Just whose birthday is it anyway?
King Willem-Alexander's birthday on 27 April, which is also the official date of King's Day. The royal celebrations were first held on 31 August 1885 in honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina, and the Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) tradition was born. After Wilhelmina’s daughter (Juliana) succeeded to the throne in 1949, the day was changed to 30 April in accordance with the new Queen's birthday and the then Queen Beatrix chose to retain the date. With the accession of King Willem-Alexander to the throne in 2013, the date was brought forward by a few days to 27 April (although in 2014, King's Day was on the 26th, as it is tradtionally not celebrated on a Sunday).
What time does it all start and end?
The citywide street market begins very early on King’s Day morning, officially at 06:00. Most events begin at midday. The street market and nearly all outdoor events finish at 20:00. Please note that you will need to buy a ticket in advance if you would like to attend one of the major organised parties. More information on the citywide street market and King's Day parties.
Where is the street market?
In principle, anywhere in the city. However, entrances to shops that are open and emergency exits must be kept clear. For safety reasons, the street market is also not permitted on certain bridges and sections of street.
Are the shops open?
Shops are permitted to open on King’s Day, but the majority of high street stores close for the day. For example, shops on the Kalverstraat usually stay closed. Most larger supermarkets do open for part of the day and smaller neighbourhood supermarkets are usually open for business.
Am I allowed to carry alcohol in public and how much can I purchase?
You are allowed to carry one unit of regular alcoholic drink (under 15% alcohol) for your own consumption. Additional alcoholic drinks may be confiscated. In recent years, shops in the Centre District of Amsterdam have agreed to limit the sale of alcohol to one alcoholic drink per customer.
Am I allowed to sell alcohol?
Only licensed parties are permitted to sell alcohol, it is not permitted to sell alcohol as part of the street market.
Is it a good idea to travel with a car?
Travelling to or in Amsterdam by car on King's Day is strongly advised against and traffic is prevented from accessing most of the city throughout the day. Catching a train into Amsterdam is the best bet.
Will public transport be running on King's Day?
Most buses and trams run up to the outskirts of the city centre during the day. The restrictions on buses, trams and taxis in the city centre are only lifted late in the evening. A common misconception is that public transport is free on King's Day - this isn't the case, standard prices apply. More information on getting around on King's Day.
I'm not Dutch, should I wear orange?
There are no rules set in stone that you have to wear orange on King’s Day but a bit of orange in your outfit may help you get in the celebratory spirit!