With spring freshly upon us, the Dutch capital is at its most enchanting. Carpeted in a kalaidescope of floral hues, Amsterdam makes for the perfect spring getaway. Here's our suggested itinerary for one of the rosiest trips you'll have all year.
The Netherlands takes its place on the world stage with its exports of flowers, notably tulips, and spring is the time to see Amsterdam in full bloom. In fact the world's oldest botanical gardens, Hortus Botanicus, which date back to 1682, can be found here and boast over 4000 different plant species.
The Flora Holland flower auction is not to be missed either, where flowers from over 50 countries are sold. Immaculate orchids and begonia, as well as rows of iconic tulips, are on display for all to buy.
For the grand finale, however, it's necessary to leave the confines of the city centre and journey a short distance to the south of Amsterdam. Five million bicycles in Beijing there may be, but the seven million spring flowers on show at Holland's Keukenhof Gardens will certainly take your breath away.
Taking place in Lille in Bollenstreek (bulb region) from March 23 - April 25, Keukenhof represents the crème de la crème of flower shows. The event, held annually since 1949, attracts botanists, flower lovers and tourists alike, who can marvel for hours at the dazzling displays in the park whose layout is redesigned each year in line with the latest floral trends.
What April showers?
It gets better, because April is actually Amsterdam's driest month of the year, making cycle rides along tree-lined canals even more appealing. Soak up the outdoorsy lifestyle of the Dutch, and head to Vondelpark first thing in the morning to admire the freshly glistening dew. In May, Vondelpark again steals centre stage from the bustle of the red light district, showcasing the best cabaret, theatre and jazz at its very own open air theatre.
It's not only technicoloured flower beds that are hatching in spring. In the season of newborn baby animals, why not head to one of Amsterdam's many petting zoos or farms? Surround yourself with furry bundles of fluff, like baby goats, lambs, rabbits and piglets. Even if you can't bring them home, there are plenty of local artisanal products in the farms shops to make the perfect souvenir.