April 30 is Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, the biggest holiday of the year. This year’s Queen’s Day was extra special: it’s the last one in this generation, as Queen Beatrix abdicated in favor of her son Willem-Alexander, who was crowned King in Amsterdam yesterday.
Starting next year, Queen’s Day becomes King’s Day, and will move from the 30th to the 26th of April. Though the dates might change, the festivities never will. If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam on Queen’s—er, King’s Day, here’s how to celebrate it like a local.
1) Score a bargain.
Love pawing through strangers’ rubbish? You’ll love Queen’s Day. Amsterdam becomes one big flea market, with residents cleaning out attics and staking out places on the pavement days in advance. Find the biggest square or most central thoroughfare in your neighborhood—for us, it was Haarlemmerdijk, which was mobbed—and pack a shopping bag.
Most of the sellers are little kids, so be warned: they will use the cute factor to their advantage. But don’t be afraid to haggle! Even if you don’t score any deals, walking around and exploring the city-wide flea market is the best way to soak up the party atmosphere.