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7 things to know about King’s Day in Amsterdam

6th March 2018  

Koningsdag or King's Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April, the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. Here are a few things you should know about King’s Day:

1. It's not Queen’s/King's Day without orange madness.

It's a fun party colour, and it is the way to show your love for the House of Orange-Nassau. Yes, the colour of Dutch pride is recycled endlessly through World cups, Olympics and Queen's days. Wear orange and you are Dutch. Dutch, immigrant, tourist, foreigner, or mammal. It doesn't matter. It's harmony by colour.


2. There's no party like a King's Day Party.

King's Day is the one day in the year you can drink (and stuff) in public. The rest of the time you can get a €50 fine. There is a limitationthough: one drink per person at a time. So don't let them see you with any six-packs, and no hard stuff. Holland loves their booze and after decades of smart marketing by Heineken - their Dutch commercial pride, everyone is hooked on the foamy sweet nectar of the gods during King's Day.

King's Day is all about painting the town orange


3. King's Night!

The biggest parties often take place the night before. It is called King’s Night that’s when the festivities will really begin. Many don’t even bother with sleep. Most of Amsterdam’s clubs get involved, and there are warehouse parties and at least one secret venue, etc. You will need to buy a ticket in advance if you would like to attend one of the major organised parties.

4. You can sell anything!

All through King's Night and King's Day - the massive Open Market will take over the city's sidewalks. Anyone can sell anything, and many a woozy wanderer will buy under the influence. There is a catch though, only licensed parties are permitted to sell alcohol, it is not permitted to sell alcohol as part of the street market. Ban for free trade is lifted. Days, and sometimes weeks, in advance people mark their territory with crayons and tags. Curbs, sidewalks, bridgeevery patch and centimetre becomes a potential location.We wouldn't be surprised if some people mark their spot by urinating. But want to get rid of some of your old junk? Put it on display and you might sell some of it!Half of Holland has fond childhood memories of saving up for that special toy by selling their old stuff during King's Day.

King's Night parties will definitely blow you away!

5. King's Day on the Canals!

Some canals become so clogged with party boats that you can literally walk across the water on their decks. And, yes, people do. If you want a legal spot on one of these good ships, though, you better start making local friends!

6. Street performances are very popular!

Throughout the city, professional street performers, perform for attention. There are pick-up bands, aspiring opera singers, teenage rappers and street discos. Rio-style drum bands have been very popular the past few years. In the past, huge concerts were organized at various locations in the city, such as Dam square, Rembrandtplein and Museumplein.

7. Getting around can get difficult!

Most buses and trams run up to the outskirts of the city centre during the day. The restrictions on buses, trams and taxis in the city centre are only lifted late in the evening. A common misconception is that public transport is free on King's Day - this isn't the case, standard prices apply. For the pedestrians, large signs are traditionally erected to help you navigate the city, with coloured pedestrian routes guiding the way to major events and points of interest.

Ain tno party like a King's Day party


If these reasons intrigue you, you should head to Amsterdam to see it for yourself! Experience King’s Day like a local with the Backpacker Co from 25th April to 3rd May, 2018! Get in touch with our travel experts to know more!