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Noteworthy Event

The Netherlands

Holland blooms with a once-in-a-decade flower show and new Amsterdam hotels

Word of Mouth"Much like Venice, my favorite thing in Amsterdam is Amsterdam itself," says Fodorite mr_go. "That is, just walking around the city and discovering it up close and on foot (especially the canal rings and the Jordaan area)."

Why Go NowThe Keukenhof flower show in the Netherlands is beyond famous (it attracts some 700,000 visitors every year for its brief spring stint), but every decade the Netherlands hosts a much bigger flower show: a six-month world horticultural expo called Floriade, which forecasts 2 million visitors. This year marks the sixth-ever showing, taking place in the city of Venlo, outside Randstad, from April 5 to October 7, with a flower-powered schedule of performances and cultural and educational activities. We recommend hitting Floriade for the weekend, then heading to Amsterdam to soak up its vibrant restaurant and arts scene.

Where to StayAmsterdam’s newly renovated 111-room Hotel de l'Europe, was recently named to the Fodor’s Top 100, as one of our favorite hotels of 2011. Or, you may want to hold out for the new Andaz Amsterdam which will open later in the year in a converted library. See more Amsterdam hotel reviews.

Insider TipPick up the I Amsterdam City Card for free and discount admissions to a handful of Amsterdam’s top museums, a free canal ride, and free public transportation.

When to GoApril through early October.

Plan Your TripVisit Fodor's Rotterdam, Delft and the Randstad Travel Guide for recommendations near Floriade, and Fodor's Amsterdam Travel Guide for the city's latest hotel, restaurant, and shopping reviews.

Photo: nikitje/istockphoto

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  • TheSmith on Aug 1, 12 at 09:57 AM

    I think the writer is saying that the card grants "free" and discount admission, but left out the cost of the card. As I learned in Econ 101, there's no such thing as a free lunch or Amsterdam City Card.

    Also, if in Amsterdam don't miss any of the wonderful Dim Sum restaurants.

  • Tentek on Jan 15, 12 at 11:52 AM

    How do you pick up the I Amsterdam City card for free? The website says it costs from 40 Euro up.

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