Public holidays in the Netherlands

Dutch national holidays and other important Dutch holidays 2018

Comments0 comments

Here is a list of Dutch national holidays (Nationale feestdagen) in 2018, plus other important Dutch holidays such as school vacation, Mother's and Father's day and daylight saving.

There are important Netherlands national holidays that are observed across the country, while some holidays in the Netherlands vary across regions. For example, there are several regional variations of Dutch carnival celebrated in February and March in Catholic areas. For all Dutch citizens, Queen's Day – or rather King's Day since 2014 – is arguably the biggest of all Netherlands' public holidays.

Public holidays Netherlands 2018

  • 1 January: New Year's Day (Nieuwjaarsdag)
  • Friday, 30 March: Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag) [Not an official holiday]
  • Monday, April 2: Easter Monday (Pasen)
  • Friday, 27 April: King's Day (Koningsdag)
  • Friday, 4 May: National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) [Not an official holiday]
  • Saturday, 5 May: Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) [Official holiday every five years; next is 2020]
  • Thursday, 10 Mary: Ascension (Hemelvaart)
  • Sunday, 20 May: Whitsun (Pinksteren)
  • Wednesday, 5 December: Sinterklaas (Sint arrives in the Netherlands mid-November) [Not an official holiday]
  • Tuesday, 25 December: Christmas Day (Eerste Kerstdag)
  • Wednesday, 26 December: Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag)
public holidays Netherlands – Dutch national holidays
King's Day orange madness ('oranjegekte')

Important dates in the Netherlands

  • Sunday, 25 March: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts
  • Sunday, 1 April: April Fool’s Day
  • Sunday, 13 May: Mother’s Day
  • Sunday, 17 June: Father’s Day
  • Sunday, 28 October : Clocks go back one hour (DST ends).
  • Sunday, 11 November: Sint Maarten's Day, when children typically go singing from door to door in exchange for sweets, vaguely reminiscent of Halloween.

Shops closed in the Netherlands

You will find shops typically closed on public holidays; however, they also traditionally close on Sundays and Monday mornings (and sometimes all day Monday) throughout the year. Although larger cities have changed this, you will typically find shops closed in smaller towns. Koopzondag, however, means shops have been given an assigned Sunday to open.

Dutch school holidays

The Netherlands' school districts are divided into three regions. Some school vacation breaks are taken at the same time, while others are split into regions to help spread the seasonal flow of vacationers. You can find a list of school holidays in the Netherlands on the Dutch government website.

Autumn Break 2017: (Herfstvakantie)

  • North and middle regions: 14–22 October 2017
  • South region: 21–29 October 2017

Holiday Break 2017–2018: (Kerstvakantie)

  • All regions: 23 December 2017 to 7 January 2018

Spring Break 2018 (Meivakantie)

  • All regions: 28 April to 6 May 2018

Summer Break 2018 (Zomervakantie)

  • North region*: 21 July to 2 September 2018
  • Middle region**: 14 July to 26 August 2018
  • South region***: 7 July to 19 August 2018

North region (Noord): Provinces of Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland (except Zeewolde), Gelderland (Hattem only), Utrecht (only Eemnes and former municipality Abcoude); and Noord-Holland.

Middle region (Midden): Flevoland (Zeewolde), Utrecht (except Eemnes and Abcoude), Gelderland areas of Aalten, Apeldoorn, Barneveld, Berkelland, Bronckhorst, Brummen, Buren, Culemborg, Doetinchem, Ede, Elburg, Epe, Ermelo, Geldermalsen, Harderwijk, Heerde, Lingewaal, Lochem, Montferland (except Didam), Neder-Betuwe (except Dodewaard), Neerijnen, Nijkerk, Nunspeet, Oldebroek, Oost-Gelre, Oude IJsselstreek, Putten, Scherpenzeel, Tiel, Voorst, Wageningen, Winterswijk and Zutphen; Zuid-Holland and Noord Brabant (Werkendam and Woudrichem, not Henk and Dussen).

South region (Zuid): Gelderland areas of Arnhem, Beuningen, Doesburg, Druten, Duiven, Groesbeek, Heumen, Neder-Betuwe (Dodewaard), Lingewaard, Maasdriel, Millingen a/d Rijn, Montferland (Didam), Nijmegen, Overbetuwe, Renkum, Rheden, Rozendaal, Rijnwaarden, Ubbergen, Westervoort, West Maas and Waal, Wijchen, Zaltbommel and Zevenaar; province of Zeeland; province of Noord-Brabant (except Woudrichem and Werkendam; and the province of Limburg. To read more about the school regions, you can check the Dutch government website’s list.

Air raid siren (Luchtalarm)

Don’t be alarmed if you hear a siren on the first Monday of every month at noon. Since 2003, sirens have been tested once a month nationwide. If you hear a siren any other time, however, it could be the Dutch signal for any kind of disaster, from fires to hazardous gasses. You should head indoors, close windows and doors and put on the TV or radio.

You can also visit the government site for information on emergency situations (noodsituaties) in the Netherlands, or subscribe to the government mobile alert service ( to receive a text whenever an emergency arises in your area. Find a complete list of emergency numbers in the Netherlands.


Photo credit: garryknight (Queen's day).


Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.

If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know. Expatica makes every effort to ensure its articles are as comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we're also grateful for any help! (If you want to contact Expatica for any other reason, please follow the instructions on this website's contact page.)

Captcha Note: Characters are case sensitive
The details you provide on this page will not be used to send any unsolicited e-mail, and will not be sold to a third party. Privacy policy .

0 Comments To This Article