King's Day crowd control
King's Day is easily the busiest day of the year in Amsterdam, with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to the city from nearby towns and villages (as well as from overseas). To make these celebrations manageable, some rules and regulations are put in place so that everyone has a fun and safe day. Please keep these rules in mind:
- The Vondelpark tradtionally closes the night before King's Day (minor entrances at 19:00 and main entrances at 20:00) and opens its gates at 09:00 on King's Day in time for the city-wide annual street market (vrijmarkt) to begin. The park is restricted to a children-only version of the markets, where kids perform and kick-start their career as entrepreneur.
- If you want to take part in the street market and sell second-hand household goods, etc, you can in theory do so anywhere in the city, provided you don't block the entrances to homes and shops which are open. However, there are some exceptions to this rule (mostly in the Centre, Zuid and West districts). A list of locations where the street market is restricted is published on the City of Amsterdam website Amsterdam.nl (all places listed under the header 'Niet toegestaan'), so you are sure you are setting up shop in a permitted spot.
- You may not sell alcohol in the street markets, but you may sell non-alcoholic beverages. You are also prohibited from selling perishable food products (anything containing meat, fish, or dairy ingredients). Such products may only be sold by licensed vendors.
- You are typically not allowed to have more than one alcoholic beverage in your possession at a time in public spaces. Six-packs and kegs of beer are considered more than one drink and may be confiscated. Alcohol is usually not allowed in trains and at train stations from 19:00 on the night preceding King's Day to 05:00 on the day following King's Day.
- Arriving by car is strongly advised against but, if you choose to do so, traffic is usually severely limited within the city centre from 07:30 onwards. Cars are typically blocked from the Prins Hendrikkade, Damrak, Muntplein and Rokin from 04:00.
- Public transportation is limited. See our Getting around page for more information or see the map below.
- If you are planning to travel by boat, note that one-way traffic regulations are typically in effect on the Prinsengracht, Rokin, Grimburgwal, Oudezijds Voorburgwal, Oudeschans and Herengracht canals (keep an eye out for the signs). Boats longer than 10 metres are also prohibited from using these busy canals. See also the summary of King's Day boating regulations.
- The free market, outdoor music events and the sale of beer at outdoor beer taps typically ends at 20:00.
- For an overview of public transportation, major street markets and dance festivals on King's Day, download the Amsterdam King's Day map.