The King's Birthday

Celebrate King’s Day in holland 2016

King's Day in Holland

King's Day (Koningsdag) is a national holiday in the Netherlands. It is celebrated on 27th April by millions of Dutch people and marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. Street parties, flea markets, official concerts and many other special events are held in honour of the Dutch royal family.

For the biggest and best celebrations, head to Amsterdam, Arnhem, Utrecht and The Hague.

King's Day Celebrations Amsterdam
Canal Boat Celebration

One of the best places to experience and enjoy the festivities is from a boat on the canal. All kinds of watercraft pack the narrow waterways of Amsterdam, from stand-up paddleboats to wooden rowboats, you'll see them all bobbing about.

Everyone dresses in orange, eats picnics and drinks “Oranje Bitter”; a gin (jenever) and orange peel based beverage, bright fluorescent orange in colour and will blow your socks off. And for the musical, sit back and enjoy a host of aspiring bands, opera singers, rappers, street discos and Rio-style drum bands that can be heard round every corner.

King's Day Flea Markets
Flea Markets

In Amsterdam, on the morning of King's Day, the streets come alive with a huge flea market (vrijmarkt); it’s the one day of the year when anyone can sell anything, within reason, on the streets without needing a permit. You'll find anything and everything for sale including King's Day souvenirs.

It's also a great place to pick up your festive clothing. Orange suits, neckties, dresses, wigs and feather boas, you name it, you'll find all the fancy dress costumes you'll need to party in this Dutch style Mardi Gras, so get out there and join the locals dancing in the streets!

Why Orange?

Why does everyone dress in orange? The Dutch national flag is red, white and blue, but on King's Day the nation wears orange, the official colour of the royal family. The streets fill with a sea of orange, a welcome change from the grey of winter and a sign that spring has finally come.

King's Day Bunting in Orange