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King’s Day in Amsterdam

With the arrival of spring comes one of the most memorable festivities in Amsterdam: the King’s Day. This year the Koningsdag will take place on April 27, a day when the entire Dutch capital will be colored oranje (orange) to honor the royal family. The King’s Day in Amsterdam is a true party: the sound of musicians and DJs fills the public squares, boats crowd into the channels and locals and visitors alike take to the streets and canals. Want to experience the King’s Day like a real Amsterdammer? We’ll tell you how:

King's Day in Amsterdam

Warming up

Although the official party starts the morning of the Koningsdag, the starting signal is really on the eve of this great day in Amsterdam and its known as the Night of the King. Amid a carnival atmosphere, the music is nonstop throughout the city as both Amsterdammers and visitors get warmed up for what’s ahead: King’s Day.

Once the big day has arrived, one of the main events is the vrijmarkt (flea market). The Koningsdag is the one day a year when the Dutch do not have to obtain permission from the authorities to sell goods on the streets, which means the whole country, in keeping with its commercial legacy, becomes a street market of second-hand food, drink and of course, orange items. Despite the crowds, spending King’s Day in Amsterdam presents a good opportunity to find a souvenir of the city at a bargain price.


All aboard!

As you might have expected, canals in Amsterdam are play an important role on King’s Day. Countless boats ply the waterways of the Dutch city causing continuous traffic jams but that doesn’t mean the fun stops. Boatsmen and travelers contemplate and dance aboard the ships but also on top of the many bridges throughout Amsterdam, turning the city into an impromptu dance floor. The bravest among you might want to rent a boat and navigate the crowded channels on King’s Day.


Queen’s Day to King’s Day

The Koningsdag, which has been held in Amsterdam since 2013, the year the current monarch, William Alexander, ascended the throne. Until the coronation of this king, the celebration was named Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) in honor of Queen Beatrix, mother of the reigning monarch. This tradition of honoring the Dutch Royal House was introduced in 1885 with the birth of the child who would later become Queen Wilhelmina. Since then, the celebration has changed its date to coincide with the birthday of the monarch on the throne.

If you’ve caught the party spirit and are interested in experiencing King’s Day in Amsterdam first hand, check out our apartments.