King’s Day on the Amsterdam canals
21 April 2023
If there is one Dutch party you don’t want to miss it’s King’s Day. On this national holiday, the Netherlands celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. On 27 April, and the night before, Amsterdam becomes an even bigger party city than it usually is.
This giant orange party can be a bit overwhelming but with a few tips you are sure to have an incredible time in Amsterdam. The city will fill with people as most have the day off from work or school to celebrate the occasion. The most important tip for this day: wear something orange to celebrate the House of Orange!
King’s night parties in Amsterdam
The birthday celebrations start the night before with King’s Night. Clubs host special events in special locations. For instance, at the Westerunie seven parties from five different clubs join forces to organise the King’s Paradise.
It’s not only the clubs that get the party started early though. Young talent from the Dutch National Opera Academy, will bring Opera to the street with a performance on the Bredeweg in Amsterdam Oost. And throughout the city, from the city centre to the suburbs, the streets and cafés will fill with people for street parties.
Top tips for King’s Day in Amsterdam
From 6.00 in the morning flea markets pop-up all over the city from streets to parks, where locals will sell their second-hand items. There are special flea markets for kids, for instance in the Vondelpark, where only kids can sell items. In the days leading up to King’s Day, you’ll see spaces on the street marked as people try to claim the best spots.
If you want a live music festival, then King’s Day offers several in Amsterdam. There is Kingsland in the RAI, Oranjebloesem in the Olympic Stadium, Loveland van Oranje in the Meerpark, and the Urban Music Legends Festival can be found in the Rhonepark. Make sure to get your ticket as the festivals tend to sell out quickly.
Because of the many people of all ages in the city during the King’s Day celebrations and safety reasons, the sale of alcohol is limited even for supermarkets. One alcoholic beverage per person at a time, so no sixpacks or cases of beer for anyone.
Getting around the city on King’s Day is a little different from other days. Though public transport will run, big parts of the city will be shut down for all forms of traffic. Metros will follow their normal routes, but trams and buses will use alternate routes.
Cruising on the Amsterdam canals on King’s Day
Can you still take a canal cruise in Amsterdam on King’s Day? Yes, you can! LOVERS Canal Cruises has boat tours in the morning before handing the canals over to the locals and their boats in the afternoon. However, City Sightseeing Amsterdam’s Hop-on Hop-off boats will not be sailing on King’s Day.