It is really fun to drive around the city of Austin. What’s less fun, however, is the task of finding affordable spots for parking. There is no shortage of parking meters or parking lots across Austin, but they tend to get sold out as soon as they become available. When it comes to popular parking spots like Downtown Austin, the South Congress Bridge, and Austin Convention Center, parking can get tricky. To make sure you don’t end up having to go around the city looking for affordable Austin parking, we have you covered with accessible parking deals at some of the best parking garages in Austin.
Street Parking in Austin
Street parking in Austin is enforced by parking meters, operated, and managed by the Austin Transportation’s Parking Enterprise Division. Because Austin has plenty of city parking restrictions and ordinances in effect, street parking does tend to get confusing at times. However, the basic parking rules are more or less the same as what’s applicable across most states. Just remember that you need to make sure that you follow the rules like residential parking laws, back-in to back parking spaces, and stay clear from parking at neighborhoods that have front yard parking ordinances active when it comes to Austin parking. Failure to keep tabs on any of these could land you in trouble with an Austin parking ticket.
Best Austin Parking Spots
Austin has one of the most flexible parking systems in all of the country. A recent update on on-street parking that came out during late August has further improved this aspect. However, popular parking zones like downtown still has limitations of vacant parking spots due to people working around the area taking the street parking spots throughout the day. You can always find plenty of offsite parking spots by logging into websites like Way.com. Alternatively, having access to a parking app can also help you save lots of time, money, and unnecessary hassles when it comes to Austin parking.
Is there Free Parking in Austin?
Yes. You can park for free on weekends or during the night after the meters stop charging across Austin. When going for street parking, double-check to see if the neighborhood you are parking in does not have any restricted front yard or side yard parking ordinances in effect. You could end up picking a parking citation if you park in the front yard or side yard of a neighborhood that has the ordinance active. You can park at meters on Sundays throughout Austin for free. Here are the hours of metered parking:
Monday-Wednesday: 8 am – 6 pm
Thursday-Friday: 8 am-midnight
Saturday: 11 am-midnight
What are the Rates for Street Parking in Austin?
Street parking in Austin is enforced by parking meters with a flat rate per hour across all the metered parking spots in the city. Austin has always had a flexible parking meter system in place. On September 1, 2020, the parking rates were again revamped to a much more budget-friendly system. The update allows visitors to park their cars for as low as $2 for the first hour. After the first hour is done, the charges will be as follows:
|Parking Session||Hourly Rate|
|10th (maximum time in a single parking session)||$5.00|
If you are looking for even cheaper options for Austin parking, you need to check out the numerous off-street Austin city parking garages spread across the city.
Austin City Parking Guide for Parking Near Popular Austin Attractions
Downtown Austin Parking
Downtown Austin continues to remain a headache for residents and visitors alike when it comes to parking. Downtown, unlike the rest of the city, is a hub of business and related enterprises. Most of these establishments have employees who park downtown throughout the day. Due to this, Austin parking spaces downtown tend to get sold out pretty fast. Your best alternative in such situations would be to reserve an Austin parking spot in advance. Websites like Way.com provide plenty of Austin city parking options at some of the lowest possible rates.
South Congress Bridge Austin Parking
The South Congress Bridge is one of the most visited Austin attractions of the city. People flock into the spectacular shows put in by flocks of bats who have made the bridge their home. The South Congress Bridge is a popular place frequented by hundreds of visitors regularly. The task of finding affordable parking near the South Congress Bridge quite difficult. It would be a good idea to book a parking spot near the South Congress Bridge, well in advance before heading out to avoid unnecessary delays.
Austin Convention Center Parking
Another popular destination in Austin frequented by visitors in large numbers has to be the Neal Kocurek Memorial Austin Convention Center. The Austin Convention Center is your go-to place for entertainment events like music, international conferences, and film festivals. Getting parking in the area, especially when sell-out events are happening in the area, is not as easy as you’d think. To make sure you don’t get caught out without an Austin parking spot, book your Austin parking space through the Way App in advance.
All You Need to Know About Austin Parking
Street parking in Austin is enforced and managed by Austin Transportation’s parking enterprise division and divided primarily into two types. Paid-onsite parking and offsite parking. Paid onsite parking is available across downtown, Welsh Landing, South Austin, East Austin, Central North, and Mueller. On-street Austin parking rates typically range anywhere from $3 – $5 with a maximum time limit of 10 hours. Off-street Austin parking is offered across the many off-street parking lots located in and around the city. The most popular off-street parking lots are the I-35 parking lot, MoPac parking lot, and the Emma S Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Central parking lot.
It should be noted that Austin Transportation or the City of Austin does not regulate or enforce parking on the Texas University Campus or State Capitol Complex building. The Austin city parking meters are also not enforced on holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Fourth of July, and New Year’s Day. Drivers are also requested to stay away from parking on 6th Street between Brazos Street and Red River from 9 pm to 3 am. Vehicles found parked in this restricted area will be towed away by the Austin Police Department during the mentioned time.
Things to Remember Before Parking in Austin
Back-in Only Austin Parking
Austin has parking locations that are earmarked for back-in-street parking only. While the rates for back-in parking are the same as regular street parking fares in Austin, back-in parking lots require the driver to back into a parking spot. While it can be difficult to park at back-in street parking lots, as the drivers must put the car in reverse and park facing the traffic, it is much easier to leave the parking spot once you are done with your Austin street parking.
Front Yard Parking Restrictions in Austin
Many of the Austin neighborhoods had adopted front yard parking ordinances that prevent you from parking in the front yard or side yards of a residential property. You are still allowed to park on a paved driveway or paved parking space, but parking anywhere within the front yard or side yard boundaries. You can check out the list of neighborhoods that have adopted front yard ordinances here.
Austin Parking Holidays
New Year’s Day – January 1
Labor Day – September 7
Independence Day – July 4
Thanksgiving Day – November 26
Christmas Day – December 25
Things to Look Out for While Parking in Austin
- Do not park at red curbs. They are reserved exclusively for firefighters.
- Parking spaces in and around Congress have ‘back-in parking’ only. Vehicles found breaching this rule will be slapped with parking tickets.
- Do not park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or park in a way that the fire hydrant becomes inaccessible.
- If you plan to park overnight in a metered parking space, make sure that overnight parking fares are paid in advance.
Looking for more parking options in the city? Way.com has you covered – get online or book your parking space through our iOS or Android apps now!