Travelling to Amsterdam in the Netherlands by car is quite easy; however, travelling within the city by car is not. Both the Amsterdam Tourism Board and the Lonely Planet Guide highly recommend leaving your car on the outskirts of the city and travelling by foot. Amsterdam is served by numerous major motorways and car carrying ferries, thus making it relatively simple to drive there. According to the Tourism Board, about one million tourists visit the city by car each year.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Road map of Europe
- Ferry schedules
- Driver's License
- Vehicle registration
- Rental agreement
Determine your starting point. Germany is immediately to the east of The Netherlands, as well as the south. Belgium is immediately to the southwest of the country with France and Luxembourg nearby. England is west across the North Sea.
Look at major motorways. From Hannover, Germany and other points north and east, the largest roadway will be the A1. From Frankfurt, Germany, the A3 is the main motorway, and from Brussels, Belgium it is the A27 to the A2.
Understand Amsterdam's motorways. Once you reach the outskirts of the city, it is ringed by the A10 motorway. There are numerous park and ride locations just off the A10, where you may leave your car and take public transportation into the city.
Determine your starting point. There are regular ferries from Newcastle, in northern England to IJmuiden in The Netherlands, which is about 30 minutes from Amsterdam. The Chunnel, a rail tunnel with car transport from England to France, is more convenient for travellers from southern England.
Take the Ferry. From Newcastle, the ferry takes approximately 16 hours to reach Amsterdam. The ferry boat has sleeping accommodations and has restaurants, bars and a casino on board. The ships can accommodate bicycles, motorcycles and cars.
Take the Chunnel. While the Chunnel is rail-only, the Eurotunnel Company operates a vehicle transport train through the Chunnel for cars and non-commercial trucks. The trip takes approximately 35 minutes; however passengers are required to check in at least 30 minutes in advance. After disembarking from the Chunnel transport, take the A16 motorway to the A27 in The Netherlands.
Tips and warnings
- Border crossings by car are relatively easy if you prepare ahead of time. Have your passport, driver's license and car registration nearby for the border officials.
- If you are renting, make sure you have your rental agreement handy, as you may be asked for that as well.
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