Both driving and parking in New York can be a challenge, but not an impossible one. The good news is that in the main parts of the city’s 5 boroughs you can find parking garages, parking lots, or street parking readily available. And in the suburbs, there are Park & Ride stations where you can leave your car and take the train into the city. The bad news is that you will be paying a lot for parking, but there are apps and other tools you can use to find better prices.
Where to Find On-Street Parking
If you are parking in Manhattan below 125th St., street parking is at a premium and there are a lot of rules about when you can park where. There are even regulations for street cleaning called “alternate side parking” where you can only park on certain sides of the street on certain days (and your vehicle WILL be towed away if you don’t adhere to the rules). Most street parking is metered, and you can pay at a machine or in the Park NYC app. If you are in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island in a residential area you may not have to pay for parking but be sure to look for signs saying how long you can park there. There are several apps that show you available street parking spots.
Where to Find Parking Garages
Parking in a garage or a paid parking lot is often a better alternative to finding street parking. But you will pay for the convenience. Cost per day are between $20 and $50 but may be higher for event parking (near a concert venue, for instance) or in areas like the Theater District. You will save money by parking on the edges of Midtown or in less-popular neighborhoods. Apps and websites like SpotHero or Best Parking allow you to see the prices in real time and in some cases reserve a spot in a specific garage. This is a great option if you don’t want to spend time driving around looking for a place to park.
Where to Park for Free
If you find a parking spot in New York where you don’t have to pay, you might feel like you won the lottery. But if you pay attention to street signs and know a couple of tips, you can indeed find the unicorn that is free parking in NYC.
- There is free parking on Sundays on metered spots. Be sure to look for signs listing any time limits or specific hours you can park there.
- On major holidays, standing and alternate side parking rules are suspended.
- You can park for free during off hours in areas with regulations like “No parking between 2 am and 6 am” if there aren’t meters.
Park & Ride Locations
Along the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road stops outside of the city, you can usually find a parking lot to leave your vehicle and ride into the city. The parking is usually free of charge, although sometimes you need a permit. This is a good option if you are staying somewhere outside of the city and would like to visit NYC for a day. Overnight parking is generally not allowed in these lots so be sure you look at the train schedule so you don’t get stuck in the city!