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Backpackers Guide to King’s Day 2019 in Amsterdam


Ferris wheel in th city Haarlem The Netherlands at Koningsdag, the national holiday


It’s almost the time that Amsterdam turns orange for the King’s birthday. King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) is a huge traditional celebration in The Netherlands and this year, the national holiday is on Saturday 27th of April. Everybody goes out in their orange gear and celebrates King Willem-Alexander’s birthday in style. Even the royal entourage, including the King himself, goes out and about to celebrate along with the folk. Expect one big open air party: with street markets, live music, canal boat parades, street parties and much more. Also, if you can, try to arrive a day earlier, as the party already starts the night before – with King’s Night. It’s one of the biggest party nights of the year. Definitely one that you can’t miss! Check out this article for some more tips on how to survive King’s Day 2019.


Wear something orange

Friends in orange, holland

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – April 30, 2011: Group of friends in orange partying at the celebration of queensday on April 30, 2011 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

If you’re going to participate in this huge national carnival, make sure to bring along something orange to wear. That way, you’ll fit right in! Orange is the national colour of The Netherlands, because it’s the colour of the Dutch Royal Family, as it hails from the House of Orange (Huis van Oranje-Nassau). That’s why everybody wears this fun colour on King’s Day! Don’t have something orange in your closet? Don’t worry, you’ll be able to buy a shirt or accessories in this fun colour in the streets.


Check the weather forecast

boats in the river

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – April 26, 2014: Large crowds of people navigate through and walk along the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam on Queensday

Dutch weather is known for being unpredictable, and therefore, make sure to check the weather forecast before you leave so that you’re prepared for everything. Even though the forecasts may say that it’s going to be sunny, bring along something to cover yourself with, just in case a random shower of rain comes along.



Even though King’s Day doesn’t necessarily need a lot of planning, because there will be fun activities everywhere around town, this is the case to some extent. Check out where you want to go beforehand, as public transport on this day in bigger cities have different timetables and a lot of detours that avoid the city centre. Speaking of public transport, a lot of people think that public transport is free on King’s Day, but (unfortunately) it’s not. So make sure to plan ahead with your friends where you want to go and how you’re going to get there, so that you don’t have to deal with bad surprises.


Take out cash

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – April 30, 2012: Large crowds of people walk through the Leidsestraat in Amsterdam on Queensday. Queensday (‘Koninginnedag’ in Dutch) is a national holiday and celebrates the birthday of the Queen of The Netherlands. Many people dress in orange, as a reference to the National colour.

It’s quite important that you bring enough cash, especially if you’re planning to buy from the open flea markets. The street markets are hosted by the Dutchies, they’re basically selling their things, which gives you the chance to score cool second hand items! Most of these market stalls don’t provide the option to pay with card, so that’s why it’s handy that you bring along enough cash beforehand, as ATM’s are going to be busy. Besides, you’re going to need the cash to fuel up and pay for bathrooms as well.


Bathroom tips

You’re probably going to find yourself holding it in a lot of the times. But when you gotta go, you gotta go. There will be a lot of extra public toilets on the streets. Can’t find one? You can also find bathrooms in bars and even in the homes of locals that offer their bathrooms in exchange for some coin. Make sure to bring your patience along, as the lines for bathrooms will probably be crazy.


Buy your liquids early

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – April 27, 2015: People dressed in orange celebrate King’s Day on a boat.

Partying and booze pretty much goes together, especially on King’s Day. You’ll definitely not be the only one drinking and even though you can find a lot of stalls selling drinks, it’ll save you loads if you buy your own booze. But be quick! It’s pretty normal that supermarkets run out of alcohol fast, so be sure to buy whatever you want on time.



Written by Nylo Damanafshan


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