Who doesn’t love a massive street party, live music and a dose of patriotism? King’s Day is by far the most exciting day on the Amsterdam calendar. Falling on the 27th April (which is a Saturday this year), over a million people from the Netherlands and beyond come together to celebrate the King’s birthday in true party hard Dutch style. Being one of biggest street parties in the world with concerts, flea markets and massive neighbourhood celebrations it’s no wonder people come from overseas to join in the fun. King Willem-Alexander undeniably has the biggest and best birthday bash known to man.
Here are 11 things to know before coming to King’s Day…
1 BE THERE FOR KING’S NIGHT
Arrive a day early. Everyone goes out on King’s Night (the night before to party) and then keeps on going the next day. There will be plenty of parties and club events taking place on King’s Night that you won’t want to miss. Melkweg, Chicago and Paradiso plus more of Amsterdam’s most popular venues will be throwing epic parties.
2 PLAN YOUR TRAVEL
If you arrive in Amsterdam on Kings Day or plan to leave that day, make sure you check the train schedules and which stations are operating trains to and from the airport. There will be less trains coming in and out of Amsterdam Centraal on King's Day to control the flow of people around the city. So keep this in mind going to and from the airport/train stations.
3 WEAR ORANGE!
This goes without saying. Orange is the colour signifying King’s Day because it’s the national colour of the Netherlands. Wear the patriotic colour with pride. If you don't have anything orange don't worry there will be plenty of opportunities to find something from one of the many stalls on the street.
You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb.
4 PLAN PLAN PLAN
Plan to meet your mates at a pre-disclosed place and time. Battling through the crowds in the Jordaan will be a mission while trying to locate your friends in a sea of orange. Phone networks can also be temperamental due to so many people using them.
Plan ahead and check out what's happening in the city and where. There will be many outdoor festivals happening around Amsterdam but as the day progresses making your way from one part of the city to another can become challenging - so create a rough itinerary where areas are close to another - so you’re not making it harder for yourself to get from place to place.
Most street parties tend to end at around 8pm and that’s when everybody heads to the city’s clubs and bars.
5 TOILET TIPS
Toilets, expect lines. There will be extra public toilets placed out on the streets and many people actually open up their houses and local businesses to let you in and pee for a price. Usually 50c or 1 euro. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
6 ALL ABOARD
Party on a boat! On King’s Day you will be invited onto plenty of boats so say yes if you get the opportunity! It’s so fun to experience King’s Day from the canal. The canals will be packed with boat parties although many small boats don't have toilets so if you find yourself on a boat and need to pee keep an eye out for the plasboot (‘pee boat’). You can bring your own food and drink on the boat too.
Or, you can rent a boat for you and your friends (although it's pretty pricey!)
7 KEEP YOUR CUP
Keep your cups! You can drink beer on the street, if you buy a beer from one of the many stalls on the street there is a deposit on the cup so hand it over when you buy your next beer.
8 BRING CASH
Bring enough cash with you as there will be lines for ATMs and they are known to run out of money on Kings Day. It's a problem that can be avoided very easily.
9 CHANGES TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Keep in mind that public transport routes will change on King’s Day and traffic will be diverted away from the city centre.
10 BUY YOUR BOOZE EARLY
Although alcohol will be easy to come by (street stalls will be selling it everywhere), it’s a lot cheaper to buy your booze beforehand at a supermarket. It’s a known fact amongst locals that supermarket shelves on King’s Day will be pretty much empty, so make sure you’re prepared and buy your drink a day or two beforehand.
11 FOR THE BEST FESTIVAL ON KING’S DAY
If you’re looking for a crazy festival on King’s Day, then don’t miss Kingsland. Get your tickets to the Kingsland festival before it’s too late. This will be the biggest and best festival in Amsterdam with an incredible line-up taking the stage including DJ Snake and Lost Frequencies on the main stage. Ticket prices range from €32,70-€ 74,20.
It’s set to be epic.