Navigating parking in downtown Raleigh

Keep reading for tips, tricks, and local hacks to help you navigate parking like a pro Raleighite in the City of Oaks.

A parking meter.

DYK: Metered parking is free on the weekends.

Photo by RALtoday

We get it — city parking can be confusing. But it shouldn’t deter you from going downtown (there are 70+ places to park). We’ve put together some tips and tricks for parking + getting around in the City of Oaks.

Before you head downtown

Before you park

  • This one may seem obvious, but read the signs. Parking is enforced 24 hours a day.
  • If you’re still not sure if you can park in a certain spot, call the parking office (919-996-3996) to ask.
  • Starting July 1, the fee for safety violations or parking in restricted neighborhoods in Glenwood South will be raised from a $30 fine to $200 every day, from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Free parking

  • Parking is free in all of the downtown area’s metered spots (including Glenwood South) from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Parking is free in the Hillsborough District (NC State area) from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Parking is free downtown all day on Saturdays, Sundays + observed holidays.
Bikes lined up in a row.

Avoid parking and rent a bike from Cardinal Bikeshare.

Photo by RALtoday

Avoid parking all together

  • Find your Go Raleigh bus here.
  • Rent a bike from one of the 32 Cardinal Bikeshare stations to pedal around our beautiful city. Unsure where you’re allowed to bike? Check out this resource.
  • Find your closest e-scooter parking corral + grab some wheels to zoom around town. Raleigh has Lime and Spin scooters.

More parking resources