How to Make the Most of King’s Day in Amsterdam (2023)
Koningsdag or King’s Day in English, is a spectacular affair and one of the most celebrated events on Amsterdam’s yearly calendar. Each year, on April 27th, over a million partygoers dressed head to toe in orange clothing, take to the streets of Amsterdam to celebrate the King’s birthday in typical Dutch style … After all who doesn’t love a good ole’ fashioned street party?
With so much going on in the Dutch capital and across the country, it can be a little daunting when trying to plan your King’s Day celebrations. So, to make things a little easier for you we have comprised a handy list of things to do on King’s Day in Amsterdam so you can make the most of the King’s birthday!
Top Tips for King’s Day:
King’s Day is actually more like King’s weekend when you take into account all the ‘pre’ and after parties. So make sure you don’t hit it too hard at the pre-party. There’s so much going on over the course of the King’s birthday weekend, so make sure you pace yourself.
If you’re looking to get the party started early, ClinkNOORD are throwing their very own King’s night party on April 26th. Head down to the ZincBAR for Dutch food, party games, and a DJ. For a free shot, make sure you dress in Orange!
Arrange a meeting place
Even on a quiet day, Amsterdam can be a difficult place to navigate. Throw in a few hundred thousands party goers and it becomes a real challenge. To make sure you don’t lose your pals we recommend setting a meeting point. The crowds can make maneuvering through the city a challenge so be prepared for some slow walking. At least you’ll have plenty of time to take in the sights!
Take a waterproof
Amsterdam weather can be a bit temperamental, one minute it’s beaming sunshine, the next it’s pouring with rain. You just never know what the weather will do. Make sure you pack a waterproof layer otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll be wandering around all day with soggy clothes on.
Respect the rules
There are alcohol limits on King’s Day: you’re only allowed one drink at a time in public spaces. Another rule that applies that day is that there’s no public transport in the city centre, taxis included.
Things to do on King’s Day 2023
Create your King’s Day outfit
Dressing up is not for everyone, however on King’s Day in Amsterdam, it’s a must. With everyone across the city donning bright orange clothing, face paint and fancy dress, those failing to follow suit stand out like a sore thumb… Plus, no one likes a party pooper.
There’s plenty of places across Amsterdam to purchase some Orange clothing or if you’re feeling adventurous – perhaps a wig. Just remember, on King’s Day the streets will be super busy so be sure to grab something Orange before the big day.
Top Tip: if you are looking for a simple way to join in with the crowds, why not try painting the Dutch flag on your cheeks, it’s super easy and always goes down well with the locals.
Image courtesy: Holland.com
Looking for more late night activities? Here’s our selection of things to do in Amsterdam at night!
Party on a boat
On King’s Day, Amsterdam’s many waterways become jam-packed with boats. Although the street parties are great fun, it is widely acknowledged by those in the know, that the best way to spend the special day is aboard a boat with your pals. Grab yourself a beer and float around Amsterdam while soaking up all the festivities. All aboard! Just remember that many of the smaller boats do not have toilets, so to avoid discomfort it’s best to go before you board. If you’re one of those unfortunate individuals that finds themselves popping to the toilet every five minutes on a night out then once aboard, we keep an eye out for the plasboot (pee boat).
Image courtesy: Exploringthenetherlands.com
Top tip: boats can get booked up early and become a little pricey due to the increased interest during King’s day, so make sure you book your boat ahead of time.
Grab yourself a bargain
On the King’s birthday, between 7:00-16:00 much of Amsterdam becomes a flea market. Locals and visitors alike are invited to set up stalls and sell their wares. Typically, these stalls sell everything – and we mean everything.
From old clothing and bric-a-brac, to crockery and retro gadgets, on these deregulated stalls anything goes. Head to Waterlooplein for beautiful vintage clothing or pick up children’s toys and old-fashioned gadgets in the Jordaan district.
Top Tip: make sure you get enough cash out for the day, due to the high number of people making withdrawals some of the cash machines run out. The vast majority of the stalls will only accept cash and in Amsterdam, many of the toilets charge.
Image courtesy: Fleamapket.com
Visit an event
During King’s Day, there is no shortage of places to party. From huge open air dance events in the city squares and parks to much smaller stages in cafes and bars, there’s an event with your name on it. Places in the centre like Rembrandtplein, Spui, and Leidseplein are usually bustling with people and are a good place to visit if you like to party with a crowd.
The day time partying typically starts around midday and goes on until about 20:00. However, after the day time events finish many bars and clubs continue the festivities until the early hours of the morning. So, as we mentioned before, make sure you pace yourself, it can be a long day! Feeling a bit tired?
If you prefer a more structured approach to King’s Day, you’re best off purchasing a ticket to one of the many music events going on both inside and outside of the Dutch capital. We recommend checking out electronic dance festival Oranjebloesem or Loveland – they will not disappoint!
So there you have it, our guide to making the most of King’s Day in Amsterdam. But just one last thing… make sure you have a good time. But with so many fun things going on, we are sure you won’t struggle with that!
Looking for somewhere to stay during the King’s Day weekend. Book your bed with us at ClinkNOORD youth hostel in Amsterdam!