Where to Find Parking in Downtown New Orleans

by Paul Joseph  |  Published March 4, 2024

For most visitors to New Orleans, the city’s Downtown district forms an essential part of their itinerary – and if you want to park your car in the area, there are plenty of options.

A nighttime view over Downtown New Orleans (Photo: Antrell Williams via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 DEED)

Historic museums, 19th-century townhouses and a number of renowned museums are just some of the attractions that draw visitors to Downtown New Orleans in their droves each year. For those arriving in their own transport, finding a parking space isn’t always easy, but with a bit of pre-planning should be achievable. We’ve done some of the leg-work so you don’t have to by creating a guide to parking Downtown.

The options for parking in Downtown New Orleans mainly come down to metred street parking or off-street lots and parking garages. There are a number of metered street spaces available, which are enforced from Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm. Short term meters allow 2 hours of maximum stay for $1.50 per hour, while long-term meters allow a maximum stay of up to 10 hours for $1.00 each hour. 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 Clarke Garage on Gravier Street, where you’ll pay $5 for 3 hours’ parking, or $25 for 24-hour overnight parking. If you’re coming in to Downtown for some retail therapy, we’d recommend Canal Place Shopping Center, where you can park for just over $8 per hour.

You can book the above parking garages at Spothero.com, as well as several other parking lots in Downtown New Orleans.

Free parking in Downtown New Orleans

As highlighted above, metered street spaces are not enforced after 6pm on Monday to Saturday, or on Sundays. This means you can drive into Downtown for the evening and park on the street for free, providing you can find a space. Alternatively, there are a number of Downtown businesses and department stores that offer free or discounted parking at nearby lots if you make sufficient purchases. This works on a validation basis, so be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt.

Long-stay parking in Downtown New Orleans

If you’re staying in Downtown New Orleans and don’t have free parking at your accommodation, or are planning to drive into the area every day, the logical option may be to look for a long-term parking spot. This can be both a real money saver and the most convenient option allowing you to avoid searching for street parking each day or paying high day rates at a garage. So, for example, at the Unipark Garage on Roosevelt Way, overnight day rates are $25, but monthly rates start at just $210 per month – representing a whopping saving of over $500 compared with paying for individual days for an entire month.

For the best parking rates in Downtown New Orleans, go to Spothero.com