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King's Day 2018

We're starting a cruise from Amsterdam on May 1, and we have a few days before that to spend either there or elsewhere. We've been there before, and our plan this time has been to stay in Haarlem (where we haven't been). King's Day will be April 27, a Friday, so likely to begin a big three-day weekend. Reading about all the crowds that King's Day brings to Amsterdam -- up to a million visitors per Wikipedia -- we're concerned about the trains, station, museum lines, and just getting around. Presumably Haarlem will be equally crowded on a smaller scale. On the other hand, this is a chance to experience a national holiday with the Dutch people. (We don't plan on dying our hair orange, in my case because there isn't enough anyway.)

So my question is to those who have been to Amsterdam or nearby on King's Day (or Queen's Day as it used to be) -- how much difficulty did you have with transportation, sightseeing, etc.? And how much added fun did you have to offset the inconvenience?

We haven't made reservations yet but there seems to be availability at this early point, and we'll move on it soon. So we don't need reminding to book early -- that's why we're asking now! Thanks for any insights you good folks can provide.

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1634 posts

Hey Dick
Have been to amsterdam once, have another trip planned for september 25 to 30 this year. Not during king's day though. I have a friend that goes every year and stays at the flying pig hostel and loves it! It was crazy busy last june, i can just imagine during kings day!! Just as bad as pride week is here in san francisco, went couple times with friends and let the rookies go now! LOL Last year we rented apartment on the canal through on prinsengracht, was great. so pretty and seeing all the boats going by apartment, plus the tram is like a block away, small cafes and bars, restaurants nearby, grocery store. This year we are renting houseboat from staying out in the joordan district. You can check these sites out, comparing cost with staying out in haarlem and transporation. we took train to haarlem, was nice cute small town. spent some time at rembrandt square, people watching, drinking wine and had an empanada (yummy) at argentine steak house, went to albert cuypmarket, took private taxi tour to windmills, cheese factory in edam, marken, fishing villages. was a great day. You are smart to be looking now, since i'm sure prices will let you dig deep in your pockets. Happy travels