The Netherlands have been celebrating the birthday of their monarchs since many decades. When King Willem Alexander II ascended to the throne in 2013 King´s Day was moved to April 27th and thus did the public bank holiday to the monarch´s honour. Up to then Queen Beatrix celebrated her birthday on April 30th, which was actually her mother´s, Queen Juliana´s birthday. Her own is in cold and rainy January, a season you would want to avoid.
During this festive day you can expect a truly relaxed party atmosphere throughout the whole city. People will dress in orange, will have make up in orange, dye their hair orange and decorate they city and actually the whole country orange. It is the colour of Royal Family, the House of Orange.
Across all the city you will find festivals, dance events, mostly outdoors. The beautiful canals will be crowded with boats – ending up in complete chaos and traffic jams on the water.
Days before King´s Day people will start reserving spots on the pavements in front of their houses. It is tradition to either sell second hand or handmade stuff. Alternatively, children and students perform any kind of activity to earn a little extra pocket money.
End of April usually brings a mild, dry climate. Royal weather – just perfect to celebrate the King´s birthday!
Good to know
Make your booking arrangements as early as possible because Amsterdam is usually packed with tourists around that time. Hotel prices rise sky-high and even AirBnB apartments will be scarce or extraordinary expensive.
On King´s Day you will only be allowed to buy one item of alcohol in the supermarkets. This can be a can of beer, a six-pack or a bottle of wine.
What to do
- Rent or go on a boat and join the festivities on the canals. Be aware that it will be extremely busy on the water.
- Celebrate in one of the many bars and clubs of Amsterdam during King´s Night.
- Go to the flea market in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam´s green lung, where also children perform all kind of arts.
- The tulips fields are in full blossom. Try out Keukenhof as the main stream choice or drive to the many fields and take your own colourful photo. Even better, go to one of the tulip picking farms and hand pick your own bouquet of flowers.
- Learn more about Amsterdam and its rich history. Join The Amsterdam Feeling´s walking tour „Explore hidden streets“. Discover Amsterdam off the beaten path.