Kingsday on a boat

King’s Day in Amsterdam

When does it take place?

Since 2013, King’s Day (previously known as Queen’s Day) is celebrated every year in the Netherlands on the 27th of April. Officially, this is the national celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander but in reality, it is a very good reason to party all day long.

People in Orange on boats during Kingsday

Where in the Netherlands should I go to enjoy the festivities?

The King’s birthday is celebrated throughout the country, Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities to celebrate it! An average of 750.000 visitors are coming to Amsterdam and join the 800.000 locals. These 1.5 million people together on Kingsday is one of the largest street parties in the world!

People on orange boat during Kingsday

Why is everybody wearing orange outfits?

Several hundred years ago, the Dutch Royal family was part of the House of Orange. From that time on wards, orange is the traditional color of the Netherlands. The Dutch football team is called «Oranje» and the players are always wearing orange too. So, don’t forget to get an orange outfit or souvenirs before going to King’s Day, it will elevate your party mood even further!

Prinsengracht Orange boat during Kingsday Amsterdam

When does it start?

King’s Day on the 27th of April is the main event, but the party already starts on King’s Night, which is the night right before King’s Day (the 26th of April). Live performances, open-air bars and DJ’s are filling the streets everywhere in the centre of Amsterdam. The party during King’s Night seems to get bigger and bigger every year. The Jordan District and Nieuwmarkt area are for sure the most popular places to go to, you’ll find a lot of street parties going on there.

Westertower during Kingsday

Try not to drink too much (ha-ha) cause the free flea markets start the next day at around 9 am.

Free Flea markets

Loads of locals and especially children sells their bric-a-brac, used clothes or last year’s King’s Day purchases on the only day on which it’s allowed to sell stuff on the street . King’s Day seems to be the best day to find good bargains of cloths, furniture and boardgames. The flea markets can be found even in the narrow streets of Amsterdam, which is very cozy!

Little kids selling their stuff on Kingsday in Amsterdam

King’s day is also ideal to discover local (orange) food like home made Tompouce pastries, fresh orange juices or some mysterious orange cocktails.

Flea Market on Kingsday in Amsterdam

Having fun on the streets

Wandering around during King’s Day will make you discover many different bands, aspiring opera singers, teenage rappers and street discos. When losing your friends, do not worry, everybody is very friendly and social that you’ll meet plenty of new friends during this day.

Flea Market Amsterdam during Kingsday

festivals in Amsterdam

If you are a festival fan, you have reached the place to be. The Dutch love dancing even early in the morning during King’s Day. It’s gonna be hard to chose between the many large-scale DJ and artist-driven events. For techno/deep house lovers, you can purchase your ticket for either Loveland or the Oranjebloesem festival. Something a bit different is the urban Music Festival for anyone who is into urban music. Kingsland festival is for the people who like more hardstyle music.

Street party Jordan District Kingsday

King’s day on a boat

Cruising the canals is the best way to enjoy the Kingsday celebrations. Thousands of boats filled with 40 or sometimes 50 people are trying to find their way through the city canals. Around 2 pm, it starts to be really crowded on the canals, people are joining their friends on the canals by jumping from boat to boat. Boats turn into crashing cars, it’s nearly impossible not to hit other boats. On every boat you’ve got another kind of music which creates a different atmosphere.

Prinsengracht Kingsday

No public transportation

Forget about trams, busses and taxis. Even biking is mostly impossible in the centre, it’s way too crowed for normal means of transportation in the city centre.

Rozengracht during Kingsday

Do you want to discover Amsterdam through the eyes of a local?

Amsterdam is a small, beautiful and open-minded city and can be discovered within a few hours. Do you want to go boating, biking, walking and get to know the insights of the real life in the capital of the Netherlands? Book a tour today and see up to three times more than exploring Amsterdam by yourself.

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