Seattle parking isn’t as notoriously difficult to find or expensive as NYC or LA, but the city saw nearly 300K official parking infractions in 2021! It’s the classic ‘too many cars but not enough parking spots’ dilemma here as well. So, if you are new to the city or just visiting, driving around might not be all that easy. A bit of prep can help. Here’s all you need to know about finding the best spots for public parking in Seattle and a few tips on avoiding a City of Seattle parking ticket.
A Seattle resident annually spends around 57 hours looking for parking spots in the city! It’s not that parking facilities are inadequate. The challenge for drivers is fishing out vacant parking spaces when they are needed. It is time to pull the plug on this issue. For starters, make a habit of pre-booking your parking space instead of going on last-minute parking spot hunts. And if you must park on the streets, make sure you are aware of all the updates on parking rules.
Where to park in Seattle
There’s no shortage of parking options in Seattle. Seattle drivers can choose from garage parking, metered parking, street parking, and private parking lots. Way.com lets you book your Seattle parking spot in advance from a wide range of affordable parking lots.
Way.com offers parking at some of the most in-demand areas in Seattle including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, Seattle Art Museum, and downtown Seattle.
Essential tips for Street Parking in Seattle
- Seattle has a 72-hour parking rule that restricts street parking, especially in residential neighborhoods. Under this rule, you cannot park for more than three days at the same spot.
- Apply for Carpool Permits, which help you save more on metered parking and offer better chances of finding a parking space with carpool zones in high-traffic areas in the city.
- Look out for ‘Angle Parking only’ signs and park your car at an angle to the curb. This prevents the vehicle from rolling onto the road if it is hit or the parking brake fails.
- Check posted signs for maximum parking time limits and move your car before it expires.
- Be aware of all the Seattle street parking rules and regulations.
- More tips
Where to park in Seattle for free
You can park in most Residential Parking Zones and downtown streets, any day of the week. However, make sure to check posted signs for time limits and temporary restrictions. Free parking for limited durations is also available in popular neighborhoods like the Waterfront, Pike Place Market, and Pioneer Square. Demand for these spots will be high; it is better to book a spot at an affordable parking garage in Seattle for a hassle-free experience. Free street parking is ideal for quick stops only. If you are unsure how long you’ll be away from your car, avoid parking on the streets and risk a parking violation.
You can park for free in Seattle on all major national holidays and Sundays too. If the national holiday falls on a Saturday, parking regulations will be lifted throughout Friday. If the holiday falls on Sunday, parking enforcement will not be applicable the next day (Monday).
When is parking free in Seattle?
Seattle parking is free on national holidays and on Sundays. Some of the national holidays during which you can park for free are:
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February 17 – Presidents Day
May 25 – Memorial Day
July 3 – Independence Day
September 7 – Labor Day
October 12 – Indigenous People Day
November 11 – Veterans Day
November 26 – Thanksgiving Day
December 25 – Christmas Day
How much is parking in Seattle?
Seattle is one of the cities with the cheapest metered parking rates in the US. Parking in downtown Seattle costs start at $0.50, the maximum hourly rates only go up to $2. Check on-street metered parking availability and rates here. Paid parking rates not only vary from zone to zone – morning, afternoon, and evening meter rates vary as per demand. Metered parking spots across the city are available from Monday through Saturday, with a maximum daily limit varying between 2 hours, 4 hours, and 10 hours. These time schedules, however, are not applicable on Sundays. Also, you can park for free in paid parking zones on Sundays. Just make sure not to park at restricted parking zones and look for the street parking signs before leaving your car.
Parking Near Popular Spots
Seatle is one of the most visitor-friendly cities, and there are several attractions to explore. However, if you plan to go on a city tour by car, parking near popular tourist attractions could be challenging. Unless you book your spots in advance at secure and affordable garages nearby. Use parking app or websites like Way.com to find the best Seattle parking at the lowest rates.
Read more blogs on affordable airport parking, the best insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.