Rich in history, artistic culture and upscale dining and shopping, there is a lot to experience in Downtown Princeton! You’ll want to get an up-close look to see it all, which is why we put together a complete list of parking in town, including the secret free parking (ssh!), so you can spend more time enjoying the sights and sounds of this booming urban community instead of looking for that open spot.

Parking Garages

Spring Street Municipal Parking Garage

There is free parking here for the first 30 minutes! The perfect option if you have a quick stop to make nearby. Open 7am - 7pm all week, and it’s centrally located near the library and within a few blocks of many dining and shopping options. This location also offers a dual-port Level II charging station for electric vehicles.

Hulfish Street Parking Garage

Located in the heart of Downtown Princeton (next to Halo Pub) and offers special rates for weekends and evenings.

Chambers Street Parking Garage

Another option that’s right in Downtown Princeton, but note that there’s no elevator located here. There is, however, an electric charging station near the entrance here for electric cars.

Cars parked along the street at Palmer square in Princeton, NJ

Parking Meters

Parking meters are enforced throughout the town Monday - Saturday from 8am - 7pm. Rates vary per location and are generally lower outside of the Central Business District.

There are time limits on the meters to ensure that parking spaces readily become available for customers and visitors. If you plan on staying for a while at a meter, be prepared to run back and forth feeding it! These time limits and hours of enforcement are posted on signs in every metered area.

Note: Meters accept U.S. nickels, dimes, quarters and Smart Cards.


Smart Card

If you’re a frequent visitor or have a full day(s) of activity planned, a Smart Card is a convenient way to use either a parking meter or the Spring Street Parking Garage. Simply insert the smart card for the desired time you wish to spend in the area, and upon returning to your car you insert the card again to refund any unused time. If there are time limits at a meter, the meter will still only allow you to pay for the highest amount of time enforced. It will, however, keep you from over feeding the meter and allow for fewer trips back and forth.

Smart Cards can be purchased at the Smart Card Terminal located in the Spring Street Parking Garage. The minimum purchase amount is $20 and it never expires. When you replenish you’ll receive bonus time of 10% of the amount purchased!


Princeton NJ Restaurant Patio with string lights and parking spots


Free Parking

If you don’t mind where you park and are looking to save, you can find various options around town that don’t have meter parking. The lots at Princeton University Chapel and Taplin Auditorium are free after 5pm, and the lot behind Princeton United Methodist Church is free all day. There are some spots on Pine Street as well which are always free, and some Princeton University lots offer free parking during the weekend and after 5pm on weekdays, such as the one located on William Street. On Sunday many metered spots are free or go into effect at a later time.

For those who prefer maps, see below for a full list of streets and parking options!

Princeton Parking Map for Permit Parking and Other Parking Lots

Now that parking is a breeze, you can get back to filling your calendar with all the wonderful activities happening in Downtown Princeton!


Get Social

Since you’ll be spending your time around town, why not snap a picture? Tag us in your posts with #SummerinMercer until August 31st for a chance to win some great prizes!

Jumping off swing into water in Princeton NJ for #SummerinMercer