Parking in New York City

Tue, Nov 21, 2017

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For many, parking in NYC sounds like a potential plot idea for the next season of “American Horror Story.” But sometimes, driving is the simplest option, so parking must be done!

Finding a parking spot in the city doesn’t have to be a total nightmare. Check out our tips below to make it not-so-scary.

Best Parking Apps

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Spot Hero:

One of the most popular apps throughout the country for parking, Spot Hero not only helps you easily find parking but allows you to book a spot directly. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting denied at any full parking garages. With the app, you can also compare spots to find the best deal.


Pango is the perfect parking app for the digital age. It allows you to pay for parking with your mobile phone, kind of like Uber. Yet another reason to leave the cash at home!

Smooth Parking:

This app makes street parking easy (Well, easier…). Smooth Parking shows you where street parking is available in the city at any given time. Subscribers can also find where there are empty spots to park in. Once you are parked, you can mark your spot with the app so you don’t forget where your car is, and set notifications for when your time is up.


Best Parking Websites

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Best Parking:

Best Parking shows all nearby parking options on a map so you can compare prices and convenience. It also shows which streets do and don’t allow parking at any given time – though whether or not there are any free spaces is up to chance!

Icon Parking:

If you’ve been to New York City, you’ll definitely recognize this company. Icon Parking is one of the biggest parking garage companies out there. Their website allows you to search for nearby Icon Parking garages for availability, and there are coupons that can only be found here.

Parking Panda:

Similar to Spot Hero, Parking Panda helps you search for and book parking spots online. It also shows which spots are the most popular.


Landmarks with Designated Parking

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  • The Statue of Liberty: Parking at Liberty State Park, where the Statue of Liberty ferries leave from, is currently only $7!
  • American Museum of Natural History: The museum has its own paid parking facility located at 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
  • New York Botanical Garden: The New York Botanical Garden also has its own parking garage, which is free for active members.
  • One World Trade Center: One World Trade Center doesn’t have its own parking garage, but instead has partnered with Brookfield Place Curbside Valet to offer discounted parking to visitors.
  • Circle Line Cruises: If you are driving to your Circle Line Cruise, you can find nearby parking available for a fee at Pier 83 and Pier 81.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Met’s parking garage is located at Fifth Avenue and 80th Street and is open 24/7. They also offer reduced parking rates for members.
  • Museum of Modern Art: There is no official parking garage at the MoMa, but various nearby ones offer special rates for visitors.
  • Bronx Zoo: Parking at the Bronx Zoo is simple as they have their own paid parking lots.
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Paid attended parking for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is available at 900 Washington Avenue.


Weird Parking Rules

Every city has its own strange or annoying rules when it comes to parking. Here are some of New York’s:

  • Alternate Side Parking is the bane of every New Yorker with a car’s existence. This refers to the recurring necessity of having to move your car due to street-sweeping. It typically happens once or twice a week, and every neighborhood’s rules are different, which can make it extremely confusing for tourists. Just pay super-close attention to street signs and you should be okay.
  • The entire city is a tow-away zone, with no notice necessary.
  • NYC’s anti-idling law means you can’t leave your engine running for more than 3 minutes while parking, standing or stopping.
  • Speaking of parking, standing and stopping, signs restricting those are often confusing because they kind of all sound like the same thing. No parking is an obvious one. No standing means you can drop off (or pick up) people but not property. No stopping means you can’t do either – don’t stop at all!

Hopefully now you feel much more confident about parking in NYC! Also, if you do decide to go on a Circle Line Cruise, Pier 83 and Pier 81 parking lots are open all year round. All day rates start as low as $30 during the week and $35 on the weekend.

Tags: Visit New York: Planning Your Trip, Getting Around New York