We will be arriving at Schiphol airport mid April 2019. We will be renting a car..we would like to find a place to stay and use it as our base while driving taking day trips.
You are arriving in Amsterdam but it is not clear if you plan to stay in the Netherlands for your day trips, or elsewhere. Your budget for accommodation would be useful as well.
We would like a smaller village if possible but not sure of an area where we can park our car for the night and then head out to an area to explore ..
Which part of the country are you interested in? And what kind of day trips you want to make? To cities or the countryside?
The Netherlands is served by an excellent public transport system, which makes visiting cities, even smaller ones, a much better option than a car.
Hi Lorraine, I agree with other posters; you do not need to rent a car in The Netherlands. I made Haarlem my base (bus 300 from Schiphol) and was able to explore Amsterdam, den Haag, Delft, and Leiden easily by train. You might also consider biking! A car would only make your travels unnecessarily difficult and inconvenient. Have a good trip.
I too recommend using the excellent train and occasionally bus system for exploring cities and villages in Holland. We spent 3 weeks just outside of Amsterdam in April of 2018 and had access to a car the whole time. We only used it on one day to a destination Rick Steves even describes as possible with public transportation.
All of the rest of our three week exploring was done with the excellent public transportion network. We visited cities near Amsterdam, parks, villages, islands and everything else that was on our extensive list.
At the end of our three weeks we got on a train and sped to Paris for a few more days before heading back.
One year we had a car and stayed at a B and B on a farm not far from Amsterdam. Our room looked out onto a field of tulips, which was quite special, and there was plenty of space to park the car. I do not, sadly, remember the name of the place but if you google "farm B&B's" lots will come up. By the way, you could be a little clearer about just where in the Netherlands you would "like to find a place to stay".
Hi Lorraine -
Last April we spent two weeks in the Netherlands.
We rented a house in Zandaam through VRBO and were very pleased with the service and quality of the residence.
They even provided bicycles for us. It is not too far from Amsterdam and made a great place from which to day trip.
Regarding a car rental, I would encourage you to use the public transit. The trains are clean and efficient as well as the busses and trams in Amsterdam. The trains run to time. Traffic can be a little nightmarish; taking public transit gives you the chance to look around where you are going and taking in the sights.
Having a rental car in Amsterdam will not be enjoyable. Most of the locals seem to bike or take tram/bus pubic transportation within the city. Walking also works, if you can narrow down the area of walking so that it will not be exhausting.
If you are going to small towns, parking may be easy, but Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, maybe even smaller towns like Delft, parking will be difficult or expensive or both.
Even when I used to go to Haarlem a couple or three times a year parking was very difficult there yet so much easier than Amsterdam; so much worse now.
Street parking virtually impossible until well out of the centre and even then you have to be lucky. You can park in the silo but it is expensive, difficult, and especially fun is the very small size of the parking spaces.
Use Public Transport ! Cars are more trouble than they are worth . Parking is a nightmare and also expensive . And what about all the bicycles you have to Yield to if they come from the right ? Only some streets/roads have the yellow diamond sign that makes them an Express road/street where you won't have to yield to everything coming from the right .
I hadn't even thought about driving with all the bicycles. Even though the bikes have separate lanes in high traffic areas, they don't always stay in them. Are there bike lanes on side streets? In small towns?
Although I agree with so many who have said that you don't need a car in the Netherlands, we did rent one for our visit there (and Belgium) in 2013. We only used it for the first part of our trip and returned it before spending the last week in Amsterdam.
I blogged about the trip. Take a look at the link to a sequence of pictures showing the passenger seat view of the drive from Leiden to Keukenhof and back. You'll get an idea of what driving was like on small roads in that area.
We had a blast driving. Please feel free to explore any of the other segments of the blog you like.
Lo I loved your pictures and the joy you had driving through the flower fields. We saw some amazing fields, about 10 miles of them on both sides of the tracks, as we zoomed along from Leiden to Lisse on the train that practically runs through the fields. The only thing that looked more pleasurable was slowly biking around the fields and they rent bikes outside the entrance of Keukenhof in Lisse.
Many years ago we stayed at a B&B in Halfweg (halfway between Amsterdam and Haarlem) and were able to park our car in the neighborhood while we took the train into Amsterdam. Cute, comfortable town. Check booking.com to find places in towns outside Amsterdam with onsite or street parking.