Koningsdag (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoːnɪŋzdɑx] ( listen)) or King’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April (26 April if the 27th is a Sunday), the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander.
When: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Where: Throughout the Netherlands (Holland, if you will), and all around Amsterdam.
It’s a crazy fun celebration when the center of the city is basically car, tram, and bike-free simply because there are too many people on foot. It has a contagious festival-like atmosphere with street vendors, a market day when anyone can sell pretty much anything (except alcohol), and an insane boat parade party on the canals that will have you dancing unconsciously. It’s a festival that can put a smile on everyone’s face!
Biggest party in Amsterdam
On King’s Day there are celebrations throughout the Netherlands. However, the most popular destination is Amsterdam where an average of 700.000 visitors join the 822.000+ locals in the world’s largest street party.
people wearing something orange?
The throngs lining the streets and canals wear orange, the national color (after all, the Queen hails from the House of Orange). Take ‘throngs’ literally – particularly in the city’s center where you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with other revelers.
Flea market and crowded streets on King’s Day for Daytime Celebrations
In Amsterdam, King’s Day is best known for its free open air market. The entire city become one big flea market as people take out their old rubbish and try to sell it.
Everywhere you walk, the streets are lined with people selling clothes, house ware, books and records and home made pies and other food. The fun is not so much in making money, but more in the activity and chatting with everyone.
For a little more peace, head into the Vondelpark or the NDSM in Amsterdam Noord, where the children rule the market stalls. Children are also happy to take out their musical instrument, show their dancing skills or do some gymnastics, hoping to earn some small money.
King’s Day on the Canals
On King’s Day thousands of people take to the canals
The beer flows freely, though mostly in the form of reduced-alcohol ‘event beer,’ which is served in plastic containers that come with a deposit fee.
Dam square is a great place to meet, people watch and plan your day whilst you stare in awe at the impressive and beautiful building of the Royal Palace.
Ann Frank Huis
If you only visit one museum whilst in Amsterdam, make sure it is the Ann Frank Huis.
Inside you will witness the story of the young Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis during the second world war.
Parts of the house have been preserved in the state they were when Ann lived there, there are extracts of her diaries and there is information at all points about her life and her struggle, as was mirrored by hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout Europe.
Its heartbreaking, horrifying (both what people went through and the fact that the human condition was responsible for such fear, pain and death) and informative at the same time. It is more than worth the (approx) €10 entry fee. Anyone with even a slight interest in history will appreciate this museum and everything it stands for.
Cruise on the Canals
Take a trip on Amsterdam’s famous waterways for as little €8 for an hour boat tour. You can book this as a combination tour with other activities or as stand alone tour on Viator.
Get a different perspective on this beautiful city and enjoy the informative commentary offered on many of the cruises.
Museumsplein is a public space in Amsterdam and home to 3 well known museums – The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum – and although I love museums, my favorite part about this space is the IAMterdam letters located at the back of the Rijksmuseum.
The area is always buzzing with people and it may take a few goes to go that iconic shot – but it is definitely worth visiting during your 48 hours in Amsterdam! TIP: When visiting the van gogh museum or the Stedelijk museum – book early.
Red light district
Practically what made Amsterdam famous, a trip to the city is not complete without a stroll around the Red Light District. A collection of alleyways boasting brothels, sex shops and museums, everything you have heard about the red light district is probably true – but you must see for yourselves. It isn’t full of seedy men and groups of lads on stag parties (although there are plenty of these types around) – you’ll also see couple and groups of girls wandering round taking a glimpse of a part of society they wouldn’t see anywhere else. It really is one of the most fun things to do in Amsterdam!
At 47 Hectares, Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam which welcome 10 million visitors each year. A favorite of both Amsterdammers and tourists alike, you’ll find a whole host of people enjoing the outdoors on any given day. Pick up a take-away lunch and set yourself down for a couple of hours and just watch the world go by. You’ll quickly forget the hubub of Amsterdam – yet you’re only a few minutes away from it all
A district originally created to house immigrants and the working class, Jordaan has now become a very hip and artsy neighborhood. With narrow cobbled streets and beautiful buildings, it has become one of the most desirable places to live in Amsterdam – and if you’re there on a Saturday – be sure to check out the local markets!
Have a sweet party!