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All you need to know about Queen's Day

Published April 29th, 2013

Thinking of heading to Amsterdam at the end of the month? Well you’re in luck because April 30th is the day to be in the canal city with Amsterdam celebrating Queen’s Day. A national public holiday, Queen’s Day (also known as Koninginnedag) marks the birthday of the country’s Queen with street parties, live music and lots and lots of beer. To get you in the partying mood, here’s all you need to know about Queen’s Day.



What to expect: Lots of people, lots of beer and lots of good times. With such large crowds, the day can be a little disorganised, but everyone has too much fun to really care.


Where to go: The aim of the game is to congregate around the canals or even hire a boat if you can. Enjoy a picnic at Vondelpark or hang out at the markets.


Where to avoid: Rembrandt Square can get a little too crowded if you want to walk across it. Avoid the human traffic and instead make like a certain 1990's boy band and take the back streets.  



What to wear: Orange of course. The bright hue is the Netherlands' national colour and on Queen’s Day is worn from head to toe with pride. The more orange you wear the better so go for gold with oversized orange sunglasses, orange wigs and orange face paint.


What to eat: In the spirit of all things orange, orange food is easy to find during Koninginnedag.  Since it’s a birthday party and all, it would be also rude of you not to enjoy a piece of birthday cake, the traditional type being Boterkoek, a Dutch Butter Cake.


Where to drink: It may seem somewhat naughty at first, but drinking in the streets on Queen’s Day is not only accepted but encouraged. Plenty of street vendors are on hand to supply revellers with beer while supermarkets also sell alcoholic beverages, although only one per customer is allowed during the festivities. Please note that while drinking is acceptable in the street, it is not allowed on trains and at train stations. 


What to buy: One of the highlights of Queen’s Day is the markets, a 24 hour shopping extravaganza where locals can sell pretty much anything they want. If you’re up for a serious bargain, get to the markets early (5:00am early) and put your haggling skills to good use. For some larrikin fun though, many party-goers rock up late and scour the markets to nab the cheapest and weirdest item they can find - the perfect souvenir for a day of crazy fun!


Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.