We all know how expensive it is to park inside of Amsterdam. It's hard to drive there with all the trams and cyclists. And the parking price is like 5€ or more per hour.And It's 5€ if you are parking even for a few minutes.
So for visitors to amsterdam who come by car there are the so called P(ark) and R(ide) deals availble. On the outskirts of the city are these parkinglots. There you can park ypour car for a fraction of the price per 24 hours. Up to 72 hours) and you get tickets to travel by public transport to the center of amsterdam. Seems straight forward right.
But alas it is not. It is real touristtrap. Not only for foreigners but also the local visitors.
Reason..the rules seems straight forward..but there are the so called addendums/fine print aka kleine lettertjes. And it changes everything.
Why because if you dont follow one of these rules..the penalty will be paying the full fare of 24,50€ per 24 hours.
So what are these extra rules:
1) You must present a used transportticket that is used in the city center of amsterdam. So if you lose it or take a taxi to the P+R area or have it stamped in a station outside of the citycenter you pay the full fare. So make sure you have the ticket with you. And make sure you use it for the return trip.
a) Certain stations in the city are not part of the deal. Like the Amstel Station or the Rai Station(Fair grounds). If your return trip starts here...the transportticket is not valid.
b) Regular traveltickets DOESN'T count as valid transport ticket. So make sure you have at least one P+R travelticket for the return trip.
2) Doesnt count on certain event days. Soccer match, fairs etc etc..
3)On the return trip you have 1 hour to pay the parkingticket or else the transportticket is not valid anymore. So carefull that you are not late or else you must travel back to the city center or have to pay full fare.
4) If you park before 10 am you pay 9€ per 24 hours. if you park AFTER 10 am it;'s just 1 €.
5) You must purchase transport tickets at location. There is a maximum of 5 tickets per parking ticket. If you are with more people have to buy elsewhere,
Whats the worse thing...P+R is for maximum 72 hours. After that it's full fare.
So if you have been there for 72 hours and your return ticket is not valid..you have to pay 3 times the daily full fare of 24,50. So instead of 3€ you will pay nearly 75€.
These extra rules aren't find anywhere except on a board at P+R area.
It's also located in a greyed out area of the board.
It doesnt mention the penalty involved
Also the english translation is DIFFERENT to the dutch.(Point 3)
When you asked how it works..they DON"T point out the greyed area and these rules or penalty.
I use this alot and have been a victim myself. But everytime i am there..i see the shocked tourists or first time users. Today was the same.
I have had enough. When you asks for advice...the people there point to the board. And advice you to pay the full fare. Ridiculous.
To me this is the worse side of the Netherlands. Penny pinching and screwing people over with rules and the fineprint. That's not the correct way to treat people or do business.
So hope this warning should help people who use P+R. In principle its great value to visitors of Amsterdam. Just read teh rules and the fine print.
Unique Suggestions: Read this warning.
Read the Rules.
Make sure you have an extra travelticket to use for the return trip.
Make sure you stamp one ticket at the central station or at least at Waterloo metro station.
The 1 hour rule sucks. Not sure if its 1 hour from teh city center or 1 hour when you leave the P+R station.
Have an extra travel ticket.
Fun Alternatives: There is non compared to this in value in Amsterdam. Elsewhere is more expensive. 50/80€ for 24 hours.
Take the train or airplane
As already said, parking in Amsterdam is a real pain in the a$$. There are hardly any free places, and if you're lucky to find a legal place to park your car, you'll be poor when you return after some shopping, and not because you bought so much! ;-)
Unique Suggestions: If you're smart, you take your car to Diemen (though there are more places suitable), and from there take the train (to Amsterdam Central Station - takes 10 minutes), or the tram (I prefer that option, because you get to see more of the city). Line 9 starts/ends in Diemen (centre, 'meubelboulevard'), and within 20 minutes you'll be in the center of Amsterdam.
When you're in Diemen, make sure that your car is parked correctly, and in a place that's for free, and looks safe.
Trams/Trains run from the early morning (something like 6AM) till midnight.
Do not bring a car to Amsterdam unless strictly necessary. Parking is very expensive and is universal (almost everybody pays for it)
Rates are pretty close to 3 euros an hour (nasty!)
There are tricks, like parking in places to the north, of the city or near the Central Station, where parking is cheaper.
If you forget to feed the parking meter, they will clamp your car. It is kind of hard to drive it that way......Leave your Ferrari at home.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to do it anyways........Feed the meter religiously........don't forget!