I’m working on pre and post river cruse plans (Paris/Normandy/Paris) for mid April 2023. Was planning on flying into Paris pre cruise then winding my way through Belgium into the Netherlands after disembarking on 4/22. I’d be getting into the Amsterdam area perilously close to King’s Day. I have NO interest in being part of that mass of humanity! How busy are the outlying areas and with KD being a Thursday, should I assume chaos in Amsterdam throughout the weekend? I’ve been to Amsterdam several times but my interests are to get out of the city this trip since it’s my first springtime visit.
I can’t help but feel you have the wrong idea about Kingsday. While in some cities elebrations start the night before, Kingsday is only celebrated on the actual day, April 27. The next day cleaning crews will clean the city and it’s like nothing ever happened.
But there will definitely be crowds, especially in Amsterdam and surroundings. Not because of Kingsday, but because of the tulips. Crowds will start to build up starting around April 9, 2023 (Easter) and will continue up into the first week of May. These weeks are the sweet spot for the tulips to be in bloom. In normal years this already means that these weeks are peak peak peak peak season for Amsterdam and surroundings, but this year the once in a lifetime Vermeer exhibit in the Rijksmuseum will also attract another type of visitor. Meaning an even bigger crowd. From April until June there will be absolutely no way to avoid the crowds if you want to visit Amsterdam. As an indication of how busy it will be; some time slots for certain days in April for the Vermeer exhibit are already sold out.
We spent the last week of April 2022 in Haarlem, which included King’s day. The day before King’s Day we went to Amsterdam. Things were being set up for the next day, but there did not seem to be more people than normal. That evening in Haarlem we could hear a group outside a bar down the street from us having a good time and music was playing. It wasn’t disruptive. On King’s Day we wandered around Haarlem to see what was happening before taking the bus to Keukenhof in the early afternoon. There were people at Keukenhof, but I wouldn’t describe it as being super crowded. After returning to Haarlem we wandered around some different neighborhoods to see how everyone was celebrating. Amsterdam may or may not have been packed, but Haarlem was a fun place to see the celebrations without craziness.