Amsterdam On Queens Day
If you've never been to Amsterdam, or if you want to revisit the city, plan your trip around April 30. Spring is the best time to visit Amsterdam - the weather is absolutely fantastic! And if you decided to be in Amsterdam on April 30, the only thing you have to do as soon as possible, is to book a hotel room in Amsterdam! Why? Because, almost one million tourists come to Amsterdam right same day for the world's largest street party.
April 30th (or April 29th if the 30th is a Sunday) is Queens Day (Koninginnedag), the annual Dutch national holiday, which is celebrated throughout the Netherlands with Amsterdam as an unbeatable center of the celebration. The celebration starts around midnight the night before Queens Day (calls Queens Night), when every bar, pub and club in Amsterdam starts jumping. You will find parties everywhere around the city. Just go to the Jordaan or Nieuwmarkt (most popular destinations for Queens night) and you will see! Check also special programs and parties at Queens night.
Next morning (on Queens Day) at 6 am street "free market" starts, when people sell household goods they no longer need. All streets of Amsterdam become one huge garage sale. Absolute paradise for second-hand shoppers, however like on any flea markets, you can find very unique things there. Then, around noon, the party resumes! Music bands, DJs, street performers, opera singers are everywhere. Explore the main areas of activity: Prinsengracht, Rembrandtsplein, Leidseplein, Damrak, Leidsestraat, Rokin and Spui. Huge outdoor concerts are organized at Dam Square and Museumplein. Best gay street parties are in the Reguliersdwarsstraat, at the Amstel (Dutch and the Orange Ball Streetparty) and the Roze Wester Festival at the Westerkerk (Homomonument). If you travel to Amsterdam on Queens Day with children, you would probably go to the Vondelpark, where are a lot of activities for children going on.
On Queens Day the streets and canals of Amsterdam wear orange - thousands of people on the streets and boats dressed in orange cloth, even foods and drinks are orange colored. Orange color refers to the name of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange. Traditionally, on Queens Day, Queen Beatrix visits one or two of the cities of the Netherlands, and meets celebrating people. Never know, maybe you will meet her too. Even if you don't meet the Dutch Royal family, you definitely will have the party of your life! Just drink in moderation. By the way, on Queens Day you can drink an alcohol beverage on the street or the boat or the tram (only in a plastic bottle and do not carry more than one).
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