Where to Find Parking in Downtown Philadelphia

by Paul Joseph  |  Published May 4, 2023

Philadelphia parking is notorious — there was even a show about it — but, armed with the right knowledge, you can still find somewhere secure and affordable to leave your vehicle.

A view over downtown Philadelphia (Photo: Reading Tom via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Philadelphia is a highly walkable city. And sometimes, hopping on the SEPTA transit system, riding your bike, or traversing by foot makes the most sense. But for the rest of the time, a guide to parking is essential. The options for short-term parking in downtown Philadelphia mainly come down to metred street parking or off-street lots and garages. There are a large number of metered spaces available, priced at $1.50 per hour with a limit of four hours.

Alternatively, if you prefer the security of off-street covered parking, there are several lots and garages operated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which are, in general, cheaper than private lots. These are all in or near Center City, City Hall, the Convention Center, the Fashion District, Independence Mall, Old City, and the Parkway museums. Our number one pick is the Parkade at 8th near City Hall, where you’ll pay $14 up to one hour, with a daily maximum charge of $29. Another garage we’d recommend is the Autopark at Independence Mall, which is slightly cheaper at $12 per hour and $27 per day.

You can book both garages on, as well as at several other parking lots in downtown Philadelphia.

Free parking in downtown Philadelphia

In many downtown neighbourhoods, you can park in a streetside metred spaces for free overnight after either 8pm or 10pm. Just be sure not to forget to move your car the next morning. Additionally, there is limited free parking on certain streets, including near Rittenhouse Square on Locust Street and Spruce Street, as well as near Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Chestnut Street. Once again, it’s always advisable to peep an eye on the parking signboards to ensure you don’t violate time limits and regulations.

Long-stay parking in downtown Philadelphia

If you’re staying in Philadelphia for more than a few days, but don’t have any private parking at your choice of accommodation, you may want to consider finding a long-term parking spot, rather than going on the hunt for metred street parking each day or paying through the nose for garage day rates. So, for example, at McKinney Place Garage on Main Street, day rates are $14, but monthly rates start at just $130 – representing a saving of over $10 per day compared with paying for individual days for an entire month.

For the best parking rates in downtown Philadelphia, go to