Driving and parking in some streets in the Netherlands can be challenging not only for the newcomers, but even for some locals as well.

Some streets are not only narrow but cars and bicycles share them simultaneously. This means if you are driving, you need to be very careful and precise with your movements to keep in the right track and avoid hitting the bicycle next to you, especially when you need to pass them. Although many locals are so used to this they don’t see it so much as a challenge, for most foreigners it can be complicated.

Traffic, Parking, and the Channels

During summer months, when the amount of people walking in the streets and bicycles in the transit is at its highest peak, in some areas (especially city centers) driving can be particularly chaotic and require an extra amount of patience and precision. Bicycles will be surrounding you, people will be coming into the streets all the time, and you will need to drive at their speed while being extremely careful.

The channels also become a part of the equation, mainly at the time of parking. The Dutch (most of them, although I have seen some asking others for help in this situations) are so used to it that they make it look very easy and normal, but you will be parking at the edge of a water channel, making your wheels about 10cm distant in parallel from the edge and thus from dropping into the water. And most Dutch do this in a minute, without sweating a drop. This still amazes me, and has convinced me that the Dutch must be amongst the best parking people in the world.

 

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