The best flower markets in the world

What is it about a market that we love so much? For me even just the word ‘market’ conjures up romantic notions of breadsticks, baskets and bunches of blooms. (but I am a bit of a dreamer)

I guess they offer something real that other forms of shopping can’t – the abundance of freshness and colour, connectedness to the seasons, the growers.

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Perhaps also its a link to simpler times when the market was the heart and soul of community life.

Markets rate high on any traveller’s list. They’re a hot item for organised tours and there’s loads of books and articles on the topic.

Sadly in some developing countries the old market way of life is being taken over by shopping centre development.

An article I wrote for Traveller almost ten years ago reports on the closure of several fresh produce markets in Vietnam, in favour of convenience.  Back then markets were closing faster than travel guides could be updated and I was sent to many a construction site while looking for culture. 

On the other hand, farmers markets are hugely popular in many parts of the world. In Australia there’s upwards of 200 registered, according to the Australian Farmers Market Association AFMA.

“Most farmers’ markets are well established and sustainable,” says Jane Adam, National Spokesperson for AFMA. “And more are being added to the list all the time.”

“Farmers Markets are powerful community connectors. They empower communities and bring people together.” Jane said.

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Flower markets are such a feast for the eyes and must be good for the soul – whether you’re buying or not.

The list below includes the one in Florence where growers set up under the arches of the Piazza della Repubblica building, what a sight!

And then there’s the century old Chelsea Flower Market in New York on 28th street, or the Columbia Road Flower Market in London. All of these are open to the public. 

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Peonies at Campo di Fiori, Rome. Pic: The Flower Press blog

Some of the world’s best flower markets to put on your list

It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a start and please add others in the comments below – especially the beautiful, small and slow ones that don’t make the big lists!

Florence Flower market

Every Thursday morning under the arches of the Piazza della Repubblica 

Columbia Road Flower street market, London.

Historical market down a pretty London street. Every Sunday 8am – 2pm

The Youth Farm, New York City

Urban farm growing 80 varieties of flowers. Open every Wednesday from 2:30 – 6:30pm, June 20th – October 31st, right on the farm at 600 Kingston Avenue.

Chelsea Flower Market – New York City

A green oasis in a concrete jungle. Blooms are packed in cartons and lined along 28th street near 7th avenue.

Nice, France – Marché Aux Fleurs

Every day except Monday. Has been selling flowers to the public for more than 100 years.

Paris flower market – Marché Aux Fleurs

Not far from Notre Dame Cathedral, this historic market has been running since 1808 each day of the week.

Bloemenmarkt, The Netherlands

Since 1862. Floating flower market on the canal

Campo di Fiori

In the historic centre of Rome. The name – Fiori means Flowers in English – and originates from the daisies, poppies and other wildflowers that once graced the square. There’s a couple of decent sized flower stalls there still today. Open Monday to Saturday from 7am.

Seattle Wholesalers market

A co-operative of flower growers and all year round we bring the best flowers in the Pacific Northwest to our member-owned market.

Newastle Market, NSW

A trade and public market for Florists and other creatively inspired individuals and businesses. They are ‘extremely passionate and committed to supporting local Australian Growers.

Sydney Flower Market,

The largest wholesale flower market in Sydney and also open to the public.

A flower market for Melbourne!

While Melbourne has beautiful flower shops, and the fresh produce markets at South Melbourne / Prahran have great options for flower lovers, (and we’ll wait to see what happens with the new Queen Victoria Market)  unfortunately the Melbourne wholesale flower market is not accessible to the public, except if you do a tour a tour for $30 – and travel out 40 minutes outside the city.

So who’s keen for a growers market in the city under the arches in the GPO or Town Hall! ?? (told you I was a dreamer)

I mean don’t you think the world’s most liveable city (er herm, well it was for 7 years but not even in the top ten this year… #cityflowermarket #justsaying)…. should have a beautiful street flower market!?

Melbourne City Council has big plans and policies for wellbeing, connectedness, liveability and greening the city. I think a weekly fresh flower market would go along way towards ticking some of these boxes…..

I would love to know your thoughts on this! please comment below!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Alba says:

    With the inevitable rise of apartment buildings, a flower market would be grounding – connect to community and nature! Yes, yes, yes! At G.P O where I used to buy stamps and post mail – remember that!

    1. The Flower Press says:

      Absolutely agree! I love cities and Melbourne of course but we need more green and community vibe!

  2. Nowadays, flower shop owners are maximising the use of technology. Aside from their physical shop, they are now investing in an online flower market. Which is a big plus for them to avail less expensive promotion of their flower shop. Don’t get me wrong about it, I love going to the flower market, but if I have a busy schedule, I always resort in buying flowers on an online flower market for my loved. It is just adapting what we have and maximising it.

    1. The Flower Press says:

      Agree! Online is a fabulous business stream and for customer convenience. Wandering a flower market is more of an experience hey! I just went along to London’s Columbia Road Flower Market held on a Sunday. It’s a few hours of pure joy – music, flowers, gorgeous cafes. Love it! But will use online for a birthday delivery tmrw in Melbourne!

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