Driving and Parking in Amsterdam
Driving in the city center is strongly discouraged due Amsterdam’s narrow, winding streets, constant construction and high parking rates. However, if you must, here are a few tips to make your visit a little less hectic:
- Look out for bikers and pedestrians. They are everywhere in Amsterdam. They always have the right of way and they know it.
- Always drive on the right side of the canal. All streets in the canal ring are one-way on the right side.
- Use caution when approaching intersections, especially at canal bridges where there may not be any traffic signs whatsoever. Treat them as a four-way stop.
- Be prepared to wait behind unloading trucks. You should not have to wait longer than 10 minutes, and this is the way it works in Amsterdam.
Free parking in the city center does not exist, so don’t look for it. Some hotels may provide free parking permits for guests, otherwise look for a garage or street parking. Blue ticket machines for street parking are readily available throughout the city at a rate of €5,- per hour between the hours of 9:00 and 24:00. during the week and between 12:00 and 24:00 on Sunday. Further you are from the Old City Centre, parking will be cheaper with rate as low as €1,10 per hour in the suburbs of Amsterdam. On some commercial streets parking fee will be symbolic - €0,10, but your parking time will be limited to one hour.
- Make sure that you have exact change for the parking machines as they do not give change.
- Some of the machines will ask you for the registration plate of your car. It might be wise to make a note of it, especially if it is a rental car.
- Make sure that your ticket is up to date and prominently displayed in your window to avoid being ticked or clamped.
- Do not count for the parking police to arrive late or be negligent. They will return to your car, if the time you paid for is to end.
- If you are ticketed or clamped you have 24 hours to pay the fine or you will be towed. Call parking control (Parkeerbeheer) at 020 251 3322 for any queries or if towed.
- Never leave valuables in your car as break-in’s are common throughout Amsterdam. If you leave your car in an unattended area, please consider to put "no valuables inside" warning behind the windows.
Driving an electric car in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Municipality supports driving electric in Amsterdam. For a limited period of time electric cars are allowed to charge batteries as well as to park for free in the city.
However, to use these facilities you will need a special chip card. It will make sense for you if you plan to stay longer in the city, and you drive electric. Hybrid cars do not qualify for this convenience.