Parking in Portland can either be ridiculously expensive or absolutely free. It all depends on the time of day and where in the city you choose to park. This guide will help you find the cheapest parking the next time you visit Maine's largest city.

There are all kinds of parking options in Portland including on-street metered parking, parking lots, garages, and even some spaces that are completely free, you just have to know where to look for the best price.

Since we originally wrote and published this article in 2018, parking rates at some garages in Portland have gone up yet again. The One City Center Parking Garage has gone from $4 per hour to $5 and the Fore Street Garage is up to $6 per hour. Portland Most parking meters are $2 per hour. However, the rate for parking in the area bounded by Middle Street, Pearl Street, Commercial Street, and Union St, as well as the entire length of Commercial Street itself, is $2.50 per hour.

As a general rule, if you want to go cheaper avoid privately owned garages. Parking garages owned by the city tend to have less expensive prices. The Elm Street and Spring Street garages are managed by the city and will run you $4 per hour or $28 for the day. There are however even cheaper options.


Parking Meters

If you're in town for a few hours, your best bet for parking is a parking meter. Parking is $2 per hour for a total of two hours before you have to move. The great part is if you use a pay station that gives you a ticket for your dash or you pay via the mobile app, it's good in any metered space in the city, so you can move your car anywhere until the time on your ticket runs out. Don't be late though, because an expired meter ticket will cost you about as much as it would to park in a garage all day in a city-operated garage.

Free Parking

There aren't many and they go fast, so you have to get there very early or be very lucky but there are free parking spaces in the area around Commercial Street and High Street. It's a longer walk to some areas of Portland, but parking! See the map below to find where you can park for free as long as you like.

$5 To Park All Day

This is a bit of a walk too but if there isn't a major event going on in downtown Portland it always seems to have spaces available. There's a fenced-in city lot on the west end of Commercial Street just past Circle K that offers parking for $5 a day up to a total of 8 days. If you don't mind the walk, this is the cheapest you'll pay anywhere in Portland to park.

Google Street View
Google Street View

Parking Lots

These tend to be expensive and typically charge you around $5 an hour no matter what time of day you park. Many are run by a payment kiosk and ticket for your dashboard and routinely monitored for expired parking. If you're late getting back to your car, you may find a boot on it and be charged a greater fee to get it off. Some are on the cheaper side without boots like Top of the Old Port Parking. Choose wisely.

Parking Garages

The price ranges run wild here as well. Anywhere from $1.25 for 30 minutes to $6 an hour. We've listed a good number of garages in this interactive map. Yellow P's are cheaper, red P's are more expensive, the blue area is the $5 all day parking and the green is the free street parking. You can click any parking location for more info. To bring the map full screen on mobile, click the icon in the upper right.

Parking in Portland is way more expensive than it needs to be, but with this guide, and a little planning, you should be able to get in and out without breaking the bank.

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