After the coronavirus pandemic brought King’s Day celebrations to a halt in 2020 and 2021, 2022 marks the first time in three years that people across the Netherlands will be able to don their orange and take to the streets in honour of the king’s birthday!
Different ways to celebrate koningsdag this yearNot yet decided what you want to do for koningsdag this year? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some ways you can celebrate the 55th birthday of King Willem-Alexander in style.
Roam the streets and browse the vrijmarkt stallsUp and down the country, families and households will use King’s Day as an opportunity to have a good clear out – and make a little extra cash – by selling second-hand goods at the vrijmarkt (free market). Stalls will open at different times depending on where you live (in Amsterdam, for example, the vrijmarkt starts at 6am!) and each city will have different hotspots that you definitely won’t want to miss.
There will also be plenty of shops and restaurants that set up stands on the big day, selling (koningsdag-themed) stock, snacks, and drinks!
King’s Day events and festivals in the Netherlands You have probably already heard of some of the major King’s Day events and festivals that take place in the Netherlands every year. In Amsterdam you’ve got Loveland van Oranje and Kingsland – but you don’t have to be in the Dutch capital to party on koningsdag!
Kingsland festivals are also held in Rotterdam and Groningen, and there’s Kingsworld in The Hague, and the BEAT-RIX Festival in Utrecht.
Party in the streetsIf you’re not too fussed about having to buy tickets for an event, don’t worry – there are plenty of other parties going on across the Netherlands that aren’t ticketed! Many bars and restaurants will hire DJs and set up bars on the street so passersby can grab a drink and have a little dance as they’re roaming and taking in the general atmosphere of King’s Day.
If you have a favourite local, you could try asking the staff in the run-up to the big day what the bar has planned for April 27. Otherwise, when you’re out and about just walking around, you’re guaranteed to stumble across at least one street party.
Take to the Amsterdam canalsIf you do happen to be in the capital on April 27, then one classic way of celebrating King’s Day in true Amsterdam fashion is by hopping on a boat with your friends and travelling along the canals. Be warned, though: there is likely to be a bit (read: a lot) of traffic, especially if the weather is nice, as practically anyone who has access to a boat will be sure to be out on the canals.
Go wild on King’s NightWhile King Willem-Alexander’s birthday is on April 27, the night of April 26 is also a pretty big deal when it comes to celebrating koningsdag. Depending on which day April 27 falls, it’s likely that many will have to drag themselves into work on April 28, and so they’re sure to make the most of their public holiday by going out the night before King’s Day.
There are plenty of parties, events, and festivals taking place on King’s Night (koningsnacht). Some of the biggest ones include Vunzige Deuntjes in Amsterdam, KingSize and Free Your Mind in Arnhem, and Qmusic the Party in Enschede.
Dig out your best orange and celebrate King’s Day on April 27Staying home and gorging yourself on tompoucen or partying non-stop at a festival with some of the biggest names in Dutch music – regardless of how you choose to celebrate the day, be sure to cover yourself in as much orange as you can stomach and have fun, as King’s Day really is one of the biggest days of the year!