Flower Hunter

Europe's best floral spots

One glance at my Instagram and it’s clear I’ve got a mild obsession with flowers. In my defence we’ve lived in 4 countries in 5 years, making nesting somewhat impossible (buying furniture is more hassle than it’s worth), so plants, flowers and a little greenery are all I’ve got.

But my floral appetite extends well beyond our apartment; there’s rarely a trip (no matter how short) where I’m not befriending the local florist and finding makeshift vases in our Airbnb. So the best spots in Europe for a flower fanatic such as myself?

Paris takes top prize because not only are their florists beautiful, they pretty much dominate every third street corner and they are cheap. Think a bunch of fringed tulips (my favourite) for 3.50 and entire walls of peonies at Marche de Bastille every Thursday and Sunday.

London made a name for itself as being gloomy and grey. But for two weeks in spring the entire city turns marshmallow pink and cherry blossoms are a force to be reckoned with.  Then come summer hydrangeas take over and London is mix of purple, pink and green. And of course it’s home to Columbia Road. Head to the flower market around 2pm on Sunday afternoon (it wraps up at 3) for some quintessentially English men screaming out bargain prices and thrusting huge bunches of flowers your way.

Southern Turkey (pictured above) rivals L.A and the Greek Islands when it comes to summer blooms and bougainvillea lined streets. Pack your favourite dresses and have Instagram open at the ready.

Folegrandos is one of many Greek Islands and it doesn’t get more post-card worthy than this. White houses with blue trim, translucent turquoise seas and more bougainvillea than you poke a stick at.

Amsterdam is the birthplace of most flowers in Europe, so it’s the best spot to pick up fresh, cheap bunches. It’s also home to literally a sea of tulips – in every size shape and colour. If you can stomach the early wake-up call, skip the tourist markets along the canal and head to Aalsmeer, the flower auction market just outside the city.

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