Netherlands equals tulips, right? But do you know that 10 miles from Netherlands you can find a small town called Aalsmeer. This place holds the largest flower auction in the world known as the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. The building is said to be the second largest building in the world. It covers a floor space of 10.6 million square feet. You can find different kinds of tulips, roses, lilies, daisies and many other kinds of flowers being traded daily in Aalsmeer facilities. These flowers came from different parts of Europe, Ethiopia, Columbia and many more.
Aalsmeer Flower Auction is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 11:00am. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are when the auction is most active. 6:30 am is the suggested time to visit because this is where the action starts.
Catch a bus in front of Central Station. Choose bus 172 because this bus will bring you straight to the flower auction’s gate. You can purchase your bus ticket directly from the bus driver.
Above the main flower market is a walkway for visitors. You can see 13,000 types of flowers being assemble and loaded into little motorcycles. Take your time. You can even take pictures up there. It’s like you’re in a flower haven.
You can see large picture windows along the walkway. Take a peek into the auction rooms. You will find flower buyers sitting in a row and entering their bids electronically. Take note: Most Aalsmeer buyers are men.
Dutch auction is far different from the traditional auctions. The trick is to get the flowers at a good price. The bidding is done on decreasing amount basis. The auctioneer calls out the initial amount and the price automatically goes down until someone bids for the flowers.
An amazing piece of trivia about the Aalsmeer Flower Auction is that it is known to sell 20 million flowers every single day.