A Guide to Celebrating King's Day in Amsterdam

Amid a sea of orange you’ll discover one of The Netherland’s biggest street festivals. Join the Dutchie’s as they celebrate their King, while teaching you a thing or two about partying.

Location

Amsterdam, Netherlands. The day is celebrated all over the country, but in particular Amsterdam is where you want to be.

Dates

King’s Day is celebrated on the 27th of April every year. The day is marked as a public holiday, so let the celebrations begin!

King’s Night is held the night before, and is an equally mad celebration for the nation. Don’t completely ruin yourself before the big day, you definitely don’t want to waste King’s Day with a hangover.

Description

The nationwide holiday honours King Willem-Alexander (though it was previously called Queen’s Day and held for Queen Beatrix), and in Amsterdam in particular it’s known as a crazy, madhouse celebration full of festivities.

The streets and canals alike are painted orange as people from all over the country flock to the Dam to partake in street parties, markets and open-air dance festivals. Live music spills out onto the streets from nearby pubs, as DJ’s set up for the day in public squares.

The entire city becomes a party, which makes for an exhilarating day wandering the streets. Before indulging in the Dutch beer of choice, Heineken, line your stomach with Bitterballen – a traditional and tasty meat-based snack that’s ball-shaped and served deep-fried. 

The day is also set aside for tax-free selling, which means the streets become one of the world’s largest flea markets. Bring your bartering boots, the streets are lined with vendors trying to sell their second-hand goods. A plethora of food stalls also spring up to help refuel your drunken day, and keep you celebrating long into the night.

Level of Participation

5 – go mad in the streets of Amsterdam. From King’s Night to King’s Day, the city will be alive with club events and street festivities, so there are plenty of ways to get involved.

Essentials

Do as the Dutchies do and cover yourself head to toe in orange. Wearing anything and everything in the Dutch Royal Family’s color, the streets and canals turn into a sea of ginger for King’s Day.

Bring some spare change. Not only is it easier when refilling your cup or bartering for a bargain, it’ll also make the hunt for a toilet that bit less painful. Most houses and pubs/restaurants in the city will charge a fee – between 50 cents and 1 Euro to relieve your bladder.

Other Local Attractions

A cruise through Amsterdam’s canals is a perfect way to see the city, but maybe just not on King’s Day. The sheer number of people partying on boats often causes canal traffic jams.

If museums are more your thing, Amsterdam is full to the brim with cultural delights. From Anne Frank’s House and Van Gogh to a torture museum, sex museum and of course a cheese museum, there’s a flavor to satisfy everyone’s taste.

Travel Safety Tips

This one is a no-brainer, which is lucky considering how many brain cells will be lost on this day! If you‘re going to indulge, don’t go overboard. The canal is not a nice place to fall into – trust us.

The more wasted you are, the more vulnerable you are to petty theft from opportunistic criminals. Keep your wits about you and don’t even think about trying to drink and cycle.

For more information, check out: iAmsterdam

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