If you fancy a holiday to Holland, tie your visit in with King’s Day to see the country come to life and enjoy a fun, unique holiday activity!
King’s Day in Holland takes place every year on 27th April to celebrate the Dutch monarch’s birthday. Locals and tourists alike are invited to soak up the fun in the streets, boat parties on the canals, parks and everywhere in between. Expect to see cities like Amsterdam and Leiden bursting with very orange decorations, people dressed in bright clothing and silly hats! [responsive-image id=’2401′ align=’right’ caption=’Greg and I on our way to Leiden!’]
I visited back when it was Queen’s Day and stayed at Duinrell in Wassenaar, which was packed with brilliant facilities and offered the perfect base to experience the festivities too.
Lots to enjoy on parc: water slides, theme parks and great food
We stayed in a holiday home with decking, and luckily for me the weather was really pleasant, so we spent lots of time relaxing in the sun. The parc was large and busy, but didn’t feel overcrowded. One of the best things was the large dining choice, including great restaurants offering seated and takeaway service, and shops if you wanted to cook back at your holiday home.
We spent one of our days at the Tikibad Water Park, which charges a small entrance fee, but is well worth it! You can choose from twisty water chutes, wave pools, scary slides, plus Jacuzzis and lazy rivers – perfect if you need a moment to calm down from the adrenaline slides (we did!).
Although we were travelling on a group holiday for adults, I must mention how much fun the Water Park looked for those with kids – they looked like they were having the time of their lives.
The parc wasn’t too far from a handful of local shops, Wassenaar beach (about 10 minutes away) and offered good transport links, which was perfect for trips to cities and towns.
Celebrating Queen’s Day: Leiden turned orange
We decided to celebrate Queen’s Day in Leiden, as it was really easy to catch the bus from the stop near to parc. The bus driver was really friendly, helpful and kindly spoke to us in perfect English.
[responsive-image id=’2390′ align=’right’ caption=’Stalls selling Dutch delights in Leiden’]
As soon as we arrived in Leiden we could feel the buzz of excitement; the streets were filled with people dressed in orange with painted faces, silly hats and fancy dress. In just our orange t-shirts we felt we needed to ramp it up a notch, so each purchased a silly hat – mine was like a wedding hat (I quite liked it), whilst the others opted for something crazier.
[responsive-image id=’2388′ align=’left’ caption=’Getting into the orange spirit!’]
We wandered through the streets, which were packed full of stalls selling Dutch delights, as well as lots of street food, live music, DJs, parties, and decorated boats travelling down the canals. We tried lots of different beers at each of the places offering live entertainment and ended up at a dance festival. Like the rest of the celebrations, this was also free of charge; you simply paid for drinks tokens and enjoyed the music. The party lasted all day and into the night, offering an electric atmosphere not to be missed.
Out and about in Amsterdam
We caught the train from Leiden to Amsterdam, although on reflection, we probably didn’t visit on the most beautiful day on offer. The capital city was in operation clean up after Queen’s Day and there was a sea of orange litter left from the day before. However, this didn’t stop us and we really enjoyed Amsterdam.
[responsive-image id=’2404′ align=’center’ caption=’Canal boats in Amsterdam, Holland’]
We wandered around with cones of chips and mayonnaise, then decided the best way to see everything was to hop on a boat tour and take in the beautiful buildings, cobbled streets and vast amount of locals cycling past on their bikes. Given more time I would have loved to visit the diamond factories, the Anne frank museum (booking a ticket in advance seems like a good idea as the queue was massive) and more chances to shop in the cute boutiques on offer.
Have you visited somewhere interesting in Holland to celebrate King or Queen’s Day? Or have you enjoyed anything in Amsterdam that we have to see? Let us know in the comments section below.