The No Mames trip took us to Amsterdam to experience the King’s day. Through this post we plan to relive the crazy memories of the festival 😄
What is it about
Koningsdag or King’s Day — formerly known as Queen’s Day is the annual Dutch holiday in honor of King Willem-Alexander.
People dress up in orange, party, dance and get wasted. There are some concerts happening in some areas. There are flea markets and lot of street food and booze.
When does it happen
It is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is celebrated on 27 April (26 April if the 27th is a Sunday) 😂, as you read on you will know why!
Epicenter of Celebrations
While the King’s day is celebrated all around The Netherlands, the epicenter without fail is Amsterdam.
What to expect
The festivities start with a King’s night, the night before King’s day with lot of concerts and small stages all over the main area of Amsterdam. Alcohol flows, food fries, everyone parties 🍟 🍺 🍷 🍕 🍜 😋. The next day is all about dressing up and walking around buying random stuff from the flea market, getting drunk and if you are lucky enough to get on a boat in the canal, then getting wasted on a boat!
Dress code is: O for Orange
Start the morning with dressing up in orange clothing (as much as possible). Wear an orange wig, orange pants, an orange blouse, a shirt, shoes, watches or even an orange wig, a scarf etc. If you don’t have orange in your wardrobe buy something from one of the many street shops selling everything Orange. Also any shade of orang will do, but the best one is the bright Dutch orange.
Moving around during King’s Day
WALK WALK WALK. It’s the easiest way to get around. The main area and the concert areas are usually closed for any traffic. I mean there isn’t enough space to walk comfortably in this area forget about vehicles. The trains are jam packed as well. Fortunately we stayed at the center of the city so everything was walking distance for us 😁.
Enjoying King’s day to the fullest
We attended King’s day in Amsterdam in 2019, on 27th April, a Saturday.
Begin with the King’s night. Make sure you walk around to the party area and check out the concerts and get wasted. We were visiting and staying with our Dutch friends Arno and Charlotte so we knew exactly where to go and what to do. We walked around Noordemarkt, the area of the concerts and booze, bought some beers and then went over to the alley of a friend’s house to stand at their entrance to drink and merry. It was an amusing scene all around. Drunk people singing songs, random folks selling beer in an ice box being rolled over in a shopping cart 😂.
Check out the setups for the next day to understand what you will be in for. The most interesting part we found was something being put up on the wall of Cafe De Bleffende Vis. The café name translated to the Laughing Fish which we found hilarious and we were told that every year they put up a giant poster of the King, the queen and the King’s mom in some theme. You will also see multiple stages being setup and so many porta potti as well 😂. After all that booze when you need to go you need to go. All in a good spirit, this seemed pretty cool. Also, this is a good day to buy some groceries and stuff because things will be closed on King’s day.
The next day there is absolutely no need to start early. The festivities go on to till late in the day and you do want to survive till then. So go and get some breakfast because it is going to be a long day. Then you can go visit one of the thousands of flea markets that pop up on every street corner. The whole country of The Netherlands cleans their basements and attics for Kings Day, you might find something useful here. This day again we grabbed our wines and headed off to another friend’s place. They also had a flea market setup and were also selling small snacks and fresh coffee. The whole city goes Orange. The canal is filled with people dancing on platforms or if you are lucky then on one of the million boats in the canal.
Be a part of the madness. We crossed De Bleffende with a lot of effort to check out the final result. Apparently this year the scene was from Bohemian Rhapsody and was so cool. It was crowded as anything. There were people who were passing out besides us as we walked(they had friends to look after). There were folks screaming with joy or drunkenness.
We then went off to see the traffic jam at the canal. It was so very stressful to watch. There were boats coming in from all directions to go through a tiny passage under a bridge on which we were standing and getting stressed out. If you are lucky and enthusiastic about it you can get on a boat. I think you need to book it up in advance or have a friend who has a boat. Don’t worry if you cannot get on one. Walking around the city is pretty crazy as is!
Buy random stuff 😂. Get some orange things from a stall. Get some shitty food from another stall. Get beers. Or just get something from the garage sale! It’s fun!
After a long day we came back to some home cooked dinner and more wine before calling it a day, we did have an early start the next day but the party was still on!