King’s Day (Koningsdag in Dutch) is public holiday in Amsterdam which is celebrated every year on April 27. Formerly known as Queen’s Day, it is an explosion of colour, noise and fun taking over the Dutch capital.
Streets bustling with people and orange as far as the eye can see are the main features of the day, as well as the city’s canals being filled with boats with revellers partying, blasting music and having a few drinks with their friends onboard.
The streets in the heart of the city are closed to traffic – including the trams being off in the centre – although the bikes that the city is so well known for continue to take over the streets.
There’s a real party atmosphere with stages set up with DJs and performers throughout the city and traders selling orange t-shirts, hats, sunglasses and inflatables.
The residents also set up impromptu performances, including people performing from their balconies!
Many of the major attractions are closed – and some bars and restaurants also shut their doors on the day (or close earlier). But some of the restaurants set up stalls outside of their places of business to sell food to visitors on the street.
It’s worth noting that the streets can get very busy – luckily we only had rucksacks with us while we were squeezing through the roads thronged with people, but we did see other tourists trying to move through with suitcases which didn’t look much fun!
Although the streets do end up quite untidy by the end of the day, the city’s cleaning staff do a fantastic job of sorting out all of the rubbish so that the next morning the vast majority of the mess has been cleaned up and life has returned to normal in Amsterdam.