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King's Day rules and regulations

King's Day (formerly Queen's Day) is Amsterdam's biggest party and the busiest day of the year. Expect big crowds and a lively atmosphere. It can get pretty hectic, so to ensure everyone has an enjoyable King's Day, a few simple rules, from boating regulations to crowd control, are in place.


If you want to take part in the city-wide annual street market (vrijmarkt) 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 Centrum, Zuid and West districts). A list of locations where the street market is restricted is published on the City of Amsterdam website (all places listed under the header 'Niet toegestaan'), so be 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. 

The Vondelpark traditionally closes the night before King's Day and opens its gates at 09:00 on King's Day in time for the market to begin. The park is restricted to a children-only version of the markets.


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.

Drinking alcohol while in control of a boat is not permitted.


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.

Boating regulations

Boats up to 10 metres long may sail through Amsterdam's canals on King's Day, but it's important to be aware of the rules. Alongside the general regulations that apply to boats travelling on Amsterdam's canals, a number of additional regulations come into force on King's Day. 

The maximum permitted speed is 6 km/h. If your boat causes excessive wash even when travelling less than 6 km/h, you are required to further reduce your speed.

Always stay on the right.

In order to ensure safety during busy periods, additional boat traffic measures will be put in place, including a one-way system on certain canals (see map – in Dutch).

Drinking alcohol while in control of a boat is not permitted.

Amplified music is not permitted (i.e. music shouldn't be audible 10 metres away from the boat). This rule will be enforced by law. 

Flat-bottomed boats and pontoons are not permitted within the Singel canals (with or without a towboat or push tug).

Boats longer than 10 metres are not permitted on the Zoutkeetsgracht, Prinsengracht, Rokin, Grimburgwal or Oudezijds Voorburgwal. 

Refuse should be gathered in bin bags and deposited at one of the four waste collection boats.

For additional information, check out Waternet's 'Vaarwater' app (in Dutch and English). Available for iPhone and Android, it's the ultimate app for water-goers featuring boating routes, toilet locations, refuse collection boats, rules & regulations and handy tips – and it turns orange just for King's Day!