Parking in Chicago Overview

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In This Guide

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know for parking in Chicago:

 

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Off-Street Parking Map

View the map below or directly on Google for a list of off-street parking lots and garages in Chicago.

Neighborhood Parking

Chicago is a city comprised of 77 neighborhoods, each one with its own set of distinct parking qualities. Some neighborhoods, for instance, offer mostly street parking. Popular neighborhoods in the downtown area, like the Loop and River North, are incredibly dense and require some forethought.

Click on the links below for everything you’ll need to know about parking in Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods:

 

Street Parking

Street Parking Overview

Street parking in Chicago depends on a variety of factors: availability in each neighborhood, how long you need parking, how far you’re willing to walk, and the weather. Your best bet? Do a little research beforehand to decide if street parking is right for you.

Click here for everything you need to know about street parking in Chicago.

 

Meter Parking

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All metered parking in Chicago costs between $2-$6.50 per hour. Click here for an interactive version of the map above. Find more information about metered parking in Chicago, like disability parking and pay station hours, here.

You can pay for metered parking in Chicago at the pay stations located in the parking zone where you are parking. You should see a sign pointing to the direction of the pay station. Quarters, credit/debit/pre-paid cards are all accepted.

Another option is to download the city’s street parking app, ParkChicago, which allows you to pay from your smartphone. But its best feature is the ability to extend the time on your meter without having to go back to your car, especially in the winter!

 

Snow Regulations

Snow plows clear snow almost daily to maintain Chicago’s streets in the winter. That being said, street parking is prohibited when there’s over 2 inches of snow. Don’t carry a ruler with you? Your best bet is to avoid street parking altogether when it’s snowing or when snow is on the ground. Park in a parking garage or lot instead.

The city also puts overnight parking bans in place during the winter so that the streets can be plowed at night. Check the City of Chicago website in the winter for more information about when exactly those bans are in place.

 

Top Street Parking Tips

  • Always, always look out for signage about parking restrictions when parking on the street. Restrictions typically have to do with weather, time limits, and street cleaning.
  • If you have a truck or van, search for parking garages that accept oversize vehicles. You may have to call parking garages directly beforehand.
  • Know when to avoid street parking. Sometimes, knowing when to park off-street in a garage or lot can save you a lot of pain and frustration. During major events or when traveling to a dense area, for example, off-street parking is not only the easier, but the more affordable choice. Consider finding and reserving off-street parking in advance for optimal convenience.
  • Download the ParkChicago app so you can pay for and replenish your meter from your phone. This is especially helpful in the winter, when you can pay for parking from the warmth of your car without having to wait outside for your parking pass to print.

 

Monthly And Residential Parking

Monthly Parking

While finding monthly parking may seem intimidating, there are tons of resources to make the process seamless. If you drive to work every day, live downtown, or have a car you need to store for long periods of time, opting for a monthly parking rate will save you time and money.

Click here for everything you need to know about monthly parking in Chicago.

 

Chicago Residential Parking Zone

There’s residential parking available throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to see Chicago’s residential parking map.

To park in a residential zone, you need either a Chicago City Vehicle Sticker with Residential Zone Parking or a Daily Residential Parking Permit for guests. Some zones require a residential permit at all times, while others only require permit at certain times of day or night. Find more information about city vehicle stickers here.

 

Chicago Parking Tickets

Chicago parking tickets are far too easy to receive due to confusing signage, a lack of street parking in general, and seasonal parking restrictions. If you’re new to Chicago, or are visiting with a car, it’s important to keep the following factors in mind:

  • Snow regulations
  • Permit parking areas
  • Parking signage (time limits, street cleaning, etc.)
  • Prohibited parking zones

Click here for everything you need to know about avoiding and fighting parking tickets in Chicago.

 

Parking Near Top Attractions

Major events take place in Chicago year-round, which influences street parking in the affected neighborhoods. Regardless of the time of year, it’s always smart to check whether there are any events near your destination. Click on the links below to learn more about street parking during specific events and common destinations they take place in:

 

Resources

  • CTA – Chicago’s public transportation site with parking information near city trains and buses.
  • Parknav – Helps parkers find the best street parking with real-time predictive data.
  • ParkMe – Helps parkers find off- and on-street parking using full-time researchers and a predictive algorithm.
  • Cityofchicago.org – City website with parking information, such as laws, restrictions, permits, and more. 
  • SpotHero – Find and reserve parking in advance with this free on-demand parking app.
  • Parkopedia – Browse street and off-street parking rates with an interactive map.

 

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