Parking Tips for Downtown Denver

Plan ahead so parking in Downtown Denver doesn't become a daunting task.
Plan ahead so parking in Downtown Denver doesn't become a daunting task. (Image: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Photodisc/Getty Images)

For a visitor to Denver, the one-way streets and abrupt diagonal grid of the downtown area can be frustrating and confusing. Parking on these streets can also be difficult tasks, particularly during the weekends or during major sporting events. With a little planning, parking downtown can be fairly easy and cheap.

Free Street Parking

In addition to the pay spots available in Denver, there are several places on the edges of downtown where you can legally park on the side of the street for free. Be sure to carefully read the signs when attempting to park anywhere outside of a metered spot or paid parking lot; many of these neighborhoods will have some parking restrictions or may require a permit.


There are over 43,000 off-street parking spaces in Downtown Denver. Meters typically cost $1 per hour. There are many newly installed "Smart Meters" that now accept credit cards, but all meters still accept nickels, dimes and quarters. There is a two hour parking limit on most meters, however, meter parking is free from Monday through Saturday after 10 p.m. Parking is free all day on Sunday and on city holidays. Be sure to note that there is no parking allowed on Downtown Denver streets between 2 and 6 a.m.

Parking lots and garages

In addition to metered parking, there are many pay parking lots located in Downtown Denver. The prices of these lots vary depending on the location of the lot, and will fluctuate depending on whether or not there is a major sporting event that day or night. These lots are well-lit, and some are monitored by parking attendants. The majority of the lots, however, require you to pay in advance at an automated machine, where you'll get a ticket to place on your dash. Downtown hotels have their own parking; contact the hotel at which you're planning on staying to find out more about their specific parking situation.

Motorcylces and Scooters

Motorcycles are allowed to park four per meter in downtown, as long as there are no obstructions to the street, and the meter is paid properly. Be aware that if the meter expires, each motorcycle parked at that meter will be issued a ticket. Scooters with engines that are 50cc or less may legally park on Denver sidewalks.

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