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Celebrating King’s Day in Holland

by Anna 26th April 2016
Kings Day in Holland

If you fancy a holiday to The Netherlands, tie your visit in with King’s Day to see the country come to life and enjoy a fun, unique holiday activity!

What is King’s Day?

King’s Day takes place on 27th April every year to celebrate the birthday of King Willem-Alexander, the Dutch monarch. Or if 27th April falls on a Sunday, the festivities take place on the 26th April instead.

How is King’s Day celebrated?

Every town and city in the country comes to life with street markets, boat parties, live music and entertainment, and orange decor. Locals and tourists alike are invited to put on their best orange outfit and join in the fun!

The exact programme of events changes every year, and varies between locations. But generally, you can expect a variety of family-friendly activities like fairground rides and craft workshops, alongside music, dance and circus performances.

The King himself gets involved too – every year him and his family visit a different town or city to meet and celebrate with locals.

King's Day in Holland

Getting into the orange spirit!

Why orange?

King’s Day transforms Dutch towns into a sea of orange – orange decorations, orange face paint, orange costumes…

That’s because the The Dutch royal family bears the name Huis van Oranje (House of Orange), so orange became their national colour!

Don’t forget to raise a toast to the King with a glass of Orange Bitter – a local liqueur bright orange in colour.

What about Queen’s Day?

The same celebrations were previously known as Queen’s Day in honour of the monarch at the time – Queen Beatrix.

Queen’s Day took place on 30th April – Queen Beatrix’s birthday – prior to her abdication in 2013. Her oldest son Willem-Alexander then became king, and the national day has been called King’s Day ever since.

Where to stay

Duinrell in Wassenaar offers the perfect base to experience the festivities. City centre accommodation is hard to come by around King’s Day, and anything that is available doesn’t come cheap! Staying in a holiday parc outside the city centre gives you more space and more reasonable rates, while still being within easy reach of the party.

The biggest King’s Day celebrations take place in Amsterdam, which just 45 minutes’ drive away from Duinrell, or just over an hour by public transport. Or if you’d like to celebrate closer to your holiday home, hop on the bus to Leiden at the bus stop outside the parc. Leiden’s celebrations are smaller, cosier, but with the same electric atmosphere you’d expect from a larger city.

Kings Day in Holland

Stalls selling Dutch delights in Leiden

Have you visited somewhere interesting in Holland to celebrate King or Queen’s Day? Or have you enjoyed anything in Amsterdam that we have to see? Let us know in the comments section below.


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