Rotterdam, located in the Dutch province of South Holland, is the second largest city in the country. It’s known as the EU’s largest seaport, thanks to the Port of Rotterdam which stretches over 40 km. With over a million residents, thousands of people coming to the city for work daily, and high tourist traffic each year, parking in Rotterdam can be quite costly. Read on for practical information and helpful tips on where best to park when you visit this amazing city.
Where to Park in Rotterdam – Parking Zones and Prices
Just like in Amsterdam, Rotterdam is divided into parking zones.
The closer you are to the city center (black zones on the map), the more expensive the parking rates. (As of this writing, parking in the black zone costs €4.26 per hour.) Here are other options for you.
Street Parking in Rotterdam
One in three Rotterdamers has a car so although there are street parking options available, they’re (1) mostly reserved for residents, and are (2) the most expensive parking option. Further, there’s a maximum parking time applied on these streets.
Stop and Shop Parking in Rotterdam
In order to support shopkeepers, Rotterdam has a special Stop and Shop parking scheme. On certain shopping streets, there are special parking zones where you can park for a low rate for the first half hour. Beyond that, the regular street rates apply.
P+R Parking (Free Parking in Rotterdam)
P+R Parking, which means Parkeren en Reizen (Parking + Travel), is as close to free parking in Rotterdam as you can get. There are 15 P+R zones in Rotterdam in total and you can park your vehicle or motorcycle here for free.
The point of P+R Parking is to reach Rotterdam but don’t use your vehicle inside the city center. You must continue your journey into Rotterdam using public transportation. Note that this is a MUST. That is, you need to use the Dutch OV-chipkaart (Openbaar Vervoer chipkaart, or public transport chip card) to prove that you traveled further after parking. Otherwise, you will have to pay € 0.50 per 17 minutes or the max daily parking rate of € 18.00. Furthermore, you cannot park here for longer than 72 hours. If you do, you’ll be charged normal parking rates.
Parking Garages in Rotterdam
If you want to park closer to the city, then there are parking garages scattered all over the city. There are 35 district parking garages and 17 public municipal car parks.
District parking garages are for local residents and for companies with addresses in Rotterdam. The public municipal car parks are what you can use as a visitor. They are operated by Q-park , APCOA PARKING , Interparking , ParkingYou and Parkking, and they’re marked with the green P and the logo of the municipality.
The rates differ per garage and every operator has their own ‘deals’ so it’s best to check their sites to see which offer is the best for your travel plans. For example, if you plan to visit the popular Euromast, Q-Park Schiecentrale offers 24-hour parking for just €12.50 per day. If you prefer to be right at the heart of the city center, Q-Park parking offers can be as much as €25 per day. (Please note that for many of these offers, you need to make an online reservation.)
Interparking, another parking garage operator in Rotterdam, has offers such as Evening Parking and Flex Parking. Evening Parking is parking your vehicle between 06:00 pm till 01:00 am and you can enter and exit the garage only once. (Rates are around €10 per night.) Flex Parking is parking for multiple days with unlimited entry and exit. (Rates are around €22.50 per 24 hours.)
How to Pay for Parking in Rotterdam
There are various ways you can pay for parking in Rotterdam.
- Pay at a parking meter. When you enter a parking garage, a parking ticket is issued to you. When you’re ready to leave, use the same ticket at parking meters centrally located within the parking garage to pay either by cash, with PIN, or credit card.
- Pay with a discount card. Rotterdam offers parking discount cards! You can get one here. Just change the location to suit your needs. (Note: You need to purchase a discount card before you park to be able to use it.)
|Product||Rates (including VAT)|
|‘2 hours for 3 euros’ discount card||€3|
|‘5 hours for 6.5 euros’ discount card||€6.50|
|‘Day out’ discount card (10 hours of parking)||€10.50|
|Hotel discount card (24 hours parking with unlimited entry and exit)||€19|
Rotterdam Parking Tips
Rotterdam Airport Parking
Rotterdam The Hague Airport may not be as big as Schiphol in Amsterdam, but it still sees its own share of international travel. Options include the following:
- Short-term parking at P2 and P5 parking areas.
- Long-term parking at P3 and P4 parking areas.
- P1 Business Parking, which is just one minute away from the terminal.
Parking rates depend on how long you stay. To reserve a Rotterdam airport parking slot, click here.
European Disability Parking Card
Make sure to get the European Disability Parking Card if you have a disability or are traveling in Rotterdam with someone who does. It will let you park in designated parking spaces for the disabled on the street and in parking garages. (Note that you will still need to pay related parking fees).
Parking for Electric Cars
Are you driving an electric car? If so, check to see if you can charge it where you park. Even though the Netherlands has one of the best charging systems in Europe, there aren’t many public parking spots where you can charge your car. Check this map for charging stations throughout the city.