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Go Orange on Queen's Day in Amsterdam

Published by Melaina Gasbarrino, Writer

Country: Netherlands

The Experience

Amsterdam’s Queen's Day celebration of the masses in the Netherlands has spread into a night event as well. If you’re looking for a wildly exuberant party on April 30th, and are happy to dress in extravagant orange, then Queen's Day, or “Koninginnedag,” is one of the world's biggest street parties. There’s a sea of orange, with unique ideas for donning Netherland’s national colour, so pack your most outlandish orange outfit!

Holland’s Queen's Day was dubbed a celebration way back on August 31st, 1885 with the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. Sixty-four years later after Queen Juliana's accession into the world of royalty, Queen's Day is officially celebrated on her birthday: April 30th. Succeeding her mother, Queen Beatrice continues to call April 30th Queen's Day in commemoration of her mother.

The celebration of Queen’s Day actually starts around 7 pm the night before and carries right on over to Queen's Day. Walk the streets of the Nieuwmarkt and Jordaan areas for the perfect party. Two words of advice: pace yourself! You don't want to miss out on the biggest street party because you had a few too many funky orange drinks the night before the real celebrations begin. As the night turns into day, join in on the fun of the “free market.” Slowly slither through the market crowds to find second-hand artifacts sold by locals anywhere and everywhere. Find the most outrageous bric-a-brac being sold by the locals, and be entertained by talented teenage rappers, street discos, pick-up bands, tantalizing street entertainers, and young and old aspiring opera singers. Hop on a boat and join in the madness of techno music, or check out one of the ten different stages with DJs spinning their tunes.

You will see it ALL on Queen's Day. If you are more into the organized lifestyle of concerts, then head on over to Museumplein or Dam Square where huge outdoor concerts are held in an oh-so-orderly fashion!

Queen’s Day is a must to add to your bucket list as the crazy orange memories made here will go down in the books for the biggest, wildest street party you will ever attend.

When to Go to Queens Day Amsterdam

As this Queen’s Day festival starts on April 29th, it is better to arrive in the Netherlands a few days before to ensure your outfit for Queen's Day is all set to go. Before you even decide to check out Queen's Night and Queen's Day, be sure to book your accommodation extra early as places fill up quickly on this particular night. There’s a multitude of hotels in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands, but be sure to snag one before anyone else does. It is highly recommended to book at least six months in advance as they fill up quickly.

When you arrive at the bus, train or tram stations prior to the event, you will receive a map of walking routes for the festivities. This is only a guide, but if you feel like traveling all the ins and outs of the world's biggest street party, then make sure you hold onto the map for dear life. Many people just walk the streets of Amsterdam and get lost in the exuberant nature of the festivities, and don't bother to look at the map. It is always nice to have a map as a guide. Key places to wander around on Queen's Day are the areas of Jordaan, Dam Square, Museumplein, and Nieuwmarkt, where you will be enveloped in everything orange.

Queen’s Day is all about walking the streets, therefore, please note that for the greater part of the day, public transportation is at a standstill. Put on your best orange walking shoes and partake in the most festive of festivities that Holland has to offer.

Odds n' Ends

Make sure you arrive nice and early on Queen's Day as crowds start to heat up as the sun is rising. The festivities start at 6 am, so it is better to ground yourself at a stall just as the sun is rising.

Drink responsibly. The city laws state you are only allowed one alcoholic drink at a time. Anything greater than that will be confiscated, so please ensure you drink responsibly. Do note that it is perfectly okay to be drinking on the streets, but once again, do so in a responsible manner.

All major restaurants are open on Queen's Day, so you will not go hungry.

If you’re bringing your children along, it is highly recommended you stay in Vondelpark in Amsterdam. The day is great fun for children, with games, face-painting, and talented youngsters showing off. Note that there is a small fee to partake in the day at Vondelpark.


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