Car hire in Amsterdam
Hiring a car in Amsterdam
There is nowhere quite like Amsterdam, which is why it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. With canals lined by beautiful houses, over 40 museums, plenty of entertainment and a thriving coffee shop scene, it's easy to see why people return to this city in Holland time and time again.
Amsterdam is filled to the brim with culture and has attractions all over the place so it is a good idea to hire a car in order to see as much as possible. Driving in Amsterdam can be a bit of a challenge, as the city centre is full of narrow streets, pedestrians and cyclists. However, car hire allows you to get around the city and the wider area in an easy way once you get used to it.
What you need to know
There are around a dozen different car hire companies operating in Amsterdam, with the choices available depending on where you are collecting your vehicle from. All the companies are rated as either 'excellent' or 'very good' so you know you're in safe hands no matter which company you choose.
You can make it easier to find the right car to suit your needs by using Holiday Autos' booking tool. This will show you what vehicles are available for the dates of your trip and ensures there are no hidden charges. You'll also benefit from 24/7 support and free cancellation.
Where to pick up your car
One of the easiest options in terms of where to collect your car is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). You'll find car hire desks at Schiphol Plaza behind Arrivals Three, making it simple to arrange your collection once you have picked up your luggage.
You can also collect your car from Amsterdam Central Train Station, with several car hire companies having offices close by. This will place you right in the heart of Amsterdam and is ideal if you've already arranged a train journey from the airport to the city.
Some companies have offices elsewhere in the city, so it is worth checking to see what option is most convenient for you prior to booking.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Amsterdam is a really fascinating city with so much history on offer. The whole place has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that will help you unwind more than a beach holiday. The vibrant city has well-known landmarks - such as the Anne Frank House - as well as some hidden gems, including the Torture Museum, which is found in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it location.
Staying in Amsterdam also opens the Netherlands up to you, with a number of small towns and villages close by. Hiring a car means that you can really take in what this liberal and interesting area has on offer, so be ready for a varied and fascinating trip.
One thing that Holland is known for is tulips, so why not head to one of the most beautiful gardens in order to see these flowers in full bloom? Keukenhof is known as the Garden of Europe, and for good reason. Located on the outskirts of Lisse and around 40 minutes away from the centre of Amsterdam via the A4, Keukenhof is the perfect place to go in spring. Appreciate all the bright patterns created by flowers while enjoying some food on a sunny patio in this gorgeous place.
You may also want to visit Haarlem, which is west of Amsterdam city centre and wonderfully picturesque. A short 30-minute drive on the N200 will take you to this wonderful location, which was established in 1245. Previously home to some of Holland's most famous painters, Haarlem is great just to wander around. Make sure you head to the main square though, as this is where you'll find the gothic structure of Grote Kerk.
While Amsterdam is filled with iconic buildings, they don't get more quintessentially Holland than the Windmills of Kinderdijk. The village of Kinderdijk is located between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, and is just 96km from Amsterdam central via the A2.
The windmills of the village are on the banks of the River Noord and have stood there since the 18th century. Fantastically preserved, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is incredibly beautiful and offers a glimpse into Holland's history.
Another great places to visit is Kampen, which is without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Holland. The historic town is found on the left bank of the IJssel and is just over an hour away via the A6. Previously one of the most important trading towns in the country, Kampen is now home to an array of stunning old buildings, including its iconic towers.
Top attractions in Amsterdam
No matter what type of holiday you want, you'll find plenty of attractions to fill your trip to Amsterdam with, especially if you're able to get around with a hire car.
Anne Frank House Museum
Possibly one of the most well-known places in Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House Museum. The emotional museum shows you where Anne and her family hid during WWII before they were discovered and taken to concentration camps. It was here that Anne wrote her now famous diary and the museum offers a poignant look into the city's turbulent past. Because the museum is so popular, it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance or arrive before it opens as the queue can get incredibly long.
Van Gogh Museum
Fans of art can't visit Amsterdam without going to the fantastic Van Gogh Museum. Housed in a truly unique building is an amazing collection of Van Gogh's works and a fascinating timeline of his life. Over 200 paintings, 700 letters and 500 drawings are showcased in the museum, as well as works by contemporary artists. Arrive early to avoid the long lines and plan to spend a day here.
You can't miss the wonderfully picturesque canals that run throughout Amsterdam. They are lined by tall and wonderfully historic townhouses that offer a colourful backdrop to the vibrant city. To really appreciate the network of waterways and to take in all that Amsterdam has to offer at your leisure, park your car and hop onto one of the canal cruises.