At Marco Polo we think that Amsterdam is a wonderful destination to visit any time of the year, but there is a very good reason to visit the city in the last week of April and that is King’s Day. The whole city – and every other Dutch city, town and village – turns into a massive street party. Embrace the orange madness now because with our insider tips you will have a great time celebrating King’s Day!
Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down for our giveaway!
WHAT IS KING’S DAY?
King’s Day, or Koningsdag as it is called in Dutch, celebrates the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange, and more specifically the birthday of the King Willem Alexander. King’s Day always falls on April 27th, unless the 27th is a Sunday, although this has been the case only since 2013. Until then the day was celebrated on April 30th for decades and every year many tourists still show up in Amsterdam on the 30th only to find out that they missed the party. For this reason the Amsterdam city actually throws a separate, smaller scale, party for those who missed the real celebrations.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ON KING’S DAY?
Do some shopping on the vrijmarkt
Vrijmarkt – the ‘free market’ is a massive flea market that forms on the streets. All regulations regarding selling your items on the streets have been lifted for the day and countless Dutch people use this opportunity to get rid of old clothes, shoes, furniture and children’s toys. It is a great opportunity to do some bargain hunting as well, even if the items you bought often end up on the free market again the next year. Children will be extremely active selling their old toys, playing instruments and putting on whole shows to earn some pocket-money.
Party, party and party some more
King’s Day in Amsterdam is likely the largest street party you will attend. There are tons of events and festivals to choose from, but you will need to book tickets in advance (check the iamsterdam website for more information). Others choose to go bar hopping, or simply take the party to the streets.
King’s Day on a boat is a truly Amsterdam way to celebrate the holiday, but for travellers it may be more difficult to pull off if you do not know someone in the city with a boat. Also, the canals will be packed with other boats so if you do get lucky and have access to a boat, it is best to go later in the evening when there is more space.
MARCO POLO’S PRACTICAL KING’S DAY TIPS:
For shopping at the free market, for buying drinks, it is cash-only in most cases. The chances are also high that the ATM machines will run out of cash and the lines will be long so best come prepared.
Dress code: orange
Some people like to show off their orange pride by wearing the colour from head to toe, whereas others will simply add an orange accessory to their outfit. To blend in it is best to wear at least something orange or face the locals questioning your party spirit.
Bring your comfy shoes
King’s Day involves a lot of walking – or dancing – so forget the high heels and flip-flops and wear comfortable sneakers as the locals do. It is also best to leave your favourite sneakers at home.
Follow the crowd
The streets are packed with people on King’s Day so following the crowd will get you to your destination a lot faster than going against the current.
And most importantly… have fun!
To get into the orange madness, Marco Polo is organising a giveaway! We are giving away a set of 5 Marco Polo Pocket guides to FIVE lucky winners, chosen at random.
How to enter?
Have you been to Amsterdam on King’s Day? If so, share your tips or experiences in the comments, if not, then just let us know in the comments. By commenting you enter the giveaway. You can earn more chances to win by liking our Facebook page and by following our Twitter and Instagram accounts and by letting us know in your comment that you have done so.
The competition is open from Friday 13 April 2018 until Thursday 19 April 2018 at 12:00 GMT. We will contact the winner personally via email using the email address used to leave the comment so make sure to check that it is spelled correctly!
Terms and Conditions:
- The promotion is open to UK & European residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees and their immediate families of Marco Polo, its agents or anyone professionally connected with the promotion.
- To enter, simply comment on the blog post. Additional chances to win may be acquired by liking the Marco Polo Facebook page and by following the Marco Polo Twitter and Instagram accounts. If the entrant has done any of the mentioned actions, it should be stated in the comment.
- This competition will commence on 13 April 2018 and all entries must be received by 12.00 GMT on 19 April 2018. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete, posted late, misdirected, and incorrect, garbled or fail to reach the Promoter by the closing date for any reason. Entries via agents or third parties are invalid.
- No purchase necessary, however internet access is required.
- The Prizes: 5 x prize winner will receive 5 Marco Polo Pocket Guides of their choice.
- The prize must be taken as stated and no compensation will be payable if a winner is unable to use the prize as stated. The winner will be liable for all costs and expenses not stated relating to claiming or partaking of the prize.
- The promoter may substitute the prize for a prize of an equal or greater value if, for any reason the original item is unavailable.
- By entering, winners agree that if they win they will participate in any reasonable publicity arranged by The Promoter or its agencies.
- By entering the promotion entrants confirm that they have read and agree to be bound by these terms & conditions and by the decisions of the Promoter, which are final in all matters relating to the promotion. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of the prize. No correspondence will be entered into.
- The Promoter or its agencies accept no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered through acceptance of the prize.
- The Promoter or its agencies will not be responsible for the non-inclusion of entries as a result of technical failures or otherwise, including any such failure which is within the control of The Promoter or its agencies. Proof of submission of entry is not proof of receipt of entry.
- The Promoter reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering or to have tampered with the operation of the promotion or the Marco Polo website, or to be acting in violation of these terms and conditions.
- To the full extent permitted by law the Promoter will not accept liability for any loss, damage, injury or death arising from this promotion beyond its reasonable control. The Promoter is Marco Polo Travel Publishing, Pinewood, Chineham Business Park, Crockford Lane, Chineham, Basingstoke, RG24 8AL