A national holiday in the Netherlands, Koningsdag, or King’s Day, celebrates the birth of King Willem-Alexander on 27 April. First celebrated in 1885, and from 1890 until 2013 it was known as Queen’s Day, however when Queen Beatrix abdicated in 2013 the holiday was shifted three days ahead to celebrate the birth of her son, King Willem Alexander.
As one of the biggest and most widely celebrated holidays in the Netherlands, the Dutch really embrace oranjegekte, orange madness, with orange being worn in honour of the House of Orange-Nassau. Whether that means dressing in orange, having your face painted or dying your hair, you will be sure to see a lot of orange. All the excitement makes it a great time to visit the Netherlands and join in with the festivities. Amsterdam in particular goes crazy for King’s Day so what better time to visit the capital than the end of this month, just in time for the celebration!
King’s Day is an extremely family friendly occasion where a whole host of children’s activities take place. From face painting, to sports competitions to games there is something for every member of the family.
One of the biggest, most essential features of King’s Day is the giant flea market; the Citywide street sale.
If shopping isn’t your thing, don’t worry as there are a plethora of tasty food stalls serving scrumptious Dutch cuisine to more than satisfy any appetite. The market runs from 6 am until 8 pm giving you plenty of time to find some bargains and souvenirs!
The canals of Amsterdam are one of the key features that characterise the city, and on King’s Day they really come alive. Whether you opt to take a canal ride or not, it’s just as fun to watch from a nearby bridge and watch the blur of orange pass down the canal.
Parties that take place on King’s Day are legendary and occur all day long and run well into the early hours of the following day. Museumplein Square hosts a huge open-air concert that attracts hundreds of thousands of people. The Amsterdammers certainly know how to party, and a great time is definitely guaranteed!
Stena Line offers twice-daily, seven hour return crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland. Fares start from £59 one way for an adult and car.www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry-to-holland. Additional adults cost start from £14.50 and children (between four and 15 years old) from £7.25 one way. Foot passenger prices start from £36.50 per adult and £18.25 for children. Infants (under four years old) travel free of charge. Cabins start from £15 per person each way. Alternatively Stena Line’s Dutchflyer rail-and-sail service allows customers to take any Greater Anglia service to Harwich, and then on to any Dutch city of their choice (www.dutchflyer.co.uk).
To make a booking visit www.stenaline.co.uk or call Stena Line on 08447 70 70 70