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NYC Parking Guide: How to Find Parking in New York City

  • City Parking
  • Renee Martin
  • 12 minutes

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Parking in a city can be stressful, and nowhere else is that more true than in New York City. The Big Apple is notorious for its traffic. The gridlocked streets, the reckless taxi drivers, the out-of-towners who are completely lost but trying their best anyway…it all adds up to one big traffic mess. And when it comes time to park? Well, you have all the tens of thousands of people rushing into the city to compete for approximately 4 million NYC parking spots. There are literally no odds in your favor. After all, New York City is one of the most heavily ticketed cities in the country.

New York City Parking Info

To make your parking experience in NYC significantly easier, we’ve put together a one-stop guide to all things parking in New York City, across all five boroughs.

New York parking

New York City Parking Tips

Parking in New York City: The Basics

Regardless of where you are in the city, you want to make sure you follow some basic, common-sense guidelines. Not following the rules is a surefire way to get yourself a nice souvenir to remember your trip by — a ticket. Just remember…

– Never double park your vehicle.

– Do not park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, no matter the signage that’s around. If there’s a fire hydrant, don’t go within 15 feet of it.

– Do not trust the first sign you see. Always look diligently around your car for temporary signage that can change due to construction and a number of other factors.

What does alternate side parking in NYC mean?

In NYC, they have this nifty thing called alternate side parking. Basically, it means that cars are only allowed to park on one side of the street at certain times. This is to create a smoother flow of traffic and space for the street cleaners. Across the five boroughs, alternate side parking rules are generally in effect once or twice a week, During those times, sides of the street are blocked off for around two or three hours. Alternate-side parking rules do not apply to religious and legal holidays or during weather emergencies.

What street parking signs should I look out for in NYC?

There are tons of different street parking signs throughout New York City. Make sure you’re looking out for street cleaning, no parking anytime, no standing (aka, no idling), and no stopping (seriously, none) signs. Some of these signs will have specific hours, and others will apply to all days and times.

What about New York City parking garages?

There are more than a thousand off-street parking garages in Manhattan alone. If you’re visiting New York City from out of town, garage parking may be a much more attractive option for you, as it’s convenient, guaranteed legal, and often safer for both you and your car. Additionally, in many cases, parking in a garage is more affordable than parking at a meter, especially in high-traffic areas near popular attractions on holidays and during special events.

Parking Downtown New York City:

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Downtown and Lower Manhattan is very popular for both business and leisure visitors, as it’s just steps away from Wall Street, but also home to desirable attractions such as the 9/11 Memorial. However, this means there are lots of crowds in Downtown New York City and Lower Manhattan, and that includes the streets. Street parking is limited, and there are lots of restrictions regarding street parking. A good rule of thumb to remember is that the further away from the center of the district that you travel, the more parking you’ll find. Meters charge $3.50 per hour Monday through Saturday. Unmetered street parking is free. Garage parking is much more readily available, with day rates starting around $20.

New York City Upper East Side Parking

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This affluent neighborhood gives guests access to famous spots such as Central Park and the Met. But how easy is it to park there?

Surprisingly, it’s not too bad. If you want street parking, though, you’re going to have to hunt for it. It can take up to an hour of driving around block after block to find something suitable. However, there are plenty of convenient garages that allow you to book your parking spot in advance before prices rise on the weekends. If you do have your heart set on street parking, though, you can usually find more spots available during the mornings, and street parking is free on Sundays.

East Village Parking

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The East Village is a very popular hipster neighborhood that has a little more of a residential feel in comparison to some of the more crowded, tourist-trappy neighborhoods of Manhattan. As such, parking isn’t too difficult to find in the East Village.

Metered parking starts at $3.50 an hour and is free on Sundays, but make sure you keep an eye on meter signage, as the rules are subject to change. Overnight parking is generally permitted, and parking after 7 p.m. every day is free.

There are many economical garages in the area.

Chelsea Parking

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Chelsea is similarly trendy, but it’s quickly becoming very popular — both with locals and visitors — with its attractive dining options, green spaces, shopping, and new hotels.

Garages are not plentiful, but they do exist and are sometimes the preferred option, as they give you an easy place to park and know that you won’t be towed! Many also offer valet services. There are several parking garages under the “iPark” brand.
For street parking, the further south you drive, the more likely you are to find a spot.

SoHo Parking

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SoHo is an artsy neighborhood with a slightly residential and upscale feel. Garage parking is relatively easy to come by. But it does come at a premium (think daily rates that go anywhere from $25 to $50).

There are no metered alternate side parking restrictions in SoHo like you’ll find in the rest of the city. Still, most of the Soho parking that is available is reserved for businesses, and that doesn’t mean customers — it means commercial vehicles. So, unless you have a commercial vehicle, you might be out of luck.

For this reason, most people choose to go with a parking garage option — even the local residents.

Parking in New York City’s Boroughs:

Brooklyn Parking


Parking in Brooklyn can be tricky but still doable…if you know what you’re doing.

Street parking is free for everyone unless there is specific signage or meters indicating otherwise. In the event you find a street spot with a meter, the meter will have its rates posted. Depending on where you park, there will be a limit to how long you can park, from 1 to 12 hours. Most meters start at $1 per hour.

Even though Brooklyn is a New York City borough, it has its own distinct neighborhoods. Each of these unique neighborhoods has its own unique parking situation. For example, in the more suburban areas of Brooklyn, like Dyker Heights, most residents have their own garage or driveway, so you can find street parking relatively easier than you might elsewhere. The absolute worst neighborhood for Brooklyn parking is Downtown Brooklyn, and for obvious reasons — it’s crowded, you’re near tons of high-traffic attractions, and you’re right near some of the other busiest neighborhoods. Also, most of the residents own a vehicle. It’s the perfect storm to lead to fewer available parking spots for out-of-towners.

The most important thing to remember when parking in Brooklyn, then? Try to park toward the suburbs, if you can.

Queens Parking

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Street parking in Queens differs wildly according to what part of Queens you find yourself in. Some neighborhoods are filled with residences and stores and few public transit hubs. So there are oodles of cars that are looking for spots and garages. Other neighborhoods are more suburban, so street parking is easy.

The closer to Long Island you go, the easier it is to find parking.  Better yet — the street parking signs are generally very easy to understand.  And your chances of getting a ticket are way lower than they might be in another one of New York City’s boroughs.

However, if you go from just “close to Long Island” and actually wind up in Long Island City, well, then you’re in for some parking trouble. The booming center of activity is just as difficult for parking as Downtown Brooklyn.

Thankfully, there are dozens of parking garages, so you can nearly always find one that fits your needs.

Bronx Parking

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Good Bronx parking can be difficult to find, especially when there are so many people squeezed into such a small space. Do you absolutely need to take your car from Manhattan or one of the other boroughs into the Bronx? Are you unable to just leave your car at a Manhattan garage and then take the subway? If yes,  it’s best that you book a garage spot in advance versus looking for a street spot. While cheap, they can be very difficult to find. Try the 1855 East Tremont Avenue parking garage, where the rates start at $5 per hour.

Staten Island Parking

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If you’re visiting Staten Island from New York City, chances are you live there, know someone there, or are taking an extended stay. Otherwise, it just makes more sense to leave your car in Manhattan or Brooklyn and take the ferry over to Staten Island. However, if you must bring your car with you to Staten Island, don’t worry. Parking is probably easier here than in any of the other New York City boroughs. You can find free parking at just about every business, and you can find affordable parking at garages and lots around the area.

What are the best things to do in NYC? 

New York is one of the most fun and happening places to be, with many exciting things to do in NYC. No visit to the Big Apple is complete without seeing the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A great option would be to buy a CityPASS and start discovering all these places with just one ticket. The New York CityPASS comes with prepaid admissions to the 6 must-see NYC attractions and can also help you skip most ticket lines.  

Frequently Asked Questions About NYC Parking

How do I get cheap parking in NYC?

Here’s the low down on NYC parking. Despite myths to the contrary, NYC actually has plenty of parking spots – cheap and expensive. However, there’s massive competition for these spots, especially for cheap NYC parking.  The only way to beat soaring NYC parking costs is to book your spot ahead of time. In fact, you should book your NYC parking spot as soon as your plans are made. An NYC parking app like the Way.com app is your best bet to find cheap parking in NYC. You’ll get to book a guaranteed parking spot. You’ll also enjoy benefits like flexible cancellation and discounted voucher parking at premium parking garages on apps and websites like Way.com.

Where can I find NYC parking discounts and coupons?

New York City parking discounts and coupons are available through popular brands such as Groupon. But instead of trying to find the best Groupon for you, it’s much easier to sort through Way.com’s New York City parking options. You’ll get an easy, all-in-one-place glimpse of available parking spots, including those that come with discounts.

Can New York City parking be booked in advance?

Yes! You can book advanced parking at both garages and lots in New York City; there are even some street parking spots that are available for reservation! Check out Way’s New York City parking options for more.

Where can I find overnight parking in New York City?

You can find overnight parking both on the street and in garages and lots throughout most of New York City. However, if you do plan on parking overnight, you might want to book your parking in advance. This will guarantee that your parking spot legally allows overnight parking.

Where can I find motorcycle parking in NYC?

Motorcycles can park at metered and non-metered on-street parking areas and in garages, but make sure you follow certain rules. Park at a 90-degree angle with your rear tire to the curb, and don’t leave your front tire in traffic. Additionally, only park your bike in a metered spot with another vehicle if the meter does not expire. You can also find motorcycle-only garages in the city, in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Where can I find oversized parking in NYC?

There is open-lot oversized parking in New York City. Many garages do not allow for overnight oversized parking. Make sure to check with your garage or lot ahead of time whether they allow a vehicle of your dimensions.

Don’t let parking leave you in a tight spot – the Way out is right here on your phone! Book the best parking spots anywhere in your city at unbelievably cheap rates.  

Download Way, the auto super app, and get unbeatable offers on city and airport parking, auto insurance, auto refinance, car wash, gas discounts, EV charging, and more.

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