By car to Amsterdam: Amsterdam’s parking, parking prices, Low Emission Zone and other practical tips

Are you driving to Amsterdam? Here's everything you need to know about parking in the city - from prices and zones to restrictions and tips.
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By car to Amsterdam: Amsterdam’s parking, parking prices, Low Emission Zone and other practical tips


Whether you are a history buff or just looking for some good times, Amsterdam has something that will suit your taste. With its rich culture and tasty food (not to mention the entertainment), this city offers an experience like no other! But there are still challenges when it comes to travelling by car - especially since more than 900 thousand people live here too, which means traffic can get chaotic at any time during the day.

This blog provides helpful information about getting around town with vehicles, including practical tips on how best to navigate through Dutch streets without endangering yourself while enjoying what life brings forth within this metropolis.

Parking in the centre of Amsterdam

Parking in the centre of Amsterdam can be a real challenge. Whether you are trying to find a spot on the street or navigating the dizzying maze of multi-story car parks, it often feels like you spend more time looking for a place to park than actually being able to get out and enjoy the city. One thing that makes it even more difficult is that many areas are designated as "parking zones", with restrictions on certain days and times for when you can leave your car on the street.

If you have ever spent time looking for parking in Amsterdam, you know that it can be a frustrating experience. The city is full of narrow streets and crowded parking lots, and it can often take over 30 minutes to find a spot. And once you do find a spot, there is no guarantee that it will be close to your destination. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of people who choose to take their chances and park in the city centre. In the end, it seems that finding parking in downtown Amsterdam is an uphill battle no matter what your approach may be. But with some planning and Mobypark to help you, anyone can get the most convenient parking spot in a simple way and save time, money, and stress!

Car-free Amsterdam

Amsterdam is not the most car-friendly city. In 2018, the city began a project to make Amsterdam car-free. This includes fewer street parking spots, fewer parking permits, and fewer car-accessible roads. On-street parking is very expensive, and there are a lot of one-way roads in the city centre. As a result, driving in Amsterdam can be frustrating and difficult. However, there are a few advantages to being car-free. First, it reduces traffic congestion. Second, it cuts down on pollution and helps to improve air quality. Third, it makes the city more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. Amsterdam is a beautiful city, and getting around on foot or by bike is a great way to see it. So even though driving in Amsterdam can be a challenge, there are some upsides to being car-free.

Milieuzone Amsterdam

The Milieuzone is a low emission zone located in the heart of Amsterdam. To enter this low emission area, you must have a special permit that indicates that your vehicle meets certain environmental standards. Anyone caught driving in the Milieuzone without this permit will be fined €95 - it’s also valid to mention that those areas are equipped with cameras registering the entry into the zone. Friendly advice: I would not take the risk!

Even though, if you are visiting the city for business or pleasure, however, you can apply for a day permit from the city website. This permit costs just €12.50 and can be purchased online up to two days in advance of your trip. So whether you are looking to explore Amsterdam and all it has to offer or are simply passing through, do not forget to secure your low emission zone permit and enjoy your time in this beautiful city in a more convenient way!

So how much in on-street parking in Amsterdam?

On-street parking in Amsterdam can be quite expensive, in fact the most expensive in the world, compared to parking in other cities, both within The Netherlands and across Europe. In the city centre, rates typically range from €4.50 to €7.50 per hour, which varies depending on where you park. If you want to save money on parking, it is recommended that you park a bit farther away from the city centre, where rates are typically lower and range from €2.50 to €4.50 per hour at street parking. Whether you're travelling for work or pleasure, there are plenty of options for frugal parking in this wonderful Dutch city.

Low emission zones

The Netherlands is known for its progressive environmental policies, and one manifestation of this is the country's low emission zones. There are four cities in the Netherlands that have these zones, and they affect diesel cars and other vehicles. One such zone is Amsterdam, where a map of its area can be seen below.

The purpose of these low emission zones is to reduce air pollution, and they have been shown to be effective in doing so. Amsterdam's low emission zone has been in place since 2008, and it has led to a reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels of up to 40%. The Dutch government is currently considering expanding the program to other cities, and it is clear that the low emission zones are having a positive impact on the environment.

This zone is not accessible by diesel cars with an emissions standard Euro 0, 1, 2 or 3 engine. The same standard is set for vans. If you do enter a low emission zone with a banned car, you risk getting a fine of €100,- for cars, taxis and delivery vans and coaches, and €250,- for lorries.

Many vehicles are forbidden to enter the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), as the amount of emissions they emit exceeds certain limits. Check this list to find out if your car is allowed within the LEZ. Entering the LEZ with a vehicle which is not permitted risks a fine of €350. Areas within the LEZ usually display the following signs.

Cheap parking in Schiphol - Amsterdam Airport

Parking at Schiphol can be notoriously expensive, especially if you are not prepared for it. Whether you are driving in from nearby or catching a flight out of town, it is essential to plan ahead if you want to avoid paying exorbitant rates. Luckily, there are several strategies that you can use to find cheap parking at Schiphol. For starters, consider looking for off-site lots or private garages through Mobypark, as they will almost always come with much lower prices. Additionally, it may be worth checking out overnight parking deals and discounts offered by various airlines or travel companies. By doing your research and planning ahead, you can easily save money on your next trip to Schiphol – and get yourself primed for takeoff!

Are you prepared for the drive to Amsterdam?

If you are planning on driving to Amsterdam, there are a few things you will need to take into account. First of all, you will need to make sure you have enough fuel. It is a good idea to refuel in the Netherlands before you start your journey. That way, you will not have to worry about finding a gas station along the way. However, if you do need to stop for gas, there are plenty of options available. There are stations along the Dutch highways, so you should be able to find one that is convenient for you. Just be sure to check the prices before you fill up, as they can vary depending on the location. With a little planning and preparation, your drive to Amsterdam will be a breeze.

Plan activities in Amsterdam

Have you been looking for some inspiration about what to do in Amsterdam? If you are visiting Amsterdam, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. The city is home to a variety of museums, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, as well as a number of parks and gardens. Amsterdam is also known for its nightlife, with a variety of bars and clubs to choose from. If you are looking for something a little different, there are also a number of tour operators who offer bike tours or canal cruises. Whatever you are looking for, there is sure to be something to suit your taste in Amsterdam.

You are (almost) all set to go on your adventure in Amsterdam! After registering the car, planning out routes and reserving your parking space in advance. Be prepared with:

  • A list of your favourite songs to sing along to on the way there
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Some snacks for the car, such as fresh vegetables with hummus, popcorn, sandwiches or rice cakes with avocado
  • Your favourite person/people with you!

Mobypark wishes you a fantastic Amsterdam trip!

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Passionate about creating connections, exchanging experiences and growing together; when Mobypark was introduced to me & I got thrilled by the opportunity to make a change in city mobility and optimize how people interact with each other. And, of course, be more sustainable.