Among public holidays across the globe, King’s Day in Amsterdam has one distinction: It’s had three names.
Visitors looking for things to do in Holland won’t want to miss the celebration. This national holiday originated in 1885 as Princess’s Day to commemorate the fifth birthday of the royal who became Queen Wilhelmina. Once she ascended the throne, its name changed to Queen’s Day and remained that through the reigns of Queens Juliana and Beatrix. When Beatrix abdicated in favor of her son, Willem-Alexander, in 2013, the holiday was dubbed King’s Day to honor his birthday on April 27.
Tourists in search of awesome things to do in the Netherlands are bound to enjoy the excitement of nearly a million people spilling into the streets and painting Amsterdam orange. Their ranks double the city’s population. All this partying is bound to make visitors hungry. Fortunately, they’ll find delicious food sold by hundreds of vendors along the streets. Those who love sweets will want to sample tompouce, a rich local pastry with cream and orange icing.
Visitors who have already taken a boat tour will find Amsterdam’s canals transformed into a sea of orange party boats. Snagging a spot at the corner of Prinsengracht and Amstelveld is a sure bet for a great view of the parade of King’s Day boats.
Although most attractions close to honor the holiday, tourists can still enjoy going through some of Amsterdam’s popular museums. Among those open are the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, and the Stedelijk Museum. There’s also plenty for children to do: games, sports, and face painting.
Many Amsterdam visitors will want to visit the vrijmarkt. One in every five Dutch residents plans to sell goods at this huge national flea market.
Each King’s Day celebration starts the evening before the actual holiday. A carnival atmosphere prevails. Brightly decorated boats, live music, and DJs at parties held on public squares mark this tourist attraction. Orange is the color of this holiday, which can be described in just one word: electric.
A variety of public dance party events for 2016 will take place at festival sites throughout the city. Each accommodates a range of 1,500 to 35,000 revelers. See ticket and other information here