April 30th each year in Amsterdam means only one thing, Queens Day, and for a day full of entertainment, drinking and general merriment, this highlight of the Dutch calendar would be extremely difficult to beat.

A Queens Day delight in Amsterdam

On April 30th every year, Amsterdam celebrates Queens Day and not many people would argue that this is the biggest street party of the year with a carnival atmosphere which lasts throughout the day as well as the evening before. With over two million people in attendance, the streets of Amsterdam are certainly packed to the rafters but the joyful atmosphere coupled with the mild spring temperature goes to make Queens Day a relaxing and enjoyable day for everyone who attends.

The Queens Day celebrations actually begin at around 7pm the night before, and this is appropriately called Queens Night. Anyone who has attended these festivities before will tell you that there is a real sense of excitement in the air as Queens Night really starts to hot up. There is a word of warning though, it is very easy to get carried away with the heady atmosphere and perhaps have one to many of your favourite tipples, with the end result being that you don’t exactly have all of the energy in the world for the actual Queens Day celebrations which start as early as 6am the following morning!

As for the actual Queens Day itself, there really is so much to take in it would be a good idea to plan your day before you get started. There are maps of walking routes for the festivities available from the tram, bus and train stations and it should not be under estimated what a great help these can be. It doesn’t matter if your preference is to amble around the many flea markets and bric a brac stalls that have been set up by the locals, or to take in the amazing outdoor concerts that cater for all tastes, there is something for everyone and a day to remember is most definitely on the cards.

It goes without saying that due to the enormous popularity of Queens Day, hotels and restaurants get booked up fast so those who plan early are more likely to be able to book into their first preferences. The great thing about Queens Day is though, a superb day can still be had by all without the need for spending lots of money, a picnic and some good company will enable you to enjoy a lovely day with all of your senses being thrilled at the same time.

For families with young children, a visit to Vondelpark in Amsterdam is highly recommended, there is a small fee involved but the face painting, games and entertainment mean that it is a small price to pay as the children will be catered for whilst the parents can simply relax and soak up the unique atmosphere.

To sum up Queens Day in Amsterdam, there is something for everyone, the fun atmosphere would be hard to experience anywhere else and it is little wonder why visitors return year after year. It is a day when everyone wears orange and the sight of this colour for as far as the eye can see only goes to add to the amazing spectacle for which Queens Day in Amsterdam is famous for.


  1. Chris Romans says

    I’ve never been a big fan of Amsterdam, probably because all of my druggie and anti-establishment friends like to rave about how they want to go there because you can smoke weed legally and interact with prostitutes.

    Indeed, I get the sense that Queens Day is something different though, with things for the entire family to do. It’s a shame in my mind that Amsterdam is typically just viewed as this haven for drug use and sex, but it appears to be so much more. As it is, Queens Day definitely seems like it could be an entertaining day for sure.

    At the end of your article, you note that everyone dresses in orange, but you didn’t give any reasoning why this is? Is it just arbitrary, or is there some meaning behind the orange coloration? It seems peculiar to me that people would go all out in a specific color as a part of a celebration like this, even more so if it is done for no particular reason. That isn’t something you can just mention in passing without detailing a little more!

  2. efpierce says

    I am so excited after reading this post! We are going to be in France the week prior to that and I think I can finagle our way into staying a couple of extra days to travel to Amsterdam for the festival. Is this something that a family would fit in with or should I leave the wife and kids at the hotel and head over?

  3. Keri Morris says

    The Queens Day celebrations sound like a lot of fun. I’ve only heard about Amsterdam being a good place for drugs and partying from my druggie friends, like I think another commentator here commented on… but it’s good to know that there is more than that to do here! Looking forward to getting the chance to celebrate Queens Day. Thanks for yet another awesome travel review. 🙂


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