Where to Find Parking in Cambridge

by Paul Joseph  |  Published June 24, 2024

Home to one of the world’s most prestigious seats of learning, the Massachusetts city of Cambridge attracts large numbers of visitors, placing parking at a premium.

A view over the city of Cambridge (Photo: Mad Ball via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

“Excuse me, officer – how do I get to Harvard?” “Work hard, son” comes the reply. It’s an age-old joke that stands the test of time, with the world-famous university not only a magnet for the world’s smartest young minds but a steady stream of tourists throughout the year, too. But while enough of the city’s visitors come in their own transport to make parking something of a challenge, with the right amount of planning you can usually find a spot that won’t hit you too hard in the pocket. We’ve compiled a quick guide to parking in Cambridge below.

The options for parking in Cambridge mainly come down to metred street parking or off-street lots and parking garages. Most parking meters have a two-hour time limit at rates ranging from $1-1.50 per hour, although in some high turnover areas the maximum may be as low as 30 minutes. Restrictions vary widely based on time and location,, but are usually operational midweek and Saturdays, with exemptions all day on Sundays. Alternatively, if you prefer the security of off-street covered parking, there are several lots and garages to pick from. Our number one choice is Green Street Garage, where rates start at $4 per hour. Another option we’d recommend for those looking to park close to the city’s famous university is Harvard Square Parking Garage, where prices start at $12 per hour.

You can book the above parking garages at, as well as several other parking lots in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Free parking in Cambridge, Massachusetts

As outlined above, metered street parking space restrictions are not enforced on Sundays and there is also free two-hour parking in three downtown core areas. Other than these periods, because most residential streets are permit-only, free on-street parking in Cambridge is minimal. However, what limited options there are can usually be found near public parks.

Long-stay parking in Cambridge, Massachusetts

If you’re staying in Cambridge and don’t have free parking at your accommodation, or are planning to drive into the main parts of the city on frequent occasions during your trip, the most economical option is often long-term parking. This can save you a lot of money and is also more convenient than trawling the roads looking for street parking each day or coughing up hefty day rates at a private garage or parking lot. For example, at Pilgrim Parking on Kendall Street, close to the Longfellow Bridge that connects Cambridge to Boston, you’ll pay up to $46 to park on a daily basis, but monthly rates are just $440 – representing a huge saving of over $900 compared with paying for individual days.

For the best parking rates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, go to