5 cities to celebrate King’s Day in the Netherland

Travel tips

One of the things that makes the Netherlands stand out from its fellow European countries – besides the impressive number of bikes – is that it has only two secular public holidays.

The most famous of which is King’s Day – or Koningsdag – when Dutch people celebrate the official and actual birthday of their sovereign, Willem-Alexander.
But which are the best cities to celebrate this special day? Pack all your orange clothes and get ready for an experience you won’t soon forget.

“Why orange?” you may ask. Well, in one of Willem Alexander’s titles there is an actual colour, and that title is Prins van Oranje-Nassau.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

It might seem the obvious choice, but there’s a reason Amsterdam continues to attract the King’s Day revellers.

The parades and parties on the canals here are second-to-none and will make your celebrations truly memorable. With a stream of boats passing through the maze of waterways and often inviting onlookers aboard, it’s a palpably energetic and joyous outdoor national celebration.

Don’t miss any moment of the party by staying in the city centre at Hotel Mai Amsterdam, only five minutes from the main train station – the hotel also offers free transportation to and from the airport.

Utrecht

Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht hosted the first ever King’s Day when the king’s great-great-grandmother, Wilhelmina, was just five years old. Then called Prinsessedag (Princess’ Day), the festivities were such a big hit that they’ve been repeated ever since.

Nowadays, King’s Day sees the city turn into a free market – a one-day event where citizens can sell anything they like without a licence – starting at 18:00 on 26 April. Although free markets are very common in the Netherlands during King’s Day, only Utrecht has one that starts earlier, on Koningsavond – or King’s Eve.

Continue in that eco-friendly vein of buying from a flea market, by staying in a Travel Sustainable Property at the Grand Hotel Karel V.

Rotterdam

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam stands out for its cool contemporary architecture, but on King’s Day the music festival scene shines. In Zuiderpark, the Kingsland Festival will fill the air with hypnotic beats, and you’ll be spoiled for choice – from EDM, techno and house, to some more obscure underground styles.
Take the underground feeling from the party to the hotel, by staying at Cityhub Rotterdam. You will feel as if you are staying on the set of a science fiction film, as you can operate everything with your mobile phone, from check-in to opening your room door.

Eindhoven

Eindhoven, Netherlands

Eindhoven, Netherlands

You may know Eindhoven as the centre of the Brainport region – the cradle of pioneering technology and design – and home to big names like Philips and ASML.

What you probably don’t know is that the citizens of Eindhoven sure can party. From block parties to music festivals to outdoor markets, Eindhoven has everything. And if at the end of the day, you want to go home and relax, check out Vakantiehuis De Drie Bruggen, a cosy apartment surrounded by nature.

The Hague

The Hague, Netherlands

The Hague, Netherlands

If partying on the beach is your style, look no further than The Hague. With over 11 kilometres of coastline, this is the perfect city to feel the brisk Dutch wind while wishing the king ‘fijne verjaardag’ – Dutch for ‘Happy birthday’.

End your beach party with a stay at the BizStay Helena at Sea Apartments. This beautiful accommodation sits right next to the North Sea, so you will wake up to stellar views.

We picked these articles for you

The world’s most spectacular treehouses

No matter your age, spending the night high up in the trees is a thrilling prospect.

The most beautiful destinations for spring

The best places to enjoy spring around the world.

The top 5 places to celebrate Holi outside India

India isn’t the only place to enjoy this joyous Hindu festival of colour, spring and love.

Treat yourself to a wellness weekend

Find nothing but blissful relaxation at these sublime spa stays.

5 unforgettable underwater hotels

Sleeping with the fishes has never sounded so appealing.

7 château hotels in France’s vineyards

Feel like royalty with a castle stay in wine country.