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Why carry an IDP while driving in Netherlands?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.

It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Netherlands highly recommends an International Driving Permit.

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Top Destinations in the Netherlands

It is not easy to rank the destinations in the Netherlands because each site has its own unique story and appeal. Brush through the list below for popular road trip stops in the Netherlands.

Markthall

Located in Rotterdam, Markthall is one of the world’s most iconic food market. You can find all the local delicacies from appetizers, fruits, vegetables, pastries, main courses, and desserts. They even have fresh produce delivered every day straight from the farms! And, you can have them cooked and served for you in designated dining areas.

This indoor market also features a design praised by a lot of artists. Outside you will see a high, glass-cladding, arch-type roof that helps in the building’s ventilation, and inside, you will see the world’s most oversized artwork covering the building’s ceiling.

It would be good to remember that before visiting Markthall, you may want to prepare your stomach a little more, so you’ll have more space to welcome lots and lots of goodies. The market is open every day from 10:00 am - 8:00 pm, except for Sundays when opening hours are from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Zutphen

This central city is a sweet area for a more relaxed day out. You can have a quiet stroll through the streets in between century-old courtyards and castles; smell the fresh autumn leaves falling from the large canopies; savor the best afternoon coffee you’ll have along the river; or drink wine atop the hill with the most scenic views of the Netherlands’ lush nature reserves.

Zutphen is what people call a very underrated city. The food alone in the area is something worth driving to. Here are some of the most recommended restaurants by past visitors:

  • Driekant Broodcafe
  • Van Rossum’s Koffie
  • Cafe Camelot
  • Volkshuis
  • IJssalon Talamini Zutphen
  • Efeze
  • The Rough Meat Company
  • Genietcafe Zutphen
  • Vaticano

There are also restaurants that are focused on other international cuisines. This includes Greek, Indonesian, Chinese, and French, to name a few. So if ever you’re craving for more specialized foods, Zutphen is your place.

Flevoland

If science and engineering spark so much joy in you, head on over to Flevoland. The government has reclaimed about ⅓ of the entire land area of the Netherlands. The majority of this is what is now Flevoland. Here, you will see the ingenuity of the Dutch when it comes to sustainable infrastructure development.

Apart from that, this fishing village preserves many historical artifacts that you can view in the different museums, including shipwrecks that were discovered when they first reclaimed the area!

Flevoland is about 49 minutes away from the capital city of Amsterdam. You can take public transportation, or drive yourself by car.

Alkmaar

One (1) word that may also come to mind when we speak about the Netherlands is cheese. Lots of cheese! If you’re one of those people who cannot live without this mouthwatering goodness, the Alkmaar Cheese Market will be heaven for you. An average of 2,400 cheese wheels are sold in the Alkmaar Market every week, and it is coupled by festive traders and crowds.

Apart from going on a cheese-tasting adventure, you’ll also learn and see how Gouda cheese is being made traditionally and mechanically. The market is located in Waagplein and is open between 10 00 am - 12:30 pm on all Fridays from April to September.

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank is a Holocaust victim who died in the Nazi Concentration Camps during World War II. This child became a household name because of her written accounts that detailed the events of the second world war. Her Jewish family went into hiding for two(2) years, and this was when she started to write about her thoughts, events, and feelings.

The Anne Frank house is located in Prinsengracht 263, Amsterdam. If you visit the museum, you’ll get the chance to see the “Secret Annex” behind the revolving bookshelf where she and her family took shelter.

The Anne Frank House is open from 12:00 pm - 7:00 during the weekdays and 9:00 am - 7:00 pm on the weekends. Museum tickets can only be bought online as you’ll need to choose a specific time slot.

Maastricht

The City of Maastricht is famous for its network of underground tunnels. These tunnels and caves are open to the public via a guided tour and sprawl through a large underground area of the city. The tunnels are accessible via St. Pietersberg Hill, Zonneberg Caves, and Fort St. Peter. You’ll need to book in advance online because not all three (3) entrances are open every day.

Apart from tunnels, did you know that the European Union started in Maastricht? It was through the Treaty of Maastricht that gave way to more comfortable border controls between EU countries. There is just so much history in Maastricht that a trip to the area may provide the highlight of your Netherlands road trip.

Amsterdam Canal Belt

The 49.89km canal network of Amsterdam is a must-go for both foreign visitors and local residents. If you search for photos of Amsterdam online, the first thing you’ll probably see are pictures with the canals in the background.

In the summer, you can paddle through or take a guided tour of the canals, while in the winter, you can skate through the icy-surface. The canals are lined with historic buildings, including boathouses, museums, and restaurants that you can only enter by riding a boat in the channels.

The Canal Belt is a very accessible destination as it is only found within the Netherlands’ capital city. So don’t miss this one-of-a-kind UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Van Gogh Museum

If you are an art enthusiast, it might be impossible for you not to know who Vincent van Gogh is. The famous “Starry Night” oil on canvass has been a popular inspiration for so many artists. This is also true for his other notable works. The Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands does not house the original Starry Night, but it houses other important memorabilia of the artist, including his letters. The museum also displays the most number of Van Gogh’s artworks, so you can expect that you might be spending more than an hour inside.

The museum is located within Amsterdam, and if you drive to the area, you can park your car at the Q-park. The museum is from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on the weekdays and 9:00 am - 6:00 pm on the weekends.

Most Important Road Rules in the Netherlands

Now that you’ve read our recommendations on where to go initially, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the different road rules next. Although the Netherlands has a very efficient public transportation system, nothing beats traveling around the country with your car. For one, you’ll not anymore put effort into identifying where to ride the bus/train/tram and where to alight. Below are some of the most critical road rules.

Legal Driving Age in the Netherlands

The minimum legal driving age in the Netherlands is 17. Drivers who are 17 years old must be accompanied by another licensed driver who is at least 27 years old. However, if you’ve reached the age of 18, you wouldn’t need to have a chaperone anymore.

In addition, the minimum legal driving age does not set the standard for car rental companies' eligibility. Renters need to be at least 21 years old in order to rent a car.

Speed Limits

To maintain the impressive road safety record of the Netherlands, all drivers should maintain responsible driving. This includes driving below the speed limits. In addition, when driving anywhere in the world, other road users’ safety should be a priority, so be mindful of the speed limits of the area you’re driving to. Below are the speed limits in the Netherlands:

  • Motorways - 120km/hr
  • Main roads - 100km/hr
  • Built-up areas - 50km/hr
  • Other roads - 80km/hr

Specific or specialized vehicles are also set with specific speed limits wherever they go in the country. For example, microcars are only allowed up to a maximum of 45km/hr, while motor-assisted bicycles are only allowed up to a maximum of 25km/hr.

Drinking and Driving Rules in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country of specially crafted beers. If you know what a Heineken is, the Netherlands is its birthplace. A beer and wine tour in the country is an adventure in itself, but you have to remember to drink moderately, especially when you’re driving. The Dutch government only allows the following maximum alcohol concentrations:

  • 220 micrograms of alcohol per liter of breath
  • 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per milliliter of blood

If you get caught with more than the allowable alcohol limit, you’ll run the risk of having your driving license impounded until you leave the country.

International Driver’s License in Netherlands

The international driving license - Netherlands is a valid translation of your native driver’s license. If you plan on renting a car and driving in the Netherlands, an IDP will facilitate a smooth driving experience. Plus, an IDP in the Netherlands is usable in other countries worldwide as long as they ratified either the Vienna and Geneva Convention on Road Traffic.

Do I Need a foreign driving licence valid in the Netherlands?

A foreign driving licence is required in Netherlands for visitors who come from a country where the language is not written using the Roman Alphabet. Specifically, if your native driver’s license is not written in Dutch, your foreign driving license for the Netherlands in English translation will be necessary. You’ll need an international driver's license in all Netherlands zip codes.

In addition, the IDP will help you explain your driving licence in case road authorities will require you to present one, and it will help you rent a car faster. In short, to answer your question on “Do I need a foreign driving licence valid in Netherlands,” yes, you definitely do.

Are There Any Other Benefits of having an international driving licence valid in Netherlands?

There are indeed other benefits of owning an international driving permit. The Netherlands, as you may know, is a country bounded by Germany to the east and Belgium to the south. You can actually extend your travel to these countries by driving the same car you used in the Netherlands, and it wouldn’t be a problem! Just as long as you arrange that with your car rental company first.

What Are the Requirements for the International Driver’s Permit - Netherlands?

To apply for an International Driving Permit in Netherlands, you’ll have to meet the following criteria:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Have a valid driver’s permit
  • Have a credit card or Paypal account for payment

How Do You Apply for an international driving licence valid in Netherlands?

You can secure an international driving permit valid in the Netherlands, online. An international driving licence valid for the Netherlands is printed like a passport where you’ll have multiple pages in one (1) document.

You can find many international driving permit websites for Netherlands, including ours, the International Drivers Association. Nevertheless, the IDA can provide you with the fastest processing times for your foreign driving licence. All you need to do is click on the “Start My Application” on our website and follow the short six(6) step process. You'll get your IDP within 20 minutes or two(2) hours. Apart from the requirements mentioned above, also prepare a passport-sized photo.

Before traveling to the Netherlands, double-check border controls and travel restrictions first. Furthermore, you’ll also see a more extended discussion on the different road rules, driving etiquettes, and getting an international driver's permit for the Netherlands online in the article.

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