King’s Day in the Netherlands

Goedendag and Happy King’s Day dearest Readers!

Today, the 27th of April, us in the Netherlands are celebrating “Koningsdag”, the day we are joyously celebrating our King along the whole country.

King’s Day traditionally falls on the birthday of the reigning monarch.  From 1949 to 1980, Queen’s Day was traditionally celebrated on 30 April, the birthday of the former Queen Juliana. When the then Crown Princess Beatrix came to power in 1981, she decided to keep Queen’s Day on the familiar date in memory of her mother.

This also had another advantage besides commemoration: Beatrix’s birthday is 31 January, so thank you to our former queen that we can continue to celebrate this great holiday in spring!

But enough of the historical background. So what exactly happens on King’s Day?

Well, not that much in Corona times unfortunately, but let’s take a look into the not-too-distant past.

On King’s Day, traditionally one or more cities, towns or villages are visited by the royal family.

But does that mean that the other towns do not celebrate this day?

No, quite the opposite: all cities in the Netherlands have big festivities, street parties, flea markets and parades on land and on water.

On this day, Amsterdam draws more than 1 Million visitors who celebrate together with the city’s inhabitants.

A very popular location on this day is the Vondelpark, especially for families.

Over the years, it has become a tradition to dress in the colour of the royal house on this day, Orange. There is also another tradition, the “Oranjebitter”. This orange-coloured liqueur is traditionally toasted on King’s Day.

This year, however, like last year, the toast will be made online.

Maybe you’ll plan your Amsterdam trip around King’s Day next year to enjoy the big party with us? We will be happy to guide you through Amsterdam in the days before and after.

Just have a look at our website for more inspiration for your trip to Amsterdam!