A Unique Souvenir from Amsterdam – Tulip Bulbs

10 Jan

An important part of any trip for me is to pick up gifts and souvenirs for friends and family back at home. I love shopping for such gifts and am always on the lookout for items that are local and unique. Things that will actually take you down the memory lane revisiting that place or remind the other person (who’s been the recipient of that gift) of you and that place.

The Dutch Souvenirs in Amsterdam

The Dutch Souvenirs in Amsterdam

During my recent trip to Amsterdam I came across one such unique Dutch souvenir – Tulip bulbs. While randomly walking around the city we reached the Bloemenmarkt. It is claimed that this is the world’s only floating flower market, though I am not so sure considering I have heard similar stories of Srinagar in Kashmir. This market was founded in 1862, on the canals of Singel in the city’s southern canal belt. It has many florist, gardening and souvenir shops located inside a row of floating barges.

The Floating Bloemenmarkt

The Floating Bloemenmarkt

For me this place was like a colorful and fragrant treasure trove. It had tulip bulbs for tulips in every colour, bulbs for several other house plants, seeds, vegetables and gardening essentials including the garden gnomes. They even had cut flowers. It is said that no matter what your favorite flower is, you will find it here. We had a fabulous time just walking through the aisles in wonderment at the sheer variety available and mixing and matching of bulbs (you can buy them in sets to have mult colored flowers) for gifting purposes. Initially we were not sure whether they will flower in India (with the climate etc) but the shopkeeper guided us that we can store these bulbs in the fridge till we have our cooler season and then plant them. Since we were planning to take the bulbs out of country, the shop keeper asked us to put a customs cleared stamp on the packet so we won’t have any trouble at the border. Though we didn’t get one we still didn’t have any issues with taking them out of Netherlands or bringing them into India.

Who says just clothes can be mixed and matched :)

Who says just clothes can be mixed and matched 🙂

Besides flowers, there are a number of shops around here that sell nice affordable souvenirs, such as local cheese, magnets, clogs etc. We picked up some of these items too and everything was loved by each of its lucky recipients.

Though this is not a stop on the typical touristy trail of Amsterdam, I definitely recommend a quick stop and stroll through this market on your next trip to Amsterdam.

Quick Tip – Although all shops sell pretty much the same things, prices do vary a lot between the stalls, especially for the souvenirs, so have a look at each stall before buying anything.

14 Responses to “A Unique Souvenir from Amsterdam – Tulip Bulbs”

  1. Ami Bhat January 10, 2016 at 12:44 #

    One of our clients from Amsterdam gifted these bulbs to me with the same instructions. Unfortunately, despite having followed them, I could not get the tulips to bloom in the Bangalore weather :(. I guess, they best look great in cold areas.


    • getsetandgo February 6, 2016 at 21:33 #

      Oh… I have planted mine recently and its now fingers crossed…


  2. Juliana Lightle January 10, 2016 at 19:02 #

    Glad to receive this. Had been wondering what happened to you. You might like my blog posts on recent trip to Costa Rica.


    • getsetandgo February 6, 2016 at 21:33 #

      Hey… Have just been very busy with work and some personal things…. How have you been? Will definitely read your posts on Costa Rica 🙂


      • Juliana Lightle February 7, 2016 at 04:40 #

        Costa Rica posts started and about 1/3 of the way through. I’ve been busy too. Often use school breaks to catch up but could not because went to Costa Rica. It was worth it!


      • getsetandgo February 7, 2016 at 21:54 #

        I can understand that. I am now making a conscious effort of now being more regular with my writing…


  3. christieadams23 January 10, 2016 at 22:48 #

    Lovely idea to think each year they bloom you get reminders of your time on holidays


    • getsetandgo February 6, 2016 at 21:34 #

      Thats such a beautiful way to look at these flowers… Thanks and I will always think of them in that manner now


  4. Razel January 11, 2016 at 12:44 #

    Cool idea! We ran out of time on our visit last year. =( I also wanted to pick up the little bulbs they sell at the train stations, but kept forgetting about it! Next time I fly through Amsterdam, I guess.


    • getsetandgo February 6, 2016 at 21:35 #

      You must and as someone commented on the post – its a beautiful way to remember your holiday 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sangeeta January 12, 2016 at 09:45 #

    Reminds me of my trip 5 years ago…


  6. Pankaj Yadav February 22, 2016 at 15:34 #

    Loved going through your blog. I have visited Amsterdam a couple of time due to work commitments. I met a few of my friends there and while going thought the local markets I came across these tulip bulbs which fascinated me. My old memories are revived after reading this blow. Thank you for sharing.


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