Schiphol Flower Auction – FloraHolland
Just a few minutes from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport lies FloraHolland’s impressive flower auction facility . FloraHolland’s Aalsmeer is the world’s largest trading center of plants and flowers. If you want to take in the hustle and bustle of the auction, arrive early.
On this January morning it was still quite dark as we arrived at 8am and parked in the visitor lot. It is quite a walk to the visitor’s entrance from the parking lot but the signage is good. Adults pay 7 Euro for admission.
Once inside you follow a self-guided walking tour, available in several languages. We were advised to head straight back to the auction and then take our time walking back toward the front. There was just too much for us to take in to run to the back.
The hustle and bustle of the carts on the floor were my boys’ favorite. They loved watching the carts go every which way. Lucky for you, I took a few videos to really capture the action. This video shows the carts being picked up. Drivers examine the order sheet and are on the way to distribute the flowers. There was so much going on I took two videos showing the different types of flowers zooming around the floor. (Video One and Two.)
The auction room looks much as you might expect. The board displays the type of flower and information on the lot. The (almost entirely) men at the computers bid while the giant clock ticks down. The kids were not as interested in this aspect. I loved seeing how much each flower went for.
The old bidding room, complete with wall-mounted clocks, has been converted into a cart repair room. The flower auction continues to evolve and use changing technology. The permanent clocks have been replaced by digital ones.
Flowers on their robotic carts move through the warehouse waiting to be purchased by wholesalers.
The lines of flower carts are almost unimaginable.
The view from above is stunning. I want to go back during tulip season and see the warehouse floor flooded with color.
As if the carts and robots were not enough for my boys there is a small room at the end of the tour that has a few hands-on exhibits.
We were able to make a few videos of our family “driving” the delivery cart. You can see our favorite video here.
The kids got a chance to pretend to bid on flowers. H exclaimed “Dad I need some Euros to buy all the flowers.”
And what kid can resist a real cart you are allowed to climb on and push all the buttons. Clearly my kids were in heaven. We loved it so much we asked about a membership! (They don’t currently offer one but we would be the first to sign up if they did!)
Weekdays you can go visit and see the auction and an amazing array of flowers for yourself. (Check the visiting hours as they change depending on the day.)
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