King Willem-Alexander’s birthday on 27 April is the official date of King’s Day (“Koningsdag”). Amsterdam is bursting with orange as the Dutch enjoy the biggest street party of the year: live music, DJ’s, games, food stands, beer taps and a street market throughout the city, probably the world’s largest flea market. The canals are packed with boats filled with singing and partying people. On King’s Day you’ll find a joyful and relaxed atmosphere in Amsterdam not to be missed.
King’s Day: different name and date. Same party!
Amsterdam celebrated King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) for the first time in 2014, after the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander in 2013. The previous years Queen’s Day was celebrated on 30 April, that date has changed into 27 April because it’s the birthday of the King. Locals and visitors enjoy the most colourful street party and everyone wears orange in honour of the Dutch Royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.
Live music and dance events
Bands, aspiring opera singers, teenage rappers, DJ’s, street discos, children playing the violin and drum bands can be found all over Amsterdam. Of course on the squares as Museumplein, Dam square, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein but also in the cozy streets of the Jordaan area. The big open-air dance events are outside the city center like at the Westergasfabriek, NSDM-werf and RAI Amsterdam.
The party starts the night before. Numerous King’s Night parties are organized in the bars, pubs and clubs of Amsterdam. Also the gay bars are very busy on King’s Night and Day. Best gay street parties are in the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk, at the Amstel river and at the Westerkerk (Homomonument).
Transportation during King’s Day
King’s Day in Amsterdam attracts each year about 700 thousands visitors, which makes the city crowded. If you are coming to Amsterdam from out of town, take the train. As the large part of the city centre is fully filled with the celebrating crowd, no transport is possible there, you will have to walk. On King’s Day cars are not allowed in the Amsterdam centre and all public means of transportation have a special schedule for this day.