Kings Day 2017: The Biggest Street Party In Amsterdam
If you want to make the most of your Amsterdam visit then make a note of April 27th 2017. This is the official date of King’s Day, an annual Dutch national holiday in honour of King Willem-Alexander. On this day there are celebrations throughout the entire Netherlands. However, the most popular destination is Amsterdam where on average of 700,000 visitors join over 800,000 locals for the largest street party in the world! This year the Kings Day 2017 Amsterdam Events will also herald King Willem-Alexander 50th birthday.
The massive celebration – formerly known as Queens Day – started in 2013, when Queen Beatrix was succeeded by her son Willem-Alexander. On each Kings Day (known as Koningsdag in Dutch) crowds of people fill the streets wearing orange. The reason for this is to celebrate the Dutch royal family – the House of Orange-Nassau. The sea of people wearing orange not only adds to the day’s festivities, but also shows support for the royal family, who visit certain locations around the Netherlands during this time.
While it’s not compulsory it’s well worth finding something orange to wear for Kings Day 2017 Amsterdam Events, just to get into the spirit of things.
THE NIGHT BEFORE KING’S DAY
If you feel like starting the party early, then you’re in the right place. Just take a walk around downtown Amsterdam (the most popular areas being the Jordaan and Nieuwmarkt) and you are bound to find a party somewhere. There are lots of pubs, clubs and bars that greet hoards of eager revellers to special Kings Night parties and events. These include; King’s Night classic 80s 90s MIX, The Jungle King’s Night party, Jamrock King’s Night, to name but a few.
Although events should officially close an hour before sunrise, some do carry on partying all the way into the next day. It is very possible, on Kings Day; you could find yourself partying for 48 hours straight, although it’s best to pace yourself if you really want to enjoy the main events.
Shop Till You Drop At The Free market (Vrije markt)
Amsterdam is a city built on trade, and the Amsterdam’s love to hunt bargains and haggle. So it is no surprise that the Dutch celebrate this important national holiday with a huge open market. This is a day for shopping and even listening to some music as the sounds from local bands pump through on most street corners. The entire city centre becomes a street market at around 7am, although it has been known to start earlier.
On Kings Day both adults and children alike sell objects from their households. Fun is the name of the game here – so do not expect to buy anything of great value. Most people sell their goods directly from the front of their houses, so wherever you go in the city you will find the pavements lined with plastic sheets and assortment of odds and ends. It’s customary to haggle on the price of goods, and when trading with children buyers often (in a playful spirit) raise the price a little. Bear in mind that the traders on this day are usually not able to change big notes, so be sure to bring enough small change with you.
Household items and homemade goods are not the only thing you will find at the free market; there are also lots of food stalls to give you energy bursts during those manic bargain hunts. There’s a wide variety of food from Burgers, Vietnamese rolls and snack’s stemming from Netherlands former colonies. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you might also want to give Dutch syrup waffles a try.
The market activities reach a peak at 11 A.M. ending about 4 P.M.
There are plenty of fun activities for children and “big kids” across the city. Face painting, games and sporting events. However if you have a budding entrepreneur, or kids who simply want to buy a few new toys, then the Children’s Vrijmarkt in Vondelpark is the place to be. The gates open at 09:00, and only children under the age of 16 can sell, though adults can come in to supervise. Children will have a great time playing games run by other kids, and many of the items the children have on sale are often very creative.
Other child-friendly spots to visit in the city include Apollolaan, Amstelpark, Sarphatipark, Park Frankendael, Westerpark, Bellamyplein and more. The NDSM Vrijhaven in Noord and the Bredeweg Festival in Oost have events that are practically aimed at families.
Feel Like Something A Little Quieter?
If flea markets, local bands and festivals are not your thing then there are quieter options. Quite a few of Amsterdam’s museums open their doors on Kings Day, for anyone looking for a little culture exploration. The museums open on Kingsday are: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum the Anne Frank House and the Stedelijk Museum
King’s Day on the canals
If the weather is good, the canal could be a welcome respite. For several hours a festive boat parade takes place in the early afternoon, typically along the Prinsengracht canal. During King’s Day, thousands of heavily decorated boats cram the narrow canals of Amsterdam.
There is plenty of free-flowing beer, although it tends to be in the way of reduced-alcohol ‘event beer’. Another thing to pay attention to (particularly if you’re drinking) is the type of boat you party in. A lot of the boats don’t have toilets, so if you want a bathroom break, look for one of the moored plasboot (which literally means ‘pee boat’)
The Essentials: How To Get Around On Kings Day 2017
On Kings Day the city is flooded with people, especially in the city centre. Most people travel here by train, preferably to Zuid, Amstel, or Sloterdijk station. It’s also worth noting that at this time many streets will be closed to traffic, parking is restricted, and public transportation will be on alternate routes with nothing running in the centre.
So when it comes to generally getting around the city nothing beats walking, even cycling will be difficult in many parts of the city. To make it all a little easier, there are special walking routes marked by coloured balloons which are on maps that are handed out. These routes show the wider streets avoiding narrow streets that take ages to get through.
This vibrant and lively atmosphere, accented with orange, has much to be enjoyed and explored. The fact that this Kings Day 2017 Amsterdam Events will also be the Kings 50th will make it that extra bit special.
Are you going to be lucky enough to be in Amsterdam for kings day & need somewhere to stay ? Check out this article here for recommendations. Choosing where to stay in Amsterdam.