Like every other country, the Netherlands has various public holidays and certain festivities are celebrated annually. You usually get time off work but not all of these days are official public holidays. Whether you get the day off can depend on your employer, so be sure to check. Shops, museums and attractions may be closed or close earlier and public transport timetables can change. In addition, schools have certain holidays which differ per region. Enjoy the holidays!
National holidays 2023
- 1 January: New Year’s Day
- 7 April: Good Friday*
- 9 and 10 April: Easter
- 27 April: King’s Day
- 5 May: Liberation Day**
- 18 May: Ascension Day
- 28 and 29 May: Whit Sunday and Whit Monday
- 25 and 26 December: Christmas
* This is an official holiday, but not everybody is off from work
** Only an official holiday once every five years
In the Netherlands, school holidays differ per region and the regions are divided into north, central and south. To avoid a holiday rush, each region has its own vacation schedule. Utrecht Region belongs to the central region. Find an overview of the school holidays for school years 2022 - 2023 and 2023 - 2024 on the website of the Dutch government. Please note that the Dutch government does not permit parents to take their children on vacation outside of the school holiday periods (exceptions apply).
One of the biggest celebrations in the Netherlands takes place on the birthday of the king. ‘King's Day' is a national public holiday. Throughout the country, festivities take place with everything and everyone decked out in orange – the colour of the royal family, the ‘House of Orange’. A special aspect of King's Day is de vrijmarkt, the one day of the year when the public can set up shop on the streets without a trading licence. You can sell or buy all kinds of second-hand clothes, furniture, toys, etc. Another fun element is that the royal family visits a city each year, where they celebrate the festivities together with the public. So, do you want to see the king? This is your chance. In many Dutch cities, King's Day festivities start the night before the actual holiday - 'King's Night'. Live shows and concerts are held in city squares and you can enjoy the festive atmosphere in the many pubs and cafés that turn orange for the occasion.