Queen’s Day, Amsterdam 2012

Yes it’s that time of the year again!
The Annual Amsterdam Queen’s Day preparations are already well under way. This year the 30th April 2012 falls on a Monday and this will be a Dutch Bank Holiday.
Every year Amsterdammers – particularly in the Jordaan district – clear out their attics and set up shop outside their houses to sell their bric a brac turning the whole area into one massive flea market.

The Jordaan becomes a flea market on Queen's Day in Amsterdam
Cash in the attic - Amsterdammers sell off their bric a brac on Queen's Day

The most sought after pitches are on the bridges over the canals – Amsterdam is not known as a city of shop-keepers for nothing – even your average householder knows that footfall is paramount!
So more than two weeks before the day – often under the cover of darkness the Queen’s Day traders nab their pitch – if you’re new to the city – you will see the word BEZET taped out on the streets over and over again.

Preparations for Queen's Day, Amsterdam 2012
Bezet! Grab a pitch for Queen's Day, Amsterdam 2012

In Dutch this is not always a nice word…it means OCCUPIED and is mainly associated with the status of Amsterdam during the 2nd WW… but for this one very important day of the year – it’s now appropriated for a more positive use.
Let’s not forget this is the biggest street party of the year – anyone with a boat will take to the canals – if you have any opportunity to be on a boat, grab it with both hands, for being afloat is definitely the place to be on Queens Day…

Boat parties on The Canals on Queens Day Amsterdam
Take to the Canals on Queen's Day in Amsterdam

Many of the city’s independent designer shops will have stalls pitched directly outside their shops and there are great bargains to be had.
Margriet Nannings, one Dutch fashion designer even ‘mans’ her own stall each year outside her shop in the Prinsenstraat, selling off samples and last year’s stock and it’s worth checking as her designs are sold at a fraction of their original price!
Here are some handy links to make your Queen’s Day special this year
Our feature page on Queen’s Day – lots of images and info…
Hire a Boat…
Free Printable Shopping Guide to Amsterdam’s independent shops…
Stay on a Houseboat…