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So You Think You Can't Do Without Your Car?
Amsterdam just has to be the easiest city I have ever visited for getting around without driving. Within the city centre itself, everything is walkable: for a little further afield; cycleable, and if you are a lazy sod like me then the combination of trams, buses, canal buses, metro, local and other trains, plus the more esoteric transport options, such as bike taxis or the IJ ferries, make the entire city immediately accessible.
Not only are all these options available but are simplicity themselves to use if you follow the advice here and elsewhere on the site. One of the really impressive things about the public transport network here is that it is a network, everything is integrated, one ticket fits all the main modes: bus metro and tram and these all complement each other.
Centraal Station, where most people will arrive, is the hub of the whole system with pretty much everything propagating from there to all four corners of the miniverse.
And if the worst comes to the worst - ie, either you have no idea where you are supposed to be going, you are drunk or you have brought all your household possessions with you (don't forget that even in Amsterdam the hotels actually provide at least a sink!), then there are always the taxis - that's why they are expensive folks, not that much business to go around given the other options!
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Going to Amsterdam
The infrastructure is nowhere so dense as in the Netherlands, options to reach Amsterdam ar therefore very easy. Amsterdam is signposted well in advance and all lead to a circular outer ring, the A10.
Main access roads are the A2 (direction south/east) and A4 (direction Rotterdam/The Hague). The A1 (east) and A9 (west) also connect to the A10 ring.
On the outskirts of Amsterdam at the Amsterdam Arena stadium there is the so called "Transferium". For €5,50 you can park your car for the day and you get 2 free return tickets for the public transport system. You can use a train, bus or metro to head into town. This is option is highly recommended as parking in the citycenter is not only very difficult, unnecessary, it is also very expensive.
For those who do wish to drive further into the city anyways, each exit on the A10 has a so called S code. For Instance.. S110, this code will be available along the route and leads you to a certain point in the citycenter, this makes it easy to find attractions, simply look-up the S code they mention and give it a go.
Renting A car
I made a huge mistake renting a car for two days in Amsterdam. For a first time visitor the city is a maize and hard to get around in a car and parking is either so hard or so expensive to ever use. The trams are great and the trains get you to almost anything you want to see nearby. Pass the urge to have your own car unless you have a lot of patience and a lot of money
- Family Travel
Piet Hein Tunnel
The Piet Hein Tunnel is a fast way to reach the Amsterdam East Island and Central Station area fast. The 2 * 2 lanes 1900 meters long tunnel, completed in 1997starts at the East-side of the A10-ring (Zeeburg/IJburg exit) and exits at the East side of the inner city ring.
There is a seperate tunnel for the tramline 26 to IJburg.
- Road Trip
I didn't stay in Amsterdam, we drove there from Rotterdam on a day trip. We were warned about the lack of parking so we parked at the airport and took the train into the Central Station. It was perfect. The parking and the train ride was relatively inexpensive , quick, and easy. Everything we wanted to see was within walking distance from the station.
Driving in Amsterdam, Don't
Driving in Amsterdam
I can sum it up in one word… Don’t!
Many of the streets are narrow, parking places can be hard to find, and if you do find a place to part, it won’t be cheap.
The old saying, “I could have walked it faster… “ was never any truer.
Driving in Amsterdam should be left to the locals, and most of them won’t even drive in the city.
- Road Trip
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Car - Not Recommended
I drove to Amsterdam twice. Both times I had no problem coming in to town and parking. Both times, it took over 2 hours from leaving the center of the city to clearing the outer ring. The first time I left at 3:30 p.m. The 2nd time I left at 2:30 p.m. Apparently, rush hour starts early.
If I were to do it again, I would take the train.
- Road Trip
To Amsterdam by car
Going to Amsterdam by car? Yes, it can be done. Only make sure you don't get into the centre with your vehicle. Once you're in it may take you hours to get out again, if you don't know your way around. And don't even try to find a parking place. For 5,50 euros you can park your car in the Amsterdam Arena parking garage, next to the football stadium. You can leave it there for 24 hours. Then go to the information post and ask for the cheaper public transport rate. They will give you up to two tickets that allow you to use public transport to the centre and back. Use these tickets properly (it's hardly any use staying in this part of the city anyway, unless you want to see the Ajax footballmuseum *YAWN* ) otherwise you will pay 14,50 euros.
Free parking, easy access
If you want absolutely free, go to the train station in Weesp. You can park your car there and the train takes you in 12-16 minutes to the Amsterdam Central Station.
There are about 4 trains per hour.
- Road Trip
Going by car - the hard way
For those who anyway want to penetrate Amsterdam with there own car, there's a lot of effort to be done to avoid being ticketed or - worse - get a wheelclamb. First take a parkingmeter-card, they widen the possibilities with some places where it is allowed to park for an X amount of hours. Furthermore have enough small change with you. Most parkingmeters operate with coins. Then finally realise that the further to get to the centre, the shorter the maximum-parkingtime is. Within the centre it is easily so that only one or two hours can be paid after which one either has to refill the machine or go away. Last tip from my side for those who want to be stuborn: try Amsterdam North and use the free IJ-ferry.
Go to Amsterdam by train or car
Although there´s a lot of water in and near to Amsterdam you better go by train or car to Amsterdam. You go 2.5 hours from Brussels by car, 3.5 hours from Hannover by car as well, train should be similar.
Take care in the Netherlands, they control a lot the traffic, don´t drive too fast. In the Netherlands max veolicity is 110 km/h.
The car is a very easy way to get from A to B. The roads are good, and there are plenty of them. But.... be aware of the traffic jams. The roads are full here, and during rushhour a lot of road have traffic jams. Another disadvantage is finding a parking spot for your car. And if you find one in or close to the center of a city, you have to pay for it. There are parking meters everywhere! In this picture you can see a parking meter. You can recognize them by a big P. So don't forget to always have enough change with you when you come here by car. Parking can be very expensive in the major cities, and Amsterdam is no exception to that. If you don't pay for your parking you run the risk of getting a huge fine, your car will be clamped and towed away as well.
transport in the city
In Amsterdam it is very difficult to find a parking place for the car. And parking places are very expensive too. So the bicycle is the easiest way of transportation. Public transport like tram or bus are also very good in and around Amsterdam. Or most of the places to visit are in a walking distance.
Train or your own car....
Since Amsterdam is so close to Belgium, we took a private car which is only 3 hours drive from. Train is also convenient to go and around Amsterdam, much relax and just some stops to it's next stations.
Get to Amsterdam by plane,...
Get to Amsterdam by plane, boat or train.
By train, subway, rented bike. Leave your car at home! The chance to you will park wrong and get a fine or yellow wheel obstructor is big! Also junkies can smash your window at night and steal your radio or the entire car. If you have to come by car, please park your car in one of the big parkinglots. You can find one of these parkinglots behind / near the central trainstation. It's next to the boatingcompanies like Lovers Boating.
Transport yourself through Amsterdam by train (Amsterdam has several trainstations), tram (stops everywhere in Amsterdam), bus or subway (the subway stops at Nieuwmarket, Waterloosquare, Weespersquare, Wibautstreet, Amstelstation, Spaklerweg and areas beyond Amsterdam like Diemen, Gein and Amstelveen). From Central Station it doesn't matter which subway you take, they all heading to the same direction until you arrive at Amstelstation / Spaklerweg then they change directions). You can get tickets at the trainstation, businformationstation (at Stationsquare) or (bus)tickets in the bus. (expensive!).
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Amsterdam Travel Guide
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