Embarcadero Parking

The Best Spots to Park

It's no fun trying to find a parking space along San Francisco's Embarcadero in heavy traffic! I've collected some Embarcadero parking tips so you can pick out some potential parking spots beforehand. I live here and park down here myself, so these can come in handy for visitors.

This is the heart of San Francisco's tourist area, but you can actually park your car in this area without mortgaging your house, if you know where to look!

Also included are some suggestions for parking near Pier 33 for the Alcatraz tours. There is no parking at Alcatraz Landing itself, but there are plenty of choices nearby.

Suggested Parking Lots and Garages

map of best embarcadero parking spots
Embarcadero Parking Suggestions

There is a large assortment of parking lots and parking garages spread out along the whole Embarcadero area; some are shockingly expensive, but others are relatively reasonable (by SF standards).

These garages and lots charge a lot by the hour (typically $2 for each 15 minutes), so I've just given the day rates.

All of these fees can change at any time, and sometimes there are good deals; you can check these via one of the parking apps; see SF Parking Apps for the best ones to use.

Here are my suggestions for Embarcadero parking:

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Best Embarcadero Parking...

Best Parking Lots

Best Parking Garages

Best Parking Lots

Pier 27 Parking Lot

The huge (by SF standards) parking lot next to the cruise ship terminal doesn't seem to fill up much and the prices are reasonable.

I was there on a busy Thursday: arrived around 10:30, only two other cars there. When I left around 4:00, there was only one other car there. I'm sure there would be more cars on the weekend, but it's worth a look.

pier 27 parking lot, embarcadero, san francisco
Pier 27 Parking Lot

Fees are paid via the parking machines via credit card, but there's an attendant/security present 11-2 weekdays and 8 hours on the weekends; don't forget to leave before 11:00 p.m.

Tip: the attendant told me you always pay by machine here, never pay a person. They've had some crooks pretending to work there and collecting the fees from unsuspecting visitors! She also said they haven't had many problems with break-ins there (but still don't leave anything visible in the car).

Warning: this lot at Pier 27 isn't available when there is a cruise ship at the terminal. Mostly there isn't a ship at the pier, but check the schedule if you plan to park here: SF cruise ship schedules
pier 27 parking lot fees

Pier 15 Parking Lot (Exploratorium)

This lot is on the Embarcadero, across the street from the Exploratorium. Very expensive ($35 daily), unless it's for a brief stay, though sometimes has deals on www.parkme.com. Early birds (before 9 a.m.) get a $20 flat rate. This is a huge lot; the entrance is at 1050 Front Street, which runs behind it.

embarcadero parking lot at pier 15
Parking Lot at Pier 15

It doesn't mention this on the sign, but I parked there for a flat fee of $10 when I went to the Exploratorium on a Thursday evening in winter, and there were hardly any cars there. Also not on the sign, only $15 flat rate between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

pier 15, embarcadero parking lot
Pier 15 Lot Fees

735 Davis Parking Lot

Flat rate of $18, out before 6:00 p.m.; evening rate, $18 after 6:00 p.m.

50 Broadway Street Lot

$25 all day, $20 early birds before 10:00 a.m., $20 Sat and Sun.

2 Bay Street Lot, near Pier 35

This is lot is very close to Pier 33 for Alcatraz departures. The day rate is $35, but early birds before 8 a.m. get a $15 day rate (Monday through Friday only). $15 after 5 p.m., and $40 a day on weekends. Very convenient for Alcatraz and Pier 39, so it fills up.

Best Parking Garages

Golden Gateway Garage

Insider Tip: the best deal for parking on weekends is the Golden Gateway Garage, at 250 Clay Street, 2 blocks from the Ferry Building. They have a flat rate of $8 a day for Saturdays and Sundays, and even better, only $3 per day if you get validated at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market (Sat 8-2) or at one of many businesses in Chinatown.

Two caveats: only validation at the Farmer's Market itself (outside, in front of the Ferry Building) is accepted, not the Ferry Building's indoor shops, and the garage closes at 10 p.m. They run a free shuttle to Chinatown on weekends; see parking shuttle. (Weekdays it's really expensive; the daily fee is $38.)

Pier 23

This pier has room inside for quite a few cars; it's bigger than it looks on the outside. Flat rate $20 per day (full size $48).

pier 23 parking hours
pier 23 parking garage
Pier 23 Parking

pier 23 parking sign
Pier 23 Rates

Pier 3 - Hornblower Landing

This pier is right near the Ferry Building. There is some parking inside the Hornblower pier, $20 flat fee, but somewhat more limited.

hornblower landing parking rates
Hornblower Parking

55 Francisco Street

Day rate $22, early birds before 9 a.m. and out by 7 p.m., $18.

Cruise Ships

The parking garage at 55 Francisco now has special parking arrangements for cruise ship passengers. $18 per day for secure, covered parking, and you can book it online at cruise ship parking.

80 Francisco Street

Weekdays, day rate $22, weekends $20. Early birds before 9 a.m. $18 (Monday through Friday)

750 Front Street

$22 day rate.

847 Front Street

$16 day rate. One block from Pier 9.

Parc Telegraph, 1603 MontgomeryStreet

Monday through Friday, $18 day rate, and $14 for early birds before 9:30 and out by 7:00 p.m. 2 blocks from Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing.

2210 Stockton Street

$18 day rate Monday through Friday, early birds before 9 a.m. $12, $25 Sat/Sun. Near Pier 39.

More Expensive...


Pier 19 1/2 Parking
This garage is $25 per day.

Pier 29 1/2 Parking
This parking garage inside Pier 29 is $25/day and $30 on weekends. Even though it's very close to Alcatraz Landing, I don't recommend it for the price and because people have reported having their cars broken into there when it was supposed to be attended and wasn't.

Embarcadero Center Parking

The four Embarcadero Center Buildings that line up between Sacramento and Clay Streets have underground parking garages inside them. They are outrageously expensive without validation. There is validation for some of the businesses in the building, and for the Exploratorium and Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, but it's really only a good deal if you're seeing a movie there (free for 4 hours), or visiting the Exploratorium on the weekend or evening ($10 flat rate), or the Farmer's Market for up to two hours on Saturday from 8-2 ($2 per hour for first 2 hours). Restaurant validation varies from $2 to $4 per hour.

Check here for the current details for parking with or without validation in one of the four Embarcadero Center Buildings: Embarcadero Center Parking.

Street Parking

Street parking is not pretty in this area of town. However, there are some possibilities along the Embarcadero between the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge. Look for Cupid's bow and arrow; I've found places there. The parking meters charge $3.50 an hour.

parking places along the embarcadero
Parking on the Embarcadero

Parking Apps for SF

A number of parking apps are available to find and book spaces in San Francisco. It can be a bit overwhelming figuring out which ones to use; I checked out the major ones out and found two I liked. See SF Parking apps for my review of eight of them.

Exploring the Embarcadero

The Embarcadero is a popular spot for strolling and admiring the views. For more info on what to see and do along here, see The Embarcadero.

What's at the Piers?

For a list of the San Francisco Piers and numbered maps, plus photos, see The SF Piers.

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