Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer

North Holland

Aalsmeer is home to the world’s biggest bloemenveiling (flower auction), run by vast flower conglomerate Royal FloraHolland. Get to the viewing gallery before 9am to catch the best action as the flower-laden carts go to Dutch auction, with a huge clock showing the starting price. From the starting bell, the hand drops until a deal is struck.

Take bus 357 from Amsterdam Centraal Station to the Hoofdingang stop (45 minutes, frequent, from 4.59am).

Monday is busiest, Thursday quietest.

The one-million-sq-metre space sees some 90 million flowers and two million plants change hands every day of operation. You can take an aromatic self-guided tour on a 3km-long wheelchair-accessible elevated walkway above the frenetic warehouse floor, overlooking the choreography of flower-laden forklifts and trolleys. Along the route, signboards with push-button audio recordings interpret the action; you can also download a free audioguide from the website.

The route passes windows where you can peek into the auction rooms and see blooms being prepped for display as the carts go to auction. More and more transactions are taking place online, so catch it while it's still here.

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