Kings day (Koningsdag) is April 27th, it’s a national celebration day.
We have talked about Kings day in the past (see our 2015 article), but 2018 is special, the Royal family are visiting Groningen to celebrate!
The Royal Route
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will be walking through Groningen city center. They will begin at Prinsenhof gardens, head towards the Martinikerk, through the Grote Markt, up past the University of Groningen, and back down Stoeldraaierstraat to end on the Vismarkt.
Along the route will be extremely busy, as people greet the royal family as they walk past. If parts of the route become full of spectators they will be closed off to new arrivals, to keep everyone safe. If you are planning to greet the royal family, be sure to listen to instructions from the security people that will be positioned along the route.
Due to security measures, the flea market (vrijmarkt) will be located in the Noorderplantsoen this year. It starts at 9:00 and ends by 17:00. Want to sell on the market? Then you are welcome from 7:00 to find a space and set up.
In addition to the main vrijmarkt, there may be other smaller neighbourhood flea markets (wijk–vrijmarkten).
Naturally there will be a number of security measures in place around the city center during the celebrations. Here is an overview of them.
Bicycles / Scooters (Map 1)
Bikes and scooters will not be permitted in to the light purple area marked on map 1 on Friday 27 April from 6:00 to 14:00.
Within the dark purple area on map 1, bikes and scooters may not be parked on the streets or sidewalks from Thursday 26 April 18:00 until Friday 27 April midnight. If you leave your bike in this area it will be removed by the gemeente. If you are a resident in this area, you will need to store your bike indoors or outside of the prohibited area.
Cars / Motorbikes
Cars and motorbikes will not be permitted in the light purple area marked on map 2 on Friday 27 April from 6:00 to 14:00. Vehicles left parked in this area will be removed by the gemeente. If you are a resident in this area, you will need to park your vehicle elsewhere during the day.
Cars and motorbikes will not be allowed to enter into:
- The grey area on map 2 from Thursday 26 April 19:00 to Friday 27 April midnight.
- The orange area on map 2 on Friday 27 April from 6:00 to 14:00.
If you live within the city center you will most likely be effected by the security measures in place for the Royal visit. Be sure to park your bike/scooter/car/motorbike in a permitted area during the event. You may be limited in access to your home during the event, especially if the section it is in is closed due to the max number of spectators per area.
Local residents and businesses along the route that will be affected will have received a letter from the Gemeente outlining this information. The letters are in Dutch, and if you need help understanding it or have a question you can contact Connect International or visit the IWCN.