Koningsdag is the Dutch holiday of the year. On this day people all over the country celebrate the birth of their King Willem-Alexander. The celebrations this year were extra extravagant because it’s the first year the Dutch celebrate their King, as last year and since 1890, the holiday was called Queens Day.
Shristi, Amanda and I are staying with Shristis family friend in Utrecht. Utrecht is the 4th biggest city in the Netherlands and is located only a 30 minute train journey from Amsterdam.
Utrecht is a cute little town where you can discover Holland from a more local perspective. In the morning, we visited the markets which boasted stalls selling second hand and baked goods along the canal.
We visited the pub briefly where the locals gathered to celebrate their King, and where I discovered there are containers where the men can just pee in public…
By 5PM we were on a train to Amsterdam. I visited Amsterdam with my friend Charlotte last November for the EMA’s. There were tourists and the city was busy, but definitely not to the extent that it was yesterday.
Tourists and locals flooded the streets dressed in orange and the atmosphere was electric.
Where the once quiet square stood, was now a carnival with fun rides. We went on the tallest ride at the carnival and were gifted with an amazing view of Amsterdam from above.
The city does not hold back in their celebrations. In the red light district there were DJ stages and music playing at every canal bridge and people would gather and just dance on the street!
These setups were free and open to anyone on the streets, but there were also plenty of events that only cost about 25 euro and hosted well known DJs from the Netherlands including Tiesto, Martin Garrix and Armin van Buuren.
Kings Day in Amsterdam was an incredible experience. Everyone on the streets was in good spirits, and having an incredible time. Seeing how European countries celebrate national holidays is a great experience and is very different to how they are celebrated in Australia.