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Forget About Paddy's Day - King's Day Is One Day Of The Year You've Gotta Celebrate

By Sarah

May 31, 2018 at 4:43pm


We have quite an obsession with Paddy's Day - and fair enough too, sure the main lad did drive all the snakes out of Ireland. But did you know that King's Day is *whispers* even better?

People dress head-to-toe in orange, canons shoot out orange confetti, there's city wide street parties and people swap cans as they float by on boats with live DJs.

So, what is King's Day?

It's celebrated in Holland so it's a bit more of a trek than popping down to your local but every year on the date of the King or Queen's birthday - right now it's the 27th April after the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander. 

Amsterdam is the best spot for King's Day if you want a serious sesh. The city becomes one huge party zone as people don their brightest orange gear and cheers to the king. 

Everyone - and I do mean everyone - piles into boats for a huge session on Amsterdam's waterways

There's some pretty insane gridlock on the main canals as people scramble into boats to continue the party from the water. 

Crowds gather along the sides of the canals to cheer on and throw confetti down from bridges to boats passing below, and even families take a spin out on the canal. 

Music is blasting from every boat and there's a special ‘free market’ tradition where people barter and trade goods all over the streets.

I went over this year to join the Ketel One vodka boat party and it was a buzzzzzz. Espresso martini machines pouring out the perfect cocktail, King’s Mary’s (like a Bloody Mary but with carrot juice and ginger) and a DJ deck on the boat itself. 

There's me... Selfie central at a boat party on the canal

If there was ever a picture that screams ‘millennial’, let this be it. 
Screen Shot 2018 05 31 At 15 39 25

Here's what else to do in the 'Dam once the King's Day madness is all over:

Explore the artsy area of Jordaan: 

Jordaan’s narrow streets and quaint buildings now make up one of Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters, dotted with independent art galleries, antiques shops, courtyard gardens and atmospheric bars.

Catch the ferry to  Amsterdam north: 
short (free) ferry trip will take you to a number of drop off points including cultural hotspot NDSM, where you can enjoy a host of hip waterside hangouts, frequent festivals and events.

Eat your way around 30 food stalls: 
De Hallen houses a cinema, independent stores and a boutique hotel, as well as the impressive Food Hallen – a food and drink haven in a former tram station with upmarket street food. 
Take a tour of the family-owned De Nolet distillery 
The home of Ketel One vodka, De Nolet is a huuuge distillery that’s been extended over the years since 1691 by the Nolet family. 

The impressive reception area is in the 'De Nolet' tower mill, the tallest windmill in the world. Sip your way through different types of vodka and learn all about how it’s made.

There’s a lot more to Amsterdam than the coffee shops y’know... Check out our handy itinerary for more spots to see: 3 Days In Amsterdam - Don't Want To Smoke? Here's Your Weekend Guide

READ NEXT: 10 Best Places To Grab A Coffee And Work In Amsterdam With Free Wi-Fi


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