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Koningsdag 2018 King's day 2018
Image from Koen Smilde Photography

Tips for King's Day 2024

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Amsterdam to join the locals in celebrating the King’s birthday. But between the array of ticketed parties on offer, as well as spontaneous parties on virtually every street corner, canals teeming with boats, and parks filled with market stalls, King’s Day can feel more than a little overwhelming. These are our tips for navigating the festivities and getting the most out of your King’s Day.

Join the party on the banks of the IJ

Party people outside at Pllek beach on King's Day
Image from Pllek

Did you know that festivities kick off the night before, on King’s Night (Friday, 26 April)? Prepare to celebrate the King’s birthday in style as Pllek and Lola work together to pull out all the stops. Rotterdam-born DJ David Vunk, who has played at the iconic Dekmantel festival and Boiler Room sessions, will be headlining the event, joined by a stellar lineup including Rozie and Rik Tan. Playing all things from disco to house to italo until the early hours of the morning, this is sure to be a King’s Night to remember. 

Then, on King's Day itself (Saturday, 27 April), with a beach on the IJ, Pllek’s sweeping riverside views are the perfect place to dance through the day for Pllek King's Day 2024. Entrance is free, and there'll be a stellar lineup of DJs throughout the day.

Check out all events during King's Night and King's Day. 

Stroll through the vrijmarkt

Koningsdag or King's Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April, the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. 

Celebrations: Partying, wearing orange costumes, flea markets, and traditional local gatherings.
Image from Koen Smilde

King’s Day isn’t just an excuse to have a boogie. Ask any local, and they’ll tell you about their childhood memories of the vrijmarkt (free market), the biggest flea market of the year, which takes place each year on King's Day. One of the holiday’s most enduring traditions, the vrijmarkt is a sight to behold, as the streets and parks of Amsterdam transform into a market. There’s a community feel in the air, and while the fare isn’t ‘free’, it’s open to anyone and everyone. Some great places to check out the market are Vondelpark, Sarphatipark, and NDSM Wharf, which are great for families as these are designated particularly as child-friendly zones. It helps to turn up early, as the pickings get slimmer as the day progresses.

Stay in one place

Koningsdag 2018 King's day 2018
Image from Koen Smilde Photography

During Kings Day, the streets are one big moving carnival, but overcrowding and congestion can be a problem. Avoid worming your way through those pressing crowds and enjoy Kings Day in one place –  like at one of the eight free events organised by the city. This year, these will be held at Amstelveld, Leidseplein, the Nieuwmarkt, Regulierdwarsstraat, Rembrandtplein, Spui, Westerstraat, and Marie Heinekenplein. Expect DJs, stages, bars, and lots of dancing. All in orange, of course!

Get cultural

Stedelijk Museum exterior
Image from John Lewis Marshall

As the whole city will be fit to bursting with Amsterdammers and people from all over the world, you might want to slip away for a little while and enjoy some of the city’s cultural attractions. While most of Amsterdam's major museums and attractions are closed on King's Day, several cultural hotspots traditionally stay open, including the Anne Frank HouseVan Gogh MuseumStedelijk Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. Be sure to check specific opening hours to avoid disappointment.

Anticipate the weather

NIEGES Koningsdag Kingsday
Image from KENAWY

April is a notoriously rainy month, and though the weather might hold out on King’s Day (and perhaps even allow for a ray of sunshine here and there if the stars align), the chance of a downpour is high. Trudging around the city in the rain is no fun if you aren’t prepared, so make sure to check the weather forecast before you head out. Raincoats and ponchos are a must – but leave those umbrellas at home since you won’t have the space to hold them open in the busy streets.

Seek out some green

Spring in Amsterdamse Bos, Amstelveen
Image from Pauline Arkesteijn

As the biggest street party of the year, this national holiday isn’t for the faint-hearted. While the world flocks to Amsterdam on Kings Day, some of the locals choose to seek out peace and quiet on the outskirts of the city. If you're in danger of orange overload, join them in the gardens and parks further out from the centre, such as Park Frankendael and the Amsterdamse Bos. Really want to get your zen on this King's Day? Venture out beyond the city limits to the greater Amsterdam Area and explore all that the region has to offer.

Party along from home

Traditional Dutch orange Tompouce pastry for kings day with crown and flag on the background
Typically Dutch foods

Can't make it to Amsterdam? There's always a way to show your Dutch pride on King's Day. Wherever you are in the world, bring the party to you with this do-it-yourself King's Day party kit. Complete with bitterballen recipes, decoration ideas, sing-a-longs, games, and cocktail suggestions, let the national festivities take place in the comfort of your own home for a royally good time.