Hiring a car in Amsterdam

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Hiring a car in Amsterdam

Pick up your hire car at Amsterdam airport and prepare to chill out in Europe's most laid-back city.

60-second guide to Amsterdam

in its own head

"Like the ultimate girl next door, we're beautiful and cool, with hidden depths. No wonder everybody loves us!"

but more realistically

To say the whole world is in love with Amsterdam might be pushing it, but most people who visit are smitten by what is probably the most laid-back capital city in the world.

the vibe

There's always the feeling that anything's possible in Amsterdam. Twenty minutes after arriving, you'll seriously consider moving here.

the natives

Friendly, chilled and blessed with seemingly endless patience. Even the police are polite.

the weather

Technically, the weather follows northern European seasons but it can be rather unpredictable, with torrential downpours in the heat of summer, so pack a brolly.

the local speciality

You haven't lived until you've tried the chips and peanut butter/mayonnaise combo on offer in Amsterdam.

the celebrity

Dutch painter Rembrandt is Amsterdam's most famous former resident, while footballers Dennis Bergkamp, Johan Cruijff, Ruud Gullit and Patrick Kluivert all hail from the city.

did you know?

Amsterdam has more than a million bikes but only 700,000 people.

they say

"In Amsterdam the water is the mistress and the land the vassal. Throughout the city there are as many canals and drawbridges as bracelets on a Gypsy's bronzed arms" - Spanish author Felix Marti-Ibanez

5 to see in town...

1. van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam has the world's largest collection of the one-eared wonder's works. Most of them can be found here, along with lots of other 19th-century works of art.

where to park?

The nearest car park is the Q-Park Museumplein, which costs €3.40 an hour.

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2. Anne Frank's House

This museum tells the story of Anne Frank in a way that gives you a real insight into what life was like for people both inside and outside the Secret Annex during the Nazi occupation.

where to park?

You can park your hire car at the Q-Park Europa car park in Marnixstraat for €2.60 per hour.

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3. Magere Brug

Diamonds Are Forever

where to park?

You can park your hire car at the Parking Amsterdam Centre car park, next to the central train station, for €3.40 an hour.

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4. Royal Palace

Built as city hall during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, this enormous building dominates Dam Square in the centre of the city. It's closed until June for renovation, but the imposing classical exterior is still worth a look.

where to park?

Park at the De Bijenkorf Car Park for €3.40 an hour.

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5. Oude Kerk

The oldest church in Amsterdam, this excellently Gothic building has more than 10,000 people buried under its floor.

where to park?

Park at the nearby De Kolk Car park for €3.80 an hour.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Delft

If you're into pottery, you'll go for this town like a bull in a china shop. Otherwise it's the perfect place to get gifts for Gran.

how to get there?

Head south-east on the A4 for around 30 miles. It'll take you about an hour.

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2. The Hague

In contrast to the edginess and excitement of Amsterdam, The Hague has a more genteel feel, with large areas of green, seven miles of coastline and attractive shopping streets. It's home to the International Court of Justice - definitely don't commit a crime here.

how to get there?

Head south-east on the A4, then north-west on the A12. It's about an hour's drive.

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3. Brussels

A skip over the border into Belgium is the unassuming and quietly beautiful capital of Europe. And it's not all politics - there's also the world's largest collection of Iguanodon skeletons at the excellent Royal Museum of Natural History. And did we mention the chocolate?

how to get there?

Head south on the A2 then join the A27, heading towards Antwerp. Enter Belgium on the E19, then head for Brussels on the A1. The drive will take you around two hours.

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4. Keukenhof

Coffee shop? Done. Clogs? In the bag. Next stop on the must-see tour of Holland is this tulip farm, where a whopping 70 acres are dedicated to bulb growing.

how to get there?

Go south-west on the A4, heading towards The Hague, then take the N207 towards Lisse. Keukenhof is a few miles from Lisse. It's a 40-minute drive.

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