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Arriving on the King's Birthday -

Anyone with experience in Amsterdam on the King's Birthday? We're usually better planners than this, but we've booked our flights and will be arriving in Amsterdam the morning of the King's Birthday. I've read how crowded Amsterdam is on this day, so I'm guessing that our plan to start our visit with the Amsterdam City Walk may not be the best idea. In 2017, the holiday falls on a Thursday - will things just be crazy that day or for the entire weekend? We're not big party people, so any advice on best ways to enjoy the experience (or just survive it!) is much appreciated. We will be in Amsterdam for a week, so our plans can be flexible. Thanks!

Posted by
2859 posts

We were there a few years ago for the holiday and was a madhouse - crowds everywhere, but mainly lining the canals for the parade of boats. As I recall the festivities were restricted to just the one day and that things calmed down after that - everyone nursing their hangovers I suspect.

Posted by
3271 posts

That happened to us in 2010. We went to the Rijksmuseum in the morning and it wasn't crowded at all. Then we walked in the opposite direction of the main canals until we found a nice place to have lunch and a few drinks. Then we enjoyed Vondelpark. The level of exuberance reminded me of a college football tailgate experience. My favorite memory of the day is the kids in costume and with painted faces. We avoided the crowds of the City center and still had a good day. The next day it was business as usual.

Posted by
151 posts

Great! Thank you both. It sounds like the plan for us is to wander around Vondelpark and enjoy people-watching as we try to get over our jetlag.

Posted by
9106 posts

The biggest problem will be getting to your hotel. The streets in the center will be closed off the car traffic and the trams in the center will not be running (trams outside the center do run). So if your hotel is in the tourist zone you may have to schlep your bags a long way:(

Posted by
151 posts

Thanks Michael. Our B&B is normally a 10-15 walk from the Central Station. They let us know it might take longer than usual due to the crowds. I hope it won't be too difficult to walk with our luggage through all the folks there for the holiday.!

Posted by
1825 posts

I also unwittingly booked my trip to arrive the day before! I booked a hotel with a canal view so we should have a front row seat to the festivities. Hopefully the windows are soundproof for Kings Night. We'll probably bring something orange to wear and leave it behind.

Posted by
2611 posts

I just booked my trip to Amsterdam last Friday and fortunately had read about the mayhem of King's Day so it sounds like my thought to avoid it was a good one--leaving that Tuesday. I'll look forward to your trip report!

Posted by
1825 posts

Anyone have any experience on what it might be like to take a bike ride around Waterland on King's Day? I have a feeling that after awhile the festivities in town might get old and biking North of the city is something I think we'd enjoy. I assume the ferries will run even though public transport in the city won't. What are the chances that bike rentals will be available at the train station on King's Day? Maybe rent one the day before and lock it up near the ferry? Our hotel in the Jordaan has loaner bikes but it might be hard to ride to the station and back with the crowds.

Posted by
1 posts

We are arriving the day before Kings Day and we are renting bikes. Check with the vendor you plan to rent from before going because the two bike rental shops near where we are renting an apartment told me they would be closed on King's Day so I have to pick them up the day we arrive.

I would like to know if the day after, Friday, would be a good day to go to Keukenhof? I am wondering if it will be like Sat and Sun with lots of locals also going? Is it safe to assume most Dutch will have a 4 day weekend?

Posted by
2200 posts

To save time for others who are interested: the date is April 27, 2017.