top of page

How To Find Cheap Parking in San Francisco

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Parking is one of the most challenging aspects in the city of San Francisco. For locals and tourists alike, parking can often become an expensive headache! After 20+ years of working on Fisherman's Wharf, we've finally cracked the code! Or at least come close. Our parking tips deal specifically with the Fisherman's Wharf area of SF, with mostly tourists in mind.

Here's our suggestions for finding fair-priced parking options. Our first and most valuable tip comes in the form of an App.

SpotHero is invaluable to anyone trying to find reasonable parking in any major US city. This App is very easy to use and helps you find the lowest-priced parking lots in your desired area. Simply download the App, and choose an area to search for that bargain parking!

Our next suggestion is not an App, but rather a few areas to look for metered street parking. Over the years we've seen the Fisherman's Wharf parking meter rates go through the roof!

We remember the days of 50 cents an hour, then $1, then $2, and $2.50. At the time these prices were still manageable, however, since then the parking meter prices have become astronomical! We've seen meters on Jefferson St (The main shopping street on the wharf) charging as much as $6 and $8 per hour! Go to Paris, London, Sydney, and New York, don't think you'll see public parking meters for $8 per hour. Anyway, to avoid this we've found a few nearby locations with $2 to $4 an hour meters. Just a few short blocks from the Wharf area, is a main street called Columbus Avenue. Go to where Columbus Ave meets Fisherman's Wharf (which ends at the historic Cannery building), and immediately begin looking for empty parking spots with meters. Then check the price of the meter, which will be clearly posted on the outside of the parking meter itself. In most cases, the parking meters 2-3 blocks up Columbus Ave. or higher, are much cheaper than any Wharf area parking meter. Also, be sure to check the maximum time limit, which will also be posted on the meter. Some meters only allow a 2-hour maximum parking limit, while others offer as much as a 4-hour parking limit. This should save you more than a few dollars, not to mention the headache of looking for cheap parking options which are few and far between in a city like San Francisco.

Our final budget parking tip is a lot located approximately 1.5 blocks from the heart of Fisherman's Wharf. Inside of the NorthPoint Centre is a lot that offers fairly reasonable overnight rates.

We've heard that the overnight rate is roughly $35, whereas most Wharf hotels are charging anywhere from $60-$80 per night for parking. The NorthPoint Centre houses a large Safeway grocery store, and the parking lot is attached to the complex.

We at Discount Tix SF are always looking out for our visitor's best interests. We enjoy sharing local deals, discounts, and hidden gems with anyone visiting San Francisco! When considering parking, this is VERY IMPORTANT!!! DO NOT leave ANYTHING of value in your car at ANY TIME! Car break-ins have become a BIG problem in the Bay Area, and San Francisco has become a MAJOR target because of the constant flow of tourists. PLEASE be extra careful with your belongings when you park your vehicle!

*Disclaimer: We are only giving you are best advice, and are not responsible for where you park, what happens when you leave your car, and anything else parking related. PLEASE be smart and be careful. Enjoy San Francisco!

Are you ready to start your adventure in San Francisco? Check out all of our Discount Tours at Discount Tix SF!

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page