In a country where conserving historical city centres trumps large, ample parking spaces (and rightfully so), parking in the Netherlands can sometimes be a challenge. The introduction of Park and Ride (P+R) facilities have been a welcome addition. For example, you can park at the Amsterdam Arena for eight Euros a day and then you even get public transport cards for up to five people that will ensure you get to the city centre with ease.
But the best P+R that I have come across so far has got to be the P+R Haagweg in Leiden. It was recommended to me the first time I visited the city for the Glass House.
The word easy doesn’t do it justice. Once you park your car, you hop into one of the waiting mini-buses that will take you to wherever in the city you need to go. And don’t think you need to sit there until the bus is full – they have several, so they regularly will leave as soon as you get in.
When you have finished your day and are struggling to walk due to all the shopping bags, you don’t even have to make it back to a bus stop. Nope, you just pull out your parking card, call the number on it and tell the office where you are. They then send a mini-bus out to collect you and I have never had to wait longer than about five minutes for it to arrive.
Like I said…the word easy just doesn’t describe it well enough!