Winter is going away and everything begins to awake and bloom…a great time to visit Amsterdam as the days lengthen and warm.

Although if you visit the Netherlands any time of year, we have a great tip for saving money and experiencing the city just like locals! This year in January we decided to go to Amsterdam by car. Of course as a bike friendly and compact city centre, parking can be a problem and it can be rather pricey.

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

This time we stayed for 4 days and the actual time we had our car parked was 60 hours. Generally, it could cost 20+ € a day in some parts even more however, the landscape in Amsterdam is not primarily dedicated to car drivers. So, if you decide to go by car you may wish to plan of where to park your car. The best way to save money and park it in a safe place is using the P + R (which stands for Park and Ride) designated parking facilities that encircle the centre.

What is P + R and how does it work?

In Amsterdam, it is designed to encourage commuters to park in the outskirts of the city centre and ride into (and then back from) the centre on public transport.  Primarily, it is designed for local daily commuters to ease their journey and encourage drivers to not park in the city centre, helping to reduce pollution, congestion and traffic and prioritize public transport in the city.

P + R Pass

In order to use it you need to take into consideration the following:

  1. Time Limit – most of the P + R locations enable you to park up to 4 days for the discounted rate. After this time, you either need to re-park your car or you will end up paying the standard hourly parking rate, which vary per P + R location and it is quite expensive. Don’t forget, if you enter ether on public holidays, weekends and weekdays after 10 am (10:00) with a discount it costs only 1 euro per day. Or if you enter on weekdays before 10 am you will pay 8 € for the first 24 hours and then 1 € per 24 hours. For example, we parked at the Olympisch Stadion for 60 hours and because we took advantage of the P + R system, we paid only 3 € instead of around 180 €!
  2. Location – each location has its own regular parking fees, depending on its location and popularity with drivers; in case you overstay the discounted rate time limit of 4 days, this can be a consideration. The P + R we normally pick is P + R Olympisch Stadion just a six minutes’ drive from the CitizenM hotel where we usually stay. At that parking station, once you have overstayed your discounted rate (96 hours maximum) you have to pay the standard parking rate of  0.50 € per 9 minutes.
  3. The number of GVB public transport tickets – P + R GVB passes on public transport – We would recommend to buy 2 tickets for public transport per person – you are probably asking, why do I need 2 tickets? Can’t I use just one ticket per person? You may need more than one because each ticket is valid for only 2 trips (each trip up to an hour, including any transfers) – first trip into the centre, then second trip back to the parking station. To stay in Amsterdam and use the public transport system over a 3- 4 day visit, you will need to buy more tickets and the P + R discounted 2-trip tickets are much cheaper than regular GVB tickets purchased on trams or at metro stations, yet are limited to 2-trips per ticket.

Designed to encourage multi-passenger vehicles to park at these places, as the cost of buying the GVB tickets decreases the more you require. We bought 4 tickets, so that we could use one pair of tickets for the initial journey into the centre, and also the last day’s journey from the centre and the other pair for a trip into the centre on a subsequent day.

Remember there is a time-limit to buy the P + R GVB tickets, which is UP TO 1 HOUR AFTER YOU HAVE PARKED YOUR CARD!

Once you have bought your P+R GVB tickets don’t forget to check the GVB SYMBOL on your travel card before you hop on board. To use it correctly and obtain the discount rate, always check-in on a tram or metro station outside the centre, and check-out in the city centre. On return journey back to the parking station,, check-in within the central area and check out again near your P + R place, which are all outside the central zone.

GVB symbol

Don’t forget, if you want to secure the discount make sure that you do travel on public transport and check in/out using the ticket correctly, because if you don’t you will have to pay according to their regular parking rate!

The P + R GVB transport cards are valid up to a certain hour every day – from 6 am to 12:30 pm (06:00 – 00:30).

How much does the travel pass cost per person?

1 ticket:           5 €

2 tickets:         5 €

3 tickets:         5.90 €

4 tickets:         6.80 €

5 tickets:         7.70 €

Can I use the transport card on any public transport?

You can use your tickets on any public transport except for the local bus service. So if you want to take a bus rather use another travel card because tickets for a bus are sold on Connexxion buses.

Where exactly is the central zone?

Where are all the P + R locations ?

  • P + R Zeeburg 1 en 2
  • P + R ArenA (P1)
  • P + R RAI
  • P + R VUmc (weekend)
  • P + R Olympisch Stadion
  • P + R Bos en Lommer
  • P + R Sloterdijk

I have to say, having this done saved us a bunch of money and since now we will do it on every visit by car. You can find more information about prices and how it works in detail here

Hi guys! We are Milica and Daniel or Millie and Dan, a happy couple with Slovak-Australian origins that love to travel. But not just randomly! We explore to show other couples how to spend good times together and experience some of the best times wining, dining and enjoying places. Does it sound good to you? Read more and get inspired! Read our story here >>

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