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King's Day in Netherlands

My wife and I are going to be staying in Amersfoort for three days, including April 27, when the king and queen visit the town. What should we expect during the celebration? Will it be a madhouse, with drinking and dancing in the streets (kinda sounds like fun!) or a refined, dignified celebration of the royal birthday? Would it be impertinent for us Americans to wear orange? Any tips to make sure we get the most out of our visit would be appreciated. Is the Arnhem Outdoor Museum worth a day trip? Anything else good to see in the area? Many thanks.

Posted by
1551 posts

I was staying in Haarlem last year on King’s Day, it was a total blast! I can’t say what it’s like in Amsterdam but I saw posted signs on the 26th that various public transportation would be closed down on the big day. I’m sure it was a raucous celebration.
In Haarlem, people came out and set up for a widespread flea market. There were bands and families with school children out visiting with friends and neighbors. Everyone wore orange, even visitors. I spoke to people from England wearing orange. Consider yourself Dutch for the day and get into the fun!

Posted by
69 posts

We were in Delft last year for Kings Day. No royal visit that I was aware of, but very much a fun festival atmosphere. Looked like a big yard sale with folks selling all sorts of used items, lots of food vendors, music, beer - crowded but fun. Definitely wear orange! One of my souvenirs from that trip was an orange scarf I bought. Have fun! Are you going to see Keukenhof? It’s spectacular- highly recommend!

Posted by
4200 posts

We were in Haarlem on King's Day last year. The market square was full of carnival rides and a bandstand surrounded by dancing drinking crowds. Every bar was full, with people spilling onto the sidewalks. Near our hotel was another band surrounded by dancers. So more on the madhouse side than the refined side. But the king and queen were elsewhere, and I expect things were a little more sedate wherever they went. Lots of people were wearing orange and it would have been fine for us to. I'm sure there were lots of orange scarves or caps or other such for sale.

It was fun, but we worried that the revelry would keep us awake in our ground-floor room a block from a bandstand. Not to worry, said the desk clerk, it will stop at 10 PM. And, sure enough, by 10:15 the streets were quiet except in front of a few bars well away from the hotel. Most of the revelers had called it a night and gone home. (It was Friday night, by the way.)

So enjoy the festivities, wear something orange if you want, and don't take a hotel room close to a nightspot (good advice any time). Take your cues from the locals if you find yourself in the Royal Presence.

Posted by
1551 posts

Definitely go to Keukenhof gardens to see the fabulous tulips!

Posted by
8906 posts

I've been in Amsterdam on King's day, the evening before will be a very festive Mardi Gras like celebration with lots of alcohol. The day of is a bit more family friendly, more of a street fair type atmosphere. The Jordaan section is best place to wander around. The city center will be very crowded, no trams or cars are allowed in the city center, so the metro and walking will be you only means of transport.

Posted by
8 posts

King's Day in the Netherlands is always a lot of fun :-) Since the king and queen are visiting Amersfoort this year indeed, it will be busy. Along the route they walk (ask the tourist office or hotel desk for the route), the atmosphere will be a little bit more refined I guess.
The night before King's Day is also a festive one with lots of free concerts everywhere. And 'do as the romans do', wair orange, have a drink and enjoy!

You also may enjoy visiting Utrecht, nice old city centre with canals etc. We liked the Arnhem Outdoor Museum, but it's depending on the weather.

Posted by
1 posts

This is a question about Kings Day Amsterdam. My wife and I will be leaving Avalon Waterways cruise from the River Cruise Port, the morning of April 27, 2019, going to Schiphol. Flight leaves at 10:45. Any suggestions about congestion, or increased travel times. We scheduled Avalon transfer to airport' after learning of the Kings Day celebrations.

Posted by
4200 posts

I can't imagine that King's Day will make any difference for your plans. It's not a holiday people fly in and out for, like Christmas. You'll be up in the sky long before the revelry gets going on the ground.

Posted by
15 posts

I lived in Amsterdam years ago in an apartment on Dam Square and experienced Queens day as it was then - I can confirm it's a lot of fun, very busy, and very, very orange! I wouldn't go so far to say it's a "madhouse" generally, but the city center does get very crowded with revelers - which doesn't have that much of an effect of transport in the city itself with it largely being pedestrianised for the most part (the trams still run, although on a reduced schedule).

Posted by
8906 posts

the trams still run, although on a reduced schedule

Only the tram routes that are in the outskirts of the city center will be running. The lines that go through the middle of the city center don't run at all.