|Written by Teodora Gaydarova|
The King and Previous Queen
AMSTERDAM KING'S DAY
Kings day (formally King's Day), held on the 27th of April is not only the biggest national holiday in the Netherlands but also one of the most exciting street parties in Europe. The celebration that lasts for one night and one day sees the city turn orange as nearly one million visitors and locals take to the streets dressed and painted in the colour of the royal family.
The celebrations kick off on the night before King's day. On King's night lots of clubs and bars throughout Amsterdam have a special programme of events and parties. These are hugely popular with young people who party till the break of dawn or otherwise till the next day party! In case you decide to join in, save some energy for King's day as well.
The Orange Madness
On King's day the entire city participates in the orange madness – people dressed in orange clothes and accessories, paint their faces and hair in orange; orange banners and balloons sway in the skies, orange decorations adorn windowsills and festive floats, orange drinks and foods are offered from food stalls.
People sing as they spill out into the streets walking and dancing arm to arm. The canals fill with hundreds of decorated boats in which party-goers swing to the music. While many establishments are closed, some restaurants serve special festive menus. All food shops are open, though, so you can stock up food on the cheap.
Live and recorded music concerts organised by local radio stations are held in several squares. The biggest rock concert kicks off at 11am on Museumplein and goes on till late in the evening. Many people take loudspeakers out in the street and celebrate wherever they see fit. Anyone is warmly welcome to join in any celebration – private or public, official or informal.
The Free Market
On King's day the entire city is transformed into one giant free market. This is the only day when people can sell goods in the street without having to pay tax or a license and many locals set up booths, stalls and tables. Haggling and bargaining seem to give locals more joy than actual trade. It is a great way for some to get rid of their stuff and for others to snatch cheap second-hand bargains. It's a day everyone should see at least once.
A Children’s Holiday
Vondel park is the main area for children’s activities and the place to go if you are travelling with the kids to participate in sports activities, games and face-painting!. You will see local kids selling their outgrown toys and clothes, as well as foods and drinks. Many children put on music, dance and puppet acts. Show appreciation – they are just as happy to make some cash as any adult.
What to expect
Trains are diverted from Central station to suburban stations. Driving and biking are nearly impossible while public transport runs on a special schedule. Leave your valuables at home and bring cash to buy food and drinks. Everyone is allowed to drink alcohol in the street but do not carry more than one drink or you might get arrested.
Goodbye King's day, hello Kings day
This year the country celebrates the last King's day as Willem-Alexander ascends the throne. From 2014 onwards the holiday moves to the 27th April, the new King's birthday, and will be called King's Day (Koningsdag in Dutch). Book accommodation as early as possible, preferably months in advance. We offer accommodation in all parts of the city, the canal ring, Museumplein for the concert and in Jordaan close to the largest street market you will ever see.
A selection of videos and photos of the King's Day street party and King's day in general. Party on dude.
Anywhere around Amsterdam central and you will be able to enjoy all King's day has to offer.
For the perfect stay, reserve your own apartment