Car Hire in Amsterdam
This information is correct as of July 2015.
A famously charming city with a sense of intimacy and lack of hurriedness in its pubs and cafes, Amsterdam is a delight to those who visit here. You will have fun checking out its myriad attractions, from the historical sites to the museums and the range of shops, restaurants, and cafes. Some of the landmarks to be found here include enclosed former convent Begijnhof, the floral displays of Amsterdam Tulip Museum, and the old Heineken Experience brewery. The liberal areas of Amsterdam are also intriguing to check out, such as the marijuana bars and the Red Light District. Visit all of these places and more hidden treasures with car rentals available in the city.
Where to hire a car in Amsterdam
Various car rental companies can be found in Amsterdam, such as Avis, Alamo, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Sixt, and many others. Local operators also offer their services, allowing you to choose from a variety of models. You should think about pre-booking, especially if you want to start exploring immediately upon arrival in Amsterdam. It is also important that you understand all the terms and conditions in your agreement. A credit card is also necessary when paying for the fees, so make sure your limit is enough to accommodate the expenses.
What to expect when hiring a car from Amsterdam
Driving in Amsterdam can be stressful due to the narrow streets and the volume of traffic. It is hard to navigate around in the rush hours, which can be exacerbated by public transport and the prevalence of cyclists. The usual times of congestion lie between 7:00AM to 9:00AM and 4:00PM to 6:30PM. The motorways should be avoided at these times, especially around the Schiphol airport area and the A2 road, as long traffic jams are common. You might also go through toll roads, which are two tunnels, namely the Kiltunnel at Dordrecht and the Westerscheldetunnel. Congestion charges for cars are not implemented, but it is important to pack additional money just in case.
The Dutch drive on the right-hand side on roads with clear sign posts. You should also keep right on the motorway unless you will overtake. Always remember that the speed limit can change between 100 and 130 km/h, with lower limits where road maintenance is in progress. Priority is given to vehicles coming from the right, with some roundabouts entering traffic has the right of way. Trams should also be allowed to go on ahead at most intersections, with additional care taken for cyclists. When crossing a cycle lane, you must slow down or stop, check behind, and give way to any cyclist coming through.
Upon reaching your destination, you can look for on-street parking or free spaces in the Amsterdam Centre District, District of Zuidoost, and District of West. There are also Park+Ride locations on parking facilities in the outskirts of the capital to check out. To determine where you can park, you can refer to the Integrated Dynamic Parking (IDP) signs that divide the influx of cars into the city and reduces the number of kilometres required to find a parking spot.
Getting to your destination
The city of Zaanstad features the neighbourhood of Zaanse Schans, a living outdoor museum containing an impressive collection of historic windmills and other buildings. This popular attraction allows one to learn more about traditional Dutch life. Scenic ferry rides around the area can also be arranged to further appreciate this part of the city. To Zaanstad, get on A10 in Amsterdam-Noord from s116 and take Exit Knooppunt Coenplein, A8, and N246 to Zaandammerweg in Assendelft. Continue on Zaandammerweg and drive to Veenpolderdijk to your destination. You can reach this area within 35 minutes.
More Dutch heritage can be experienced in the charming fishing village of Volendam. You can walk around the busy harbour to see colourful boats and have photos taken dressed in Dutch costumes. Various historical sites can be checked out here, such as houses on stilts and a beautiful 17th century church, as well as the local museum.
Get on A10 in Westpoort from Damrak, s100, S102, and Nieuwe Hemweg/s101. Follow A10 and N247 to Zeddeweg/N517 in Volendam to continue on Zeddeweg/N517. Drive on to Julianaweg for the last leg of the drive, which can take around 40 minutes.
Madurodam features a small-scale model city filled with traditional Dutch buildings and famous landmarks around the country. They are all replicated to the smallest detail, where the midmills turn, trains running through the park, and more.
When going here, get on A10 in Amsterdam Nieuw-West from Calle Raadhuis, Rozengracht, Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat, and Jan van Galenstraat/s105. Take A4/E19 and A44 to Rijksstraatweg/N44 in Wassenaar. Continue on Rijksstraatweg/N44 and then take S200 to George Maduroplein in Scheveningen, Den Haag. The trip can take as long as an hour, if traffic conditions are light.