Manhattan’s upscale, residential Upper East Side neighbourhood is a major draw for both tourists and locals, meaning that parking here comes at a premium.
With its high-end restaurants, designer shops and cultural mecca known as Museum Mile, it’s easy to see why the Upper East Side is one of the city’s most desirable districts. But is with pretty much all of Manhattan, both driving and parking here can be a challenge – but not an impossible one. The good news is that you can find a wide range of parking options readily available. The bad news is that the cost of parking can be very steep – unless you know where to look. And that’s where we step in with our useful guide to finding parking on the Upper East Side.
The options for parking on the Upper East Side mainly come down to metred street parking or off-street lots and garages. There are a large number of metered street spaces available, with prices starting at around $8 for a couple of hours, although finding an empty spot can be tricky. 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 a garage located at East 61st Street, steps away from Bloomingdale’s Department Store, where you’ll pay $10 for up to half-an-hour, with a daily maximum charge of $57. Another option we’d recommend is an underground garage at 80 East End, which charges $13 for one hour and a daily maximum of $41, with valet services also available.
You can book both of the above parking garages on Spothero.com, as well as at several other parking lots on the Upper East Side.
Free parking on the Upper East Side
In contrast to most of Manhattan, it’s difficult but not impossible to find free parking on the Upper East Side. As a general rule, the closer you are to a two-way thoroughfare like 72nd or 86th streets, the less chance you’ll have of finding a free spot. The exception to this is on Sundays, when metered parking is free across the city. For free street parking other days of the week on the Upper East Side, your best bet is to check out side streets, typically below 96th street, with mornings the best time of day.
Long-stay parking on the Upper East Side
If you’re staying in Manhattan for a longer period and plan to spend a fair of bit of time on or around the Upper East Side, you may want to think about finding a long-term parking spot to save you searching for metred street parking each day or paying hefty day rates at a garage. So, for example, at the underground garage at 425 East 79th Street, day rates for valet parking start at $55, but monthly rates begin at $700 – representing a saving of around $30 per day compared with paying for individual days for an entire month.
For the best parking rates on the Upper East Side, go to Spothero.com.