Car & Parking, Amsterdam
The Coentunnel is part of the A10 Ring highway and is (in)famous for its daily traffic jams.
The tunnel is a link between the South (Trafic form Utrecht and Schiphol) to destinations at the North of Amsterdam.
Possible other options are the Wijker- and Velser tunnels North of Haarlem or the Zeeburgertunnel at the East of Amsterdam or the IJtunnel at the center of Amsterdam.
All these tunnels go underneath the Northsea channel from IJmuiden to the IJsselmeer.
There are plans for a 2nd tunnel to be opened in 2012.
We parked in a large parking lot underneath the main train station. While the location is very convenient, the parking was very expensive! I paid close to US$25 for half-a-day.
Just follow signs when you get to the center, and you will find this parking lot. There are others in the suburbs that offer you an option of park-and-ride and a reduced price, but you have to know where they are.
Roads in the Netherlands are excellent, and the highways are superb, but the drivers tend to drive a lot slower on average than in Belgium. Also we got into a couple of traffic jams on the way to Amsterdam which robbed us of some sightseeing time. If all you want to see in the Netherlands is Amsterdam, I would recommend taking a train.
Bicycles actually do not interfere much with cars because they have their own lane - a very smart solution. Do stop at the unregulated pedestrian crossings because the Dutch do, and the pedestrians who are crossing the street will expect you to. The Dutch are very polite when driving.
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.
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!).
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.
The best way to move around in Amsterdam is by bike, bus, tram or by canalboat or canalbike. To use the public transport you have to buy a daycard, so you can travel the whole day long.
It is not wise to go by car into the center, because it is pretty crowded overthere and you have to pay a lot of money to park there.
Amsterdam city centre is not easily accessible by car. Parking space is scarce and if you are lucky enough to find a space, parking is really expensive. A better way of moving about in the city centre is by public transport. You can also walk or use a bike because nowhere is very far apart in Amsterdam
Do you remember how long you spent looking for a parking space in Amsterdam city centre the last time you brought your car? Or how much money you put in the meter? And none of that is really necessary. Because you can also have access to the centre of Amsterdam without any of the aggro.
There are two ways to avoid getting stuck in a queue or driving round in circles along the canals. First: leave the car at home and take public transport. Second: if you do come by car, park at the P+R sites at the ArenA and the Olympic stadium.
Not by car! Parking your car is expensive, especially in the centre of the city. It is not only parking your car, you must find one first! Amsterdam is getting more and more an anti car city.
To go from A to B take a motorcycle, train, tram, bus, subway, walking or by bicycle. You can park your cycle easy and everywhere!
Driving A Car In Amsterdam
If you don't have plans to leave Amsterdam during your visit to the Netherlands forget about hiring a car.
Because of the fantastic system of public transport within the city you won't need it and why go through all the trouble then?
Amsterdam's historic center has become quite congested over the years and it is municipal policy to ban cars from city center.
Reaching the citycenter by car can be quite difficult and timeconsuming. Finding a parking space is even worse.
Don't even think of parking your car in an illegal spot (even for 5 mins with your warning lights flashing) and don't forget to pay or you're sure to get a wheelclamp!
Getting the parking police to remove a wheelclamp is a lengthy and very expensive affair.
We ended up flying into London from the US. From there we took the chunnel to Brussels and took a 3hour train ride from Brussels to Amsterdam. It was a great chance to see the country side. I will never fly into London again. It would be best to fly directly into Holland, but the ride from Brussels is not bad at all!
The easiest way to get around Amsterdam is by train, bus, or bike. It's extremely easy to get around. You can take these forms of transportation anywhere.
We did not require a car at any time the entire trip.
Amsterdam has an excellent connection by rail and road. The photo shows the main railway station, situated close to the center.
I went to Amsterdam by car. A lot of parking lots, excellent roads and traffic signs! No problem for getting around in town by car. Only problem: highways out of town are crowded with a lot of traffic jams.
By train you're direct in the city centre.
When you come by plane it takes about 30 min by train to go to the central station.
Amsterdam is a compact city where your destination will usually not be at a great distance. The city is therefore ideal for getting around by foot, bicycle or public transport. Cars are less suited for getting around in Amsterdam because the city can be considered car-unfriendly. Parking has to be paid for in almost all of the city and the rates can be substantial.
For info about public transport go to:
Public transport in Amsterdam
You can go to Amsterdam by air or by car, but when you are here you should rent a bike so you can visit all the city and you don't have any trouble with parking (really expensive). Take care of your bike!!!
If you want to take the bus remember that it's expensive: one ticket is 3 gulden and is valid only for an hour!!!!
A REALLY IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR FOX:
Don't try to make the fox without paying the ticket on the bus: they are really well controlled and you are sure you will have to pay a great fine. From my experience: I saw one young boy that hasn't pay the ticket while the bus was full. The driver stop it, write him the fine and discharge he in the street. Don't risk it.
I don't recommend driving in Amsterdam's city center. It's close to impossible to get around the small streets that are overflowing with pedestrians and bikes. Parking can also be a nightmare. If you have a car it might be best to find a lot a bit outside of the center or call your hotel ahead of time for parking recommendations. If you do arrive with a car it seems to be best to do so a bit later in the evening when parking might be a bit more available.
A car is actually a waste in Amsterdam since it is very flat and easy to gt around by foot or bike. Public transportation is also pretty good once you get the hang of it.