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Amsterdam Tips

The Difficulty of Parking in Amsterdam Center

Driving and Parking in Amsterdam / Parking tips.

Parking and indeed driving in Amsterdam center (centrum) can be something of a nightmare and is not recommended unless absolutely unavoidable. The excellent public transport system and the ubiquitous bike paths mean driving is usually unnecessary, but if you really must, here are a few tips that might make it at least a little easier.

On-Street Parking

On-street parking is expensive and spaces can be difficult to find, often requiring you to drive in circles for an hour just to locate one. Look for the light blue box with the letter P in white which indicates a parking meter. You must enter your license plate number into the meter and pay the appropriate charge with a credit card. No cash is accepted.

The benefit of digital parking is that you will no longer have to return to your car to place the ticket on the dashboard as your number plate now serves as your ‘receipt of payment’. The parking inspectors can simply scan your number plate to check if you have paid. The downside is that you are now being monitored and your whereabouts recorded. Watch out, Big Brother’s about!

Parking regulations are strictly enforced so if your time expires, expect your car to be towed.


Park + Ride

P+R (Park & Ride) is by far the most time-efficient and cost-conscious option for visitors to the city. The Park and Ride facilities are located at or close to the city’s metro and train stations so very easy to drop the car and be back to the center in no time

Parking in a P+R car park costs just € 8 per 24 hours – with a maximum parking time of 120 hours (5 days). This fee includes free public transport to the center of Amsterdam for up to five people.


P+R locations

The following is a list of Park & Ride locations, in order of number of spaces.

  • P+R ArenA (exit Ouderkerk, follow P1, then P+R signs)

  • This location is closed during major events at the Arena. Check a list of event days on the Arena website.

  • P+R World Fashion Centre (exit S106, follow signs for World Fashion Centre)

  • This location is closed during major events at the World Fashion Centre. Visit their website for a list of upcoming events.

  • P+R Zeeburg I and P+ R Zeeburg II (exit S114)

  • Please note: there is no customer service desk at Zeeburg II.

  • P+R VUmc (exit S108).

  • Note: weekends only.

  • P+R Bos en Lommer (exit S105 from West, S104 from North)

  • Entrance open 07:00 to 22:00 (exit 24 hours a day).

  • P+R Sloterdijk (exit S102)

  • P+R Olympisch Stadion (exit S108)


Parking Garages in Amsterdam Central

There are a number of public carparks in the city, each more expensive than the other however there are substantial reductions for reserving your space online in advance with tariffs as low as 20 euro per day.

P1 Parking Amsterdam Centre is a multi-storey car park opposite the Amsterdam Central Station and easy to find. Cheap rates if you book online, 24 hours for Park  € 20,-. You will save 50%,- . Book your space at  Opening Hours:  24/ 7  365 days


Waterlooplein close to the Waterlooplein flea market, Rembrandtplein and Nieuwmarkt.

Parking for €20,- per 24 hours

  • 1 to 5 days maximum

  • If you book before 24:00, you can park the next day

  • A limited number of spaces available

  • Online payment with iDeal or credit card

  • Drive-in using number plate recognition

  • Unlimited driving in and out only €5,- extra


Driving around Amsterdam Center (centrum) 


The city is well signposted and easy to navigate but the one-way system can be maddening, forcing you to drive miles out of your way.


My Car is missing or has been towed. What do I do?

If the parking authority / Cition inspectors determine you have paid an insufficient amount for parking, or haven’t paid at all, you will receive a fine. Incorrectly parked cars which constitute an obstacle to other traffic will be towed.

Collecting your towed car.

If your car has been towed, you can collect it at the depot at the Daniël Goedkoopstraat 9. You can expect to pay at least 150 euros to reclaim your vehicle. The towed car lot is open daily from 07:00 to 23:00.

Cition maintains a number of physical service locations throughout the city. You may need to visit one to pay a parking fine or to get a clamp removed from your wheel. You can find a list of their offices on the Cition website (in Dutch).

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