Thinking about Kingsday always makes me smile spontaneously. It’s the festival in Amsterdam’s annual calendar of events. Of course, since things changed last year, we still need to get used to donning our orange outfits on 27 as opposed to 30 April. And we often mix up Queen’s… erm Kingsday when chatting to friends. Nonetheless, these changes haven’t dampened the orange party spirit. On the contrary, I think Kingsday will become even more fun in the years to come. More contemporary, more for the younger generation, my generation!
Queensday was always my favourite celebration as a child. And let’s be honest: Amsterdam is the place to celebrate this Orange Extravaganza! I knew immediately that I wanted to live in Amsterdam the very first time I celebrated Queensday there. When I was younger, I enjoyed rummaging around looking for bargains or heading aimlessly through town.
I now join a group of 60 friends on a party boat. Partying our way around the canals! One day a year of solidarity, orange as the clock strikes and the feeling of being uninhibited and free to do as you choose.
Amsterdam will be brimming with brilliant parties to celebrate the second Kingsday. From street-corner stages at local pubs to kids’ street markets and the Kingsday festivals with DJs into the early morning hours. As an expert on Amsterdam, I know exactly where you must be! So I’ve made a list of the best things for you to do in Amsterdam.
8 must-do’s for Kingday
1. Orange, orange!
Steal the show in your orange outfit! You’ll be the odd one out if you don’t wear an orange outfit on the 27th in Amsterdam ;-).
Amsterdam will be brimming with festivals on Kingsday. The big parties will be outside the city centre and tickets have to be purchased in advance.
These are the best festivals during Kingsday: Oranjebloesem, King’s Day Open Air, These Guys Kingsway @ NDSM vrijhaven (free entry), King’s Day Houthavens, Loveland van Oranje, NDSM Vrijhaven, Super Soso Lobi at Waterkant (free entry) and Koning Disco (free entry).
3. Something more quiet
Not that keen on festivals and DJs? Perhaps a visit to one of Amsterdam’s museums would be best for you. The following museums are open on Kingsday: the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Anne Frank House!
4. Treasure hunt
Kingsday provides you with an opportunity to find the best bargains at one of the many street markets throughout the city. You’ll find the best ones in the Vondelpark and at the NDSM shipyard. Another brilliant idea: sell your own goodies or homemade goods at one of the street markets!
Once you’ve celebrated Kingsday on a boat sailing through the canals you’ll be sold. Amsterdam is beautiful from the water and this applies tenfold on Kingsday! If you don’t have your own boat… The corner of the Prinsengracht and Amstelveld is one of the best places to enjoy all the orange boats from dry land!
6. Eat all the food!
Fancy yourself as a foodie? You’ll not be disappointed by all the stands with delicious snacks. Kingsday truly offers street food galore throughout Amsterdam.
Of course, you can spend Kingsday wandering around town. The festivities extend to every square and every street corner. The best streets and squares to enjoy Kingsday from include the Westerstraat and the Noordermarkt in the Jordaan and the Utrechtsestraat.
And if you can’t wait to till the 27th, you can start your Kingsday party on the 26th. My personal favourites include Kingston Crown at Hannekes Boom (a fantastic hotspot on the water’s edge) and Koningsklapper by Fissa & Vrijmidisco at Bar Italia.
Here’s wishing you lots of fun on Kingsday in Amsterdam!