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City Camps

City Camps

These are set up in major cities and are usually only open in the busy seasons. They are normally very basic temporary camps set up especially for motorhomers to visit the city. The only thing going for them is the location they are conveniently close to the city and transport . We have been to city camps in Riga, Tallinn, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Barcelona and Vilnius. I have been told that there is one in Amsterdam. People come, visit the city and go again, they are not pleasant places to stay as they can be very basic and some are in industrial areas.It is either camp close to the city or camp further out and spend time and money catching public transport into town. Below is a brief description of the ones that we have stayed in.

Riga [Latvia] : This is in an industrial area and is fenced off with a security guard 24 hours of the day. They have quite good showers and toilets but the internet is not free. It is within walking distance to the city but we went on our bikes. It does have some lawn area to park on. Riga is well worth a visit we spent a couple of days there and went on a walking tour which explained a lot the history of what we were seeing.

Tallinn [Estonia] : This city camp is also in an industrial area. The showers had only flimsy curtains between the cubicles with no place to put your clothes separately, not for shy people. It is a fair walk to the town but there is a bus on the main road. The surface is all bitumen and the wifi was free. We rode our bikes into town which was an easy ride. We stayed in this camp for the first night and then moved to a carpark near to where the ferry leaves, it was only 2€ for 24hours.

Stockholm [Sweden] : This camp was under a noisy bridge and the sites were all gravel, there was no wifi and the showers and toilets were in a portable building, adequate but not really good. It is a short bike ride to the centre of the city and could easily be walked.

Copenhagen [Denmark] : This was a section of a parking lot near to a large shopping mall. It was fenced off, had Wi-Fi and again the showers and toilets were portable buildings. It was close to the hop on hop off boat terminal and within easy bike ride to the city.

Barcelona [Spain] : This site was in a section of a large truck parking area. It was dirty, the showers did not empty properly and there were electrical cords running out from only a few outlets. The only plus is that it was close to the hop on hop off bus service that we used to visit the city. They did have a security guard that rode on a scooter patrolling the carpark.

Vilnius [Lithuania] : Here there was a large grass area to park on and some trees for shade. We rode into the city but it would have been a long walk. The showers and toilets were again portable building but were clean and adequate. No wifi.

Amsterdam [Netherlands] : We found the site very easy to find situated on the north side of Amsterdam and we didn’t have to drive through the city. A ticket booth is located at the entrance where you pay by credit card, after selecting the site, number of days that you want to stay and if you would like to have electricity. In 2014 we paid 15 euros for the site and 3 euros for power. There is free Wi-Fi on the site which you access using the code on your ticket which you get out of the machine. The Ticket also allows you to come and go from the site using a personal access gate. The site is secure with a high fence and cameras throughout the site. About 700 meters from the site there is the ferry which takes you to the central railway station in the heart of the old town. The ferry is free and the times vary according to the time of day. If you miss the ferry there is a bakery which makes great coffee, we had to use one day when we had to wait and it was raining.
We found the easiest way to get around Amsterdam was by bike. The ferry takes bikes as well as scooters and motorbikes. There are plenty of bike paths but be aware the Dutch are used to the paths and can ride at incredible speeds.
We stayed in a campsite just on the outskirts of Amsterdam and it cost us 16 euros but to buy a day ticket on public transport would have cost us 7 euros each and we didn’t have the flexibility of taking our bikes.
The City Camp does not have showers but they have free water and a place to empty your toilet and grey water. While we were on site there was a person who could give assistance, he was not the owner but someone who lives there for free in exchange for helping out the motorhomers.
We really enjoyed our stay in Amsterdam but I would advise that you allow a few days as there is lots to see.

We have stayed in campsites outside of the cities and it has taken us about 45 minutes to commute to get in and the same to get back. You need to decide whether the convenience of a city camp outweighs the traveling time and the often low standards of the camps.

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