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May Day

I was going over my itinerary and realized that I may be leaving Amsterdam on May 1st for a destination unknown at this point in time. I'm still trying to figure that out. My question to any of you is whether or not you have experienced any travel issues in Europe on May 1st; May Day? I'm wondering whether or not air and/or train travel would be affected? If it looks like it may be problem I'll just schedule another day in Amsterdam. Any discussion would be appreciated.

Posted by
425 posts

You shouldn't have a bit of trouble on May 1st. Stores in small towns and rural gas stations might be closed, but that's about it. I've been in Europe 4 of the past 5 May 1st's and haven't had a single glitch in travel plans. It's fun to watch groups of young men pulling little wagons of beer everywhere they go!

Posted by
4637 posts

May Day is a holiday in Europe (something like Labor Day here) so trains will be on holiday schedule. That's all.

Posted by
345 posts

We have been in France and Belgium on May 1 on several different years. You will find that many museums may be closed on May 1. Since it is a holiday in France, we have found it difficult to get hotel reservations and find places to eat. May 1, 2014, is on Thursday so the entire weekend will be be busy. Everyone will be on vacation. If the tourist sites aren't closed, they will be very crowded. Giverny was crazy when we were there on May 1. There should be no problem with air/train travel, other than being crowded.

May 1 is Labor Day in France. Everyone gives and receives lilies of the valley. Kids sell littfle bouquets in the towns and along the roads. Enjoy the day!

Posted by
31502 posts


My concern won't be directly with the 1st May in the Netherlands, but the week leading up to it, if you will be there.

The whole country is going to be one huge magnificent blowout (and nobody knows how to party like the Dutch!!) from Friday the 25th through the 27th of April, and I'll wager right through until May Day.

For decades there has been a Queen of the Netherlands, and the big blowout called Queens Day has been the Saturday of the last weekend of April. This year there has been a seismic change with the crowning of the first King in 123 years, King Willem-Alexander.

With the King's birthday the next day expect a doozie of a party.

Information is at

It is all in Dutch, but Dutch is a really easy language to understand - not too easy to pronounce but easy to hear and read, IMHO. If you have trouble understanding it I find that it helps to sound it out. If you can get the sound you can pick out a great deal of equivalent to English. Of course you could also use Google Translate or Babalfish.

Posted by
121 posts

Thanks, everyone, for your quick replies. I'm glad to hear that it shouldn't pose a problem for us. If it would have, I would just schedule another day in Amsterdam. No big deal! One thing about our travels to Europe is that we're usually wide open on our itinerary and can make changes whenever they're required. The only problem I'm having right now is trying to figure out where to go between May 1st and May 5th, when we'll be in Barcelona. Thanks again for your replies.