Celebrate King’s Day like a local! We’ve already written the Backpacker’s Guide to King’s Day Amsterdam, but maybe you need help to do it like a local. On April 27th each year the Dutch exuberantly celebrate with an all-out orange celebration in the streets, canals, and parks around the country!
The annual festivities consist of live music events, street parties, boat canal parties, and markets! It’s an occasion for everyone and an excuse to dance on the roof of a boat!
What to Expect
The current monarch is King Willem-Alexander, so Koningsdag (in Dutch) is a special birthday party the nation celebrates together. And the locals love it when visitors join in the party! The night before (King´s Night!) has become known as one of the biggest Dutch party nights of the year. Make sure you pace yourself though so you can enjoy the next day!
One of the highlights is seeing all the brightly painted boats on the canals. And the biggest live music events take place in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Be sure to get some Dutch treats from the street markets to celebrate King’s Day! You can get everything from food, drinks, and trinkets. It’s the one day the Dutch are allowed to sell things on the street without a permit, so it’s a big deal! Expect to haggle and have some fun as you browse the biggest Vrije markts (free-markets) in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague.
Rotterdam hosts the Oranjebitter music stage at Het Park, with a massive musical line up and a funfair. There’s also the Code Orange street party in the city centre for those who like a carnival atmosphere. But you have to buy tickets first! The Kralinsge Bos Festival has six stages and pumps out music all night in the nearby forest! For something different there’s the Royal Rollerdisco (family friendly) or the bicycle parade in Prinsenpark.
Amsterdam has the biggest street market and the most canal parties – with a traditional boat parade on Prinsengracht Canal! Each year over a million visitors celebrate King’s Day, with plenty arriving for King’s Night parties.
For the Kids Market head to Vondelpark where there are plenty of activities. For folk singers and a lively free market head to Jordaan. The biggest LGTBQI parties take place on Westermarkt around the gay clubs and the biggest market is in Amsterdam Zuid. For open air music concerts head to Museumplein.
Wherever you go in the Netherlands for King’s Day you’re sure to have an awesome time – just make like a local and wear some orange!