Koningsdag: A Royal Holiday for Party Animals
In a city that prides itself on its reputation as Europe’s Sodom and Gomorrah, Koningsdag (King's Day) is the one day of the year when everyone gets f*cked-up. It's when Dutchies honor their monarch by parading down canals in festooned boats, dancing in streets and getting smashed to techno-tunes blasting from disco stages. With King Willem's 2013 coronation, Koningsdag will be celebrated on April 26, 2014—a day earlier than future years because the new king's birthday falls on a Sunday. Koningsnacht (King's Night) will be celebrated on April 25, 2014. Join party-goers on Warmoesstraat, gyrating to pulsating street bands. Belly up to the bar at Stones and admire the barristers over pints of Heineken. Don’t get too f*cked up if you want to get a jump start at the next morning’s Vrijmarkt (free market), when all of Amsterdam turns into a giant garage sale. Would you part with €1 to guess a fat lady’s weight? Or let a child serenade you in Vondelpark? Or throw an egg in a stranger’s face? Have a go on Koningsdag, when entrepreneurs of all ages trade old treasures and new talents for cash. Jostle for a spot on Prinsengracht to watch buff gays in skimpy attire and beer-swilling locals on decorated boats. On Rokin, breathe in the aroma of grilled kebobs and marijuana smoke. Hold on to your hat as you spin on an aerial swing at the Dam Square carnival. However you spend Koningsdag, it's easy to friends wandering the streets, and poking into bars and coffeeshops until dawn.
By Melissa Adams, AFAR Local Expert
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