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Where to stay near Amsterdam, with a car

We are going to visit Amsterdam in June for 3 days (by car) and are looking at staying at Haarlem and catching the train to Amsterdam. However it appears that parking is near impossible or very expensive at hotels that are near to Haarlem. Its a real dilemma? (hotels say they have parking nearby, eg: parking station etc )
Any suggestions on where to stay where you can leave your car and get to the train station/town easily. perhaps somewhere other than Haarlem ??

any ideas?

Posted by
27425 posts

Haarlem has a large multi story car park across the street from the station, and a parking lot behind the station.

My experience is that both fill during the morning commute but there are occasional spaces.

Parking in Amsterdam is absurdly expensive - more than Switzerland - and rare as hens' teeth.

Haarlem is very tight on parking, and street parking has lots of rules which generally mean residents only in work days. You can find free parking if you go far enough towards the dunes but it isn't easy.

I used to drive every year to Haarlem, and parking was always fun.

Sorry.

You may find that the €25 at the hotel looks like a good idea.

Posted by
703 posts

Thanks Nigel, good information. looks like we can at least drive to the train station to park and then catch the train to Amsterdam, if we can park somewhere near the accommodation we pick.

Posted by
436 posts

The parking lot in Haarlem was very expensive but convenient. Our B&B gave us directions to free parking on the street which was a bit of a walk back to the square. It was very easy to take the train to Amsterdam.

On a different trip, we stayed east of Amsterdam in The Breukelen Hotel which has free parking and a very short walk to the train to Amsterdam. The train trip is the same time as from Haarlem. It is also close to the airport. Haarlem is a lovely town and Breukelen is more isolated but very nice and convenient to both train and highway.

Whichever you choose Amsterdam is great!

Posted by
5668 posts

Can you figure out a way to ditch the current? Look at your itinerary and try to put it at the end of a leg. Then pick up another car if need be. Sometimes, I've picked up a car, driven in the countryside, driven to a city where I ditch it. Then I take the train to a destination. If it's a city, I don't pick up another car until I am ready to leave the city.

Posted by
703 posts

Thanks for the suggestions, we have the car for another week after visiting Amsterdam.(leasing the car)
we are thinking of staying at Haarlem so we can look around there and perhaps outlying areas, as well as Amsterdam.
I have been trying the usual hotel booking sites but its not easy to get a definite on the parking situation, when you do find a hotel near the town and/or train station. the hotels usually put something like ' parking is available nearby, and reservations are not possible'. How many times have you read that, or similar?
the hotels that do have parking are then often outside town and you are left wondering how to visit the town and get to the train station etc.

Posted by
2828 posts

There is an easy solution if you are staying in Amsterdam instead of Haarlem (Rick Steves totally misses the point in diverting people who want to visit Amsterdam to stay in Haarlem, in my opinion, with his antiquated view of Amsterdam as if it were 1985 still).

This solution involves using park-and-ride facilities in Amsterdam. In a nutshell, you can park your car on a Park-and-Ride facility up to 96 hours, in a place with adjacent subway/metro/tram stops, paying very low for it, just € 11 for the whole 96 hours! (that is right, for the 4 days, not for each day).

There is a caveat, though: you must use public transportation from the park and ride to the central area of Amsterdam, in and out. You will only get the heavily discounted park fee if you use public transportation. The parking payment machines will check whether your public transportation card was validated (checked in and out) in a way that proves you took subway or trams or buses to central Amsterdam, instead of just going elsewhere. So if you are going to Haarlem, use first a tram or subway to Amsterdam Centraal station, and then take a train to Haarlem. But you should stay in Amsterdam instead, anyway.

There are several Park and Ride facilities, all with easy highway access.

Read all about the Park and Ride here: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/plan-your-trip/getting-around/parking/park-and-ride

Posted by
2828 posts

To make it clearer, this is my suggestion, should you pick an Amsterdam hotel.

  1. Drive to your hotel, unload luggage and other passenger(s). There are no car exclusion zones in Amsterdam, at most pedestrianized streets where you need to unload couple blocks away.

  2. While your travel companion(s) check in and set the room, you drive to the nearest park and ride facility, and then take public transportation back to your hotel, to find everything already set up :)

  3. When departing from Amsterdam, take a tram/subway/bus to the park and ride while your travel companion(s) close the room, settle the bill and go wait for you at a designated spot.

  4. Take your car, drive back to the hotel and load passengers and luggage, and go further on your trip.

Posted by
703 posts

Hello Andre, many thanks for the information and going to the trouble. the idea of staying in Amsterdam is interesting. the only thing that concerns us, is driving in 'large' foreign towns ( compared to staying in smaller towns nearby)
driving on the opposite side of the road is one thing for us, but combined with trams, pedestrian areas etc etc, can be nerve racking.
I will investigate further.
thanks again

Posted by
27425 posts

Those are valid concerns, glennlorrainer, and driving in Amsterdam can be hairy. There are trams and bikes everywhere....

However, you likely won't be driving in Amsterdam. The park and rides are on the periphery and easily reached from the motorway. You will have to be alert, but not for long.

Posted by
703 posts

Thank you for your replies. they all help, when you are on the other side of the world and planning for your first time in a new city.