Everything You Need To Know About The Celebration, Formerly Queen’s Day
Formerly called Queen’s Day (the country now has a king), it’s Holland’s version of the Fourth of July, Australia Day, Carnaval in Brazil or any other national celebration you care to name. In Amsterdam, hundreds of thousands of people pour into the the streets where DJs are playing, the squares and party on boats in the canals.
WHERE TO GO TO PARTY ON KING’S DAY
You’re going to run into a party wherever you go on this day, but three main area are the Spui (kind of the central part of the city) and the two main squares, the Leidseplein and the Rembrandtplein.
Save that for later, tho. Start out at the canals. This is where barges, boats and pretty much everything that floats has people on board, making for a massive party scene. Maybe you’ll get invited onto one but most likely, you’ll just party with the other people on the sides and the little arched bridges.
Supposedly people on the boats are limited to brining one beer (er, yeah). You can also buy lower-alcohol “event beer” around town.
Amsterdam is ringed by a series of canals, the three main ones being the King’s canal, the Queen’s canal and the Prince’s canal.
There are also eight music and dance events on the outside edges of he city; these are ticketed events.
WHEN TO PARTY ON KING’S DAY
King’s Day starts at – are you ready for this – 6 a.m.! That’s when locals have what is basically the world’s largest yard sale.
Actually, you may just be getting home from the bars at that time, for the night before is known as Koninsnacht, a big pre-party time in which the bars are open until an hour before sunrise.
Still, pace yourself. The actual King’s Day is like St. Patrick’s Day – a long day (and night!?) of partying and you don’t want to spend it sleeping because you burned out too fast.
WHAT TO WEAR ON KING’S DAY
Because King’s Day is a celebration of the birthday of the head of the Royal Family, and the Dutch Royal family resides in the House of Orange-Nassau, the national color of this day is orange.
So wear something orange. It’s like wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
WATCH OUT FOR PICKPOCKETS
This was a real problem until undercover police started patrols a few years ago; still, be aware pickpockets are out there and be on alert.
NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OR CABS ON KING’S DAY
The trams don’t run and the taxi drivers don’t work on King’s Day. There’s too many people jamming the streets for either to operate. So you’re going to be walking.
GET A HOTEL ROOM WAY IN ADVANCE OF KING’S DAY
If you think getting a room in Amsterdam at the peak of summer is difficult, try showing up on King’s Day without a reservation. Actually don’t try it; you need to plan this part of the party out well in advance of April 27.