The best King’s Day parties are in Amsterdam. Over 1 million people take to the streets. Dressed up in orange, they party for 2 days and nights. King’s Day in Amsterdam is celebrated every year on 27 April.
Everywhere in The Netherlands, the birthday of King of The Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, and the monarchy in general, is celebrated with an orange craze, parties, games, and events. King’s Day is a national holiday in The Netherlands.
Flea market and crowded streets on King’s Day
In Amsterdam, King’s Day is best known for its free open-air market. The entire city becomes one big flea market as people take out their old rubbish and try to sell it. This is the ‘Vrijmarkt’.
Everywhere you walk, the streets are lined with people selling clothes, houseware, books and records and homemade pies and other food. Prices are extremely low. This is the only time a year the Dutch show off their bargaining skills and try to get everything for below the asking price.
King’s Day in Amsterdam city center
At King’s Day in Amsterdam, the city center is packed with people! So if you don’t care for crowds, avoid the area around Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. As the day advances, more people will be drunk!
The Haarlemmerstraat and The Jordaan Quarter are popular areas, busy from early morning, with people scavenging the streets for bargains. At Westerstraat, Noordermarkt and Lindengracht at Jordaan stages have been set up for live music and DJ’s and there are outside bars.
From the afternoon till around 20.00, expect crowded squares and streets. The Gay Monument (Homomonument) at Westerkerk is traditionally set up with a stage for drag queens and dancers.
Vondelpark is for children
For a little more peace, head into the Vondelpark. At King’s Day in Amsterdam, children rule the Vondelpark. The park turns into an open-air flea market where only children are allowed to sell. Children are also happy to take out their musical instruments, show their dancing skills or do some gymnastics, hoping to earn some small money.
At Vondelpark on King’s Day, you can try your best at one of the many typical Dutch games: jeans hanging (spijkerbroekhangen), hit the nail (spijkerslaan) and different types of shooting games.
Vintage in South
The best area to shop for clothes is Amsterdam South: Beethovenstraat and Apollolaan. This is the more high-end part of Amsterdam, so you expect quality and vintage clothes. For vintage design go to Maasstraat.
Amsterdam West is usually calmer, but newcomer cafe Bret near Sloterdijk organizes an early party at the Breakfast Club. Popular flea markets on King’ Day in Amsterdam West are at the Jan Evertsenstraat and Mercatorplein. Fireworks are lit after midnight above the Sloterplas, best seen from the beach nearby Sloterparkbad swimming pool.
Theatre in East
In Amsterdam East, Timorplein is popular for a free market for children. At Bredeweg, you can watch theatre, impressive installations, singer-songwriters and acrobates. In East, at Park Frankendael you can also shop at the BRIC-and-brac flea market.
King’s Night parties
King’s Day parties in Amsterdam start on the evening of 26 April. King’s Night parties tend to be sell out fast, so get those tickets early. A selection of King’s Night parties in Amsterdam clubs:
- Tiktak Kingsnight @ Club Air
Line-up: Joanna Fraser, Josylvio, Poke, Johnny500, Girls love DJs
- Friendzone @ Bitterzoet
- Kiss Kiss Kingsnight @ Blue Ivy
R&b, hip-hop, eclectic
- Bang ‘n Mash Kingsnight Boat Party 2019 @ a boat
- Rewind X LO – Kingsnight @ Chicago Social Club
- Kingsnight: Olivier Weiter B2b Miss Melera @ De Marktkantine
- Paula Temple / Sentimental Rave/ Azf @ De School
- Oranje Boven @ Disco Dolly
- House Rules Kings Night @ Escape
- Oranjestad Festival @ Het Sieraad
- MILK @ Jimmy Woo
- Kingsnight @ Melkweg
King’s Day Parties
Large stages and loud music are allowed only with a license in the inner city of Amsterdam on King’s Day. Many house parties and techno raves are held outdoor at special venues outside the inner city or inside in clubs and venues. Here’s a selection:
Kingsland Festival Amsterdam 2019 @ RAI (indoor and outdoor)
Line-Up: Alesso, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Jonas Blue, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano
Oranjebloesem 2019 @ Olympic Stadium
Line-Up: Jennifer Cardini Patrice Bäumel Stephan Bodzin [live]
Loveland van Oranje @ Meerpark
Line-Up: Sven Väth Chris Liebing B2B ROD Alan Fitzpatrick B2B Eats Everything
Is everything closed on King’s Day?
Most of the museums are closed on King’s Day in Amsterdam. But the big tourist attractions are open: Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum are open. Shops will closed, except supermarkets around the center that tend to be open.
Public transport on King’s Day
The center of Amsterdam will be closed for both cars and trams. That means from around 7.30 am till around 23.00, there is no public transport at all on King’s Day. You need to walk. Trams outside the center will function but usually take a different route. About 200.000 people arrive in Amsterdam by train (central station) to celebrate King’s Day.