Me and my girlfriend are travelling for 10 days in end of June in the Netherlands.

We plan to rent a car to go around. I hear that parking and driving in Brussels and Amsterdam is not so easy. Do you suggest some small cities/hotels outside Brussels and Amsterdam? We want to find some more quiet places, with maybe free parking, and easy public transportation to the city centers.

Basically we want to use the car to view the countryside, but also explore the cities without the hassle and cost of parking.

  • 5
    In Amsterdam, P+R could be a good solution, depending on your specific plan. You could still get a hotel in the center for a few days. Parking is rarely free in the Netherlands, even in smaller towns.
    – Relaxed
    May 9 '14 at 21:15
  • With quiet places, do you mean cities, or can it also be something else?
    – Bernhard
    May 10 '14 at 7:08
  • not necessarily cities. Even hotels in the countryside will do!
    – Aris
    May 10 '14 at 7:16
  • @ari looking for hotels is not well received here. Booking.com or airbnb are better resources for this purpose.
    – user141
    May 10 '14 at 8:08
  • mostly i am looking for convenient areas. not specific hotels.
    – Aris
    May 10 '14 at 8:55

This question is hard to answer. The first issue is the definition of "quiet" The area inbetween Amsterdam and Brussels is quite densely populated. Yet there are really nice and quite areas even in the cities them self. As @annoyed already mentions, parking is rarely free. In Dutch there is an expression that says that only the sun rises for free, meaning that there is always a catch if something is free. However, both in Amsterdam and Brussels free parking exists. The problem with these places is that you either need local knowledge to find or there is no or limited public transportation in the proximity.

In Brussels there is free parking in the proximity of the atomium and the neighbouring Jette. In Amsterdam you could try finding free parking around Durgerdam.

A better approach would be to find a hotel that offers free parking, or use the P+R Annoyed mentions in the comments. For 8 euro's per day you even get a tram/bus return ticket.

To answer your more generic question: let Google maps be your friend, there are quite a lot of decent options. Examples? Zeist, Kalmthout, Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Lage Vuursche, Lier, Namen, Hasselt, Haarlem, Breukelen (origin of Brooklyn!), Hoboken…

  • 2
    (+1) They changed the system a little, P+R is now EUR 8 for the first day (only EUR 1 if you come after 10:00 or in the week-end) and EUR 1 per day after that (but only up to 4 days…) but without the transit tickets. However, if you plan right (don't come early, don't stay too long), you can get four days parking for EUR 4!
    – Relaxed
    May 10 '14 at 9:56
  • that's really good tip!
    – Aris
    May 10 '14 at 16:53

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