King’s Day, the Netherlands' biggest- and most orange- holiday. Whether you’re just visiting or one of many permanent contractors in the Low Countries, you won’t want to miss this spectacular festival. Here’s how to make the most of King’s Day.
Take the day off
King’s Day is a public holiday, so if you’re lucky, you won’t be working. For the many contractors and expats (https://www.iamexpat.nl/career/working-in-the-netherlands) drawn to the Netherlands for their career, relocation can be difficult. Getting involved in holidays like King's Day is a great way to feel at home, which can only boost interview and workplace confidence. If you’re still on the clock for King Willem Alexander’s birthday, make sure you allow extra time for travel. Public transport systems (https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do/whats-on/major-events-and-celebrations/kings-day/practical-information/travel-on-kings-day) run reduced or adapted schedules and many streets will be clogged with revellers.
Send your business suit to the dry cleaners; anything goes, as long as it’s orange. The royal family has strong links to the ancient House of Orange (http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/321-why-the-dutch-wear-orange), so naturally this is the official colour for this celebration.
On King’s Day everyone can be their own boss, as it’s legal to sell on the street without a permit (https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do/whats-on/major-events-and-celebrations/kings-day/practical-information/kings-day-house-rules-and-regulations). If you’re a recently relocated worker, you may not have much to put up for sale, but you can certainly browse the free markets for interesting items. It’s a great way to rub shoulders with the locals.
King’s Day can seem a bit overwhelming to the uninitiated, but never fear, technology provides the solution. This app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/woov/id1218227574?ls=1&mt=8%20) by Woov, can help you get to all the best spots in Amsterdam and beyond. It’s also worth keeping your ear to the ground and your eyes to your screen in the run up - big brands like Ketel One (https://www.ketelone.com/en-gb/) have been known to lay on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/?hl=en) competitions with spectacular prizes (https://www.promomarketing.info/ketel-offers-chance-rule-offshore-kingdom-day/).
Rock the boat
In the capital, the canals are the best place to party. Sample a signature Oranjebitter (http://www.thedutchtable.com/2012/04/oranjebitter.html) on the water, and experience the Netherlands as the country was meant to be seen; from a river barge.
There are many more great activities to explore on King’s Day (https://blog.klm.com/8-must-dos-on-kingsday-in-amsterdam/). Check out some of the museums that remain open (http://holland-explorer.com/amsterdam-museums-kings-day/), enjoy some street food or take in some open-air music.