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Welcome to San Francisco....small, compact and surrounded by water on three sides. As a result, it's not an easy place to have a car. San Francisco traffic statistics estimate that there are about 750,000 vehicles registered in San Francisco and it has only 550,000 legal parking places. As a result, it's VERY difficult for a tourist to find parking in San Francisco. Looking for a hostel with parking in San Francisco. Good luck. In fact, in most neighborhoods you will need a sticker to park more than about 2 hours. Your best bet is to not have a car in San Francisco. It's expensive and frustrating to find parking and many tourists get towed each day. Don't say we didn't warn you. If you insist on bringing your car to the city, we have provided the following information.

Convenient & Expensive

There are two parking garages each one block away. One is Portsmouth Garage, across from the Hilton and under the park (Kearny & Clay St). One is St. Mary’s garage, one block south (Kearny & California). Both are around $28/24 hours, but can vary in price. No in/out privileges.


Convenient & Sometimes Free: Sacramento St (in front of the hostel)

Generally free 7pm-7am w/ street cleaning restrictions. Weekends free; opposite side metered Sat 7am-6pm


Our side: Times free excluding street cleaning Mon/Wed/Fri 2am-6am (no parking)

Mon. 7pm-7am; Tues. 7pm-2am; Wed. 7pm-7am; Thurs. 7pm-2am; Fri. 7pm- Mon. 2am

Opposite Side: Times free excluding street cleaning Tues/Thurs 2am-6am (no parking) Mon. 7pm-2am; Tues. 7pm-7am; Wed. 7pm-2am; Thurs. 7pm-7am; Fri. 7pm-7am; Sat. 6pm- Mon 7am

Further Away & Always Free

San Francisco residents have stickers on their cars that indicate that they are a resident of the neighborhood and therefore are allowed to park there. All other cars can only park for a maximum of 2 hours (usually).


However, there are a handful of streets that do not have this resident restriction. We call these secret parking in San Francisco. These streets do have street cleaning restrictions, so be sure to move your car by the posted time. Two general areas we know of:

Laurel Heights From the front of the building, drive to the corner and turn Right on Kearny Street, then Right on Clay Street and then Right on Montgomery Street. Go three blocks and turn right on Pine Street. Four blocks after you pass Divisadero Street, the road will curve left and turn into Masonic Street. This is the start of the secret spots. You can either continue left on to Masonic and look for spots in that area, or make an immediate right turn onto Euclid Street and look around there. You can look for parking on Euclid and the following streets that intersect with Euclid Street: Masonic Street, Lupine Street, Wood Street (access from Lupine), Collins Street, Heather Street. Anza is also a good street; take Masonic south of Geary and turn right. From there you can take the #1 bus at California & Presidio St straight back to the hostel (off at Clay & Kearny).

Haight Ashbury There are a few ways to get to this area depending on where you are coming from. The same Masonic Ave. described above will continue south straight to this parking area. You can look look for parking all over both along the Panhandle, north and south of Haight St. (Haight St. itself is almost all metered), and along Buena Vista Park. From there you can take numerous busses back to the hostel. All will run along market and stop at Kearny St (next to the Montgomery Bart station). Options include the #6, 71, N (catch on Haight St) or the 21 (Hayes St).

Reminders to not get ticketed or towed (just guidelines; you are responsible for all laws & rules):

Read all posted signs, meters, and curb paintings. Move your car by the street sweeping times posted.

Meters run every day but Sunday in the areas listed above.


‘Curb your wheels’ when on a hill (on a 2-way street: facing downhill, turn them to the right; uphill, to the left.)

If parking in between driveways, make sure there is at least 6in (15cm) of space in front/behind your car.

Be 18 in (45cm) or less from the curb. Do not cover any part of a crosswalk.

Legally the longest a car can sit in one spot is 72 hours. This is rarely enforced, but now you know.



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