When you’re roaming the hills of San Diego, finding a parking space can feel daunting. Follow these tips to find free parking near you.
To find those free parking spots, here is what you need:
An understanding of where those spots exist. (Check out this free map!)
Some street smarts about San Diego parking to help make sure you don’t accidentally leave with a ticket.
Map of Free Parking in San Diego
Type any address and use the time filters on the map below to find a free parking spot anywhere in San Diego. It’s free, easy to use, and will save you a serious headache when you’re on the hunt for free parking.
Rules for free parking in San Diego:
No free parking on Sundays or weekends on meters. If you find a metered spot that’s open on a Sunday, you still have to pay for it.
If you park on a hill, make sure you cramp your wheels. Turn your wheel towards the curb if you’re facing downhill and away if you’re facing uphill.
Secret free downtown parking. Free parking downtown is scarce, but it does exist if you know where to look. For instance, there are three secret free street parking spots on Ash street between 3rd and 2nd on the north side of a one-way. Watch the signs: if you see a suspicious lack of cars on a block, parking could be restricted for street cleaning.
We recommend parking downtown in Golden Hill. If you are looking to head to the Gaslamp Quarter, Golden Hill is only a short half mile walk. Try 22nd street or any of the blocks between A and Broadway.
Free Overnight Parking. Most San Diego meters only operate throughout the day. Check the signs nearest you to determine when they are no longer enforced.
Short trip? Most city lots offer free parking for the first 90 minutes. Just make sure you check with the attendant before you decide to drive through the gate.
Free parking on holidays:
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Cesar Chavez Day
Worried about tickets? Check out these guides to avoid them: