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I am visiting relatives in Amsterdam area in mid June and contemplating lodging in either downtown or near the airport. I will need a car or similar service to visit relatives. That being said, a Sixt auto rental is approximately $25 per day, however, it is unclear if I can park downtown or if the parking fee would be unreasonable.

In the past, parking the rental car was very practical, though we did not visit downtown.

If I take the train from AMS to downtown (Centraal) and rent the car from a Sixt downtown, what hassles and expensesshould I expect from a parking standpoint?

Ideally, I would be able to rent a car for 3 consecutive days and park the vehicle in the garage from which I rented it from.

Is there a better option? Thank you

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    What if you rent a different car every day? This way you won't have to pay the expenses for the car during the night, when you are back in the hotel. – fedorqui Apr 29 at 17:58
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The parking garage nearest Sixt at Central Station costs € 5 per 50 minutes, or € 55 per day. Other options downtown have similar rates.

This site (in Dutch) has an overview of all parking garages in Amsterdam.

The cheapest, and IMO most convenient option would be to use a P+R (Park and Ride). These are located outside the city center, but near public transport hubs. If you use public transport to go downtown, rates are € 8 per day, or as little as € 1 per day if you arrive after 10 AM. Otherwise normal rates of € 1.40 per hour apply. More details.

This is an index page containing all information about parking in Amsterdam.

  • Yikes! Parking downtown is almost double the rental car cost! – gatorback Apr 15 at 1:28
  • mind that the P+R parkings offer those rates only for short term parking and/or when you present a train ticket (they're basically sponsored by the national railways to service train stations). – jwenting Apr 15 at 4:16
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    @gatorback yes, and you'll also have to drive the car into the city center, which may not be the best idea in the first place. Your best bet will probably be to stay near the airport, or find a hotel that has a private parking lot, somewhere outside the city center. Amsterdam had excellent public transport, if you want to go downtown. – Berend Apr 15 at 6:53
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Parking in central Amsterdam is scarce and expensive.
Street parking is often restricted to badge holders and even then hard to find a spot near the house.

If you rent from a down town location, best ask them if they allow you to park overnight (or whatever hours) in their parking facilities. If they use a multi story car park which also allows people to just pull in, (not just long term users,) there is no reason not to use it.

Otherwise, you may want to consider the park and ride from one of the edge of city locations, there are several around the city, as it is a relatively cheap option with free public transport into the city. I do not know how well it will work overnight, as I have never needed for that.

  • I'd not trust the park and ride spots, especially in the dark of night. Having worked in Amsterdam a lot, I've seen enough to not want to be in many places alone after dark. – jwenting Apr 15 at 4:18

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