Queen’s Day Amsterdam - 30th April 2008

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Queens Day Amsterdam

If you only visit Amsterdam once in your life, make sure your visit coincides with 30th April. “Koninginnedag” or Queen’s Day is the annual Dutch national holiday in honor of the late Queen Juliana’s birthday. On Queen’s Day there are celebrations throughout the Netherlands. However, the most popular destination is Amsterdam where up to two million people go crazy, and is said to be one of the world’s largest street parties.

Everyone wears orange - the color of the royal house, and it is impossible to be in a bad mood dressed as a Satsuma. Trading laws are lifted for the day so anyone can sell whatever they want on the street, the whole place becomes the most outrageous flea-market. Music pumps out of sound systems and stages spring up through the city playing jazz, classical music and the latest dance tunes. The canals heave with party boats whizzing around with orange balloons blowing off them in the wind.

It takes less than 2½ hours to get from my apartment in London to the center of Amsterdam. London City Airport has very convenient little flights. Check in online and if you only have hand luggage, you can arrive at the airport and go straight through to departures. The airport is very small so you don’t have the hassle, long walking distances and queuing like at Heathrow. The flight is just an hour, and then trains run into the center of Amsterdam every 10 minutes.

This year (2008) Queens Day was on a Wednesday. We arrived on the Tuesday morning, meeting up with our DJ friend Doug Gray for lunch. Festivities began in evening with some Drag Queen Olympics at the Homomonument. Later in the evening we headed off to Orange Ball which was surprisingly quite. It seemed people where holding back for the big day tomorrow.

We woke to the loud sounds of music at about 10am, after breakfast we headed outside to find a whole new Amsterdam that we knew yesterday. The streets were packed with people wearing orange, they were literally crammed with crazy people drinking and dancing in the rays of the morning sunshine. It’s a day to let your hair down and dress up in your silliest outfit, the more orange the better. We spent all day wondering around all the different parts of the city people watching, bumping into friends and familiar faces. In the evening there were two major big parties to consider: Roxy Colosseum or a Rapido Party called Wearhouse, and had planned get some photos from both events. We started off in Roxy Colosseum and ended up staying all night. It was a very good party with DJ’s Gonzalo and Micky Friedmann; along with loads of sexy boys in little orange speedos.

We stayed at the Jolly Carlton Hotel (Vijzelstraat 4 – 1017 HK Amsterdam) next to the flower market, which is right by the gay Reguliersdwaarstraat area of the city. Or you could try booking via www.hotels.nl

Make a note in your diary for Amsterdam’s Rapido Beach Party on Saturday 14th June 2008, its going to be a big event worth going to!


Here are some good web links for Gay Amsterdam:




Gay Pride

Thermos Sauna


Night Tours


Body Inc

Roxy Colosseum


Riedijk Productions



Gays & Gadgets

Black Tulip