A sea of orange took over Amsterdam on Thursday as the city’s population doubled for the biggest party of the year. This weekend was Koningsdag or King’s day in Amsterdam, and to say that it looks like it was a crazy, debaucherous time would be an understatement. Amsterdam is known as a place to party on a normal day, but on King’s Day (which happened on April 27th) the partying grows to epic proportions. The festival is marked by all night parties (bars and clubs only have to close for an hour before sunrise), parades, and huge concerts.
King’s day celebrates the Dutch monarch’s birthday every year, and this year it was King Willem-Alexander’s 50th birthday. The event, which has been celebrated as Queen’s day since the late 1800’s, is a public holiday where it’s legal to drink in the streets, and, as such, every surface of the city is coated with partiers. Even the canals are packed with party boats. You could walk straight across the canal from boat to boat, it’s so thick!
Everyone wears orange from head to toe (because the Dutch Royal family is of the House of Orange-Nassau) on King’s day, and people get very creative and silly with their orange get ups. The whole city also turns into a giant flea market with people and vendors selling every item imaginable in the streets. People get creative with selling things so while you’ll find lots of cheap, awesome things pulled from attics, you’ll also find people offering to write you poems, give you backrubs, and paint your face. Anything goes.
With such a huge influx of people in the city, there is no public transportation to the city center for the event, so wandering around the city is the norm. Luckily though, you’ll find a giant party everywhere you turn so getting places (a five minute walk could take an hour) isn’t a huge priority. The party is wherever you and the other couple of million people on the streets are.
Check out the photos folks have been posting of the weekend, and book your travel and hotel for next year today. Everything books out way in advance, so unless you plan to spend 24 hours partying on the streets without sleep (something you could easily do!), you’ll want to secure a place now to rest your weary, drunken head.