Worked off the carnaval hangover yet? Great, you're just in time to do it all again with Kingsday.
If you're country still has a monarch, then the celebration of their birthday is probably a chilled out and often forgotten affair. I'm English- we celebrate with tea parties (yes, genuinely). That is not how things are done in the Netherlands. They have a much less reverent view of their king, Willem Alexander, so celebrate appropriately with beer, parties, orange wigs and more beer. Whilst things are pretty tame in Maastricht, it gets much more exciting in the North of the country. If you want the full "Koningsdag" experience, we recommend you travel to Amsterdam, Utrecht, or Rotterdam.
The party starts on Koningsnacht (kings night) on the evening of the 26th. Early on the morning of the 27th, a big street market starts, with children and adults alike setting up stalls on the pavement to sell all kinds of treasures for really low prices. There will also be lots of singers and bands singing on street corners. Wander round and enjoy the atmosphere!
By the time afternoon comes, most people are happily drunk in one of the city parks, celebrating to the music of Dutch DJs or just boomboxes that they've brought with them. Some parties in the bigger cities require tickets- check out the kingsland festival in Amsterdam- but you will have just as much fun dancing around the city. Bring your own alcohol (this is the one day you won't be told off for drinking in the streets) and fill your pockets with loose change, to pay for any goodies from the flea market, or the 1 euro charge on using the loo of a restaurant.