Car Rental in Amsterdam
From Amsterdam, travelers are within driving distance of most of what the Netherlands has to offer. Amsterdam has many excellent attractions on the outskirts best accessed by car and is only a car ride away from other cities in the country like Leiden, Rotterdam and The Hague.
Where to rent a car in Amsterdam
The majority of leading international car rental agencies have counters available at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport if you want to collect your vehicle soon after landing. Most of the companies have a presence in central Amsterdam too if you don’t want your vehicle right away. Several providers are located just a short walk from Amsterdam Centraal station, the main railway station and the quickest route into Amsterdam from the airport. Many of the car rental companies operating at the airport have pick-up spots across the city which is also an option if you don’t need your car immediately.
Driving in Amsterdam
Having a rental car isn’t necessary to explore the city center of Amsterdam as the city benefits from excellent public transport, but it is ideal to get you to and from the city if you aren’t staying centrally and is also an excellent way to explore the rest of the country. Central Amsterdam isn’t ideal for car owners as the streets are narrow and heavily populated with cyclists and pedestrians. Traffic is also extremely slow for most of the day so you are best off leaving your car on the outskirts – there are park and ride facilities offering full-day parking and a ticket to and from the city.
Parking in Amsterdam
Central Amsterdam is a very difficult place to find parking, so most travelers are advised to park somewhere on the outskirts before catching public transport in. There are plenty of park and ride options available (identified by the P+R signs) which will also provide a return ticket to the city as part of the price. There are some private parking garages in central areas but availability is often limited and will also be rather expensive. Most central hotels won’t be able to provide parking due to the scarcity of space.
Where to go around Amsterdam
All of the main sights in central Amsterdam are easy to find and accessible by public transport, so you can park your car on the outskirts and travel into the center by bus, tram or train. There are however many unmissable attractions around Amsterdam which are best accessed by vehicle. Consider visiting the historic university town of Leiden which is only around 40 minutes by car, or take the hour drive to the ultra-modern city of Rotterdam, famous for its bustling port. If you want to travel further afield you can even cross the border into Belgium and visit Brussels in 2 hours 30 minutes by car, while Dusseldorf is also a similar distance away.
* This information is correct as of December 2018