Skip to content
vital-logo Home
6 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Where to Park in Downtown Portsmouth, NH

If you’ve ever been to Portsmouth, NH, you probably know the three-ring-circus that parking can be. Whether you’re here for a quick client lunch, a fun evening out, or a full weekend of exploring, it can be difficult to find both on-street and off-street parking that is both available and affordable.

As seasoned Portsmouthians, members of our team here at Vital have plenty of experience with parking in downtown Portsmouth. There’s the perpetual parking garage shuffle, and the on-street parking is a whole different adventure. It’s a game of chance — will you drive by an open spot before another driver has scouted it out? Maybe. But you may also just find yourself headed to the garage or another off-street lot. To help you out, we’ve laid out off-street parking in downtown Portsmouth, according to what you may be looking for.

The following parking information and rates have been updated to the best of our knowledge. Please obey all signs in parking areas and refer to the city’s parking website for additional parking updates.

Use these links for quick access to what you’re looking for:

Paid Parking

These parking spots are best for short visits to Portsmouth. Maybe you’re grabbing a quick lunch or meeting with a client. These spots won’t cost you too much for a few hours.

What you get: Parking close to downtown
What you pay: $1.00-2.00 per hour
Tip: Take your meter time seriously — the meter people of Portsmouth are known for being timely. Enforcement runs from 9:00am–8:00pm on Monday–Saturday and noon–8:00pm on Sunday.

Street Parking, throughout downtown
$1.50–$5/hour
Mon–Sat, 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun, 12:00pm–8:00pm

Hanover Parking Garage, 34 Hanover Street
900 spaces, 18 handicap, 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
$2/hour ($5 all day parking on Sundays for city residents)
Open 24/7
Pay and display, monthly passes available
*Please note that the Hanover Street parking garage is under construction through 2025. Construction will require phased closures of up to 300 parking spaces at a time over the span of the project.

Market Hanover Lot, 175 Hanover Street
11 spaces, 1 handicap
$2/hour, 3-hour max. (4+ hours, $5/hour)
Mon–Sat, 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun, 12:00pm–8:00pm
Pay by plate

Bridge Street Lot, 40 Bridge Street
62 spaces, 3 handicap
$1.50/hour, 3-hour max. (4+ hours, $3/hour)
Mon–Sat 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun, 12:00pm–8:00pm
Pay by plate

Worth Lot, 25 Maplewood Avenue
79 spaces, 5 handicap
$1.50/hour, 3-hour max. (4+ hours, $3/hour)
Mon–Sat, 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun, 12:00pm–8:00pm
Pay by plate

Ladd Street Lot, rear of High Hanover Parking Garage
12 spaces, 1 handicap
$2/hour, 3-hour max (4+ hours, $5/hour)
Mon–Sat, 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun, 12:00pm–8:00pm
Pay and display

Memorial Bridge Lot, Scott Avenue
30 spaces, 2 handicap
$1.50/hour, 3-hour max. (4+ hours, $3/hour)
Mon–Sat, 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun, 12:00pm–8:00pm
Pay by plate

Sheraton Hotel Lot, 2 Russell Street
240 spaces
$30/day
Open 24/7
Pay on exit, credit card only

Court Street Lot, 164 Court Street
21 spaces
$1.50/hour, 3-hour max (4+ hours, $3/hour)
Mon–Sat, 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun, 12:00pm–8:00pm
Pay by plate

Foundry Place Garage, 100 Foundry Place
600 spaces, incl. handicap, 3 EV charging stations
$1/hour (all day free parking on Sundays for city residents)
Open 24/7
Pay on exit, credit card only, monthly passes available

Free Parking

If the price of parking in downtown Portsmouth outweighs the convenience, here are the spots that you should consider.

What you get: Free parking that is only a quick scenic walk to downtown.
What you pay: Nothing—that’s the best part!
Tip: Plan ahead and get there early; these spots go quickly.

Parrott Avenue Lot, 165 Pleasant Street
186 spaces, 4 handicap
72-hour limit

Parrott Avenue Street Parking
Between Junkins Avenue and Richards Avenue
First come, first served

Four Tree Island Parking Area, Peirce Island Road
115 spaces

South Playground Lot, Junkins Avenue
90 spaces, 3 handicap
No overnight parking

Peirce Island Pool and Dirt Lots, 99 Peirce Island Road
123 spaces, 10 handicap
No overnight parking

City Hall Lower Lot, 1 Junkins Avenue
166 spaces
Mon, 6:00pm–8:00am; Tue–Thu, 4:30pm–8:00am
Fri, 1:00pm–8:00am; Sat–Sun, all day
No overnight parking

Community Connect Church Lot, 200 Chase Drive
93 spaces
No parking on Sundays until 1:00pm
Note: There’s a free shuttle to downtown, see hours below.

Masonic Temple Lot, 31 Miller Avenue
61 spaces
72-hour limit

Rock Street Lot, Rock Street
110 spaces
Mon–Fri, 6:00pm–8:00am
Open to the public on weekends and holidays

Prescott Park Lot, Scott Street
10 spaces, 5 handicap
2-hour max.

Secret Parking Spots

If you’re truly a parking-savvy patron, then you already know about these secret parking spots. But just in case you don’t, here’s a quick rundown of some of the best parking spots you will find downtown without having to pay a dime.

What you get: Super convenient downtown parking, for free.
What you pay: No payment necessary for these secret spots.
Tip: Parking is available in these lots after business hours, but is reserved for patrons during the day. You run the risk of getting towed should you park for an extended period of time during business hours, or if your car is in the way of snow removal operations.

Note:A handful of private lots in Portsmouth now charge special rates after business hours. We recommend double checking the lot you are in to see if it is necessary to pay to park.

TD Bank Lot I, 333 State Street
43 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

M&T Bank Lot, 325 State Street
20 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

People’s United Bank Lot
Between Fleet and Church Streets, 20 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

Piscataqua Savings Bank Lot, 15 Pleasant Street
17 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

Citizens Bank Lot, 134 Pleasant Street
22 spaces
Free, available after bank hours
(15 spaces used by valet company, depending on the night)

Overnight & Extended Parking

If you’re looking to stay more than a few hours in Portsmouth or are making an overnight trip, these spots are available for up to 72 hours.

What you get: Parking for an extended period of time, up to 72 hours.
What you pay: Prices range from free to 75 cents per hour.
Tip: These spots are popular with commuters during the day. Arrive early, or just as work is wrapping up for the day.

Parrott Avenue Lot, 165 Pleasant Street
186 spaces, 4 handicap
Free, 72-hour limit

Four Tree Island Parking Area, Peirce Island Road
115 spaces
Free, 72-hour limit

Parrott Avenue Street Parking
Between Junkins Avenue and Richards Avenue
First come, first served
Free, 72-hour limit

Masonic Temple Lot, 31 Miller Avenue
61 spaces
Free, 72-hour limit

Foundry Place Garage, 100 Foundry Place
600 spaces, incl. handicap, 3 EV charging stations
$1/hour (all day free parking on Sundays for city residents)
Open 24/7
Pay on exit, credit card only, monthly passes available

Parking Pointers

No Need to Pay on a Holiday!

The following federal holidays mean free parking days in Portsmouth:

    • New Year’s Day
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • Presidents’ Day
    • Memorial Day
    • Independence Day
    • Labor Day
    • Columbus Day
    • Veterans’ Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day

Navigating a “Full” Parking Garage (Hanover Street)

On a busy day in Portsmouth, it’s not uncommon to find the “Garage Full” sign propped outside of the main entrance on Hanover Street. Don’t give up quite yet though. The parking garage uses this sign as a way of maintaining open spots for pass holders when it has reached a certain capacity.

Local parking pros know that a quick trip around the block will bring you to the lower entrance on Fleet Street, where you should always be able to enter. The garage may be filling up but if you don’t mind going all the way up to the roof, you may be just in luck.

For Motorcycles 

The city offers six dedicated motorcycle parking spaces in the Hanover Street parking garage. Other than that, motorcycles/multiple motorcycles may park in any single car space in the city. Multiple motorcycles in a single space require only one parking receipt but it must remain visible for parking enforcement personnel to verify.

For Scooters

The city encourages scooter/moped owners to park on sidewalks, but not in the way of business entrances, taxi stands, or in a way that prohibits pedestrian travel. City officials also do not want scooters parked in parking spots.

For Visitors and Workers

If you just don’t want to deal with the parking hassle, there is a 16-passenger, ADA-compliant parking shuttle that runs Fridays (and sometimes Thursdays) through Sundays between the free Connect Community Church lot on Market Street and the Hanover Street parking garage. The shuttle runs about every 10 minutes.

Schedule:
Friday, 12 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Sunday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Summer hours include Thursday, 4:30pm–1:30am
 

On Sundays, the Hanover Street parking garage is open to all Portsmouth residents for $5 all day, and the Foundry Place garage for free! That’s right — just make sure to have your license or a pay stub with you to prove that you truly are a local.

More Resources

If only there were real-time updates about parking in downtown…Oh wait, there are! For all of you on X, be sure to follow @ParkPortsmouth.

It should be noted that parking rules and regulations in downtown Portsmouth are continually changing. Please make note of all signs posted in parking areas, and adhere to the policies thereby displayed. Up-to-date information about parking downtown can be found on the city’s parking website.

For a full map view of our unauthorized downtown Portsmouth parking list, visit our Portsmouth Parking Google Map.

What other secrets do you know for parking in downtown? Let us know!