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Go orange on King’s Day

Go orange on King’s Day

King's Day

On 27 April the Netherlands turns orange as it celebrates King’s Day. Close to a million people head to Amsterdam on this date for the biggest street party of the year. Curious to see more?

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Long live the king!

King’s Day? Whatever happened to Queen’s Day? Well, after Queen Beatrix abdicated in 2013, her son, Willem-Alexander took the throne and now we celebrate his birthday on 27 April (Queen’s Day was on 30 April). Despite this minor change in name, the party is still as legendary as ever: street markets, outdoor parties, canals packed with boats and revellers dressed from head to toe in orange.

Five must-knows about King’s Day

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Evelyne Jacq / Hollandse Hoogte
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The event kicks off with King’s Night

The Dutch love a good party so the festivities kick off the night before with King’s Night. Most major cities host free outdoor concerts and the party lasts until the early hours, especially in Amsterdam. Stroll through the fun neighbourhood De Jordaan and mingle with the throngs of revellers who pack the traditional Amsterdam cafés.

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Amsterdam transforms into a giant street market

King’s Day wouldn’t be complete without the traditional flea market. All of Amsterdam is covered in rugs on which people display their second-hand goods. For the best street market, head to the green heart of Amsterdam: the Vondelpark. The entire park is reserved for children looking to increment their allowance by selling their wares. Some prefer to showcase their talents: watch budding artists put on dazzling performances.

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Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com
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    Berlinda van Dam / Hollandse Hoogte
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Even the food is orange

Any Dutchie will tell you that on King’s Day you must sample an orange ‘tompoes’. Although popular year-round, this sugary custard-filled pastry is usually sold with a pink glaze. However, the special King’s Day version is made with an orange glaze (also available when the Netherlands plays in the World Cup). On King’s Day, the sales of ‘tompoezen’ increase by 600%. Not in the mood for something sweet? You will practically trip over street vendors on every corner selling food. There is no need to go hungry.

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Wiskerke / Alamy Stock Photo

For a more organised approach, opt for one of the many events. The former Olympic Stadium stages a huge techno party: the Nassau Festival. The RAI convention centre also hosts a huge dance event where major artists such as Tiesto and Martin Garrix keep the music going all night. But don’t forget: no matter where you go, the dress code is orange!

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This is the largest street party of the year

On King’s Day, Amsterdam becomes one gigantic outdoor party. Just wander around the city centre and you will stumble across many interesting scenes and spontaneous street parties. And everything is absolutely 100% free. The canals are also packed with boats piled high with party-goers.

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Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com
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Watch The Orange Experience

KLM & Heineken surprised four lucky individuals who are also celebrating their birthday on 27 April with the ultimate Orange Experience. Have a look at their amazing King’s Day experience here.

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Pjotrp / Flickr
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Don’t expect to see the king in Amsterdam

Alas, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima usually don’t spend his birthday in Amsterdam. Traditionally, the royal family visits a different municipality each year where they spend the day with an activity-packed programme. 

But don’t worry: every year, café De Blaffende Vis adorns the facade of its building with a royal theme. In 2016, Princess Amalia, the royal couple’s oldest daughter, graced the facade. And in 2014, Queen Maxima made quite the impact with a mock photo of her on the wrecking ball from Miley Cyrus’s music video.

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Ben Visbeek / Flickr

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