Home Tips&Tricks The Best and The Cheapest Way to Get Aroud Amsterdam

The Best and The Cheapest Way to Get Aroud Amsterdam

by Rafal Sulowski

When visiting Amsterdam you need a plan for getting around the town. Unfortunately, Amsterdam public transportation can be a little confusing for someone who is here for the first time. But don’t worry, it’s very easy when you finally know how everything works. By reading this article you will learn the most important things. What is The Best and The Cheapest Way to Get Around Amsterdam?

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Park your car in one of P+R parking. If you get to the city center with public transportation you pay as little as 1 Euro per day. Rent a bike in the city center. 1 day of renting a bike can cost ass little as 9,50Euro. There is also well-organized public transport.

I this article I mention the best and the cheapest ways to get around Amsterdam. I live in a city close to Amsterdam, so often I go there by car. Parking fees are high but there are ways to keep your money in your pocket, where it belongs. Keep on reading and if you have any questions, post them in the comment section below.

The Best Way to Get Around Amsterdam


If you are visiting Amsterdam by car you should go to one of the P+R park locations. In the next paragraph, I explain in-depth how it works. There are some specific rules if you want to pay only 1 Euro for it. For example, you must use some kind of public transportation.

For people who visit Amsterdam on Sunday, there is free parking. You will find a detailed map with information where you can park for free on the Amsterdam website. Here is a link -> Click here. 

When I visit Amsterdam, I park close to Vondelpark, most of the time by the west entrance. I take my bike and cycle to the city center. It’s fairly close, but you can park even closer for free.

Also, there are some places you can park for free from 9 pm to 9 am. One of those is Willem Witnesstraat. See the map below. I park there very often when I go to my job. It’s a one-way street and GPS will show you how to get there.


My favorite transport in Amsterdam is my old grandma bike (omafiets). Amsterdam is pancake flat so without any effort, you can get wherever you want in a matter of minutes. It’s fun, cheap and quick. If you don’t have a bike you should get one. You can buy it very cheap (50 – 80 euros) or you can rent it. There are multiple rental shops around the city or you can most probably get one from your hotel. Most of the hotels offer their own rental services. Although it is cheaper to get a bike in a rental shop.

Before getting on a bike, learn about Dutch cycling rules. Mhmm, there are rules and if you don’t learn them here you learn them hard way on cycling paths. Do not worry because of course, it’s not that difficult, just be aware of traffic rules. Locals also recognize tourist based on their rental bikes, so Amsterdamers know you are a high-risk cyclist 😀 if you ride a bike in the middle of cycle path or you do not show turning direction, they will say what they think of you 😀

Where to Rent a Bike?

Cycling is my favorite transport in Amsterdam and in The Netherlands in general. I have my own bike so first of all it’s free. If you visit Amsterdam you can rent a bike for as little as 9,5 euro per day. This price may vary and you pay up to 15 euro per day. There is possibility to rent a bike only for 3 hours and then you pay around 9 euro.

I have written a complete guide on where to rent a bike in Amsterdam. This is the cheapest place to rent a bike in Amsterdam.

Be prepared to pay a deposit of 50 Euros per bike. If you bring it back in good condition you get your 50 back. There are always 2 locks on rental bikes. Always use both!

If you stay in Amsterdam for longer then a week, consider buying a used bike. You can get a bike for as little as 80 Euro. Here you can read my article on getting a second-hand bike in Amsterdam. It is a complete guide and I mention websites and Facebook groups where you can get a bike in a good price.

You must be aware that bike theft is the most common crime in Amsterdam. In the article, I mention above I guide you on how to check if a bike you want to buy isn‘t stolen. Buying a stolen bike cause many problems but there is an easy way to avoid it.

P + R Parking How it Works?

Parking P+R is one of the best ways to park in Amsterdam. There are multiple parking locations around the city center.

  • P+R Sloterdijk
    Piarcoplein 1 – 1043 DW Amsterdam (exit S102)
  • P+R Amsterdam RAI
    Europaboulevard 2, 1078 RV Amsterdam ( exit S109)
  • P+R Arena Stadium
    address: Burg. Stramanweg 130 – 1101 EP Amsterdam (exit Ouderkerk, follow P1, then P+R signs)  
  • P+R Bos en Lommer
    Leeuwendalersweg 23b 1055 JE Amsterdam (exit S105 from West, S104 from North) 
  • P+R Zeeburg (exit 114)
    Zeeburg I: Zuiderzeeweg 46a, 1095 KJ Amsterdam
    Zeeburg II: Zuiderzeeweg 8, 1095 KG Amsterdam
  • P+R VUmc 
    Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam ( exit
    A10 – S108 exit 8 and follow direction of P2 VUmc )
  • P+R Olympisch Stadion
    ( exit S108 ) Laan der Hesperiden 1076 DE Amsterdam
  • P+R Noord ( Nieuwe Leeuwarderweg 25
    Amsterdam )
  1. Get a parking ticket from P+R, but do not use your credit card because it won’t provide P+R discount.
  2. One of the P+R discount rules is to use public transportation. You must get a GVB ticket from the parking within 1 hour. Now look for easy to follow public transportation signs.
  3. It’s important to remember to check out before you leave tram or train. By following these rules you will get a discount.

If you park before 10 am you pay 8 euro for the first 24 hours, and if you park after 10 am you pay as little as 1 euro per first 24 hours.

This is by far the best way to park your car in Amsterdam from Monday till Saturday. Please note that you if you don’t use public transport you will be charged a regular parking rate ( 1.40 Euro – 3.40 Euro / per hour )

Free Parking in Amsterdam

There is no free parking in Amsterdam, but there are a few exceptions. There are places you can park for free on Sunday and here is a video where a explain it in detail.

Where to Buy A Tram Ticket?

You can buy a tram ticket in the tram or in advance on the Internet. You pay 8 Euro for one day unlimited travel on all GVB connections. There are also 2-day tickets for 13.50, 3-day tickets for 19 Euro up to 7-day ticket which costs 36,50 euros. You can buy a ticket in advance, that’s fine. For time-limited tickets, for example, 1-day tickets, time starts counting from the moment you enter the first mean of transportation.

Is public transport good in Amsterdam?

Yes, during the day it’s perfect. You can get almost anywhere with public transport and it’s very convenient. It’s not as good during the night, but there are some night buses, trams, and trains. However, if you plan to use public transport at night you should plan it beforehand. You can plan it easily with 9292.nl or with their app.

Can I Pay Cash on Public Transport?

Not really. You need your debit card/ credit card, prepaid credit card or OV card. It’s wise to get a ticket beforehand and you can buy it below. You may have problems paying with Visa Electron.

How to Pay for a Parking in Amsterdam?

When you park on the street, search for parking meter like this one on the photo below. You must pay for some particular time in advance, for example for 3 hours. If you get back to your car earlier you’ve lost your money, if you’re late you get a fine, so I suggest you use an app ParkMobile. Unfortunately, you can use this app only if you have Dutch License Plate.

Photo by Erwin Blekkenhorst|| Flickr

Rent a Car

This is definitely not the best option. Just do not rent a car if you plan to stay in Amsterdam. Parking is extremely expensive and driving around Amsterdam isn’t fun. There are thousands of bikes on every corner and they don’t really care about cars. When you visit Amsterdam you notice that there aren’t many cars on the streets in the city center. Most of the cars are taxis and local people’s cars. People I know from Amsterdam city center don’t have a car, because it doesn’t really make any sense.

Wrap up

The Best and The Cheapest Way to Get Around Amsterdam is by bike, but you can also use public transport, it’s well-organized and not that expensive. Parking your car maybe a little of a hustle, but if you go for P+R or park in free parking zones on Sunday you’ll be fine.

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