Think Amsterdam, you picture Instagrammable canals, quirky architecture, and vibrant nightlife but one of Amsterdam’s most iconic symbols is the tulip. These beautiful blooms add wonderful pops of color throughout the canalled city. The tulip’s introduction to Amsterdam dates back to the Ottoman Empire where Ferdinand I sent tulip bulbs from Turkey to Vienna to be distributed across major European cities.
Tulips aren’t the only florals in the city! With wicker flower baskets at the ready…here’s a short guide to Amsterdam’s extraordinary flower scene.
Fancy strolling through one of the world’s largest flower gardens? Meaning ‘Kitchen Garden’, Keukenhof dates back to the 15th Century where herbs taken from the garden were used in the castle’s kitchen to feed the noble residents. Nowadays, Keukenhof, an annual festival open March 22 – May 13 2018, is a wonderful treat for the eyes. The best in Dutch floriculture will be on show with seven million bulbs that will bloom, and 800 varieties of tulips covering 32 hectares.
The World’s Only Floating Flower Market
This fragrant tourist hotspot is home to the famous tulips as well as geraniums, narcissus and many more. If you’re only visiting the city you can pick up bulbs to take away and plant at home – don’t forget to check with the vendor for any country restrictions where you intend to plant them, and declare them on your customs form.
Vincent Van Gogh
Famous for his ‘Sunflowers’ artwork, Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh has an entire Amsterdam-based museum dedicated to his work, fascinating life and captivating death. One of the museum’s hidden gems, is Van Gogh’s ‘Wheatfield with Crows’ canvas which was one of his last works before his death in 1890.
Florals at Kimpton De Witt
The Kimpton De Witt Hotel has a strong connection to Amsterdam’s floral scene with flowers incorporated into the interiors, artwork, decorations as well as the delicious food and drink. You’ll even find our very own ‘Kimptonhof’ flower installation in the hotel’s outdoor courtyard where you can relax among the beautiful blooms this spring. You’re definitely in the wrong hotel if you don’t spot a flower on your visit.
Eat and Drink Your Florals
Amsterdam’s floral theme has also found its way into De Witt’s House Bar. Inspired by the city of Amsterdam, the menu features several cocktails using floral ingredients as a base. This spring, guests can enjoy two special edition floral cocktails, the Blanc Tulip and Red Tulip cocktails. Both use Old Simon Jenever – a Dutch spirit that’s a blend of a botanical neutral spirit and malt-wine, and is juniper flavored and Creme De Violet – a brandy-based liqueur made from violet flowers.
Amsterdam’s floral roots – no pun intended – attracts visitors from around the globe to explore the small and large displays the city has to offer, from art, gardens, food, drink and culture. Next time you’re in the city make sure you kick start your floral journey at Kimpton De Witt.