Wondering how to do King’s Day in Amsterdam this year? Whether you’re a seasoned local or have never heard of Oranjebitter in your life, here’s everything you’ll need to know as you get stuck into one of the Netherlands’ biggest celebrations.
What is King’s Day?
AKA in Dutch as Koningsdag, King’s Day is a national holiday, taking place on 27th April in the Netherlands. For some, it’s the biggest day (and night) in the party calendar, for thrifters it’s a day of vintage market dreams where the streets are taken over by stalls selling pre-loved goodies, and for others, it’s a day dedicated to consuming as many oranje tompouce (delicious King’s Day pastries) as possible.
What date is King’s Day?
The national holiday takes place on 27th April, but those wanting to make the most of the day off with a night out might want to check out King’s Night, which takes place on 26th April. Before we get onto making party plans, let’s dive into what you need to know to set your King’s Day and King’s Night plans up for success.
King’s Day tips
…but get your timing right. The Dutch celebrate this national holiday by wearing orange as a nod to the royal family’s name, which literally translates to House of Orange.
However, since the date of King’s Day changed from 30th April to 27th April in 2014, confused tourists can often be spotted repping orange outfits three days too late. Don’t make the same mistake, or you’ll be dubbed a ‘vergistoerist’. Not the vibe.
Take out cash in advance…
You won’t be able to withdraw money amid the festivities in big cities. The queue will be too long. The ATM will run out of cash. It will kill the vibe. Take it from us: it’s worth thinking ahead.
…and bring small change!
But it’s worth keeping 50c and euro coins in your pocket – mostly for the purpose of accessing toilets while you’re prowling around the city and enjoying beers in the sun. There are plenty of public toilets, but plenty of houses near main celebration areas also open up their toilets to the public for a small fee (hence the coins). And with plenty of opportunities to break your notes for coins – from incredible street stalls to plenty of culinary temptations – you won’t struggle on this one.
Find music bargains and freebies
Did you know that on King’s Day, anyone’s allowed to sell on the street without needing a permit? That means plenty of people bring their pre-loved items, often music-related, on the street. Look out for records, band t-shirts and other memorabilia for generous prices.
Plan your travel
Over 700,000 people hit the streets during King’s Day, and transport can often be disrupted or running on limited timetables. Plan your schedule ahead of time and use an app like Citymapper to find your way round and keep up-to-date.