Koningsdag (King's Day)
King's Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands and is celebrated on 27 April (26 April if the 27th is a Sunday). On this day there are orange themed celebrations all over the Netherlands, with the largest being in Amsterdam. It is estimated around 700,000 visitors make there way to the city to join the Amsterdam locals in the worlds biggest street party.
The celebrations usually begin the night before and continue through the night with people partying especially in the city centre. The main celebrations begin from 06:00am when the Vrijmarkt (Free Market) begins and many people set up stalls outside of their homes, places of work, parks and even on the bridges you will see taped off areas days in advance. You will not see a larger range of items for sale at any other market in the world.
King's Day is a public holiday but it is definitely not a day of rest, it is a day when locals and tourists like to party and the mood all over the city is amazing.
The atmosphere runs from morning to night with people partying in the streets throughout the city and the main squares are packed with many of them having live performers on throughout the day. The canals are lined with people partying on boats playing all kinds of music as they slowly go by which creates a great atmosphere. There are also a few concerts in the city during the day but unlike in the past the majority of them have been moved away from the centre to help stem the flow of people coming in and out of the city. In the past people could just turn up to the concerts but these days they are ticketed events and mostly sell out quickly after they go on sale.
If you have never experienced an event like this then it is definitely worth checking out. Some people come to Amsterdam to relax and smoke but this is quite the opposite. If this is your scene also then you will surely enjoy this crazy once a year celebration.