Your guide to finding a place to park in the nation's capital.
While Washington, DC is a metropolitan city with safe, efficient public transportation options (including Metrorail and Metrobus, wmata.com, and DC Circulator, dccirculator.com), sometimes you may just want to get into your car and drive to DC. The city does attract an high volume of commuters on a daily basis, but there are plenty of parking options to consider when you visit DC in your vehicle.
Street parking and parking garages
Your two best bets for parking in DC are parking garages and street parking. If you choose to park, there are several resources to help you explore the best options.
Visit godcgo.com before you arrive to read up on parking options in DC. There are many privately owned garages that will cost you roughly $10 to $30 or more, depending on how many hours you are parked. Laz Parking and Colonial Parking also feature valet services and garages around town.
Many commuters also park in these DC garages, so keep in mind they tend to fill up early. During special events (for instance, during a hockey game at the Verizon Center), prices at nearby garages may go up even higher.
DC also has street parking in most neighborhoods. Pay close attention to posted signs, as most parking spots have restricted hours (during rush hour, for example). Parking restrictions are strictly enforced and violators may find a parking ticket on their windshield (or worse, towed). Most parking is metered and many accept cash or credit cards.
Keep in mind that both street and garage parking is especially hard to find around many of the monuments and memorials and near the White House.
You may also choose to park at your hotel. Check with your hotel for rates before you arrive. Handicapped parking is available at most parking garages. DC also recognizes out-of-state handicapped stickers and plaque cards, allowing parking access at all parking meters.
Note that there is free parking in DC, with approximately 400 spaces at Hains Point in East Potomac Park.
You can also download SpotHero to your phone to find a spot for your vehicle around town.
Parking at the Metro
If you’re staying outside of DC proper and want to Metro to the city, parking at one of the lots at suburban Metro stations is a good option.
Many commuters do this on a daily basis, so these parking lots can also fill up fast early in the morning. Daily rates vary by station, but you can expect to pay between $4.60 and $5.10. Find specific rates for each station on WMATA’s parking page. SmarTrip cards are the only valid form of payment for both parking lots and to ride Metro. The rechargeable cards can be purchased at any Metro station.
Explore other options for getting around Washington, DC.