King’s Day is the biggest party of the year for the Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular. Will you be in the capital this Saturday? Then you’ll want to take a look at our tips for celebrating King’s Day in royal style before you go. Let’s get started!
What’s King’s Day? King’s Day is only actually a year old. Before that it was always known as Queen’s Day but last year the national Dutch holiday name was changed, to honour the country’s change in monarch when Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne to her son Willem-Alexander. King’s Day celebrations take place every year at the end of the month and this year the parties will take place this weekend, predominantly on Saturday. It’s still not too late to catch last-minute flights to Amsterdam!
Royal parties in Britain often bring up images of tea parties, afternoon picnics in one of London’s Royal Parks and all of course civilised conversation, at least until the first pitcher of Pimms is empty. The Netherlands like to celebrate their royals a bit more boisterously and there’s no better place to be than in the capital.
King’s Day in Amsterdam: the essentials
King’s Day in Amsterdam sort of looks like a giant car boot sale. Free markets pop up all over the city and anyone can sell anything they like at their stand. It’s a good chance to pick up some funny and unique souvenirs from your trip. Street parties erupt and last all day and often all night long. There’s live music, dense crowds and no shortage of beer and food. The canals are filled with boats and the crowds are dressed head to toe in orange, the national colour.
What to wear: Orange of course. Wear an orange hat, orange shirt, trousers and shoes. Bonus points if you also wear orange pants.
Transportation: As the streets are filled with party folk, there’s no public transportation in the city centre on King’s Day. It’s best to walk and if you’re staying outside the city centre, be aware that the trains operate on a different schedule for the weekend.
Where to celebrate: Vondelpark is the best place if you’re visiting Amsterdam with your family in tow. There are usually great stalls and attractions for children in the park. Zeedijk and Reguliersdwarsstraat are where the big gay street parties take place. Parties in Apollolaan have a bit more of a traditional feel to them
Are you ready to celebrate King’s Day?