroundings, download the free audio-tour app at www.audiotourlisse.nl.
BIKING THE BULB FIELDS To explore at your own pace, a bike is by far the best option. You can rent bikes – from Rent-a-Bike Van Dam – at the main entrance of the Keukenhof for €10 a day, including a cycle route. In total there are four signposted and marked routes, ranging from 5km to 25km long. For the real green-fingered fanatics, there is also a longer ‘Bulb Route’, a bum-numbing 35km. Rent-a-Bike Van Dam Havenstraat 78, Noordwijkerhout +31 (0)6 1208 9858 www.rentabikevandam.nl
TULIP MANIA Originally from the Ottoman Empire, the tulip gained popularity in Holland in the Golden Age as a luxury item and a status symbol. Before long ‘Tulip Mania‘ was gripping the country. In 1636, stock exchanges were established to trade in bulbs. By 1635, 40 bulbs sold for ten times the average salary of a skilled labourer. Of course, the hype had to end sometime and in 1637 the market crashed. Today, ‘Tulip Mania‘ is a term used to refer to any large economic bubble that cannot last.
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM
‘FLOWER CAPITAL‘ AALSMEER Aalsmeer is all about flowers. Not only is it home to the world’s biggest flower auction; you can also learn about the history of floriculture at The Historic Garden, sail through the region’s horticultural past or even visit some nurseries yourself.
FLOWER AUCTION FLORAHOLLAND
he world’s biggest flower auction (bloemenveiling) is FloraHolland, in Aalsmeer, 15km outside Amsterdam. It’s housed in the world’s biggest trading building (a whopping 400 football fields’ worth). It’s so large, in fact, that the workers traverse the site by bike. FloraHolland handles more than 21 million cut flowers and 2 million potted plants each day, mostly for export. The unusual sales method used gave rise to the phrase ‘Dutch auction’. Dealers bid by pushing a button to stop a ‘clock’ that counts from 100 down to one; thus, the price is lowered – rather than raised – until a buyer is found. Bidders risk either paying too much for the goods or not getting them if time runs out. The best action is usually before 9am, so you’ll have to get up early to see it, but there are flowers stretching as far as the eye can see, the smell is divine and with an (optional) knowledgeable, multilingual guide you’ll witness the auction process first-hand. Legmeerdijk 313, Aalsmeer, www.floraholland.com Open Mon-Fri only
C See page 14 for Visitor Information Centres and transport advice. See page 08 for region map.
TIPS Find all the botanical attractions, including cycle or driving tours, at www.vvvaalsmeer.nl You can buy a combi-ticket for the flower auction, The Historic Garden and a Westeinder boat cruise at the flower auction.
VISIT A GROWER There’s no better place to discover the glory of Aalsmeer’s roses than the Belle Epoque rose nursery. From mid-May, when the gardens first come into bloom, visitors can enjoy the colours and scents of more than 500 different varieties of rose. www.belle-epoque.nl
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM
the historic garden
TIP Fancy trying floral design yourself? A stone’s throw from the flower auction is the Boerma Instituut, the only private school for flower arranging in the Netherlands, which offers vocational training, courses and workshops. Boerma Instituut Legmeerdijk 227 +31 (0)20 441 5306 www.boerma.nl
BOAT CRUISE The combination of horticulture, recreation and nature make Aalsmeer unique. An open or covered boat tour takes you through a maze of islands, and knowledgeable skippers fill you in on the region’s horticultural history. Westeinder Boat Cruise Praamplein, Aalsmeer +31 (0)297 341 582 www.westeinderrondvaart.nl Aalsmeer Rondvaart Oosteinderweg 243, Aalsmeer +31 (0)297 388 100 www.aalsmeerrondvaart.nl
& See page 08 for region map.
The Historic Garden I f you’re interested in learning more about the unique Dutch auction and cultivation process, visit The Historic Garden (De Historische Tuin) in Aalsmeer, where they’ve literally turned back time with a replica of an auction hall, complete with a large clock dating from the 1930s. At the beginning of the 17th century, the growers focused on the cultivation of fruit trees, using the space underneath to grow strawberries. At the end of the 19th century, growers in Aalsmeer went over to the cultivation of flowers outside, and shortly thereafter to growing flowers in greenhouses. Telling the story of horticulture in the area from the 1700s until around 1940, this offers nice context to your excursion. OPEN FROM 11 APRIL Uiterweg 32, Aalsmeer +31 (0)297 322 562 www.htaalsmeer.org
See page 08 for region map.
Enjoy a colourful weekend of flowers, nature, history, exhibitions, food and drink during the Aalsmeer Flower Festival. The second edition of this growing event takes place on 20 and 21 June 2015. In the centre of Aalsmeer you can climb the 150-year-old mill and look down at a mosaic of plants resembling a famous Van Gogh painting. Nearby, The Historic Garden will exhibit numerous varieties of rose, both old and new. Fort Kudelstaart, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Defence Line of Amsterdam, is open to visitors and will be decorated with beautiful flower arrangements. The festival is spread over several locations, all of which can easily be reached by bus, bike or boat. Aalsmeer Flower Festival 11.00-17.00; 20-21 June www.aalsmeerflowerfestival.nl
FLOWERS OF AMSTERDAM
GET F OUT O S BU W TO N S PAS
Everything you need to know to get the most out of your visit. VISITOR INFO CENTRES A LISSE
Grachtweg 53a +31 (0)25 241 4262 www.vvvlisse.nl
De Grent 8 +31 (0)71 361 9321
C AALSMEER Boekhuis Aalsmeer Zijdstraat 12 +31 (0)20 702 6000 www.vvvaalsmeer.nl AMSTERDAM D I amsterdam Visitor Centre Across from Central Station Stationsplein 10 +31 (0)20 702 6000 www.iamsterdam.com E I amsterdam Visitor Centre Schiphol Airport Schiphol Airport Arrivals 2 +31 (0)20 702 6000 www.iamsterdam.com
RESTAURANTS & HOTELS
Westerdreef 49, Lisse +31 (0)252 410 076 www.hoteldeduif.nl DE VIER SEIZOENEN Restaurant and bed & breakfast De Vier Seizoenen is an ideal place to start from in experiencing Lisse and its surroundings. In April you can try edible flowers here. Heereweg 224, Lisse +31 (0)252 418 023 www.restaurantdevier seizoenen.nl DE ARENDSHOEVE A unique and authentic location for group meetings and events. The mission is to offer a green experience with sustainable and positive influences. Aalsmeerderdijk 438 Aalsmeerderbrug +31 (0)252 418 023 www.arendshoeve.com
GETTING THERE FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION
THE BEACH This sports complexslash-restaurant boasts an indoor beach volleyball court in a unique location: the former flower auction of Aalsmeer. Oosteinderweg 247a Aalsmeer +31 (0)297 347 444 www.beach.nl
KEUKENHOF GARDENS The easiest way to reach the Keukenhof from Amsterdam is with the Connexxion All-In CombiTicket, including bus transport from the city centre or Amsterdam Airport Schiphol plus entrance to the park. Or take bus Arriva 50 from Haarlem.
HOTEL DE DUIF Located in the bulb region, the Keukenhof is just a ten-minute walk away. Bike rentals available.
CASTLE KEUKENHOF Take the train to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol then bus Qliner 361 (journey time 60min).
ANNEMIEKE’S PLUKTUIN Take the train to Haarlem (journey time 15min).Then take bus Arriva 50 and get off at the Ford Museum (journey time 25min). The entrance is opposite the museum. BLACK TULIP MUSEUM Take the train to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol then bus Qliner 361 (journey time 35min). From the airport take bus Qliner 361 (journey time 55min). FLOWER AUCTION FLORAHOLLAND Take bus 172 (journey time 60min). From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol take bus 300 and change at Amstelveen to bus 172 (journey time 45min). THE HISTORIC GARDEN Take bus 172 (journey time 80min). From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol take bus 198 (journey time 25min). WESTEINDER RONDVAART Take bus 172 (journey 80min). Or take the train to Hoofddorp then bus 140 (journey time 40min). From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol take bus 198 (journey time 25min). AALSMEER RONDVAART Take bus 172 (journey time 80min). Or take the train to Hoofddorp then bus 140 (journey time 40min). From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol take bus 198 (journey time 25min).
I AMSTERDAM CITY CARD Get free access to more than 40 of Amsterdam’s major museums, a canal cruise through the city centre and free public transport on all metro, bus and tram lines operated by GVB Amsterdam.
GET OUT OF TOWN BUS PASS Discover Amsterdam and the surrounding area with the Amsterdam & Region Day Ticket – a special 24-hour public transport pass valid on metros, trams and buses operated by GVB, Connexxion and EBS. Special offer: combine the Amsterdam & Region Day Ticket with the I amsterdam City Card. Explore the Amsterdam area and its attractions and save money by picking up the Amsterdam & Region Day Ticket for just €10*. *This offer is exclusively available at the I amsterdam Visitor Centres at Central Station and Schiphol Airport.
Enjoy Holland at his brightest Flowerfields in the Bollenstreek Get more information on: www.bollenstreek.info
5 reasons to visit the Bollenstreek
1. The beaches and the spectacular dunes 2. The sweet smelling and colorful bulb fields 3. The widespread, recreational water areas 4. The cultural and historical attractions 5. Welcoming accommodations for short or longer stays.
e the c n e i r e p x E round a s d l e fi r flowe bike! y b f o h n e Keuk Rent your bike at the parking lot near the main entrance of Keukenhof
FLOWER VILLAGE LISSE
• Keukenhof • The flower fields • Keukenhof Castle • More than 40 restaurants • More than 150 shops Free audiotour on www.audio tourlisse.nl
You can choose from four signposted routes ranging from 5 km to 25 km.
+31 6 12 08 98 58 WWW.RENT-A-BIKEVANDAM.NL
The most beautiful spring garden in the world! Keukenhof is the place to enjoy millions of flowering tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other bulbflowers this spring. Keukenhof is a day full of experiences you are not likely to forget easily. The most beautiful spring garden in the world will offer you a unique sensation of scents and colours, more than 20 spectacular flower shows, surprising inspirational gardens and many more buzzing events. 2015 will be the year of Van Gogh at Keukenhof. Van Gogh is the inspiration for the flower shows, the new selfie garden and a spectacular Van Gogh selfportrait containing ten thousands of tulips. Public transport Bus line 858: From railway station Schiphol Airport â€“ Keukenhof v.v. (departure from busplatform at Arrivals 4).
Tickets: www.keukenhof.nl or Tourist Information (Stationsplein opposite Central Station)
Experience the flower strip just an hour from the centre of Amsterdam, as Holland bursts into bloom.