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Driving to Amsterdam

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London, United...
posts: 6
reviews: 19
Driving to Amsterdam

Hi, we're planning on a road trip to Holland on the last week of October. Generally, we plan to tour Amsterdam but since we're travelling with children, I'm wondering if Amsterdam would be a good base while we're there. We're staying for 3 days and 2 nights and I'm in the process of looking for a hotel where we can stay. Any suggestions?

7 replies to this topic
Amsterdam, The...
posts: 5,887
reviews: 50
1. Re: Driving to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is child-friendly but definitely not car-friendly. Parking is super expensive (5 euros per hour in the center), hard to find parking spots, and traffic is utter chaos with trams, confusing lanes that suddenly diverge or converge, lots of one-way streets, cyclists ignoring all traffic rules and coming from all sides; but in case you hit a cyclist (even if the cyclist ignored a red light), insurance-wise you are the one who's going to pay. Even Dutch people from outside the city are daunted by the traffic here. My advise is to avoid driving in Amsterdam, especially with a British car (because you may have bigger dead angles and bigger chance of overlooking cyclists and mopeds).

The best option is to leave the car at one of the special Park + Ride parking lots at the edges of town (8 euros per 24 hours) and use public transport. iamsterdam.com/en-GB/…parking

Or stay at a hotel outside the center, for example the district called Noord (North) may have hotels with free parking, and I believe the NH hotel there has a free shuttle into the center.

What is the purpose of your trip? Obviously there is more to the Netherlands than just Amsterdam so I am wondering why you want to go to Amsterdam. Don't get me wrong, I love my city and I think there is loads to see and do here for kids too. But you may prefer staying in a smaller town with free parking.

And how old are your children?

For now, this page may help find fun things to do with kids: iamsterdam.com/en-GB/…families-and-children

Cecilia

Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Edited: 9:27 am, September 20, 2013
Amsterdam
posts: 1,460
reviews: 69
2. Re: Driving to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is not car-friendly, as Cecile says.

But personally I don't think it's chaos ... or coincidence. It's a carefully considered and executed car-unfriendliness, of which I am a great supporter by the way.

The more car-unfriendly the better in my view. It drives me crazy on the occasions that I have to hire a vehicle for one or another reason, but it's part of the trick by which this remains such a delightfully livable city centre.

Mr Other

http://mrothers.blogspot.nl/

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 5,887
reviews: 50
3. Re: Driving to Amsterdam

I agree MrOther, and wouldn't mind if more streets were made car-free (residents only). Except that would provoke more of those horrible smelly dangerous speeding mopeds.

London, United...
posts: 6
reviews: 19
4. Re: Driving to Amsterdam

Park + Ride is a brilliant idea! Thanks for the link.

It's the kids' half term break so we'd like to take them on a holiday. My kids are boys aged 12 and 8. We have no itinerary yet but we're not limiting ourselves to Amsterdam. We're open to seeing other places outside Amsterdam. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Also, you mentioned about staying in a smaller town with free parking. Which town do you have in mind?

The Hague, The...
posts: 4,534
reviews: 94
5. Re: Driving to Amsterdam

Have you thought about a holidaypark?

One near me is www.duinrell.com/holidaypark/duingalows , in "millionair village" Wassenaar, just north of The Hague, in the dunes.

From 28 october the attractions are closed but the indoor pool open all day and admission included in the rent of these Dune bungalows . Something to do in my town for kids, like www.madurodam.nl

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 5,887
reviews: 50
6. Re: Driving to Amsterdam

Nice suggestion by Dutchguy. That's what a lot of Dutch families do anyways when they go on holiday with their family: a holiday park like Duinrell, Roompot, Landall, Centerparcs... where you have a bungalow with all the amenities, a swimming pool (Centerparcs even have tropical pools with loads of slides), often surrounded by forests or other nature for nice walks, and you can make daytrips to cities or other sights.

As for smaller towns with free parking near Amsterdam, you could consider Weesp or Abcoude which have train connections to Amsterdam. I don't know if Haarlem has free parking but that's also a lovely city, sometimes called 'little Amsterdam without all the tourists'.

Two boys of that age may like visiting castles for example Muiderslot (not all that big but still fun), and the open air Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen is fun, the outdoor part is open until 27th October....

They may also enjoy theme parks (Efteling and such) / rollercoaster parks (Sixflags).

Edited: 12:48 pm, September 20, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 11,400
7. Re: Driving to Amsterdam

still enough car traffic to be chaotic those..the spui is like a racetrack sometimes!!

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