The Checklist for King’s Day

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What is King’s Day?

Originally, the date was called Queen’s Day to celebrate and honor the birth of Netherlands’ Queen Wilhelmina. The very first celebration was on on 31 August 1885 and since then, the tradition has been carried on.  Since the inauguration King Willem-Alexander in 2013, Queen’s Day has been changed into King’s Day and the celebration has been moved to April 27. 

And now, in order to prepare you to fully enjoy this special King’s Day, we made a simple checklist of things to do before your party starts this Wednesday:

1. Do you know where you’re going?

If it is your very first year in the Netherlands, let’s head to Amsterdam regardless of the traffic. Why? Amsterdam is the capital as well as a famous touristic place and so, (apparently) the city definitely celebrates in its best festive way with huge street markets, parades, outdoor performances, parties on the streets/boats/cruises… You can check out the website of iamsterdam for more information and tips.

If you already know what it’s like to celebrate King’s Day in Amsterdam, how about trying out different locations this year?

A couple of great cities to visit: The Hague (Den Haag), Utrecht, Eindhoven, Rotterdam.

Visiting them all? Try these then Haarlem, Arnhem, Valkenburg.

2. Crazy traffic – Be aware and prepared

Commuting, especially with public transportation, during King’s Day is (probably) the most painful and annoying thing during King’s Day.

You may want to catch the trains early in the morning to avoid chaos hours. You might as well suffer traffic jam in the train even in those early trains. But hey, don’t let the traffic kills your holiday mood!

Let’s enjoy this interesting experience once a year like Dutch people.

One small tip for newcomers: Some of the buses and trams operates in a different routines than usual. And in the city center of Amsterdam, there will be no public transportation or taxis allowed.

Check 9292 and plan your routes in advance if possible. And for ladies, you may have to walk more than usual, so let’s stick with a comfortable pair of shoes (sandals, boots, sneakers, etc.) rather than glamorous high-heels. Or you can just put a back-up pair in your bag.

3. Let’s wear ORANGE

Orange , or oranje in Dutch, is the color of Dutch Royal Family and the symbolized colour of the country.


So, forget “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”. It’s the time for something orange.

orange on King's day
source: fest300

You can be as creative as much as you want, and I think the crazier the better. If you still do not know what to wear and where to get “costumes”, here are some suggestions for you:

>> Check out HEMA, Action, Xenos for accessories and pocket-size paints;

>> You want to get normal clothes in Orange? All of the clothing brands (such as H&M, Pull & Bear, C&A, etc.) sell different orange designs in their shops;

>> Wanna dress-up for more energy to party? You can find costumes stores online, via yelp for instance.

4. Buy & Sell at street markets

Flea markets pop up in most along (almost) every street and public places. Some will sell their “vintage” stuffs or special homemade products. You can find something useful/fancy/weird with affordable prices. I am not sure about bargaining though, but you can always try.

5. Work hard during last weeks? Time to PARTY HARDER

Yep, this is for sure the best time for you to bring the best out of your party spirit. Drinks and (fast)food are available almost everywhere. The prices could be varied depending on the locations.

You can practically hold your party everywhere, of course in legal places. In case you still have no idea, here are some suggestions:

>> First thing of this list is: Partying on Canoes, Boats, Cruises, ect. Anything that can let you enjoy the drinks, dancing, feeling the breezes (providing that the weather’s good)…

>> Pubs and bars: Most of them will open during King’s Day and if you are in Amsterdam, there will be a lot & a lot of choices;

>> Restaurants: If you like something fancy or classy, let’s make reservation at some recommended restaurants (or even cafe shops) to make sure that the place is open and you don’t have to wait for empty table.

You want some more crowded and exciting events?

Let’s check out the event page of iamsterdam or search online. You may want to book some tickets early.

6. Have a lot of fun, but be on guard

The day is indeed full of joy and fun. But extra cautions are recommended, especially with:


This will be likely to happen especially with huge crowds (the chance is higher with drunk crowds). So, it is better to not carry that much of cash with you. Leave all your most expensive accessories at home and check your belongings regularly. It could help you prevent great losses, and if your credit/debit cards got stolen, you can inform the bank in time.

#Drinking/smoking but still be conscious about what happen around you

The first reason is that some of us will need to work the next day and so, having a hangover in the morning is not the way you want to start a new day. However, it is mostly for your own safety. You may also want to save some energy and perfect shape for the weekend.

In short, everything you need is to bring your joyful spirit and to participate in this event one way or another. You can also enjoy the Koningsnatch, the evening before King’s Day as well, but do save up energy for the next official day.

Have any fun King’s Day stories to share? Any insightful tips for others? Leave them in the comment box then.