Home TRANSPORTATION Parking in Amsterdam: Car parks, rules & free parking

Parking in Amsterdam: Car parks, rules & free parking

🅿️ Parking in Amsterdam: Car parks, rules & free parking

Are you planning a city trip by car to beautiful Amsterdam? With its 100 kilometres of canals, 1,300 bridges, and allegedly more bicycles than inhabitants, the city can be tricky for drivers! Parking in Amsterdam is complicated: there are more cars than parking spaces, many bans, and almost everywhere, you have to pay dearly to park your vehicle.

Parking in Amsterdam can, therefore, take a lot of work! But with my tips, you’ll be on the safe side! I’ll explain the best options, where you can park your car, what costs are involved, and what you must avoid at all costs. After all, you want to prevent your city trip to Amsterdam from ending with a parking claw, an expensive surprise at the parking machine, or a costly traffic fine. I want to start with a safe and quick solution.

Parking in Amsterdam – Car park at the hotel

I did a lot of research on the Internet and found a practical solution for some of you.

You can book a parking space directly at the Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandtpark. The parking garage is located just outside the city centre, and from here, you can easily reach the sights of canal city in about 30 minutes on foot or quickly by public transport. Several streetcars stop outside the parking garage! Tickets for public transport.

This is undoubtedly a cheap and practical solution for €25.00 a day, as elsewhere you sometimes have to pay €30.00 for 2 hours!

Of course, you can decide whether to book a hotel as an overnight stay.

✔ All the advantages of this car park in Amsterdam:

  • Parking only 20 minutes from the city centre
  • Enjoy your stay in Amsterdam in peace
  • Direct access to the car park

✔ How does it work?

  • Select the travel date and car park directly on the website, + select the number of days.
  • Follow the instructions and complete the booking process
  • Parking ticket can be cancelled up to 24 hours before arrival

✔ What else should you know?

  • The car park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Address: Staalmeesterslaan 410, 1057 PH, Amsterdam

Book a parking space at the Leonardo Hotel

✅ Alternative: A parking space at the almost eponymous Leonardo Royal Hotel, Paul van Vlissingenstraat 24, 1096 BK, Amsterdam. With a secure parking space, it is a little cheaper, at €23.00. Also, it has a fast and convenient metro connection to the city centre. The Hotel Leonardo Royal Amsterdam can, of course, also be booked separately and independently.

Book a parking space at the Leonardo Royal Hotel


The best solution: Book the car park in advance!

The best solution: Book the car park in advance!

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to book parking spaces in car parks online before you travel. This not only gives you the security of knowing that you can park your car in the centre of Amsterdam without wasting too much time but also ensures your vehicle will be well protected. If you book in advance, there is often a considerable discount compared to the average rates, sometimes up to 70 percent! At the same time, you have the advantage of saving a lot of time, as you don’t have to make the long journey by public transport and you park directly in the city centre.

On top of that, you have complete flexibility, as you can drive out of the parking garage at any time. Last, but not least, it is always good to know in advance what costs you need to factor into your travel budget for parking your car.

I recommend booking parking spaces online in advance via one of the two best-known providers for Amsterdam.

🅿️ Book your parking online with Parclick

Book a parking space online with Parclick

🅿️ Book your parking online with Mobypark

Book a parking space online with Mobypark

While Parclick arranges over 170 parking garages in Amsterdam for booking a secure parking space, Mobypark is a large Dutch provider that helps with the stressful search for a private parking space on site.

The parclick.com website is available in English, and a parking space is reserved for you, even if the parking garage is displayed as “full” on-site. Experience has shown that bookings on both websites are also relatively cheap.

Using the two online reservation systems is self-explanatory. For example, you enter a hotel name, an address, a place of interest, or a prominent location in Amsterdam in the search function on the website, and the portal shows you the available parking garages in the vicinity. Please choose a suitable parking space, and when you enter the date and time of the desired parking time, the respective fees and other helpful information about the parking space will appear, for example, whether it is suitable for SUVs, motorhomes, or minibusses.

You will find out everything from the size of the pitch and the maximum height of the access road to security issues. This includes, for example, video surveillance or night-time lighting of the booked parking space. On the laid-out websites of Parclick.com and Mobypark.com, you will find everything you need to know about booking, payment, and booking codes through the parking process on-site in the “Help” category.

Parking spaces are rare and expensive in Amsterdam. If you book online, the total cost of parking during your stay in Amsterdam will be displayed directly on the provider’s website when you make your reservation. The parking space, which should usually be within walking distance of your accommodation, costs around 20 to 40 euros per day.

If you are looking for a centrally located parking garage for a day trip or short stay in Amsterdam, from which all the city’s major sights are within easy walking distance, here are my three suggestions, bookable directly via Mobypark.com.

  • Muijen’s Parkplatz, Valkenburgerstraat 194A, Amsterdam 1011 NC
  • Valkenburgerstraat – SUV parking, Valkenburgerstraat 194B, A´dam,1011 NC
  • Steven Ng’s Parkplatz, Anne Frankstraat 220, Amsterdam, 1011 MP

From here, you can reach everything: the Rijksmuseum, Dam Square with Madame Tussauds, canal cruises, or the Central train station in 20 minutes or less.


Parking garage in the centre – My 3 top suggestions

Parking in the centre of Amsterdam remains stressful, expensive and unfortunately there are no insider tips. Therefore, either park cheaply, easily accessible or centrally.

🅿️ Parkhaus Zentrum Oosterdok – Right next to Amsterdam Central Station. From here, you can reach everything on foot: the city centre, public transport, and the stops for the famous canal cruises. With almost 1400 parking spaces, Amsterdam has the most significant and cheapest parking garage. Maximum daily price €20.00. It can sometimes be full. Reservation is not possible.

📍 Adresse: Oosterdokskade 154, 1011 DK Amsterdam

Book Marly Appelmann parking lot online with Mobypark

🅿️ Parking Marriott Hotel – It is located right next to the canal belt and is easy to reach. Right next to the famous museums of Amsterdam. Direct access to the city centre. Possibility for canal cruises.

📍 Address: Vondelstraat 4, Amsterdam, with reservation

Book Marriott parking lot online with Mobypark

🅿️ De Bijenkorf – Right in the city centre, conveniently located for shoppers who don’t necessarily need to save money, 444 seats, no reservations possible.

📍 Address: Beursplein 15 1012 JW Amsterdam

As I said, parking in the canal city is no fun. The cost of a parking space in the canal city for a day is often higher than the price of a rental car!


Parking on the street in the canal belt

The historic city centre of Amsterdam is relatively narrow and needs to be built for car traffic. Pedestrians, the countless cyclists, public transport, and cars have to share the limited space on the streets. On the canals, the tour boats sometimes travel in columns, one behind the other. All in all, the city is very crowded. The few parking spaces along the streets are in short supply, and it isn’t easy to find a free space.

X The maze of streets in the historic city centre can become a nightmare when looking for a parking space.

Many of the smaller streets in the city centre are one-way streets. Bridges or even individual thoroughfares are often closed to private traffic; only streetcars, buses, and cyclists can pass. So if you are looking for a parking space in the centre of Amsterdam, you need to be highly attentive and preferably a concentrated passenger.


What do I need to bear in mind, and what rules apply?

In almost all areas of Amsterdam, even outside the city centre, parking on public roads is subject to a charge.

🅿️ Note 1: The more central the district, the higher the charges. In the city centre, these can quickly reach 5 euros per hour. There is usually no time limit, but the daily fees can soon add up to 45 euros.

🅿️ Note 2: You have to pay here every day of the week from 9 a.m. and at weekends until 4 a.m. the following day. The further away you are from the city centre, the lower the parking fees become, although hourly rates of 3 to 4 euros are still due here.

🅿️ Note 3: Even if you only stop for a short time, you should visit one of the parking machines, as there are intensive checks. This is now done by vehicles that scan all licence plates and compare them with a database linked to the parking machines.

Tip: You usually have to enter your car’s licence plate number at the parking machines, which is then stored in a database. There is no classic paper printout, but a receipt is available on request. As usual in the Netherlands, debit or credit card payments are made cashless. Maestro, V-Pay, Mastercard, and Visa are accepted without any problems.


Penalties for incorrect parking

The fines for exceeding the parking time are steep and start at around 50 euros plus the unpaid parking time. Anyone who overstays will receive a parking claw. The costs for removal start at about 200 euros. Cars obstructing traffic are towed away, costing as much as 400 euros.

In addition, the car must be released at a depository against immediate payment. However, the penalty is often not the worst thing, but the process always takes a while, and therefore, much of the planned viewing time in Amsterdam is lost.


Park & Ride in Amsterdam

A cheaper option is to park your car in one of the Park & Ride facilities on the city’s outskirts and then switch to public transport. However, this option only works for a maximum of 96 hours, in some cases up to 24 hours, and sometimes not at all.

The Park & Ride offer in Amsterdam is primarily intended for locals who park their car during the day, switch to public transport and return to their car in the evening. If you want to park your car for longer than just one day, there are a few hurdles.

Many parking lots have a separate entrance for Park & Ride. It would help if you used this, as you will have to pay a much higher price at all other lanes. Otherwise, press the P+R button at the counter and do not use your debit or credit card (only intended for long-term parkers), but be sure to take a ticket! Sometimes, the parking garages are full, so you have to wait! It is also impossible to park in some Park & Ride parking lots at certain times.

For example, the Park & Ride parking lot ArenA is wholly closed to Park & Ride customers during events in the Johan-Cruijff-ArenA (soccer matches, concerts, etc.).

In most (but not all) parking lots, you can buy a discounted public transport ticket (GVB) for the journey to the city centre, valid for the outward and return journey. You must keep the ticket safe and hold it against the ticket validator when entering and exiting the car park. Before exiting, when paying at the parking machine, the ticket will be scanned, and it will also be checked whether the journey began immediately before in the city centre. This also works with all other tickets. This is the only way to get the reduced fare of 1 to 8 euros daily. Otherwise, daily charges of 12 to 50 euros can quickly arise!

Park & Ride is an alternative, but you must do a lot of research in advance and strictly stick to your schedule. Just one small mistake can quickly lead to expensive surprises. It is inexpensive, but not ideal for tourists!

If you decide to use this parking option anyway, the most critical P+R parking lots are well-signposted near the A10 Amsterdam ring road. Always enter the address given in the navigation system.

🅿️ P+R Zeeburg 1+2

  • Address: Zuiderzeeweg 46A, 1095 KJ Amsterdam – Exit S114
  • Connection: Tram 26, Bus 37

🅿️ P+R Amsterdam RAI

  • Address: Europaplein 24, 1078 RV Amsterdam – Exit S109
  • Connection: Metro 51 + 52

🅿️ P+R VUmc

  • Address: Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam – Exit S108
  • Connection: Tram 5 + 24, Metro 51

🅿️ P+R Olympisch Stadion

  • Address: Laan de Hesperiden, 1076 DE Amsterdam – Exit S108
  • Connection: Tram 24

🅿️ P+R Bos en Lommer

  • Address: Leeuwendalersweg 23b, 1055 JE Amsterdam – Exit 105 (from the south) 104 (from the north)
  • Connection: Tram: 7, Bus: 21

🅿️ P+R Sloterdijk

  • Address: Piarcoplein 1, 1043 DW Amsterdam – Exit S102
  • Connection: 19, bus: 22, train

🅿️ P+R ArenA (closed during events)

  • Adress: Burgemeester Stramanweg 130, 1101 EP Amsterdam, A2 Abfahrt Oudekerke a/d Amstel
  • Connection: Metro 54, train

This is how much the P+R parking lot in Amsterdam costs

If you have internalised the P+R rules for Amsterdam for the first time and follow the rules described below, you can park a little outside the centre of the canal city at a very reasonable price.

The parking rate for 24 hours depends on the arrival time at the P+R parking lot in Amsterdam. The maximum parking time at most parking lots is, as already mentioned, 96 hours or four days at a cost of:

🅿️ Monday to Friday before 10 a.m.: 8 euros for the first 24 hours, thereafter 1 euro

🅿️ Monday to Friday after 10 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday all day: 1,- Euro

This means that you can park in Amsterdam for as little as 1,00€ per day.

But please don’t forget, to take advantage of the low Park + Ride rates, you must purchase a ticket for public transportation, as described.

📝 Please note: If you exceed the maximum parking time, you will be charged the regular parking rate for the time afterward.


Step by step to cheap P+R in Amsterdam

  • Choose the right P+R parking lot

From the A10, all of the above parking lots are well-signposted. There are sometimes restrictions for some parking lots. It is best to check in advance at City of Amsterdam Park + Ride (P+R)

  • Choose the right entrance

Be sure to select the lanes marked P+R. If there is only one lane, press the extra P+R button, then nothing can go wrong. Do not pay by credit card here. The parking fee is only paid on exit.

  • Buy a return ticket for local public transport

After parking your car, take your parking ticket to one of the blue ticket machines within one hour. Hold the parking ticket under the scanner and enter the number of people (max. 5) who need a ticket for the GVB public transportation system.

  • Pay attention to the validity and rules for the ticket

Each ticket purchased can now only be used once for a maximum one-hour outward journey (including change) to the city centre and once for a maximum return journey (including change). The outward and return journey time always starts with the respective check-in on the bus, streetcar, or subway. The number of hours or days in between is irrelevant. So, only one ticket per person.

A ticket may only be used to return to the city centre. Further journeys in Amsterdam must be paid for separately. Keep your ticket safe. The return journey to the P+R must be made within one hour (including changing trains) from the centre of Amsterdam. Remember: always scan your ticket at one of the machines on the train when boarding and alighting.

  • Pay parking fee

Insert parking ticket now in red: Betaalautomaaten. Then, scan the GVB ticket. You must pay for the ticket within one hour of the last check-out because the P+R machine checks everything at the end, from check-in for the return journey to a station in the city centre. If everything is correct, you will get your cheap P+R rate. Pay with a debit or credit card, get a parking ticket, follow the rules, and you’re done!


Opening hours of the Park & Ride parking lots

Exit is possible at all P+R parking lots at any time. Entry is also possible with the following exceptions:

  • P+R Amsterdam RAI: 07.00 to 24.00 daily
  • P+R VUmc: 07.00 to 22.00 daily, P+R prices only from Fri 18:00 to Mon 4:00
  • P+R ArenA: closed during events

The journey from the P+R parking lot to the city centre of Amsterdam takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the means of transport and destination.


Free parking in Amsterdam

In many other cities, it is still possible to park your car on the side of the road in a residential area and then take public transport into the city center. In Amsterdam, this becomes almost impossible, as parking around the significant stops, even on the city’s outskirts, is generally limited to a few hours.

And even in the residential areas on the city’s outskirts, public parking spaces on the street are in short supply. You should also remember the many risks of losing sight of your car for a while. It’s not so easy to pop in and check that everything is OK. Also, always leave the glove compartment open to ensure no valuables are in the vehicle.

In exceptional cases, free parking is possible at hotels outside the city. More on this in the next section.


Parking at the hotel

Parking at the hotel

In the photo, you can see the hotel The Toren featured in my list of the top 10 hotels for an overnight stay in Amsterdam. Of course, you immediately recognize the parking situation. Situated in a row of old merchants’ houses, on a narrow street and directly on the canal, there are no parking facilities apart from a few public parking spaces. This applies to almost all hotels within the canal belt.

Outside of this, several hotels within walking distance of the city centre offer private parking spaces. In addition to the accommodation costs, parking here ranges from 15.00 euros for more basic accommodation to 65.00 euros for the luxury segment. Overnight accommodations further away also offer inexpensive parking facilities but can only be reached daily by public transport, which is subject to a charge. This is often not worthwhile for tourists.

If you are travelling to Amsterdam by car, want to keep an eye on your vehicle at all times, and are looking for accommodation with free parking, even if it is a little out of town, you will find some suggestions in my separate article, Hotels + free parking.


Important – How safe is your car?

Amsterdam is no more or less dangerous than any other big city. As everywhere else, you shouldn’t keep valuables, GPS, etc. in the car. Cars are frequently broken into or have their windows smashed at the side of the road.

The risk is lower in parking garages or guarded parking lots, but you should always leave your car empty for everyone to see.


What to do when parking in Amsterdam?

There are parking facilities and other garages in the city centre or port. Still, cheap parking must be more than enough in the Dutch metropolis. Going to Amsterdam by car is impossible, and you should consider finding a suitable parking space before setting off.

The stress-free reservation of a suitable parking space in advance saves you stress and time so that you can quickly immerse yourself in the Amsterdam experience.

Book a parking space online with ParkClick


Parking at the airport

Parking at the airport

As at all international airports, long-term parking with direct access to the terminal is the most expensive. For covered or open parking lots P1-P6 located directly at Schiphol airport, costs vary between 50 and 350 euros per week, depending on season and occupancy.

🅿️ Important: always book your parking space online in advance.

Secure Park & Fly is less expensive. Prices for privately supervised parking lots start from €30.00 / week. If you have enough time, you can park your car outside the airport and use the parking service shuttle bus to get to and from the airport.

Online parking

If you’re arriving a day in advance, it’s a good idea to check out the Park, Sleep & Fly offers available from certain hotels. This means paying for one night and parking for 2-3 weeks on the hotel grounds for around €30-35 per week. Transfer to the airport is always available.

Similar offers are also available for the many hotel parking lots near the airport. Please read all about it in my article Airport Parking.


Parking at the harbour

Parking at the harbour

Cruises are becoming increasingly popular. The impressive PTA – Passenger Terminal Amsterdam – is located directly behind Centraal Station, and the extensive luxury liners can be seen from afar. There are generally three options for supervised parking with connections to the terminal.

🅿️ Self-parking – If you only travel for a maximum of 96 hours (disadvantage), you can use the P+R Zeeburg. See above for details and how it works. Costs max. 8 € per day. Otherwise, monitored harbour parking garages in and around Amsterdam. Costs are always from 100 to 120 € per week. Shuttle buses transport passengers to and from the ship around the clock for 30 minutes. Bookings can be made via Poort Parking Amsterdam, for example. Costs from around €115 for a week.

🅿️ Valet parking – Private providers pick up and drop off your car directly at the pier. The vehicle remains in a guarded parking lot during your cruise. Practical, cheaper than a normal parking lot and secure.

🅿️ Parking at the Hotel – Another parking option is the hotel parking lots of some hotels near the port. If you arrive the day before the ship sails, you pay for an overnight stay and the use of the parking lot during the cruise. The flagship hotel directly at the cruise terminal is the Mövenpick Hotel. Otherwise, read through Hotels + free parking. Pay particular attention to the Amadi Panorama Hotel. There is a public parking garage here for €7.50 per day.

Those looking for a parking space can also find detailed information in my article Parking at the Cruise Port.

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