5 Tips for Scoring Free Parking in San Francisco

Searching for free parking in San Francisco? We’ve compiled our top tips below.


San Francisco is a lively city with tons of activities for tourists and residents alike. To truly enjoy everything that San Francisco has to offer, you’ll want to have a stress-free parking experience.


We rounded up our top tips for scoring free parking in San Francisco below, plus a bonus tip on how to reserve a parking spot in the city.


1) Free Parking in San Francisco – Nightly Metered Parking


SF Park Meter


For those wanting to spend their evenings in San Francisco, we recommend taking advantage of the free metered parking in town. Most meters are enforced between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so anything outside the time is fair game to park at for free. Some meter hours vary so please double-check posted hours before you park. Check out more specific rules on metered parking here.


2) Free Parking in San Francisco – Metered Parking on Sundays

Sundays are one of the best days to hang out in San Francisco because you have a chance at finding free metered parking. However it’s important to know that free parking on Sundays does not apply to Fisherman’s Wharf Area, The Embarcadero, five off-street parking lots and in the Special Event Area around AT&T Park.


Street parking is always in high demand so it may not be easy to find. But it’s good to keep in mind as a possibility on Sundays.


3) Free Parking in San Francisco – Major Holidays


SF Holiday Parking


The city of San Francisco gets in the holiday spirit by not enforcing parking meters on some holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Be aware that these holidays spots will likely be very difficult to find since the city will be much busier than usual.


If you want to guarantee your spot ahead of time, use an app like SpotHero to reserve a parking spot in advance.

4) Free Parking in San Francisco – Green Color Curbs


Green Curb


San Francisco has many color curbs around town. The green ones are what you should be paying attention to while looking for parking. Green curbs outside of metered areas are specifically designed for short-term parking that won’t exceed ten minutes. These are effective between 9:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Metered areas with green curbs will either have a 15 or 30-minute time limit.


For more information on color curb rules, click here. If you’re looking to park for more than 15-30 minutes however, you may find it easier to reserve a parking spot on SpotHero.

5) Free Parking in San Francisco – Hotel Parking

Castle Inn


Believe it or not, San Francisco has some hotels that offer free parking if you are a guest. These include The Inn at Golden Gate and The Castle Inn. For a complete list of hotels with free parking, click here.


BONUS TIP: Use Parking App SpotHero to Find and Reserve Parking in San Francisco

If you’re going to park for more than two hours in the city or having trouble finding free parking around San Francisco, we recommend SpotHero as the best way to park. SpotHero helps you find and reserve parking in hundreds of garages, lots and valets around San Francisco, from the SpotHero app or website.


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Visit the SpotHero website, or download the app (iOS | Android) to book your parking reservation. Explore more affordable San Francisco parking in the map below.


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