Queen's Day - Destination Amsterdam

Koninginnnedag or Queen’s Day (30th April) is one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands – and is Amsterdam’s biggest street party of the year.

2013 is an especially important year, as it will also mark the official abdication of Queen Beatrix. This will be followed by the inauguration of His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange and Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands as the new King and Queen.

Around 800,000 people spill onto the streets of Amsterdam on Queen’s day – all wearing orange.  There’s live music, parties on every corner, DJ sets and a citywide flea market; it’s an event not-to-be-missed!

Want to fit in with the locals?

Wear head-to-toe oranje (orange). This is as a show of pride for the Dutch Royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.

What to bring / important info

Many toilet facilities charge between 50 cents – 1 euro, so make sure you have plenty of loose change. You will do a lot of walking – so wear comfortable shoes. You are allowed to drink, but you must not carry more than one alcoholic drink with you, don’t worry - there are plenty of bars around! Leave your valuables at your hotel and if you do carry any on your person - be extra vigilant: you will be spending a lot of time in crowds.

Transport

Queen’s Day is one of Amsterdam’s busiest days of the year and public transport in the city centre is restricted to allow the free flow of pedestrians.  Cars are also banned from certain areas of the city on Queens’ Day. All public means of transportation, including trains, have a special schedule for this day.

Street markets

Special rules on 30th April mean that anyone can sell their second-hand things on the streets and in parks, thus turning the city into a vrijmarkt (free market)! Anyone can take part, so there’s a lot of “junk” on offer! It officially runs from 6am – 8pm. The Vondelpark is swarming with children selling their wares, gates open from 9am. There’s a great atmosphere in the park, with singing, dancing and children-turned-street performers for the day! There are also a wide variety of stalls and games, from wet-sponge throwing to funfair style games.

Parties

There are parties all over the city, ranging from small bars with live music acts, to huge organised events (for these you’ll need to buy tickets in advance).

For more info visit: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en-GB/experience/queens-day/whats-on/queens-day-parties

 

2014 and beyond

From 2014, Queen’s Day will become King’s Day and the date will be moved to 27th April - the birthday of future King, Willem-Alexander. However, 2014 is already an exception as it falls on a Sunday, so it will be held the day before on the 26th April 2014. In 2015 it will revert back to the 27th.

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