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Traveling In Netherlands on King's Day

I will be in Amsterdam during the week of King's Day and considering a trip to Arnhem for the day to take in the Airborne Museum and Information Center. I understand that train travel may be difficult that particular day; especially coming back to Amsterdam. Can I make reservations on a NS train if I purchase an OV-Chipcard? I would appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, or opinions.

Thank you

Posted by
2487 posts

You're right in escaping from the city. It will be a madhouse.
I don't foresee major problems. Your movements are contrary to the masses: in the morning you're going out of the city, while they come in; when you're returning, they're leaving.
Except on international trains, reservations are not possible on Dutch trains. (The system is more or less a commuter network.)
I can't imagine an OV-Chipkaart will be of any use to you. The card itself costs EUR 7,50, and for using it on the train it needs a minimum deposit of EUR 20, the refunding of which will be at least time-consuming. Buy a separate ticket and do it in advance to avoid the crowds on your travelling day. (I'm afraid you'll probably not be able to buy an e-ticket. That's only possible with a debit card of a Dutch bank.)

Posted by
8954 posts

Reservations aren't possible on domestic trains in Holland. You should stay in Amsterdam on King's day there will be lots of street markets, and a great party atmosphere..it will be a lot fun.

Posted by
2487 posts

»a great party atmosphere«
... and a lot of noise, drunkenness, overcrowded streets, and all the other collateral damage when some tens of thousands from the provinces flock to the big city to do what they can't do at home.
I don't know Arnhem, but chances are that King's Day there is a much more pleasant affair. Look out for children having a stall or just a blanket on the pavement trying to earn some money with selling toys they don't like anymore or with some silly games. Great fun!

Posted by
2261 posts

We planned our trip this spring to among other things be in Amsterdam for several days that included King's Day. What a great experience, and it would be a shame to miss it while in town. Not to mention, I is entirely possible that the museum you wish to visit may be closed that day, as this is a national event.

Posted by
2487 posts

I checked to be sure: according to the museum's website they're open. (They explicitly mention the days they're closed: the two Christmas days, and New Year's Eve and New Year itself.)
And with regard to the King's Day celebrations: some like it, some do not.

Posted by
8954 posts

King's Day in Amsterdam isn't all about binge drinking. A lot of it is about street markets, yard sales, street food, car-free streets, neighborhood concerts, and a chance to see the royal family. A big chunk of the experience is very family friendly.

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you everybody. It is not that I don't want to participate in King's Day; but, I have some specific places I want to see and I had planned to go to Arnhem a couple of days after King's Day. With all the places I wanted to see in Amsterdam closed on King's Day I looking at adjusting my schedule. That is if the places I want to see in Arnhem are opened. What I've read they were opened last King's Day; but, to make sure I've emailed them.

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you everybody. It is not that I don't want to participate in King's Day; but, I have some specific places I want to see and I had planned to go to Arnhem a couple of days after King's Day. With all the places I wanted to see in Amsterdam closed on King's Day I looking at adjusting my schedule. That is if the places I want to see in Arnhem are opened. What I've read they were opened last King's Day; but, to make sure I've emailed them.

Posted by
191 posts

I would still recommend the OV-Chipkaart for your trip. It works throughout Netherlands, super easy to use, and you can use it across lots of transportation companies (trains, streetcar, waterbus in Rotterdam, etc). Just remember to check in and check out.

Posted by
2487 posts

You're right about the OV-Chipkaart being very practical. It has some issues, e.g. at some stations the check-in and check-out posts are not in the natural route to and from the trains.
For a short-term visitor the compulsory deposit of EUR 20 for use on the train can make it an expensive affair though.