Is King’s Day on your travel radar yet? Here’s why it should be…
King’s Day, or Koningsdag, is a day of intense national pride – a celebration of the birthday of the king of the Netherlands.
Over the years, it’s been called Princess’s Day, Queen’s Day and King’s Day, and is held during the month of the monarch’s birthday. Since the inauguration of the current monarch King Willem-Alexander, it’s been celebrated on his birthday, April 27th.
The festivities have no doubt changed over the years, but today, this royal celebration includes crazy parties and concerts, a country-wide market and more orange than you’ll ever see again in your life. King’s Day is celebrated nation-wide, however Amsterdam is the main party hub.
What’s with all the orange?
If you’re observant (or a soccer/football fan), you’ll have noticed that despite its omission from the flag, orange is almost always associated with the Netherlands. The royal family of the Netherlands has lineage that is traced back to the House of Orange-Nassau; which was instrumental in the Netherlands becoming an independent nation.
So, to pay tribute to the royal family’s origins and the nation’s independence, orange is everywhere – from clothes and decorations, to food and drinks.
10 Things to do on King’s Day:
Shop local – The first half of the day is dedicated to possibly the largest flea market in the world. Everyone and anyone are able to sell anything they want in the street – tax free – so take advantage.
Wear orange – Something orange, but preferably EVERYTHING orange.
Party all day and night – Amsterdam and the Hague put on epic free festivals during the day and well into the night with DJ’s and crowds spilling into the streets.
Cruise the canal – If you’re in Amsterdam and able to hang out on the canals, Amstel (the main canal) is the place to be. Think of the worst rush-hour traffic you’ve ever been in, add in great music, a ton of crazy boat parties, and that’s the whole canal in a nutshell – magical madness and mayhem.
Wave at the royals – Every year the royal family selects a different city to visit (including smaller towns) so check in advance and you may just be waving to a royal as you celebrate their birthday.
Visit museums – While most of the museums in Amsterdam are closed due to the national holiday, some of the more popular ones remain open and will be less crowded (due to the fact that most of the population will be partying in the streets).
Spot a tulip – This is the time of year when the famous tulips of the Netherlands are in full bloom, and the fields and tulip markets are truly breathtaking to see in person.
Hit up a festival – With SO many people celebrating this national holiday, it’s only natural that huge all-day festivals will follow suit. In Amsterdam there are no less than 9 festivals on King’s Day.
Start early – If you’re super keen to begin the celebrations, head out in Amsterdam the night before to take part in the pre-King’s Day parties and festivals as well.
Enjoy yourself – King’s Day only comes around once a year, so enjoy it with #NOREGRETS!