Long Live the Queen! Queen's Day in Amsterdam

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small_badpak_queensday.jpg In our series: "Around the world with askalo", each week a guest blogger shares inside tips and information about his or her city. This week, Marlies shares tips about the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the biggest national holiday in the Netherlands: Queen's Day on the 30th of April. What is Queen's Day and where do you have to go in Amsterdam during that day?
Name: Marlies
City: Amsterdam
Country: The Netherlands
Favorite Place: Vondelpark in Summer
Favorite food from the city: "Van Dobben Bitterballen" (a kind of meatballs)
Favorite holiday: Koninginnedag (Queen's Day / Queensday)


Marlies recently moved to Amsterdam. Until recently, she only knew Amsterdam from visiting friends or short city trips. Now that she lives and works in Amsterdam herself, she knows the city a lot better already. But one thing Marlies did for a couple of years already before she moved to the capital of the Netherlands, was to celebrate Queen's Day in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam
small_toeter_queensday.jpgAmsterdam is known as a liberal city, where everything is allowed and anything is possible. Tourists visit Amsterdam because of the coffee shops, the red light district, to get drunk and maybe to visit the Anne Frank house and eat a raw herring. But there is more to Amsterdam than drugs, sex and alcohol. Way more! I will tell you a little bit more about Amsterdam and about one of the biggest parties in the city: Queen's Day!

Queen's Day in Amsterdam
Every year on April 30, everyone in the Netherlands celebrates the birthday of Queen Beatrix. Queen's Day, or Koninginnedag as we call it in Dutch, is by far the most celebrated holiday in the Netherlands. Every year Queen Beatrix visits two towns on Queen's Day, and the inhabitants of the towns receive her with big celebrations. A lot of people from all over the Netherlands and the rest of the world descend on Amsterdam to celebrate this holiday. In Amsterdam there are a lot of outdoor parties and concerts and on Queen's Day it is allowed to sell your used stuff on the streets. And most importantly: everyone is dressed in orange on Queen's Day. People wear orange dresses, t-shirts, hats, suits and wigs. Are you celebrating Queen's Day in Amsterdam? Here are some tips for you!

  • Transportation
    small_museumplein_queensday.jpgDo you stay near Amsterdam and plan to travel to the city on Queen's Day by train or car? Be prepared for packed trains and don't expect to find a parking spot directly. Parking in Amsterdam is seriously expensive, so taking the train will probably be much cheaper anyway. And when you take the train, you can really enjoy the party and everyone can have alcoholic drinks. On the other hand, take into account that the trains are overfilled and that it could even be that the trains are not running at all. Besides that, hundred of thousands of people will visit Amsterdam on Queen's Day, so don't expect that you can use a car, a taxi, a bicycle or trams in the city centre.

  • Queen's Night
    The night before Queen's Day, the Dutch already start celebrating the Queen's birthday with Queen's Night. On Queen's Night there are open air performances until 1 am. After 1 am all the clubs, but also the typical Amsterdam pubs, have special Queen's Night parties and festivities.

  • Vrijmarkt in the Vondelpark
    On Queen's Day, people (most of them are children) sell their old stuff at their own plot on the "vrijmarkt" (free market) in the Vondelpark. Besides selling old stuff, people sell services like polishing nails (in orange of course), give performances in dancing, singing or playing the guitar, or they sell food and drinks. When you go to the Vondelpark, don't forget to eat an "Oranjetompoes", a typical cake that the Dutch eat on Queen's Day.

  • Enjoy!
    Until this year, the big dance parties and big stages were in the city centre. For security reasons however, the city decided to have the big parties outside of the city centre this year. But this is not a reason not to go to the city centre on Queen's Day. In fact, the small bands and performances in the city centre and all the people partying everywhere are even better than the big dance parties.

  • Boat
    small_sunset_queensday.jpgWhat makes going to the city centre even better are the canals, which are loaded with boats full of party people. If you have the opportunity to get a spot on a boat: don't hesitate and take it! There is no better way of celebrating Queen's Day than on a boat with speakers (and a fridge) on the canals of Amsterdam.

The only thing that is left for me to do is wishing the Queen a very happy birthday this year! I hope it is going to be a nice party for us! See you on the 30th in Amsterdam!

Do you want more tips about Amsterdam? Visit askalo and discover the city of Amsterdam. Do you have any more questions about Queen's Day in Amsterdam? Leave a comment here or ask your question on askalo!

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1 Comment

Ahh, Amsterdam is certainly the place I would love to visit before I die. I heard so many unusual things about it it slowly becoming an obsession LOL.

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