Don't Miss the Floriade!

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We’re very happy to introduce local Amsterdam art historian and tour guide, Walda. She’s been a guide on the ToursByLocals platform for almost a decade, and has given over 550 tours to travellers from all around the world in that time. This month she had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the Floriade, an incredible once-a-decade horticultural expo taking place in the Netherlands this spring and summer.

My name is Walda. I'm a long-standing Toursbylocals private guide in the Netherlands, Floriade guide of the 2012 edition, Sonsbeek Park guide (2001, 2008, 2016, 2021) and yearly Keukenhof guide since 2013.

When you're thinking of Holland, immediately this image pops up of a land full of tulips, canals, and dykes. Every year, more than a million visitors from all over the world come to see the flower fields and the Keukenhof. But in 2022 we also expect more than two million visitors to Floriade, an A1 listed international exhibition and garden festival held only once every ten years in the Netherlands. On March 4, I was one of the lucky ones to join a preview at the Floriade Park, 41 days before the opening.

The first Floriade expo was held in Rotterdam in 1960, with the Euromast tower being erected to mark the event. Also, the Amstelpark originates from the Amsterdam Floriade of 1972. After a bidding phase, it was decided that the 7th edition of Floriade will be held in Almere. The master plan is designed by MVRDV, a World Architecture Top 100 globally, but Netherlands-based architecture and urban design studio. Among their award-winning designs are the Market Hall and the brand new art storage facility for the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the glass brick façade of the Chanel Flagship store in Amsterdam.

Almere is the youngest city in the Netherlands, created on a drawing board in 1975. Located in the province of Flevoland, Almere was built on land that was reclaimed from the sea. Her 217,000 inhabitants actually live on the bottom of the former Zuiderzee inland sea, 5.5 meters below sea level. When the Floriade exhibition ends, the Park will become a new urban district named Hortus ('garden' in Latin). The Flores building, which houses Floriade offices, will be converted into an apartment block. Aeres University of Applied Sciences is already in business. Cooperating with planting experts and artists, students have created 8 'selfie spots' in Floriade Park.

'Growing Green Cities' is the leading and guiding theme for the six months that Floriade is held in Almere in 2022. More than 400 national and international participants will, divided into four sub-themes, showcase green and sustainable solutions for future problems of urbanization such as energy and water shortage, food insecurity, and health problems. Examples are bridges constructed from waste flows from Almere, a Food Forum pavilion created from a layer of Flevoland soil, and the art expo building M made out of shells. The arboretum forms the core of Floriade. Here you can enjoy hundreds of trees and many more water plants, perennials, bulbs, and annual plants displayed in alphabetical order; a tree and plant encyclopedia you can walk through.

Visitors are invited to 'explore, touch and taste' during the expo. See, smell and try organic veggies grown in Europe's largest greenhouse (170 metres long). Enjoy a wide-ranging cultural program with art exhibitions and live music. For children, there are play areas across the Floriade site. Hungry? There are many restaurants and food trucks to choose from. Sit on a bench and take in the fragrance and color of flowers, vegetables, and fruit. An electric train can carry you along when you're tired. And a cable car ride, an example of alternative urban transport in future cities, is included in your entrance ticket and provides a fantastic bird's-eye view of Floriade park. If you still have energy, around Almere, you can find more than 400 kilometers of bicycle paths.

The Floriade takes place from April 14 to October 9, 2022. It is just a 30 minutes drive from Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam. A visit can take all day or can be combined with a canal cruise in Amsterdam, a drive through the countryside to see windmills and quaint fishing villages, a trip to a medieval castle in Muiden, or a city walk in Utrecht closeby (celebrating 900 years of city rights in 2022). The advantages of having your ToursByLocals private guide with you are a pick up from Schiphol airport or your hotel in Amsterdam, drop off at the VIP entrance with skip the line tickets (saving you time and money: no search for a parking spot, no parking fee, no waiting in line for a 20 minutes drive by shuttle bus and the ticket box) and guidance in your own pace in the Park (60 hectares!), lots of background information and knowledge of the best routes, restrooms, and most excellent food corners.

Don't miss out on the greenest day out of 2022!

To book Walda’s Floriade Tour in 2022 - only offered once a decade! - go here: Floriade 2022 Private Tour.
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