King's Day

King's Day Quick Facts

AKA NameKoningsdag, Koningsdag
Hashtags#KingsDay, #GoOrangeWithMarriott
2020 Date27 April 2020
2021 Date27 April 2021
King's Day

King's Day History

King's Day celebrates the birthday of the current Dutch King, King Willem-Alexander. The holiday is a celebration of whichever monarch is currently sitting, so from 1885 to 2013, the day was actually called Queen's Day (Konninginnedag). Queen Beatrix’s son, Willem-Alexander, succeeded his mother and was enthroned in 2013.

During the day there are huge carnivals with dancing and singing. Markets are very busy with the free market (vrije markt) taking over most of Amsterdam’s city centre. The streets are decorated with the Dutch flag and the national colour- orange. There is also a boat parade along the Prinsengracht canal. King’s Day is a celebration of Dutch culture and a time to have fun. King’s Day is celebrated April 27.

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King's Day Facts & Quotes

  • When the monarch’s birthday falls on a Sunday, the celebrations are moved to the Saturday before.
  • Approximately 700,000 people flock to Amsterdam for King’s Day. Koningsnacht, or King’s Night, is the night before King’s Day. Most parties will start on this day, although bars are meant to shut for an hour before sunrise.
  • Special undercover police teams scour the city looking for pick-pockets, which are common on the busy streets. In 2015, 100 people filed a report saying they had been pick-pocketed, this number down from 620 in 2014.
  • 6:00am marks the start of the free market, where half the population gets involved in selling everything from bric-a-brac to musical instruments.
  • Friendships—and community—will be formed. For me that’s really what Queen’s [Kings from 2013] Day is all about. It’s not an outburst of patriotism, it’s not even about the popularity of the royal family. It’s about a sense of belonging. For one day, everybody is the same in Holland. Bright orange and barmy. – Local Orange Committee member

King's Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • See some music. Museumplein is typically the location of large open air music performances. Lots of young people attend and even camp on the grass in the middle of the square.
  • Take the kids to a market. Vondelpark on King’s Day is specially for kids, only children are allowed to sell things here.
  • Visit the old quarter of Amsterdam, Jordaan, to see the most crowded free market area. During the festivities, folk singers are common on the streets.
  • Wear orange! The national colour is everywhere on King’s Day, hats, t-shirts, trousers, hair. Anything goes if its orange.
  • Visit the Van Gogh museum. Amsterdam is cultural hotspot, with a trading history dating back centuries. Take the day to explore some of the quieter spots in the city while everyone else is partying!

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