The 27th of April is a very important day for the Netherlands. The king is celebrating birthday! And what does it mean? National holidays all over the whole country and cheerful celebrations practically in all cities. King´s Day is the event where the fun is guaranteed. And where could we celebrate king´s birthday better than in the capital Amsterdam.
King´s Day and empty streets?!
We arrived around 10 in the morning and, in the expectation of the huge crowd, we headed to the city centre. However the opposite was true. The city was almost empty, surprisingly we met much less people than during my last visit in Amsterdam. Later we realized that the night before King´s Day is called King´s Night and each club and pub is organizes some pre-party before the day D. That explains empty streets, everybody was recovering from the last night in their own bed or hotel room, getting ready to start celebrations again in the afternoon.
Orange, orange, orange
We spent our free time buying the necessary orange stuff. On the King´s Day it is a must to have something orange. Starting with the locals, through tourists and ending with pets – everybody on the streets had the same colour. In this way people show their pride for the Dutch Royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau by wearing the traditional colour of the Netherlands.
Luna park and markets
Dressed up in the right colours, we arrived at Dam square – the hearth of Amsterdam. The square looked completely differently than the last time I saw it, though. It transformed into one big luna park with plenty of carousels, music and stands. We couldn’t resist to take a ride on the big Ferris wheel from where the view on Amsterdam was stunning. The ticket for a ride was quite expensive (7 EUR) but well King´s Day is only once a year.
After a further walking in the slowly crowding streets we arrived in front of the famous letters of Amsterdam where we took some photos. Our next stop was Vondelpark. During King´s Day everybody can become a seller and try their negotiating skills in order to sell their own goods. But Vondelpark was reserved for children. The grass was full of old toys, games and clothes which kids decided to exchange for a small amount of money the tourists would give for it. Moreover, the park was full of music from many child bands – who knows, maybe we saw the future star! The weather was, despite the weather forecast, very good and that´s why we could enjoy the walk in the sun.
One big birthday party
In the afternoon the city was already full of people – drinking, dancing, singing – simply enjoying the atmosphere. All over the centre were stages where DJs played their favourite songs to entertain the crowds and the beer and food stands on the street were satisfying thirsty and hungry visitors. The canals were full of boats with dancing people and orange confetti were flying in the air. And we were in the middle of that all. A DJ was playing great music and we could have had fun until the very morning, if we didn´t need to catch our bus back to Antwerp. The departure seemed to be too soon, but who knows, maybe it is sometimes better to leave in the best. Next year again?