Parking in Baltimore depends a lot on the neighborhood you are in. Trying to find parking in Baltimore is like trying to find a non-crab-related item on a local menu.

Street parking, metered spots, parking passes, and parking garages are all options for drivers to consider. Additionally, many local businesses have their own parking lots that can be used.

To ensure a smooth parking experience, it's always a good idea to call ahead to the business you are visiting or ask a friend for advice. With a little planning, you will be able to find a convenient and accessible parking spot. Urge local businesses to update their websites and tickets with appropriate parking information. They should know. To find paid parking information, I recommend the crowdsourced info on Parkopedia.

Street Parking in Baltimore

Locals will tell you that in some neighborhoods, finding a parking spot is like winning the lottery. Be prepared to park several blocks away from your destination and walk. Some neighborhoods, like Fells Point and Federal Hill, have mostly street and metered parking, which can take a bit of extra time to navigate during peak hours.

Don't forget the time-honored tradition of “chair parking” in which people will put a chair, traffic cone, or other item in a parking spot to reserve it. If you see a chair in a spot, it's not just a piece of furniture, it's a declaration of ownership. Respect the chair, or risk the wrath of the neighborhood.

Parking Safety in Baltimore

When parking in Baltimore, it's important to take precautions to ensure the safety of your car and belongings. Always lock your doors and roll up your windows, even if you're only running a quick errand. Don't leave anything valuable in plain sight, and make sure to take all valuables with you when you leave your car. Car break-ins do happen, so be aware of your surroundings and park in well-lit areas whenever possible. If you're parking on the street, make sure to read the signs and follow the rules. 

Baltimore parking enforcement is known for being strict, so don't risk getting a ticket or towed. Street parking signs have more confusing language than camp in a John Waters film.Just be ready for the unique quirks of Baltimore parking, and don't forget to respect the chair!

Baltimore Public Transit

If you're not up for the challenge of street parking, or if you just want to explore the city without worrying about your car, public transit is an option depending on where you're going to and coming from.

The Charm City Circulator is a free bus service (powered by Old Bay of course) that runs through the heart of the city and connects several popular neighborhoods, like Harbor East, Federal Hill, and Canton. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) operates bus service throughout the city and the region.

The Baltimore Metro Subway and Light Rail provide transportation to the suburbs and surrounding counties.


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